Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds opens up on why he left Mormonism: “I’m on a different path”

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds has opened up about his departure from Mormonism, and explained that he is now “on a different path” in life.

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The singer discussed his upbringing in a Mormon household during a new interview with People, and recalled the shift that happened in his early 20s that inspired him to turn his back on the belief system.

According to Reynolds, he was raised in a “really conservative” Mormon household and served a two-year Mormon mission in Nebraska. He later moved away from the way of life, however, in his early 20s.

“There’s obviously parts of the Mormon religion that I feel pretty strongly are harmful, especially to our gay youth,” he explained, looking at the reasons why he had a “complicated” relationship with the religion.

He also explained that he spent his 20s and early 30s feeling “angry” at the religion, but has now realised that it can work for other people, even if it doesn’t work for him. “[I] saw a lot of the harm that came from it for me personally, but it also seemed to work incredibly well for my family, and they’re all healthy, happy individuals,” he said.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’m not angry about it anymore. If something works for someone, that’s really wonderful and rare, and I don’t want to mess with it.”

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs live in 2024. CREDIT: John Lamparski/Getty Images

Now aged 36, he has not been a practising Mormon for several years, but his family remains a part of the church. In 2017, he founded the LOVELOUD Foundation in support of the young LGBTQ+ community.

“At times I feel pretty isolated from my family, but I also love them and am close to them and see them, and there’s no animosity there. I’m on a different path. I have to love myself enough to follow my truth.”

Later in the interview, he explained how he and his four children – whom he shares with his ex-wife Aja Volkman – are not a part of the church as he doesn’t want to pressure them to follow a particular path.

“My greatest goal every day is to not manipulate my kids. I really don’t want to try to tell them what their spiritual path should be,” he told the outlet. “I give them my thoughts and obviously try to protect them and take care of them, while also making sure they have freedom and agency to choose whatever they want.”

The discussion about his time following Mormonism comes as Imagine Dragons are preparing for their ‘Loom’ world tour, which kicks off at the end of the month and marls their biggest US headline tour since 2008. You can find remaining tickets here.

It also comes shortly after the singer responded to the criticism the band have received for playing shows in Israel and Azerbaijan – namely from System Of A Down frontman Serj Tankian.

Serj Tankian and John Dolmayan of System of a Down perform on stage. CREDIT: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Last month, Tankian criticised the band for going ahead with their controversial gigs and shared that he has “zero respect” for them as a result. The dispute came over a show that the Las Vegas band had plans for in the country’s capital city, Baku, which some perceived as being an endorsement of Azerbaijan’s authoritarian President Ilham Aliyev.

Tankian had sent the group a letter last summer urging them to pull out of the Baku Olympic Stadium show. In the letter, he stated that proceeding with the gig “would help whitewash the dictatorial regime’s image” (via Louder).

Further pressure to back out also came from fellow musicians including Brian Eno, Thurston Moore and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who shared an open letter last August, asking them to pull the show. “Performing in Baku under these circumstances, regardless of intent, can only help the government of Azerbaijan cover up its crimes,” a section of it read.

Despite the pressures, the shows went ahead as planned, and Reynolds explained in a recent interview why he didn’t withdraw. “I don’t believe in depriving our fans who want to see us play because of the acts of their leaders and their governments. I think that’s a really slippery slope,” he told Rolling Stone “I think the second you start to do that, there’s corrupt leaders and warmongers all over the world, and where do you draw the line?”

He also addressed Tankian’s comments, sharing: “I think I just said it. It’s a slippery slope, and I’m never going to deprive our fans of playing for them.”

The post Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds opens up on why he left Mormonism: “I’m on a different path” appeared first on NME.

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