Interview: The Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers

It seems that almost everywhere you turn these days you run into Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, together The Chainsmokers, and their intoxicating beat that is “Closer.” The duo certainly had an explosive summer with the top hit, and more than a couple viral videos parodying its success. But as the guys explained, this isn’t their first time at the rodeo. 

We had a chance for a quick chat with one of everyone’s new favorite band. From their debut with “#Selfie” to what they crave on tour, get to know The Chainsmokers a little better below. 

You’ve had several hits since your “#Selfie” debut in 2013, but “Closer” has really launched you into the spotlight — congrats! Did you have any idea that it would be the song of the summer?

We really didn’t. We don’t really make songs with that stuff in mind. We make music for ourselves and if we are really digging something we make, we get excited about it but that’s it. However, after we played it at Coachella and we saw how people responded we had a pretty good idea we had something special.

Speaking of “#Selfie,” your music has vastly changed since then. What brought on this change and how do you see yourself moving forward?

It never changed, anyone who has been a day-one fan knows we did about 50 remixes of amazing indie artists. The stuff then sounds a lot like the stuff we are doing now. “#Selfie” was a joke we made in 45 min that the world had a “Damn Daniel” moment with. Moving forward, though, our music is just going to become more personal. We are writing about ourselves and it’s exciting because we have a real connection with the music.

You’ve collaborated with some powerhouses in the industry, including several up and coming female musicians. Is this a purposeful decision? How do you decide who to collaborate with and what tracks to use them on?

Absolutely, we work with people that inspire us and we admire. Daya, Rozes, and Halsey all are incredible people and we were lucky to work with them. Generally, we like artists that aren’t blown out yet, artists that have been having success but are still learning, growing and innovating. It’s exciting to work with people like that because you are on an artistic journey together.

Having ties to Syracuse ourselves, we had to ask about the inspiration behind “Closer.” Is there anything you can elaborate on, or do you have any other stories from your Bandier days that may have inspired other songs?

Yes, when Drew moved down from Maine he was from a small town and suddenly he was thrust into this crazy Cuse environment where every girl had a Range Rover and tons of money. So as much as “Closer” isn’t a love story, it’s a song about being poor.

Since your namesake focuses on smoking incessantly (whether that’s intentional or not), what is one thing you can’t get enough of on tour?
Hummus!
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