Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo consisting of musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France and met with continued success in the years following, combining elements of house with synthpop. The duo is credited with producing songs that are considered essential in the French house scene. The group was managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records. Early in the group's career, the band members were influenced by groups including The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones.
Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were originally in a band called Darlin', which disbanded after a short period of time, leaving the two to experiment musically on their own. The duo became Daft Punk, releasing its critically acclaimed debut album Homework in 1997. The 2001 release of Discovery was even more successful, driven by the club singles "One More Time", "Digital Love", and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". In March 2005, the duo released the album Human After All to mixed reviews. However, the singles "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" achieved success in the United Kingdom.
Daft Punk toured throughout 2006 and 2007 and released the live album Alive 2007, which won a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. The duo composed the score of the film Tron: Legacy and in 2010 released the soundtrack album of the film. In January 2013, Daft Punk left EMI Records for Sony Music Entertainment's subsidiary label Columbia, and released Random Access Memories in 2013 to critical acclaim. The lead single "Get Lucky" became an international success, peaking in the top 10 in 32 countries. Random Access Memories led to five Grammy wins in 2014 including Album of the Year, as well as Record of the Year for "Get Lucky".
The group is known for its emphasis on using visual and story components associated with their musical productions. Daft Punk is also known for its use of disguises while in public and/or performing; specifically ornate helmets and gloves to assume robot personas in most of their public appearances since 2001. The duo rarely grants interviews or appears on television.
1987–1993: Early years
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met in 1987 while attending the Lycée Carnot, a secondary school in Paris. The two became good friends and later recorded demo tracks with others from the school. This eventually led to the formation of the guitar-based group called Darlin' with Laurent Brancowitz in 1992. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo played bass and guitar, respectively, while Brancowitz performed on drums. The trio had branded themselves after The Beach Boys song of the same name, which they covered along with an original composition.Stereolab released both tracks on a multi-artist Duophonic Records EP and invited the band to open for stage shows in the United Kingdom. Bangalter felt that "The rock n' roll thing we did was pretty average, I think. It was so brief, maybe six months, four songs and two gigs and that was it." A negative review in Melody Maker by Dave Jennings subsequently dubbed the music "a daft punky thrash." Instead of dismissing the review, they found it amusing. As de Homem-Christo stated, "We struggled so long to find [the name] Darlin', and this happened so quickly." Darlin' soon disbanded, leaving Brancowitz to pursue other efforts with Phoenix. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk and experimented with drum machines and synthesizers.
In 1993, Daft Punk attended a rave at EuroDisney, where they met Stuart Macmillan of Slam, co-founder of the label Soma Quality Recordings. The demo tape given to Macmillan at the rave formed the basis for Daft Punk's debut single, "The New Wave", a limited release in 1994. The single also contained the final mix of "The New Wave" called "Alive", which was to be featured on Daft Punk's first album.
Daft Punk returned to the studio in May 1995 to record "Da Funk". It became the duo's first commercially successful single the same year. After the success of "Da Funk", Daft Punk looked to find a manager. The duo eventually settled on Pedro Winter, who regularly promoted it and other artists at his Hype night clubs. The band signed with Virgin Records in September 1996 and made a deal through which the duo licensed its tracks to the major label through its production company, Daft Trax. Bangalter spoke of the duo's decision to sign with Virgin:
|“||Many record companies offered us deals. They came from everywhere, but we decided to wait—partly because we didn't want to lose control of what we had created. We turned down many record companies. We weren't interested in the money, so we turned down labels that were looking for more control than we were willing to give up. In reality, we're more like partners with Virgin.||”|
With regard to the artistic control and freedom, Bangalter stated:
|“||We've got much more control than money. You can't get everything. We live in a society where money is what people want, so they can't get the control. We chose. Control is freedom. People say we're control freaks, but control is controlling your destiny without controlling other people. We're not trying to manipulate other people, just controlling what we do ourselves. Controlling what we do is being free. People should stop thinking that an artist that controls what he does is a bad thing. A lot of artists today are just victims, not having control, and they're not free. And that's pathetic. If you start being dependent on money, then money has to reach a point to fit your expenses.||”|
"Da Funk" and "Alive" were later included on Daft Punk's 1997 debut album Homework. In February of that year, the UK dance magazine Muzik published a Daft Punk cover feature and described Homework as "one of the most hyped debut albums in a long long time." According to The Village Voice, the album revived house music and departed from the Eurodance formula. As noted by critic Alex Rayner, Homework brought together established club styles and the "burgeoning eclecticism" of big beat. The most successful single from Homework was "Around the World", which is known for the repeating chant of the song's title. "Da Funk" was also included on The Saint film soundtrack. Daft Punk produced a series of music videos for Homework directed by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Roman Coppola and Seb Janiak. The collection of videos was released in 1999 and titled D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes.
