The Chainsmokers are a duo of young men who write, record, and perform catchy millennial music that combines lyrics about partying and hooking up with dance-y EDM beats. Their formula for success is pretty solid, and not to mention, they're also some pretty good-looking dudes. They've collaborated with Halsey, Coldplay, and a slew of other talented indie/electronic artists.
But here's the thing — they have a reputation for being assholes with cocky attitudes. And they really, really don't want to be known as "those guys." In fact, their new interview with NME is dedicated solely to proving to use that they are not bro-y jerks, but are instead being super meta and merely making fun of all the bro-y jerks that listen to their songs. (Sure.)
To put it in the words of The Chainsmokers — Alex Pall, 31, (tall bearded one) and Drew Taggart, 27, (good eyebrows and beauty marked one) — "I promise you. We're not assholes."
Drew expands on the topic. "People are like, ‘Oh my God, they’re such bros,’” he says. "And we’re like, ‘No! We’re making fun of bros!' I hope people can walk away from this article with a deeper sense of our purpose as artists and our true characters. We’re in this grey area where people are like, ‘I don’t get it, are these guys assholes or not?’ I promise you, we’re not assholes."
So, how did this whole "asshole" narrative start? Well, with a joke gone wrong of course, NME explains. During their cover story interview for Billboard, they were trying to show a bit of their personality by being... funny. In the piece, Alex is quoted saying "Even before success, pussy was number one." He added: "Like, ‘Why am I trying to make all this money?’ I wanted to hook up with hotter girls. I had to date a model." Following its publication, the two (unsurprisingly) were ridiculed for their chauvinistic quotes. But that was in September, and they're still doing damage control for it.
"It affects you, because you don’t know how people are going to see that – [whether they’ll] take it at face value and walk away feeling you are that person,” Alex told NME. "It’s not about apologizing and back-pedalling. It’s about… I don’t want to say becoming better people, because that sounds cheesy. Just keeping it real, and understanding that not everyone’s on your team. Move forward. Make responsible decisions. Think about what it might look like to a kid who’s 10 years old, seeing what we do – how that might impact on the way they listen to our music and enjoy our antics." Antics, indeed. But there's still a pretty long road ahead of them to reach non-asshole status. Best of luck to them both.