"We really had a lot more time to draw the creative blueprint for Smoke + Mirrors and what the live show would be like," lead singer Dan Reynolds tells ETonline. "For the first album, it was blowing up so fast we didn't have time to really decide anything -- it was just lights and a show in a new country every day. For this record, we were able to take the time to paint it all out."
Fans looking for a preview of the band's new show will find it in their video for "Shots," which was inspired by surrealist artist Tim Cantor's paintings. Imagine Dragons worked closely with Cantor on the upcoming tour, which kicks off Feb. 20 in Los Angeles.
But if you're looking for a repeat of last year's incredible Kendrick Lamar collaboration at the GRAMMYs, you'll have to sit tight for a little while longer.
"Kendrick is a great artist, a really good friend and he's putting together a great record right now as we speak," Reynolds said. "Who knows what the future holds. We love Kendrick, we keep in touch with him all the time. As for this record, we didn't do any collaborations. We tried to focus on what this record would be and who we are as a band -- we're such a young band -- but who knows what the future holds. Like I said, we love, love working with Kendrick."
Much of Smoke + Mirrors was written on the road with the band touring the globe in support of their 2012 debut, Night Visions. "You could pretty much name every major city in the world, and I was probably writing a song there in a hotel room at 2 am with someone pounding on the door," Reynolds said with a laugh. That’s not to say inspiration didn't also strike close to home, specifically on the song "Polaroid."
"It came to me while I was trick or treating. I literally was trick or treating with my daughter," he revealed. "I started singing it to her [and] I went home that night and recorded the basic idea of it."
As the band gears up to tour the world yet again, they appear to be experts in how not to prep for a show. Watch the video above for Imagine Dragons' hot touring tips (hint: pickles are a no-go).
Smoke + Mirrors is available now. You can find a complete list of Imagine Dragons' touring dates on their website.