The Chainsmokers: "We Just Try to Mix What's Fun"
If you've spent anytime on Facebook recently, it's a strong possibility that any of the EDM fans, club kids, or party-monster millennials on your friends list have dropped a link in their respective newsfeeds to "#SELFIE" by The Chainsmokers, probably with comments along the lines of "ZOMG! This is soooo funny!" It shouldn't come as any surprise, given that the recently released track is not only an addicting four minutes of electro-filled dance-pop ear candy, it's also one of those song that both pokes fun at an Internet subculture (in this case, the vapidity of selfies) while simultaneously celebrating the practice.
SLE Entertainment Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers.
It's also, as your aforementioned Facebook friends have ascribed, quite hilarious and has served to propel The Chainsmokers into their current status of being EDM's resident "it" act of the nanosecond. The NYC duo of DJ/producers Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have gotten shout-outs from the likes of Rolling Stone as an up-and-coming act to watch, not to mention more than more than a million YouTube views for "#SELFIE" since its release on Dim Mak late last month.
Suffice it to say, you can expect a big crowd, who will probably engage in mass selfies, when The Chainsmokers come to Maya Day and Nightclub, on Friday. Up On the Sun recently got a chance to speak with Pall and Taggart via telephone about the track and their recent rise to success.
How are you guys doing today?
Drew: Awesome, just living the life, ya know.
When was that "ah-ha" moment for the both of you, when you knew that this is what you love and what what you wanted to dedicate your life to?
Drew: Um, I dunno. It's probably different for both of us. I think we both wanted to do what we're doing now always. I think about a year and a half ago is when we could afford to just do this. So yea, I think that's what it comes down to more. I always wanted to do what we're doing. You get your first paycheck and you're like, "wait, I just got paid to do something I actually enjoy?" Verses serving hot dogs or cleaning dog shit out of a cage.
Alex: Those are the only other jobs available.
Drew: Yea, we're actually not skilled at anything else.
What were your day jobs when you were juggling DJing?
Drew: I was in school. So I actually ended up doing this right after school. Alex worked at an art gallery. When I first met him, about a year and a half ago, and then about two months into this he quit his job.
How did you guys meet up?
Drew: We were introduced by a friend of a friend.
How did it go from just meeting each other to making music together?
Drew: I had been producing pop tracks and Alex had been DJing in New York for a while, and we figured that we make a really good team. After two months of working together, we were doing so much more together than on our own. So, it didn't take much convincing for either of us to realize that this is going to work.
So, this is a little off-topic, but do you guys have any music guilty pleasures? Maybe songs or artists that people wouldn't expect that you're into?
Drew: I really like Miley Cyrus' "Adore You" (laughs) -- not the Cedric Gervais version though.
How does the collaboration process with you two work? Do you each fall into distinct roles? Or is it equal? How do you work together?
Alex: Drew is like the producer, and I just get to sit around and watch it all happen (both laugh). So it's perfect.
Drew: Alex is one of the best artists, he has basically found every person we've remixed. Every person that we've worked with. He's like Rick Rubin, he can listen to a track and know like when something needs something, when you need to take something out. We work well together. He'll also sleep with the fat chicks, someone's got to do that.
So you're style kind of goes between progressive, with a lot of your remixes, with some of your vocal heavy tracks like "Kids" and "Goodness Gracious." Then a lot of your original stuff is more electro, like with "#SELFIE." Is that something that just kind of happens or do you guys try to mix-it-up a bit?
Alex: We just try to mix what's fun. Going forward, our original music is definitely going to sound more like our remixes. Honestly, "#SELFIE" is kind of a phenomenon for us. We made it and thought it was funny and put it out as an edit. Then Dim Mak wanted to buy it, and they bought it from us and put it our officially and we made a video for it. This was all just because we thought it was fun. And then the song just kind of took on a life of its own. Which is honestly really great because it's brought in a new audience of people that listen to music that we've made that we're more passionate about.