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The Chainsmokers Insist They’re ‘Not A-holes,’ Regret Previous Gross Comments

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Fratty EDM-pop duo The Chainsmokers became kings of Top 40 last year, with the chart success of “Closer” with Halsey — 2016’s longest running hit — and “Don’t Let Me Down” featuring Daya. The pair got much more press attention as their popularity skyrocketed them into the upper echelon of pop fame, and after saying a number of gross things, they were treated with less-than-loving hands by the music press (and Lady Gaga fans). But Drew Taggart and Andrew Pall would now like you to know that they are “not a–holes.”

In an interview with NME published March 10, Taggart and Pall attempt to shake off the bro-y image they themselves have cultivated:

 People are like, ‘Oh my God, they’re such bros,'” says Drew. “And we’re like, ‘No! We’re making fun of bros!'” Alex, in particular, is determined to set the record straight. “I hope people can walk away from this article with a deeper sense of our purpose as artists and our true characters,” he says, quite earnestly. “We’re in this grey area where people are like, ‘I don’t get it, are these guys a–holes or not?’ I promise you, we’re not a—holes.”

There you have it: Not a—holes! So why do people think The Chainsmokers are jerks, regardless of whether it’s a fair character assessment? Several, though not all, of the comments that have haunted the duo come from particularly in a notorious, boast-heavy Billboard profile:

“Even before success, pussy was number one,” Pall told Billboard. “Like, ‘Why am I trying to make all this money?’ I wanted to hook up with hotter girls. I had to date a model.”

On why their website bio included the words “17.34 combined inches,” Pall explained, “Oh, that’s our penises combined… tip to tip.”

Blaming MTV for Pall’s dismal vocal performance of “Closer” at the 2016 VMAs, he also threw some fellow performers under the bus: “It sounded like sh—. We were told my voice was going to be mixed well, but there was no reverb and it was way louder than the track for the broadcast. I was set up to fail. Nearly every other person lip-synced it, and we knew because we had them in our ears. So now I know why you lip-sync.”

Scoffing at Weezer for wanting a collaboration now that they’re famous, Pall said, “I can’t blame somebody for saying no early on, but it depends on how you said no and how you came back to us. If you own it, like, ‘I didn’t see the vision, but it’s clear now and it’s super sick,’ I get that. It feels good when those people are like …” Taggart finishes the thought: “Thirsty.”

…And then they came for Gaga.

In a moment of candor that suggests a lack of media training, Pall said of Lady Gaga’s lead Joanne single “Perfect Illusion,” quote, “it sucks.”

That quote came in an October 2016 Rolling Stone story, and Gaga definitely noticed. This was in the same profile in which they re-told the same story they shared in the Billboard profile: “We’ve fought like, one time, in Mexico, about I don’t remember what. We’d just been at a strip club and we beat each other up in the back of a cab. We have a photo we took of ourselves all bloody afterward! It was just a moment of tequila-driven madness.”

Get it? They’re making fun of bros!

But never mind all that: Pall and Taggart would like to hit the “reset” button, so sit back and let Coldplay team-up “Something Just Like This” wash over you like a summer breeze.

Pall tells NME of realizing not everyone loved his off-the-cuff remarks in print, “It’s not about apologizing 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.”

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