Daft Punk ditch the helmets for intimate interview with GQ magazine
A Daft Punk interview is a rare thing — the duo have only done a handful since Human After All — and in the latest edition of GQ, Zach Baron sits with the duo for a candid and honest conversation. It seems that after their 8 year hiatus the two have become a bit rusty when it comes to their Daft Punk personas, sharing more intimate details with GQ than they have in interviews past. Very early in their career, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have hid their faces from public view, creating two completely separate indentites that have allowed them to achieve a near god-like status in electronic music while still maintaining their personal lives far outside of the public eye. To see the two without the helmets is a disarming experience, one that provides for an interesting and intimate interview into the minds of two of dance music’s greatest icons.
Until recently, the details of Random Access Memories were as mysterious as their identities, but as the release date quickly approaches and more information becomes known, it is evident that the two are attempting to challenge the status quo. According to GQ, the full Random Access Memories experience is a “calculated departure from past Daft Punk records” embodying a point that the duo have made since the very beginning of their careers – never make the same record twice. Like any true artists, Thomas and Guy-Man are highly critical of their own work, with Bangalter referencing a monologue in “Scream 2” to describe his thoughts on the album. “Sequels always suck” he tells GQ, “how many bands do you know that are still making good music after twenty years? It always sucks – so our new album is going to really suck.”
The duo goes on to discuss the creativity drain that is occurring in electronic music today, acknowledging their hopes that one day there will be something that overshadows their own legacy. “That’s actually much more interesting and exciting than someone who is paying homage,” Bangalter says before the subject of Skrillex is broached. “Here’s someone that is trying to do something new and to not follow something – there’s an attempt, you know?”
According to GQ, the album itself pays homage to the sounds that Thomas and Guy-Man grew up with, a style that was popular during a time when most of today’s dance music fans weren’t even born. The album is described as “extremely impressive musically” and “weirdly pedantic in places,” asserting that the ratio of potential pop smashes is about 4 to 1 and that the duo has seemingly made an album just for themselves. Intentionally shunning the mainstream has only ever aided in establishing Daft Punk as legends in the field and it will be interesting to see if the risks they took are well-received. The interview paints an interesting portrait of the enigmatic duo and their latest creation – the success of which no one can accurately speculate – not even the robots themselves.
Photo Credit: Christian Anwander / GQ