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Imagine Dragons Get Ready To Headline BottleRock

Photo by: Imagine Dragons
by Evan Levy Sun May 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

At the end of the month, Imagine Dragons will be headlining the BottleRock Napa Valley festival and drummer Daniel Platzman is excited to experience everything that the music, culinary, wine and brew festival has to offer. While Platzman tells Fest300 that bassist Ben McKee is probably the biggest wine connoisseur in the group, the drummer says the band has learned a great deal about wine over the last few years, thanks in part to a recent tour stop in Germany. 

Platzman notes that a white wine festival in a small town near Frankfurt, Germany, taught them much about wine .“Our driver Michael, on our day off, orchestrated this wine tour that happened to be [during] this festival with 13 vineyards,” he recounts. “[We took] a three-mile walk through these vertical vineyards [that were] hanging at almost a 90-degree angle down the Rhine, it looked like a painting. It was one of the best days ever.”

The drummer confesses he now has a taste for Rieslings because of the event, however, he can’t seem to find any good brands that compare to what he drank in Germany. “It kind of ruined Rieslings honestly, because those are the best Rieslings I’ve ever had in my life,” he declares. Although Platzman admits that he's excited to “have a couple glasses of Cabernet” at BottleRock Napa Valley, but asserts he has strict rules for himself about drinking while out on tour. “Our tour schedule is so aggressive and alcohol dries you out so much,” he explains. “There’s so much background singing [I do], especially on [our latest album] Smoke + Mirrors, so sadly I’m putting my passion for wine on the side while working these days.”

Performing at festivals like BottleRock Napa Valley over the last year or so has been very important for the band, because it helped shape the sound of Smoke + Mirrors. The band penned a number of the tracks for the release while playing some of biggest fests around the globe and Platzman is especially fond of “Friction,” which was inspired by the massive crowd at the Rock am Ring festival at the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany.

“At the time it was the largest live crowd we had ever played for, I think it was like 80,000 people or something,” he reminisces. “That crowd was going so crazy, we really wished we had some song that we could just rock that crowd [with] if we ever get to play this festival again. And that became ‘Friction,’ a song where we really turn the knob up to 11.”

Imagine Dragons headlines the first night of BottleRock Napa Valley, which takes place at the Napa Valley Expo from May 29-31. If you can’t make it to Napa to share a glass of wine with the guys, you’ll get plenty of chances to see them this summer on their North American tour. Visit ImagineDragonsMusic.com for the full list of dates.  

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