French robots Daft Punk are making headlines again after making a clean sweep at the Grammys. While Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Cristo have been getting a ton of press coverage we here at TURN UP THE BASS felt there were still some fun facts unknown to the general public. Without further ado here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Daft Punk!
Their first show in America was in a wet, muddy field in Wisconsin at a festival on Memorial Day weekend 1996. Guy-Manuel De Homem-Cristo spoke to Stop Smiling Magazine in 2007 about that performance saying, “We were 20-year-old kids, and I thought it was really one of the best festivals we’d done. It wasn’t huge, but it was in the woods, in nature, really outside the city. Techno music was known in Chicago and Detroit, but it wasn’t as big as it is now. It felt like a special moment; we have great memories of it. Even now, people go on YouTube to get videos from that night — it was true energy.”
Paul Williams, one of the collaborators on ‘Random Access Memories,’ spoke on behalf of Daft Punk at the 2014 Grammys. Long before he met the robots he penned The Muppet Movie’s Oscar-nominated theme song “The Rainbow Connection.”
Photo cred: Giorgio Moroder
Their only #tbt was printed on the linear notes of the album ‘Homework,’ where Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Cristo can be seen as young kids.
According to Pharrell Williams, David Bowie could have sung on Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself To Dance.” In an interview with Vibe he said, “”For me, it doesn’t sound at all like a Bowie record, but I feel like David Bowie would have loved that record. He could actually sing it.”
Prior to 2014, Daft Punk’s last Grammy performance was a surprise performance with rapper Kanye West in 2008. They performed a revamped version of his track “Stronger” which samples Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” In a 2008 interview Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo spoke about that Grammy performance being, “truly a collaboration from the start. We really did it all hand in hand.” They collaborated again in 2013 when Daft Punk co-produced four tracks from Kanye West’s album ‘Yeezus.’
Photo cred: Alan Clarke
In 2001, Daft Punk starred in a Gap commercial dancing with actress Juliette Lewis to the song “Digital Love.”
Daft Punk’s animated videos “One More Time,” “Aerodynamic,” and “Digital Love” were part of a serialized story created by Japanese anime legend Leiji Matsumoto. The video for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” was also animated and was directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto.
Daft Punk appeared in a video with Leiji Matsumoto where he discussed their first meeting.
Daft Punk have not allowed their faces to be photographed since May 2006. In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine Thomas Bangalter explained, “We’re interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life.” Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo went on to say, “We’re not performers, we’re not models – it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features…but the robots are exciting to people.”
The robots have spoken on camera before. In 2008, they appeared in a commercial for Cartoon Network promoting a Daft Punk block of animated videos on the show Toonami.
Daft Punk do not understand the current state of dance music. In an interview with NME published May 15th 2013, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo said “I don’t know EDM artists or the albums. At first I thought it was all just one guy, some DJ called EDM.”