There were a lot of lackluster performances at the VMAs this year, but one of the worst and most incompetent came courtesy of DJ duo the Chainsmokers, who performed their chart-topping hit “Closer” alongside featured vocalist Halsey. Halsey sounded serviceable, but Andrew Taggert — the half of the duo that sings on the track — sounded awful, much like someone who’s never sung live before in their life, which it turns out was mostly the case.
In a new Billboard cover story that makes them seem truly deplorable (“Even before success, pussy was number one” is something that one of them actually says to a reporter, which makes you wonder what they’re saying not on the record), the dude-bro duo acknowledge that the performance was bad, but said they were “set up to fail,” instead of like … taking accountability for being really untalented and shitty? Here’s Taggert:
It sounded like shit. 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.
It was apparently only the second time he had performed live before, and he is apparently taking singing lessons. Great idea! Another good idea? Quit music altogether! Unfortunately, that possibility doesn’t seem likely: Even Weezer is hitting them up to collab, and if it’s one thing that the music industry does well it’s perpetuate a culture of mediocrity and misogyny.