Chainsmokers are about more than viral “#SELFIE”

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      New York City–based duo Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall started cranking out party-rocking EDM tunes as the Chainsmokers in 2012. Only two years later, the pair unexpectedly won the Internet with the release of their third single, “#SELFIE”.

      That song was intended as an inside joke for the Big Apple, mocking the rise of basic-bitch culture in the city. Yet, like a mutant hybrid of Baauer and LMFAO, it miraculously rode a meme fury to claim over 345 million YouTube views to date, taking the Chainsmokers from smaller clubs and supporting roles to headlining major festivals like Surrey’s FVDED in the Park, where they get equal billing with veterans like Afrojack and Excision. That’s besides their special appearance on American Idol.

      Taggart and Pall remain proud of “#SELFIE” and all it’s achieved, but in talking with the Georgia Straight by phone, they’re quick to point out their range in the studio.

      While the Chainsmokers get lumped into the pop–EDM genre, their influences are varied. They built their pre-“#SELFIE” reputation as tastemakers thanks to a series of indie remixes in which they added a fresh coat of paint to the music of Smallpools, Tove Lo, and Daughter as these groups trended upward. Surprisingly, they also express deep admiration for the Dave Matthews Band, believing it to be the best live act around.

      Judging from songs like “Kanye” and their cavalier marketing presence, the Chainsmokers appear to give zero fucks about anything, but they actually give a ton, particularly when it comes to those “hot girls in yoga pants”, who rank right up there with the ocean and mountains when they think of Western Canada. They also give enough of a fuck to despise the music of Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, despite rumours that they’ve signed to Kroeger’s 604 Records. (They actually work with Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak.)

      Despite Kroeger’s connections to B.C., FVDED in the Park is one of the festivals they’re most pumped to play this summer, due to the diversity of the lineup. They hope to crank up the live energy that regularly sees bras and kandi bracelets thrown at them on-stage—along with, on one occasion, some fine Virginia ham.

      What truly makes a Chainsmokers performance a unique experience is that Taggart and Pall almost always play new and unexpected songs. Since they haven’t hit B.C. in eight or so months, the two have a wealth of fresh material.

      “We are always testing out new music,” Taggart offers. “While we only have a few songs out, we’ve made so many songs in different genres. We have a lot of really big collaborations, and the only place you can hear those is if you see us live.”

      Unfortunately, they don’t have plans to make an album just yet, although they hint that we might see one in 2016. Until then, fans can expect to see a bunch more Chainsmokers singles and high-profile collaborations that will attempt to win the Internet again.

      The Chainsmokers play FVDED in the Park on Saturday (July 4).