Imagine Dragons reflects on Chester Bennington and more “optimistic” new album, “Evolve”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABC; ABC/Randy HolmesImagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds was one of the many musicians to be affected by the sudden passing of Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington, who died by suicide July 20.

“Linkin Park, I think, was a huge part of [the lives of] so many people of my generation, our youth, and today,” Reynolds tells ABC Radio. “Chester…sang from the heart, and he exposed a lot of his vulnerabilities in his music. So I think that the whole world of artists are pretty shaken.”

Like Bennington, Reynolds has also struggled with depression, which he’s channeled into his music, particularly with Imagine Dragons’ dark sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.

“It’s important to say to anybody that if you’re dealing with any feelings of darkness or depression to reach out,” says Reynolds.

Reynolds is currently in a much healthier mental place, which is reflected in the new Imagine Dragons album Evolve, which is much more upbeat and optimistic than Smoke + Mirrors. Reynolds thinks that taking a break from constant touring helped him inhabit that brighter head space.

“We needed some time off the road to kinda get healthy mentally, physically, and to recharge and find a new passion and love for the music and to take a new approach,” he says.

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