You’ve been a DJ duo for some time now. How did you got into the dance scene, what have been your first contacts - first records, role-model DJs/Producers/Parties..?
Not sure how we got into it… you just fall in love with it, start going to shows, downloading as much music as you can and next thing you know there is no looking back. When we started people like Guetta, Mstrkft, Boys Noize, Danger, Cut Copy and so many more were huge inspirations of ours. In New York City there was this party called "Girls and Boys" that always had the best electronic acts every Friday at Webster hall.
Tell us about the dance scene in NYC today. What are the hot spots and cool clubs right now, where do you like to go?
Well sadly we haven’t lived in NYC in about 2 years now, so we aren’t really sure but there is and has always been an amazing underground scene of music but also at mainstays like Webster Hall, Williamburg Music Hall, Hammerstein Ballroom and so many more places!
Your single "Don’t Let Me Down" won a Grammy Award, the following single "Closer" has topped the Billboard Hot 100! Are these things goals you have always been dreaming of or are these maybe just nice side effects of your work? What is the reason that you make music?
We would say they are more side effects of the work. Well maybe not the Grammy but the Billboard Hot 100. We make music cause we love to and we love sharing it with our friends that’s what its about for us. But when you get recognized for an award like a Grammy its something you dream of but can never even consider while making the music, it seems like such a distant fantasy. So we are very grateful to have received such an honor!
At the BRIT Awards this year you had a surprise performance with of single "Something Just Like This" together with Coldplay. How does it feel to plan something like this and to keep it as a secret? Especially because there are some more people involved this time.
The keeping it a secret part was extremely hard! We honestly weren’t sure if we could pull it off, we weren’t even sure we could keep the secret ourselves we were so excited, so to pull it off just felt so incredible. But to be honest we were just thinking how amazing coldplay is, and lets not fuck this up and be the guys who ruined a coldplay performance.
"Memories…Do Not Open" is your first album. How long have you been working on it, how many times did you listen to the songs until now? And what should we expect?
We have been working on it really hard for maybe 6 months, but the oldest song on the album is about a year old. The thing is we didn’t decide until that 6 month mark that all the stuff we were working on would potentially become our album. It was important to us that if we ever did one, that the work feel cohesive and tell a story and over time this became more apparent. The album is about a collection of memories, experiences and points of tension in our life, relationships and well, everything leading up to now. We owe a lot of it to the song writing which we have become much more confident and comfortable with. To us its about connecting with people through moments and at times we make ourselves very vulnerable, and hopefully people cann appreciate that.
Just like some of your past singles, are there collaborations on the album as well with various musicians, like Louane, Emily Warren or Dua Lipa as a songwriter. What have been the reasons to choose each one them? What music do you listen to in private - that maybe influences you and your music?
We actually haven’t worked with Dua, but we are friends and she is amazing. The song dicatates the artist we work with. Its always a very organic process. Whats great about music is you get such a feeling from it, it really tells us who would be best. And for us its about working with really authentic artists that will let the song reach its full potential and help tell its story. Emily is a unique one only cause she co wrote a number of songs on the album with us as well as a number of our past songs. We just really vibe with her, she gets us and we adore her and her incredible talent!
As for music we listen to it always changes, but we will say we are very eclectic in our taste. We like to venture out and listen to all sorts of things because it helps us grow as musicians.
You have been working with a lot of musicians until now. Which names do you have in mind for future - maybe dream-collaborations?
Who knows, we don’t like to spill those beans!
What does the album title mean to you? Why do you not want to open your memories? Some Memories are very good sometimes...
There is a specific idea behind the album. Remember when you were a kid and you had a room filled with all these items that each had a specific memory or feeling attached to it. BUT then you go away to school and your parents pack up your important items and tuck it away in a closer and convert you childhood room to a gym or office. But then yoou come home one day and find this box and its just jam packed with different items that trigger different emotional responses. SO in this case that box on our cover art with "Memories… do not open" across it is our box, a collection of moments, memories, experiences and points of tension and our lives recently. Some very important, some more private, but in this case we are opening up this box to everyone as each item in the box is represented by a song of ours with a meaning. We hope it just sets this sincere tone for people to approach our album open minded and really listen to the song writing.
Track One is named "The One" and the last one is named "Last Day Alive". How often have you changed the sequence/order of the tracks until the final tracklist? Have there been some other ideas/possibilities?
We have probably changed it 50 times at least. There was a lot of conversation about it and we are super happy with how it turned out but it’s a real art form in of itself picking the order, especially nowadays with streaming and creating dynamics but most importantly telling the right story of the album.
In April you are going to tour with your brand new album in the US, in July you will also come to Europe. What should fans expect and what are you looking forward to?
Well hard saying, we hope everyone loves the album and will want to come see it performed live. But we are making big changes to our show, changes that lend itself nicely to the new direction of our music but still is a great time… so time will only tell! (fhp)
german version of the interview > freshguideberlin.de/highlights/the-chainsmokers