The Chainsmokers, EDM duo Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, stopped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest on Wednesday, January 17, to debut their new track “Sick Boy” and shared with Ryan the important message behind the “loaded” new song.
“A lot has changed for us artistically,” the two shared. “It’s a new sound for us. … It’s more of a personal thing. We’ve written a lot of apathetic love songs and it’s a lot more aggressive and the message is really important to us.”
In the song, Drew sings “Make no mistake, I live in a prison / That I build myself, it is my religion” and about narcism and “How many likes is my life worth?”
Drew and Alex explained that the track is about the “struggle of self identity in a crazy world” and about “dealing with anxiety” while also feeling “trapped in this world of having to relate to everyone on social media.”
For example, the two can relate to the anxiety that social media brings given one’s popularity can now be measured by statistics such as likes on Instagram.
“[Narcism] is just something that we all see everyday and live with now that everyone has a social media platform,” Alex added. “And its not necessarily a bad thing — you kind of have to figure out … the way you’re presenting yourself to the world … it’s self-inflicted, but also a necessary evil in communicating in today’s world.”
That said, the song isn’t about deleting your social media or avoiding the modern world.
“The song is not about retreating from all that,” Drew added. “It’s about dealing with it. Like, ‘This is me. I’m going to do my thing. Say whatever you want about me.’ Its supposed to be empowering. Its a discussion with our inner-self — I am me. That’s the point.”
The duo concluded that working with Coldplay’s Chris Martin on “Something Just Like This” helped inspire their new sound.
“The way that he approaches writing music was very different than us,” they shared. “He likes to think about ‘What character am I going to be in this world?’ ‘What’s the message that I’m sending?’ ‘What value am I adding?’ … instead of just getting in the studio and being like, ‘Let’s write a catchy song.’”
Relive the entire interview and listen to “Sick Boy” above.