Its 7:40 AM on a Wednesday morning and the radio comes to life as I turn my car’s ignition. Within a single sip of my morning coffee the raging drop from #Selfie is blaring over a Top40 radio station—yet another sign of the frenzied EDM takeover—more importantly a clear indicator that Vancouver loves The Chainsmokers. Currently on phase two of their #Selfie tour the duo will be stopping in Vancouver for two dates: Victoria’s 9ONE9 on May 1st and the sold out Stereotype Fridays at Celebrities on May 2nd. From opening the main stage at Ultra to releasing the biggest track of 2014 The Chainsmokers have been busy, luckily for Blueprint they had just enough time to sit down with us and chip away at their zany personas.
Blueprint: Before #Selfie was officially released you guys produced approximately twenty two remixes together: can you tell Blueprint readers a bit about your initial experiences remixing as a duo and how the slew of tracks helped solidify your musical identity?
The Chainsmokers: We decided that the best course of action to establish ourselves and create a fan base was through remixes. We saw it as an opportunity to foster our own sound and create an identity via artists we loved, using their material as a way to connect with their fans but also as a way to prove ourselves as producers by using songs we loved. It’s hard to find great top lines especially as nobodies so remixing is a great chance to re-invent songs with your stylings, earn the ears of listeners, create a fan base, and learn a lot about yourself as artists’ and a brand.
Blueprint: Directly prior to the release of #Selfie you both endeavored to ensure that you had created the proper channels for continued success and business expansion. How important is business strategy in the world of mainstream EDM and, in your opinion, what are the three keys to establishing future business success?
The Chainsmokers: You are fooling yourself if you don’t think whatever you are doing is a business. Unless you are a monk or a priest and you are selling god, if you don’t treat your brand and craft seriously, and apply business strategy and marketing you are selling yourself majorly short and likely won’t succeed. Yes you need talent, yes you need passion but it goes way beyond that now, so if you have both you really have a great opportunity to do something special, as there are lots of artists out there now with one but not the other.
Three keys we would say are:
1) Don’t hold onto your music let the world have it
2) Be professional and courteous
3) Separate yourself from the crowd but always think of yourself as a brand, and what you want that brand to represent.
Blueprint: To quote your official twitter account: “uhoh feel an airport sweat pants boner coming on.” What happened next?
The Chainsmokers: I managed to avoid the boner as zone 3 was called… it was close though hahah…
Blueprint: Would you rather be a ninja or a wizard?
The Chainsmokers: Wizard for sure, ninja’s lurk to much, wizards based on stories seem to be all up in the action…
Blueprint: Republic Records recently bought #Selfie from Dim Mak Records. What does Republic have planned next for the single?
The Chainsmokers: Well first we got to provide them with it, but nobody sells/promotes a record as well as Republic so we have no doubts that when we deliver they will crush it.
Blueprint: Your Facebook bio describes your sound as, “feel good and rub yourself music.” Could you elaborate?
The Chainsmokers: We love Melodies, we love a good time, we love sex, we love masturbating, we love partying, we want our music to make you feel something…and if you feel so good that you want to rub yourself and no one else is there to help, then we have done our jobs…
Blueprint: #Selfie is a major departure from your previous sound; do you now feel trapped by expectations to follow it up with a similar heavy electro track?
The Chainsmokers: #SELFIE isn’t a major departure; we see a lot of ourselves in that track. We love making dance tracks. It’s funky, it’s funny and that’s what we are about. That said yes we love our melodic indie style and in the future you will see both. We love the dance music festival scene and we will still create big room tracks that shake the ground but our heart and soul is in pop dance cross over so we will be doing that as well. One thing that our tracks will ALWAYS have is a vocal…
Blueprint: Would you rather have a lightsaber or a monkey servant?
The Chainsmokers: Monkey Servant 100% we travel to much you can’t bring lightsabers on planes, but monkey servants a different story…
Blueprint: Photobomb by Flo Rida is essentially the male copycat of #Selfie. From your perspective is the tracks existence a major compliment or brutal cash grab rip off?
The Chainsmokers: We thought it was a compliment. It sucked majorly but you know the fact he took the time to rip off our idea, we were flattered, it’s like a dance music cross over song right of passage hahaha…. The way we heard it was the song was meant to be a parody for a funny or die video, but no funny or die video ever came out just this rip off, and then suddenly photobomb was taken down as well. So we like to think we are one of the few producers to ever defeat Flo Rida haha…
Blueprint: You’ve both acknowledged that #Selfie is a perfect representation of your personalities; can you sum up your collective persona in three words?
The Chainsmokers: Self-deprecating, curious, New Yorkers…
Blueprint: We all know, because the internet never lies, that cheeseburgers are one of your greatest influences. Can you describe the best burger you’ve ever had?
The Chainsmokers: Yes it’s at Minetta Tavern. It’s called the black label burger it costs 35 bucks and its fucking delicious….
Blueprint: A few weeks ago you opened the main stage at Ultra. What was that experience like and does it top your list of live accomplishments?
The Chainsmokers: It was very surreal, but we weren’t nervous. Those are the sort of opportunities that define you. Yes we got lucky, but we feel like we earned a spot up there and we took advantage and had the time of our lives….
Blueprint: Currently you are both excited about your upcoming single stating that it is a true representation of The Chainsmokers sound. Can you tell us anything about this specific upcoming release?
The Chainsmokers: We cannot say anything, you’ll just have to wait and see…
Blueprint: Friday May 2nd will be your second time playing Stereotype Friday’s at Celebrities: how would you describe your previous Vancouver experience and what can fans expect at your upcoming shows?
The Chainsmokers: Last time was absolutely awesome, the crowd was so hype and it was a cold rainy night! We had such a blast and we cannot wait to come back! It’s going to be a LONG night full of after parties as well!
Not only is their music infectious, their personalities are on the verge of outrageous, ensuring both nights are going to be one for the books. Join in the madness and grab your tickets to the Victoria show before it sells out. Also, don’t forget to show up early to Celebrities on May 2nd, we have limited tickets for all you #Selfie addicts available at the door!
– Ryan Hayes