Mediocre Musical Duo Swears They're Not Assholes

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

The NME has interviewed my nemeses, The Chainsmokers, the misogynist musical duo notorious for making exceedingly mediocre, watered down “EDM” and surrounding that with quotes about their penises and beer. It is clear, though, that The Chainsmokers are invested in becoming more famous and more mainstream now that they’ve had an unfortunately good year (they won a Grammy and collaborated with Coldplay), and so now they’re walking all their stupid, bro-y comments back.


Take it away, NME:

In September last year the American magazine Billboard put The Chainsmokers on their cover – another career milestone. But when the article appeared, it wasn’t the playful portrait they’d expected and their jokes don’t look so good written down. Alex is quoted as saying, “Even before success, p***y was number one.” They came out of it looking like chauvinistic chancers obsessed with alcohol, models and penis size.

“It affects you, because you don’t know how people are going to see that – [whether they’ll] take it at face value and walk away feeling you are that person,” says Alex. “It’s not about apologising and back-pedalling. It’s about… I don’t want to say becoming better people, because that sounds cheesy. Just keeping it real, and understanding that not everyone’s on your team. Move forward. Make responsible decisions. Think about what it might look like to a kid who’s 10 years old, seeing what we do – how that might impact on the way they listen to our music and enjoy our antics.”

In other words, The Chainsmokers’s record label had not yet media trained them when they granted Billboard the interview, and they didn’t know that their assholeness would be accurately portrayed. What gets me the most about that piece, and about the quotes that they now portray as not them being sexist frat bros but a satire of sexist frat bros (right), is what might have happened had Billboard sent a woman journalist to feature them. Would they have acted the same way? My hunch that they wouldn’t have, and so best case scenario their sexist frat bro “pose” was a sad attempt at embodying the rock star dream (booze, “pussy”) for a music publication, a rock star dream that itself has roots in misogyny to begin with.

When all is said and done—and whether this redemption tour works—their music is still their music, and there’s no walking back the fact that they won the music industry’s most prestigious award for an insultingly plinky synth song that was about fucking an ex-girlfriend despite actually “hating” her. Not tinged with misogyny at all, great job, bros.

Editor in Chief, Jezebel. Chicana. Writing on politics, feminism, fashion, culture since 1999. Former music journalism professor (NYU), current board member for the Daily Princetonian.



They are already off to a bad start.