Say hello to The Chainsmokers, aka the satirical geniuses behind "#SELFIE."
By now, the only human beings who haven't seen The Chainsmokers' super-viral "#SELFIE" video are the kinds of people who would smugly write "I don't own a TV" on their social-media profiles. Or, they're, like, straight-up Amish.
Though they've been remixing bigger artists since 2012, it wasn't until "#SELFIE" that Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart broke big. A stupid-smart satire of the "Selfie Generation" -- to borrow a phrase from Miley Cyrus' May 2014 Elle interview -- the clip seems to inspire a wide variety of reactions, even between the Chainsmokers guys themselves.
I got the chance to chat with Alex on Apr. 30 about the state of our planet in this post-"#SELFIE" world. OK, that's an exaggeration. While I did ask him about the breakout banger, I was more interested in what's next for The Chainsmokers. And hey, I even learned a new use for vodka, so that's pretty cool, too.
Buzzworthy: Can you tell us the origin story of "#SELFIE"?
Alex Pall: It really came together in about an hour. It's funny, because some people really love it, and some people really hate it. To be honest, we love and hate it. It's an interesting relationship to have with a song -- it changed our lives, you know? We're so glad that it happened, but it definitely doesn't represent the type of music we want to make going forward.
It's funny to see different critics that are really tense about the state of music now just sh**ting on the song in a 30-minute review. You're like, "Dude, the review that you just made probably took longer than it took us to make the song."
BW: Is there a full album of original tracks in the works?
AP: No, we're still doing a lot of remixes. We are trying to follow up "#SELFIE" with an original single that maybe won't go as viral, but we want to show the world that this one song isn't really what we're about. Depending on how that goes, we'll work up to an album.
We've talked to people who unexpectedly had a song take off about how they transferred their new fans over -- like A-Trak, who had that hit, "Barbra Streisand." We're trying to think about how to cross over as many people from "#SELFIE" that we've amassed into the new Chainsmokers.
BW: Is there a remix our readers should hear to get a better sense of you guys as artists?
AP: The Smallpools "Dreaming" remix. That was definitely our biggest remix. It really resonated with people. (Download the track for free below to see if it resonates with you!)
BW: Tonight, you're playing a show in College Station, TX, which is home to Texas A&M. Any particularly insane stories from the college-campus circuit you want to share?
AP: Way before "#SELFIE," we were playing a lot of colleges. We started small, playing, like, frat parties.
We played one in San Diego that was one of the craziest parties we've ever been to. It was right when "Turn Down For What" had come out. It was called the "Space Party." They had made a space-themed house, but they'd covered all the ventillation with tarps.
So, I'm talking, like, a Ziploc bag left out in the sun. It was so hot! I mean, I literally have never been so hot -- we thought we were all going to die. We were pouring vodka on our heads just 'cause it was cold.
BW: Thanks for the #protip. Any final words for our readers?
AP: It's just been an incredible ride. We've been doing this for 18 months now, and we're really excited about the future. We hope that everyone, you know, despite what they might think we're about regarding "#SELFIE," will give all of our new music a chance. You'll be surprised.
Speaking of surprises, The Chainsmokers have just released a new, official version of the "#SELFIE" video, which you can watch right now at TheChainsmokers.mtv.com. All those selfie montages during the beat breakdowns have been switched up with entirely new photos, but don't worry -- David Hasselhoff remains untouched. We'll join you in a sec, but first... LUMMY TEGGA SUL-FEH.
+ Watch The Chainsmokers perform "#SELFIE" live, and download a free mp3 of Smallpools' "Dreaming (The Chainsmokers Remix)." Check out the new official "#SELFIE" video, live performances, and interviews at TheChainsmokers.mtv.com.
Photo credit: Dim Mak Records