10 Questions with ... The Chainsmokers
February 2, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) 2012, is that about when it all started for you guys?
That sounds about right. We just got a Facebook; Facebook does those things where they remind you of history and it reminds you of the terrible things you've done in the past. This time it was actually cool. It was like three years ago today that we put out the Strange Talk "Young Hearts" Remix. For us, that was the moment things started clicking, that we started figuring this out. It was kind of cool for us. Usually it's ex-girlfriends, or pictures of you looking super lame.
2) How did you guys meet?
Our manager, Adam Alpert, introduced us. It was like a bro-out. Bro-date. It was a bro-down. You know in 'I Love You Man' when they go on man-dates, it was like that except without the kiss at the end of the date. LOL That happened later! LOL
3) Who takes the credit for the name The Chainsmokers? And is it The Chainsmokers, or just Chainsmokers?
That was all Alex. Yea. Because I (Andrew) was such a huge pothead. It was bad-ass at the time; now, none of us really smoke, and we can't get any kids endorsements, it's terrible. LOL. I think about that. I wish we could just take the "The" out and just be Chainsmokers.
I don't really care but I think of Instagram and stuff like that I think we're stuck with "The." But on flyers and stuff like that it's just Chainsmokers. It doesn't matter. If "the" wasn't there, people wouldn't be like, "Wait, who's that?"
4) Do you remember the first song you guys did together?
Yes, I consider the remix of "Young Hearts" as the one we were just talking about. I consider that to be our first remix. And then we figured out, what was that, it was a remix. It went off. That was like a dope one. It was very Avicii inspired.
5) You've done some great remixes for Adventure Club, Clean Bandits, Steve Aoki, Cash Cash, is there a favorite remix you've done over the years that stands out to you?
Yeah, there are a bunch of them. We did a remix of Anna Of The North "Sway." That's one of my favorites. That was kind of our transition from EDM on our way to doing songs like "Roses".
6) What do you look for when people remix your songs now? You have a song, "New York City," that Dash Berlin remixed and The Him remix of "Roses."
We just make lists, I always make lists, I'm a list guy, make tons of lists, so I'll just note, "Oh this guy has a dope remix or this guy has a dope original," and I'll write his name down. And instead of going for the big names, obviously it's great to have a name like Dash Berlin, in that case, he crushed it, but a lot of times, when you talk to the big guys they want to make swaps and stuff, it's like we don't want to trade with you, we want you to remix the song. So the smaller acts are way more ambitious. They usually do a nice job. They usually do a sicker job.
Yeah! You try to think about what our song is and you want guys that will envision the song differently. "Roses," we didn't think it would be such a great Dance track. As it turns out, it goes off in out sets.
I could never have imagined it to be as hype as it is, but having The Him do it 128 style made it appealing. I want a dub step version of the next single.
7) With "Roses" you've accomplished a lot. You currently have a Top 10, Billboard Hot 100 Single, a Top 10 Pop Single a #1 Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay Single...
We're hoping for Top 5 next. We're never satisfied is what I've learned! Once you hit one, you're just going down.
8) "Roses" is the song that features a vocalist named Rozes. How'd that happen?
Actually it started with this other song called "Waterbed." We wrote the song with this band called Waterbed, and they wrote a top line and just the hook part that was: Shake your ass like a Waterbed; clearly we had to call that song, "Waterbed." Then we couldn't find a good name for "Roses." Rozes kind of embodied the whole tone of "Roses" so we felt like it was a good name. And then after we put it out, we realized that there's an emoji for Rose, which is great for promotional use.
9) You guys are having a lot of fun in the "Roses" video.
Yeah! That was a great time. This whole thing came together pretty naturally. Our buddy, Rory who was with us, and shot the whole video with us, we just wanted to make a kind of adventure video. And we had so much fun on tour any way, let's show the world what it's like to go to Asia and all these random Countries and have a fun time. It embodies the tempo of the song pretty good.
10) Of all the places you've travelled to and crazy adventures, what's the best country or city you've visited and what's the wildest thing you've done?
I had the best time in Mykonos just cause the circumstances were awesome, too. We showed up in Mykonos, which is like a rock in the middle of Greece, and played some crazy show until like 8 in the morning. Ran into some kid who knows some other kid and he took us to his massive yacht out on the harbor somewhere. We got on this yacht and we thought we were going to party at 8a and instead, we all passed out! We went into different rooms and we passed out. We woke up at noon the next day in a different part of Greece. The boat just took off, and we were like, Oh Shit! We ended up partying on this boat for a couple days! It was so fun!
You are currently on the Tilt Tour.
Yea, it is a Tilt Tour. It sounds so much more official but it's a really great application use of technology, it's a crowd-funded source information basically. So basically we can go where people want us the most, which is awesome for us and also for the shows. I think we are one of the first artists to do it. We're three shows into it and they've all been great!
Now aside from all the colleges and clubs that you're doing, you've got Coachella coming up. That should be a lot of fun for you guys.
We live in L.A. now, and Coachella is one of, if not the top festival in the U.S. for sure. So now that we live in L.A., our friends are going, a lot of famous people go from L.A. We're really honored to be part of the lineup. With the music we have coming out, we're going to be able to put on a really unique Dance show that isn't typical for the genre.
How different is what you do when you're at a festival vs. when you are at your residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas. Is there a difference between the two?
Yeah, there is. At festivals it's a Chainsmokers' set primarily. Everything's based on our music, as is Vegas, but we definitely play what's hot. The people who are there aren't always huge music fans; they're there to party. So you know, you mix more of a trendy set.
Who came up with the idea to have you guys hosting the YouTube EDM 15 on SiriusXM BPM?
Geronimo at Sirius, I think we were the worst hosts on radio. Have you heard our show? LOL, we love the show, we love doing it. It also helps to put us in touch with what's good musically and what's coming out. With us traveling so much, we're always doing it at the weirdest times and places, so some times we have this fantastic show, some times they'll get us the list super-late, and we're doing it at the airport, and it's like, Check in for Gate 4! And we're like, Fuck! LOL It's on the air, and shit! LOL But it's a good time!
Has Geronimo ever called you guys up about what you'd guys just did or said on the show?
No. Honestly. In the beginning they were like, Talk a little closer ... you know what I mean, or keep it more concise between the sets, cause we babble on too long, and literally, we have said some crazy ass shit. And never; the only time he called us was to say, "Do not bash United Airlines on the show, because I guess they're a partner or something. I fuckin' hate that airline! LOL
You also do Nice Hair with the Chainsmokers. What can you tell us about that show?
That's primarily Alex's initiative. He makes all those mixes. It's pretty fun, though. It's called Nice Hair because I used to intern for this dude that said something that really resonated with me. Look at every pop star, the majority of good pop stars have memorable hair. So we called it Nice Hair.
In Vegas, where are we going to get something good to eat?
Carbone at Aria.
You just moved to L.A. Any good restaurants there to eat at?
Son Of A Gun on West 3rd is great! And Sugarfish, but everyone knows that one.
Must-have travel item?
Neck pillow and laptop.
Producer or artist you'd like to work with?
Blink 182 or Sting
For the most part, it all started with a "Selfie." Who came up with the idea to do "#Selfie"?
We we're just goofing around and needed a concept. We would play in nightclubs in Florida that we were pretty nervous about playing, and we wanted to do something special for the night, and we didn't have any good vocals yet, live. It all happened very quickly so it was like, I remember walking into Chelsea Market calling girls, "Could you come over and are you around, and Alexa was the girl who came over and that happened really fast.