As a youth Sermon learned to play both cello and guitar. He was determined to be a guitarist even as a child. His dad had an audio-phile quality amplifier, a record player, and all of The Beatles albums on vinyl which Sermon loved to listen to. He also loved the sounds of Tom Scholz (of Boston) and his approach to solos. He attended Berklee School of Music where he double majored in guitar performance and composition, graduating in 2008. While at Berklee he was part of a five-guitar, jazz fusion ensemble called The Eclectic Electrics.
Wayne Sermon heard Dan Reynolds performing at a club in Utah and approached him afterwards about his musical interests. Reynolds invited him to join his band and to move to Las Vegas. Sermon then invited bassist Ben McKee to join the band in Las Vegas and drummer Daniel Platzman, also a friend of Wayne's from Berklee College of Music, finalized the group at the invitation of McKee. In Las Vegas, the band performed and honed their craft nearly nightly as a lounge act. Local accolades including "Best CD of 2011" (Vegas SEVEN), "Best Local Indie Band 2010" (Las Vegas Weekly), "Las Vegas' Newest Must See Live Act" (Las Vegas CityLife), Vegas Music Summit Headliner 2010, and more sent the band on a positive trajectory. In November 2011 they signed with Interscope Records and began working with producer Alex da Kid.
In 2012 their debut album Night Visions brought the band mainstream success. It reached #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and won the Billboard Music Award for Best Rock Album (2014). Single "It's Time" became the band's first single reaching #15 Billboard Hot 100 and certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Second single "Radioactive" reached #3 Billboard Hot 100 and was certified diamond by the RIAA, becoming the best selling rock song in the history of Nielsen SoundScan. Third single "Demons" reached #6 Billboard Hot 100 and was certified multi-platinum by the RIAA. Their album made the highest debut for a new rock band in six years (since 2006) and single Radioactive set a record for longest time atop the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart with 23 consecutive weeks. Tracks from the album topped the Billboard Rock Songs, Billboard Alternative Songs, and Billboard Pop Songs charts. Radioactive was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance.
Sermon has chronic insomnia and will often record songs during the middle of the night, sleeping only a couple of hours a day.
- BiLT Electric Guitar with built-in effects
- Gibson Jeff Tweedy Signature SG
- ELIXIR Strings
- Line 6 M9 Stompbox Modeler
- Vintage Vox AC30 Amps with Top Boost Kit from Plexi Palace
- Friedman Smallbox 50 with 65 Amp 2x12 Whiskey cabinet
Sermon has described his playing style as textual.
Sermon married Alexandra Hall, a ballerina and Brigham Young University graduate, in California on February 18, 2011. On July 26, 2014, Sermon and Hall welcomed their first child, River James Sermon. On January 21, 2016, they welcomed their second child, Wolfgang Alexander Sermon.