The Surprising Place Imagine Dragons Recorded Their Debut Album

Imagine Dragons popped up out of nowhere in 2012 and gained as many haters as they did fans. It's the sort of thing that happens to mainstream poprock bands. Think Nickelback and Limp Bizkit. Hard rockers love to josh about them being terrible, but they sell more albums than most metal bands. Not to mention that the list of award wins and nominations for Imagine Dragons is extensive and basically negates any argument against their awesomeness, and it all started with their debut album, Night Visions.

Night Visions dropped in 2012 with some of the band's most famous tracks, including "Demons" and "Radioactive." The album cemented the band's fame. Their songs weren't just being blasted over every major radio station; they were appearing on soundtracks for films and television everywhere. The tracks were clean, the music crisp (and eerie at times), and the sound was beyond professional, which might not be something you'd expect, since they recorded the debut album in a Las Vegas casino ...

Cutting a record in a casino

Of all the places one could imagine cutting an album, a casino falls on the list somewhere around "in the back of a semi on a busy highway" and "recording in the park during a Memorial Day barbecue." Casinos are loud places, and loud isn't exactly conducive to recording clean tracks. Unless, of course, the casino happens to have a soundproof room for that exact purpose.

Amid the ruckus of crashing coins and spinning slot machines, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, boasts a small, sealed-off room that's just waiting for artists to bust out hits within its soundproof walls. "I was surprised to find that the Palms had a world-class recording studio. We worked there on our last EP, while we were still unsigned, and we were blown away," Imagine Dragons guitarist D. Wayne Sermon told Diffuser before their debut album dropped in 2012. Since the band found recording EPs at the Palms to be such a wonderful experience, they returned to the destination to record their first full-length album, Night Visions.

The experience was "a little bizarre" for Sermon. To get to the recording studio, the band members had to walk through the crowded casino floor to reach the elevator. After which, they'd be isolated in a soundproof box long enough to forget about the bustle outside, but, apparently, that's what was needed to cut a hit album.