If you have followed my blog or know me, you know that I am a music junkie. Not only do I do album reviews and show reviews, I often have the opportunity to talk to talented musicians who happen to be in town for a gig or are out promoting a new album or want to share an upcoming event or initiative. I recently was invited to interview Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. It didn’t take 10 seconds for me to sign up for that interview because I am a huge fan. I know most of the songbook and their latest album, EVOLVE, is on heavy rotation in my car. While I am alway willing to talk music and the life of a musician, the interview with Dan Reynolds is a bit different. This interview is about the chronic illness that Dan Reynolds has and how he manages to handle it and tour with the phenomenally popular Imagine Dragons.
With Dan to talk about this topic, is Dr. Hillary Norton, Rheumatologist who also has to deal with AS too.
Dan Reynolds, lead vocalist of the rock band Imagine Dragons, has earned legions of fans worldwide with sold-out tours and a string of chart-topping songs including “Radioactive” and “Thunder.” The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band, who recently released their new single “Next To Me,” returns to North America this summer for their Evolve tour, which will hit major cities including Hartford, Boston, and New York.
From the group, Imagine Dragons,
Dan Reynolds talks about AS..
While the band is on a busy tour schedule, Reynolds continues his efforts to make a difference in the lives of others by supporting several causes, including his work as an advocate for the ankylosing spondylitis (AS) community.
“It was right when the band was starting to have minor success — we were starting to sell out small clubs, and we were playing these very active shows and it started to make me have to cancel shows.” He adds, “I couldn’t get on stage. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t sleep at night, I couldn’t perform without standing perfectly still. I couldn’t sit down for more than a half an hour.”
At the suggestion of his brother, the vocalist consulted a rheumatologist to see if he had ankylosing spondylitis, a condition that two of his siblings suffer from. Ankylosing spondylitis, often referenced as AS, is a chronic inflammatory condition of the joints that can lead to extreme pain and in the worst cases, spinal fusion.
“I went, and then they did the test to see if it’s in your genes — which it was- because it’s an autoimmune disease,” he says. “And then they diagnosed me and put me on a treatment plan, which fixed me almost immediately. Which was another sign that that’s what it was.”
Excerpt courtesy of People Magazine.
Reynolds partnered with the Spondylitis Association of America and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2016 as the host of This AS Life Live!, the first online talk show for people with AS by people with AS.
Here’s a teaser video of Dan Reynolds talking about “This AS Life Live!” series.
A form of arthritis, AS is a life-long, painful and debilitating auto-inflammatory disease primarily affecting the spinal joints, although it may also affect other joints as well, including the neck and hips.1,2 For Reynolds, AS is personal—it took him many years to be properly diagnosed, and three of his brothers also live with AS. This is why he’s committed to raising awareness of the disease that impacts an estimated 1.7 million people in the U.S. but remains relatively unknown.3,4
Dan Reynolds and Dr. Hillary Norton, (Rheumatologist and patient with AS) discuss what hosting “This AS Life Live!” has taught him about the disease and speak about the latest episodes being released ahead of World AS Day, which is on May 5. Reynolds and rheumatologist Dr. Hillary Norton talk about how to recognize the signs and symptoms, and each shares their unique perspective on the disease.
The video interview I did with Dan Reynolds and Dr. Hillary Norton:
(Note: I was told I had 8 minutes to do this interview. Unfortunately, I was cut off at 6:49 seconds. That’s a lot to lose in an interview and I was unable to get both Dan and Dr. Norton to provide the links to the AS resources (links to websites, etc) and for other questions.
There is another video that was provided that is a conversation/interview between Dan Reynolds and Dr. Hillary Norton below:
And here’s another episode of AS Live!- another video of Dan Reynolds talking to Dr. Norton in her office:
Here’s another video with Dan Reynolds for “This AS Life Live!” and he is interviewing his brother who also has AS. Sometimes when one person has it, other family members can be tested to see if they have it- since there is a genetic component to it.
Interview is courtesy: Novartis
1. Spondylitis Association of America website. Overview of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Available at https://www.spondylitis.org/Ankylosing-Spondylitis. Accessed March 23, 2018.
2. Arthritis Foundation Website. What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?. Available at https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/ankylosing-spondylitis/what-is-ankylosing-spondylitis.php. Accessed March 29, 2018
3. Reveille J. Epidemiology of Spondyloarthritis in North America. Am J Med Sci. 2011; 341(4): 284–286.
4. Spondylitis Association of America website. Spondy What? Available at https://www.spondylitis.org/. Accessed March 29, 2018.
#4 is the best website resource if you are worried that you or a loved one might have AS! For more specific information, look to REFERENCES links 1 & 2!
Thanks to Dr. Hilary Norton and Dan Reynolds for their expertise, experience and time today. They were very informative! Talking to them about Ankylosing Spondylitis was quite informative!
You can get more information about Dan Reynolds and Imagine Dragons here: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineDragons/
If you would like to contact Dr. Hillary Norton, you can find her here: http://santaferheumatology.com/
Other suggested sites to visit about AS:
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