The pop-EDM duo, made up of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, didn’t need to explain this assessment to anyone who has sense of hearing. Taggart, the Chainsmoker who sings the lead in "Closer," was flat during the performance. He sounded like someone singing in the shower — if that shower was a torture device for other people.
Taggart was well aware of the performance’s failings. In a new interview with Billboard magazine, he said what everyone who watched it was thinking.
"It sounded like shit," Taggart told Billboard, explaining why his voice sounded so poor. "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 [at the VMAs] lip-synced [their performance], and we knew because we had them in our ears. So now I know why you lip-sync."
In the Chainsmokers’ defense, it’s hard to remember the performances of anyone who appeared at VMAs who’s name is not Beyoncé or Rihanna. And their song "Closer" is still at the top of the charts in America, despite how horrendous it sounded at the awards. Not to mention they have a collaboration with Coldplay’s Chris Martin in the works, and Martin can sing live.