The Chainsmokers might come across as just two party-loving fratboys, but their ascension from the viral 2014 smash ‘#Selfie’ to Grammy winners in 2017 is proof that this DJ duo are also musical geniuses. We caught up with the dynamic producers amidst the whirlwind release of their debut album, to chat about bromance, famous friends, and a likely return to Singapore.
Hi Drew and Alex! Congratulations on the debut album Memories… Do Not Open. How does it feel to finally release this body of work?
TCS: Thank you so much, that’s very nice of you to say! It feels amazing, we worked soooooo hard on this album it nearly consumed us. It’s really exciting though, to be releasing something that’s just so meaningful and substantial to us. By substantial, we mean that there is a real message there and we hope when people are done listening, they have a better idea of who we are and learned something maybe about themselves also.
You guys once tweeted that you didn’t see yourselves putting out a full-length album and were going to focus on putting out singles. Why the change of heart?
TCS: (Laughs) Yeah we did say that, I guess we were wrong. There are three main reasons, one – our fans demanded it, two – the music we were making began to feel like it was telling a real story and they all felt like they belonged together, and three – if you only release singles, people can only get so deep into your vision and we really wanted to give our fans the chance to dive in properly.
What is one memory that you both would gladly open time and time again?
TCS: Good question… Probably the feeling when we were at Coachella and just finished our show, it felt like our team and us had really done something big, and pulled it off.
It’s the year 2030 and ‘Closer’ starts randomly playing at a party. What is your first reaction?
TCS: Turn that sh*t off ;)
You’ve collaborated with some huge names, from Halsey to Coldplay. Are you usually friends with these people first before deciding to work together, or does the friendship come naturally after the working partnership?
TCS: Umm (sic) it depends. In the case of Coldplay and Halsey we weren’t friends first, I think we were all just fans of each other, of course we are friends now, it’s funny when you are too good a friends sometimes [that] it is a distraction, like Ryan Tedder – every time we try and work, we just end up gossiping the entire time and never get work done.
Who’s next on your collaboration wish list?
TCS: Lorde, Kanye West, Dua Lipa, Khalid…
You guys are now Grammy winners with ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. How did your family and friends react to your win?
TCS: We were actually all together stuck in traffic and we all went crazy, it was a really fun moment!
How do you guys decide on when to have Drew sing on some songs and when to just have the featured artist?
TCS: It’s usually an easy decision largely based on the song itself and what the message is. If it’s something we feel like is best conveyed coming from us and deepens the context of the song, it’s a no brainer. It’s great when Drew sings because then we can perform it as well.
We’re sure touring consistently non-stop together can have its challenging moments. How do you keep the bromance alive?
TCS: Honestly we are super chill with each other, sometimes we have our differences but overall it’s all love. But Alex isn’t a morning person and Drew gets angry when he is hungry so we know to not [play around] with each other at those times.
You guys decided that Tony Ann, a fan who impressed with a piano cover of ‘Paris’, will be joining you on tour. Why the decision to bring a fan along?
TCS: Why not? He is unbelievably talented and it’s a great story that says hey you never know what can happen, be passionate about what you love doing and let the chips fall where they may.
Do you both have any pre-show rituals to get ready?
TCS: No we are pretty mellow, we just like to get in the zone.
Judging from videos online, your live shows are truly explosive and something else. What are three definitive things that make a good live show for you guys?
TCS: Well its most important that we look like we are enjoying ourselves which we always are. Then you gotta make sure the show has its dynamics, you need lows to have highs, and you need an amazing crowd which we have been lucky to have!
You’ve played small clubs to now doing arenas all over the world. Which type of crowd do you prefer and why?
TCS: It’s always different, after a bunch of arenas it’s nice to play smaller shows, but if we had to choose, we would say big venues…. We feed off the energy and size…
What can fans expect from the tour?
TCS: It’s a hybrid show, we will be playing as a band and as a DJ Duo, so the songs that deserve more of a performance will get it, but we will still be able to go super hard and keep the energy very high. It was important to us that we not lose that level of production and sound as well… so we really went all out planning and working with an amazing team to bring a truly unique show.
We gotta ask then – how likely will we see you guys bring your tour to Singapore!
TCS: Sooner than you think. It might not be the full tour, but it will be something equally as special!
Listen to The Chainsmokers’ debut album Memories…Do Not Open below. Tell us what you think of their record in the comment section below.
Featured image: Sony Music Singapore