Interview with DJ & Producer Duo "The Chainsmokers"
DJ & Producer Duo
Wise beyond their years and aggressively handsome, these two overachievers are focused on success. Never before has the world seen two furry browed individuals such as these two (seriously they have really bushy eye brows). As you might have imagined, Alex and Drew did not meet on the set of their Vogue cover shoot while surrounded by super models, but rather somewhere else. Apart from Social Darwinism, the thing that separates these two men from the rest is their unsettling and uncanny ability to discover and
create trends. With live sets and productions that their own mothers describe as, “sounds nice, but a little loud,” these two always put on a show that was not ever described as sexy and life-changing, but should be. Apart from their unique personalities and boyish good looks, they have many similarities. They each graduated from prestigious North-Eastern Universities, they like hot chicks in yoga pants, enjoy a good burger, and have been rejected from many of the venues they now play at.
Daily News: What does a typical day look like for you?
Alex: While we are touring, the days routine is very much the same and we don’t mean that in a complaining type of way, they just become almost formulaic. Usually it goes like this; wake up at a Hilton or Marriot, get picked up for an early flight (so in the event something goes wrong we have as much time as possible to make the show), head to the airport grind, do some work on the plane, land and go to a new Hilton or Marriot, and then it's time for sound-check. We then try and squeeze in some work or gym time (so essential). Then we grab a quick bite with the promoters and depending where we are, we either have time for a quick power nap or we go to the venue for the show. Then it's back to the hotel for a couple hours, sleep and repeat… Reading this probably feels monotonous, but when you're all over the place, you sort of need that routine to get by and not miss flights and still be able to be productive!
Daily News: What projects have you recently been working on?
Alex: Well we had a really turbulent year, a lot of great things happened but we also over came a lot of obstacles as well, things most people probably don’t hear about. So for us moving forward was really important. We felt like we had a lot to show people musically and we weren’t being given the opportunity to do that. Luckily, that all changed a couple months ago. We are now signed with Sony and have a great situation for ourselves to release music and become the artists we really wanted to be. So with that said we have a really aggressive release plan moving forward. Our goal is to release a song, if not more, a month... and we aren’t trying to rush tracks out but this is how we prefer to work. So – starting in April with Good Intentions we are releasing new music about every 2-4 weeks with a video which we will be in. It's going to be a lot of work for us, our team and our label but everyone is really excited about getting a narrative going and it will really help our creative process. Aside from that, we are just putting the final touches on our new show production, which we are calling the Full Monte... The name has a great story behind it that we cannot share yet, but we will. But basically we designed this insanely dope stage production/visual component that will work in unison with the new music we are making. We are premiering it at FireFly Festival and could not be more excited. After that, we will be taking it on the road with us in the Fall and adding visual chapters as we finish new music! It's been a huge expensive undertaking but something we are very excited about...
Daily News: What do you find most challenging and exciting about your career?
Alex: Wrestling with creativity is so challenging especially when you're constantly on the road. It can be really stressful trying to force yourself to be creative and make things you like when you simply don’t have the time or energy, and then you add in our competitive sensibility, it can be really paralyzing. Beyond that though, it's hard to remind yourself just to be yourself and do your own thing. It's so easy to see what everyone else is doing and feel envious or jealous but remaining true to yourself and what you want to be is so important. As for the exciting aspects, well it's all exciting; we both have had our fair of shitty jobs so we don’t take any of this for granted! The fact we are doing what we love and make a living is so incredible.
Daily News: Where does your passion derive from?
Alex: Everything around us! We pull inspiration from literally everything and anything. Plus who doesn’t love music? It can make you feel so many things and it's such an incredible way to express ourselves... BUT nothing is like seeing people entertained by our music. To make something and then go out and see how people interact with it gives us such a thrill!
Daily News: How do you manage a healthy work/life balance?
Alex: We try our best to eat healthy and work out but obviously that’s schedule and airport food permitting. We are lucky to have the metabolisms we do! One thing that is really underrated though is a healthy mind. Staying positive and happy and excited about things is where a healthy lifestyle all builds from and we are pretty positive guys...
Daily News: What does success look like to you?
Alex: Success is relative because if you asked us two years ago what it looked like we might say the life we are living now but we are not even close to satisfied currently. Success really is just doing what you love to do and being able to share that with friends and family. Nothing is better than being in a position where you can share these amazing experiences with those close to you and helping out people close to you. It's all those moments that make us feel like we have had some success...
Daily News: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Alex: Turning this thing called The Chainsmokers into something we could do full time. When we started we had no idea what we were doing... We just knew what we wanted and what it would feel like. So by working our asses off, some luck, good timing, and other stuff we are here now... that’s really crazy to think about.
Daily News: What’s one word that best describes your personality?
Daily News: What is your greatest fear?
Alex: Middle seats on transatlantic flights.
Daily News: What is your most treasured possession?
Alex: Nexus Key (it’s a USB that is coded to our DAW, if we don’t have it we cannot open any of our music projects and that would be a huge issue)
Daily News: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Alex: Probably working in the artworld...
Drew: Either an agent or entreprenuer of some sort...
DNP: Do you have any upcoming projects in the pipeline?
Alex: Well we sort of touched on that above, and logically the next biggest project would be some sort of album. We love the idea of doing one, but we just want the idea and concept to really be cohesive, and not just a bunch of singles slapped together. We love what Porter Robinson did with his project, to us that was a true album, and you don’t geta lot of those in electronic music. Aside from that we are working on some fashion stuff with a close friend of ours. Nothing crazy ambitions but fashion is such a brilliant way to express oneself so we thought it might be a fun thing to try our hand at.
Daily News: Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
Alex: So far Greece has been our favorite place. The people are wonderful, the food is delicious and the Mediterranean is unlike anything we had ever seen. The island of Mykonos was straight out of a travel book.
Daily News: Where would you most like to live?
Alex: We both love LA and NYC. Being bi-coastal would be so ideal. An apartment in New York and a place in Malibu; we can dream!
Daily News: How do you spend your down time?
Alex: Making more music, sleeping, buying clothes and eating, but NOTHING beats just laying around with a girl and watching television as you go in and out of sleep...
Daily News: If you could spend a day with any person (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Alex: From a music perspective, spending a day with Rick Ruben or Calvin Harris would be amazing. Rick because he is a legend and we feel like we would learn so much about ourselves by hanging out with him. Calvin because he is just a living legend in our genre and we have about 1000 production questions for him... We probably look thirsty as f*ck saying him but it's true hahaha...
Daily News: If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Alex: A golden retriever… I feel like im 80% human and 20% dog as is…
Drew: Wes Anderson… he is the dopest!
Daily News: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Alex: Whenever we are asked this question it's hard not to get all introspective and not give some really long winded obvious answer. The best thing anyone can do is be themselves and surround themselves with positive people. Whatever you’re meant to do or be, keeping the above two things in mind, it will all work out for the best.