If you're a rock band receiving the Imagine Dragons stamp of approval, you can rest assured that your music isn't just good, it's noteworthy. Four people who can attest to this is X Ambassadors, the alternative rock group hailing from Ithaca, New York.
While in Virginia, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds heard one of the band's acoustic songs on the radio. Reynolds called his friend and producer, Alex da Kid, and told him to sign the band on the spot (which he did). The rest is history.
Reynolds, along with rest of Imagine Dragons, have done a lot for the band, catalyzing their deal with Interscope Records back in 2013, asking them to be the openers for their arena tour, and even co-writing their song "Stranger" off their second EP, "Love Songs Drug Songs."
So it's only natural by this point, the two groups are pretty tight. When we met up with X Ambassador's at this year's Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival in Florida, we spoke to lead singer Sam Harris and drummer Adam Levin about what it was like to receive so much love from Imagine Dragons, what was going through their minds when they first heard their song on the radio, and more!
And if you want even more X Ambassadors news, head over to AOL.com at 6 pm EST today for more exclusive videos, photos, and interviews!
Your careers have really taken off since your inception, what has it been like to gain the support of huge artists, like Imagine Dragons?
Adam Levin: It's amazing! When you're a young band, you always think you're the best band in the world. When I was in my band when I was 14 writing songs, we always thought "Why aren't we the biggest band in the world yet?" So it's a really funny thing. We were always working towards this, but even in the days when we were playing to no one, that was, as hard as it was, a really fun time. So when you have another artist, or producer, or band, or record label come and give you recognition, it gives you hope and lets you know you're doing something right. So when Imagine Dragons came into the picture, they kind of got us signed to our label, and basically discovered us. And then they took us on tour, executive produced our album, and then collaborated with us.
Is it common for other artists to team up with other musicians?
Sam Harris: Not really. In the hip hop world it is. So it's very unique to our industry that it happened.
What was it like the first time you heard your song on the radio?
Adam Levin: We were driving in Norfolk Virginia in 2011 and that's how Imagine Dragons heard about us. We heard it under the Chesapeake Bridge so we kept going through tunnels and we kept losing signal and getting it back. And then we called the radio station and asked them if they could play it again.
If you could give us a snapshot of your music writing process what would it look like?
Sam Harris: Four dudes on laptops, but all in the same room. A little bit of chatter but lots of thumbdrives being passed back and forth. That's how we've come to feel most comfortable recording just because it's fast and it allows people to really work within the context of their own thing and you can take your time with it. There's not as much pressure because it's not like, "Okay everyone is the control room, and you're alone in the recording room, and you have to play that piano or guitar part perfectly." There's less of that kind of pressure and it's a lot more communal. It's very collaborative. It's the new way of all of us being in the room and playing instruments together live. Sonically, we've evolved a lot and we are incorporating a lot of electronic elements that need to be structured out on a computer. It also allows us to work on the road. It's so helpful on tour and that its a part of our sound too. We've really fully embraced that.
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YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 6 pm EST for more exclusive X Ambassadors features, including what they believe is the biggest misconception people have about musicians.
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