When The Chainsmokers hit the Ultra Music Festival main stage last weekend, Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall hushed their harshest critics with a high-energy, heavy bass performance. The EDM duo turned full-fledged pop band recently caught flack for a cheating scandal and their continued departure from dance music poster boys to pop fame monsters. While at Ultra 20, they premiered four unreleased tracks, brought out surprise guest Halsey for another live performance of “Closer,” and capped off the hour-long set with a flaming drum solo by their newest band member, drummer Matt McGuire.
In their music video for “Everybody Hates Me,” directed by friend and official videographer, Rory Kramer, The Chainsmokers continue the thematic use of the fire metaphor and bring it into visual conversation with its elemental counterpoint, water. As the two frontmen are caught on camera driving through a downtown LA tunnel, the look of consternation on their faces matches the song’s vulnerable, emo lyrics. Upon arriving at a rave, for which they are no doubt headlining, Taggart then jumps into a pool of water, signaling a secular baptism of sorts, before dousing an SUV with gasoline and watching it burn up in flames.
Love them or hate them, The Chainsmokers’ video speaks to a sense of conscious introspection for the events surrounding them on and off the stage; if not to the PR/artistic genius of Rory Kramer.