After a nine-month hiatus New York-based EDM duo the Chainsmokers has released their first single of 2018. The DJ combo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have been enjoying mainstream success since 2015, and although they are still fairly new they have garnered quite a following. Although they could keep pumping out their unique blend of EDMwith a dash of Top 40 pop, the duo has opted to take another course. Their new single, “Sick Boy” is the first leg of that journey.
The Chainsmokers have never been your typical EDM group. For one thing since the release of “Closer” Andrew Taggart has been providing lead vocals. This is slightly unheard of in EDM circles as most DJ’s hire actual vocalists to provide vocals. Pall and Taggart also have a hand in writing their music. According to Taggart the group did not want to fall into the remix pit, where every album is an eclectic collection of dance beats. The Chainsmokers wanted to have songs that connected, that told a story over the breadth of a wide body of work. So far their songs have mirrored their generation, focus on topics that everyone within that generation can relate to. “Sick Boy” is glimpse at a society that is not so rose colored. “Sick Boy” delves a little deeper into the darkside.
“Sick Boy” is the first part of a chapter for Pall and Taggart. The song give an unflattering look at social media, and the responsibility it bears for their generation’s loss of identity. It is also a blazing look at the effects of 24-hour fame, as it focuses on the pressure overexposure on a social platform effects a person. According to Pall thesong mirrors the current tone of society, and the next few songs will follow suit. The Chainsmokers want to establish themselves as artists, and they know what they want to say. Time will tell if the world around them wants to listen. One this is for sure, their current fan base is already behind them.
In the immediate aftermath of the release of their hit track “Closer”, featuring New Jersey pop singer Halsey, Alex Pall of the Chainsmokers, along with his co-artist Andrew Taggart, sat down with Interview Magazine for a wide-ranging conversation that covered the desire for artistic recognition, the group’s beginnings, the role of social media in the promotion of their music, and how the new track denoted a change in formula for the duo.
The Chainsmokers formed in 2012 and spawned their first hit two years later with the Internet darling “#Selfie”. Their first full-length project was theEP Bouquet, which featured top-ten hit “Roses” (featuring Rozes – of course), while their first top-five single, “Don’t Let Me Down” featuring singer Daya, features in their follow-up EP Collage.
In the interview, Pall discussed meeting Taggart as an up-and-coming New York DJ after deciding to pursue music full-time. “I was working with our same manager now at that time, and then he introduced me to Drew. So we met and just immediately started working,” Pall said. He would go on to point out that beyond their shared taste in music, their common drive to push artistic boundaries and self discover was critical to the success of the duo.
Pall also discussed how social media has unveiled to the duo the diversity in age and nationality of their fan base, using his own mother – a big fan of “Roses” – as an example. “We make music for ourselves,” Pall said, “and it’s really exciting that everyone else is enjoying it enough that they find some emotional connection to it.”
Finally, the DJ touched on touring, and how the changing nature of their singles meant their live shows would organically change, declaring, “it’s all about being on the forefront of pushing new boundaries and giving people new experiences.”