Now, in their brand-new "On Top of the World" clip, they're going back in time.
"It's a period piece, set in the late 60s, and there were a lot of events of importance that took place then," guitarist Wayne Sermon told MTV News, before the Dragons' EMA performance in Amsterdam. "And it might be covering one or two of them."
"It's a very different video; if you've watched our videos, you know to expect the unexpected. But I think this is my favorite," frontman Dan Reynolds added. "There's a lot going on it it, some if it is subliminal. 'Sno Gard.' I'll say that. It has no meaning to you, but when you see the video, you'll be like 'Sno Gard ... okay, Dan gave me a good hint.' "
And on Wednesday, when "World" officially premiered, we finally understood what he was talking about. The phrase "Sno Gard" — which is "Dragons" spelled backwards — pops up several times in the clip (a boy has it written on his T-shirt, and when the broadcast of the band's faked moon landing cuts out, it's seen on TV screens), though, if it means something more, well, we must be missing something.
Regardless, it's just one of several blink-and-you'll miss it moments in the new video, including a whole bunch that reference the films of Stanley Kubrick ("The Shining," "2001: A Space Odyssey") and a clever nod to the "Paul is Dead" urban legend that surrounded the Beatles (check the changing license plate of the white car around the one-minute mark). All of which combine to make the video a surreal, slightly subliminal thing ... and when you couple that with the sublimely silly facial hair they're sporting in the clip, it seems to suggest that despite their whirlwind year, the Dragons are still not too tired to have some fun.
"It also probably has something to do with sleep deprivation, like, when you just think everything is hilarious," Reynolds said. "We've been blown away by this past year, our heads are spinning, we need to go collect out minds and take in what's going on. I don't think any of us understand what this past year has been ... and maybe we all need a nap or something."