November 2011

1: Who am I?

We are The Chainsmokers, Alex and Rhett. But to some less persuaded by our charm, we are the dicksmokers; we still don’t get it.

2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?

We are New York City DJs, that bit is pretty simple. We find it really entertaining when DJs try to make their job sound much more intense then it is. Put it this way–if there was a second ark, I am pretty sure no DJs are making it on the boat. But if they did, we would obviously be the easy decision since there are two of us and Noah did everything in pairs. Not to downplay what we do–it’s incredible and we love every moment of it–but when you’re on a date, and a girl asks what you do and you say DJ, you don’t need a lot more explanation and I imagine the next make or break it question would be ‘Where?’.

We are working on a ton of new projects. We both feel we are at this point in our career where we can plateau out and just cruise control until we are no longer relevant and people start calling us the creepy old DJs. Or we can take the next logical steps as music lovers and supporters, and soon-t0-be creators, and see where we are going with this. There comes a point when you no longer want to play other people’s music all the time, but rather your own. To see people responding well to it–it’s a sensation we don’t know yet, but we cannot wait. Thus, our number one priority is production. Rhett and I are spending a lot of time learning the intricacies of production, and this is just the beginning of a long and rewarding process. It is an incredible experience learning from other great producers like Misto and Pizzi, or the many other amazing producers at Stadium Red, the label we are signed to and we are very fortunate enough to such a treasure chest at our disposal. So while we are all for shortcuts–ghost production–this is really an area we wish we had a head start in, but have no intention of rushing or doing anything haphazardly. There are the fruity loop producers (some are dope) and then there the Thomas Gold’s. We are trying to get on that Thomas Gold level, but it’s one day at a time. In the meantime though, we feel putting out bootleg packs/edits for people to enjoy our own remixes of songs and mashups. It’s all a step in the right direction and helps branding and getting our name out there. On a more trivial note, Rhett is also working on slimming down for the winter and I am working on restoring my damaged DJs-are-sluts reputation.

3: Where are you from and where are you going?

At this point, we both feel comfortable saying NYC is our home. It’s been long enough and I don’t want to hear any “You need to be here for this long!” shit. Listen, if you know the subways and agree Ray’s Pizza is not authentic, then you can be a New Yorker. I (Alex) am from New York City, and Rhett is from Newport Beach, California. Where are we going? I think this question is meant to be answered theoretically, but I’m going to answer it literally. We are going to Subway to get some lunch after this interview and maybe Vegas. but we’ll see how we are feeling after the meal.

4: Who is your biggest hero?

FORREST GUMP! You know, we aren’t sure if heroes really exist in the way you used to admire someone. We are all so shallow now, ourselves included. We would have liked to be Steve Jobs minus the health issues, Warren Buffet is cool in our book, Tom Brady seems to have it figured out, and Sebastien Ingrosso wouldn’t be far behind either. Sean Parker is pretty kick-ass. We sound shallow–whatever, yes, there are tens of thousands of admirable people out there doing incredible things, saving babies and pulling people from fires. That’s great and all, but I think a hero nowadays is more about lifestyle and influence. Personally, I (Alex) think of heroes in the context of film now, so this simulated reality where the guy gets the girl and the money and the sequel. So, with that being said, life’s about  variety, options, and experience. So let’s see: Iron Man, Mickey from Natural Born Killers, and Clarence from True Blood. Mickey and Clarence, top-notch characters and men!

5: What book is your bible?

Can we do books that were adapted into films? Because if so, then it’s got to be The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?

Things we love: bubble butts, Dexter, golden retrievers, Thomas Gold, Deadmau5 live, Rubirosa (but only during off-hours), blow jobs, Eivissa, our dude crew, Tosh.O, 90% of NYC DJs, Silent Dan, The Chadrow dynasty, direct flights, pretty much anything free, and last but not least, music!

We hate light switches that don’t turn anything on, wet socks, fishy handshakes, low bit rate songs, girls with soccer legs–Jon Schwartz falls into both these catagories–the NYC tax on cigarettes, baseball (we know, how un-American of us), Mr. Saxobeat, when the bottom bun on your burger gets soggy, when people ask us what we are going to call oursleves when we quit smoking…I think I could do this all day.

7: What is your raison d’être?

I feel like we should refer everyone to the movie The Fountain, but that’s something someone who takes themselves too seriously would do. We have no idea; so far it would seem it’s to play music for lots of drunk people and have sex occasionally. Maybe one day we will inspire the masses and do some wonderful things for humanity, but maybe we won’t. Hopefully more is to come in the future. Get back to us, but the life credo is most definitely, ‘So far, So good!’

8: What is your favorite color?

Come on, seriously, favorite color? We are going to ignore this and pretend you asked what we are wearing right now. Well, I am wearing last season Margiela with some Keds, and Rhett is sporting a sheer Forever 21 top with nothing else. You’re welcome!

9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

Neither of us ever read comic books, although we can most definitely appreciate the hobby and artistic nature of it. I mean, we said Iron Man above as a hero, so I guess we got to stick with that. The ambiguously gay duo was never in print so that’s out–we are straight, we just like to throw you off our scent. Actually, people always ask if Rhett and I are friends, or just business partners. We actually hate each other’s guts and have tried to kill one another on numerous occasions unsuccessfully. Althought Rhett came close yesterday, sneaky devil tried electrocute me during one of my salt baths.

10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?

Even though we have had our differences with this place, Provocateur is by far the best club in NYC. But we must mention our love for EMM groups new spot Catch, Riff Raff’ is always a mess of fun. Westway is pretty rad as well, as an alternative to the big clubs and bottle service stuff, and PACHA!

11: What turns you on?

Besides mentally stimulating conversation and the pickup artist keno escalation techniques, we are going to just stick with hot girls that are into us. Usually some touching is involved, rope and a compensation worked out prior to the arrangement. Jokes, we are men in our 20s, we still get boners for no damn reason.

12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?

Q: What is our favorite color?

A: Oh, the irony! I guess on a serious note it would be, why has EDM grown so much in the last two years?

The Chainsmokers are a NYC DJ duo whose love of music has allowed them to play with the likes of Avicii, Calvin Harris, Wolfgang Gartner, Max Vangeli, Mark Knight, Michel Cleis, Pete Tong, Dirty Vegas, Chromeo, Felix Cartel, Paul Sevigny, Just Blaze and Steve Aoki. They like to dress up, like to dance, and absolutely love music. They have played clubs worldwide (Miami, LA, NYC, Chicago, Ibiza, Amstrerdam, and the Hamptons) like LIV, SET, Lavo, Provocateur, Roxbury, Greenhouse, SL, 1Oak, Marquee, Kiss & Fly, Pink Elephant, Paradiso in Amsterdam, Catedral in Spain, and Thekla in Bristol. They play euphoric (house), grimey (dubstep), or hood (Rick Ross). They DJ and smoke cigarettes and like to keep it as simple as that!


Facebook Page

Twitter: @thechainsmokers


NEW MIX from The Chainsmokers

Questions by PMc Magazine

Edited by Meaghan Coffey

Photography by Kirilll Bichutsky

Design by Jillian Mercado

Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”


The Chainsmokers–Alex and Rhett, NY, Photography by Kirilll Bichutsky

back to main article page ›