By 1999, the duo was well into the recording sessions for its second album, which had begun a year earlier. The 2001 release of Discovery took on a slicker and distinctly synthpop-oriented style, initially stunning fans of Daft Punk's previous material in Homework. The group states that the album was conceived as an attempt to reconnect with a playful, open-minded attitude associated with the discovery phase of childhood. This accounts for the heavy use of themes and samples from the late '70s to early '80s era on the album. The album reached No. 2 in the United Kingdom, and its single, "One More Time", was a major club and mainstream hit that nearly topped the UK Singles Chart. The song is well known for being heavily Auto-Tuned and compressed. The song and album created a new generation of fans mainly familiar with the second Daft Punk release. The singles "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" were also very successful in the UK and on the United States dance chart. "Digital Love" was subsequently covered by the bands Kodaline and Hellogoodbye. The song "Face to Face" hit No. 1 on the USA club play charts despite a limited single release. A 45-minute excerpt from a Daftendirektour performance recorded at Birmingham, UK in 1997 was also released in 2001, titled Alive 1997. The year 2003 saw the release of the feature-length animated film, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Daft Punk produced the film under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto, who is their childhood hero. The album Daft Club was also released to promote the film. It features a collection of remixes previously made available through an online membership service of the same name.
2004–2008: Human After All
Starting on 13 September and ending on 9 November 2004, Daft Punk devoted six weeks to the creation of new material. The duo released the album Human After All in March 2005. Reviews were mixed, mostly citing its overly repetitive nature and seemingly rushed recording. The singles taken from this album were "Robot Rock", "Technologic", "Human After All", and "The Prime Time of Your Life". The earliest official statement from Daft Punk concerning the album was "we believe that Human After All speaks for itself."
A Daft Punk anthology CD/DVD titled Musique Vol. 1 1993–2005 was released on 4 April 2006. It contains new music videos for "The Prime Time of Your Life" and "Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive)". Daft Punk also released a remix album of Human After All called Human After All: Remixes. A limited edition included two kubricks of Daft Punk as robots.
On 21 May 2006, Daft Punk premiered its first directed film, Daft Punk's Electroma, at the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Director's Fortnight. The film does not include Daft Punk's own music, which is a first for the duo considering its previous DVD and film releases (D.A.F.T. for Homework and Interstella 5555 for Discovery). Midnight screenings of the film were shown in Paris theaters starting from the end of March 2007. Initial public comments have since been positive.
Daft Punk released its second live album titled Alive 2007 on 19 November 2007. It contains the duo's performance in Paris from its Alive 2007 tour. The live version of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from Alive 2007 was released as a single. Olivier Gondry directed a music video for the single that features footage shot by 250 audience members at Daft Punk's Brooklyn appearance at KeySpan Park, Coney Island.
2008–2011: Tron: Legacy
Following the Alive 2007 tour, the duo focused on other projects. A 2008 interview with Pedro Winter revealed that Daft Punk returned to its Paris studio to work on new material. Winter also stepped down from managing the duo to focus attention on his Ed Banger Records label and his work as Busy P. He stated in a later interview that Daft Punk is working with an unspecified management company in Los Angeles. The duo held its Daft Arts production office at the Jim Henson Studios complex in Hollywood. In 2008, Daft Punk placed 38th in a worldwide official poll of DJ Magazine after debuting at position 71 in the year before. On 8 February 2009, Daft Punk won Grammy Awards for Alive 2007 and its single "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Janet Jackson's song "So Much Betta" from her 2008 album Discipline features a sample of Daft Punk's song "Daftendirekt".
Daft Punk provided eleven new mixes featuring its music for the video game DJ Hero. The duo also appears in the game as a pair of playable characters, along with a unique venue. The duo appears wearing its Discovery-era helmets and Human After All-era leather attire. Daft Punk's playable likenesses are absent from the sequel DJ Hero 2, which includes a remixed version of the song "Human After All".
At the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that the duo composed 24 tracks for the film Tron: Legacy. Daft Punk's score was arranged and orchestrated by Joseph Trapanese. The band collaborated with him for two years on the score, from pre-production to completion. The score features an 85-piece orchestra, recorded at AIR Lyndhurst Studios in London.Joseph Kosinski, director of the film, referred to the score as being a mixture of orchestral and electronic elements. The members of Daft Punk also make a cameo appearance as disc jockey programs wearing their trademark robot masks within the film's virtual world. Tron: Legacy co-star Olivia Wilde stated that the duo may be involved with future promotional events related to the film. A teaser trailer features Daft Punk and their track "Derezzed" from Tron: Legacy. The soundtrack album of the film was released on 6 December 2010. A deluxe 2-disc edition of the album was also released that includes a poster of the duo from the film. Additional bonus tracks are also available through various online vendors. An official music video for "Derezzed", with a running time of less than two minutes, also premiered on the MTV Networks on the same day the album was released. The video, which features Olivia Wilde as Quorra in specially shot footage, along with images of Daft Punk in Flynn's Arcade, was later made available for purchase from the iTunes Store and included in the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film. Walt Disney Records released a remix album of the score titled Tron: Legacy Reconfigured on 5 April 2011.
In 2010 Daft Punk were admitted into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an order of merit of France. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were individually awarded the rank of Chevalier (knight).
2011–present: Random Access Memories
Soma Records released a previously unpublished Daft Punk track called "Drive" that was made while the duo was still with Soma Records and recording "Rollin' and Scratchin'" and "Da Funk". The track was included in a twentieth anniversary multi-artist compilation of the Soma label. In October 2011, Daft Punk placed 28th in a "top-100 DJs of 2011" list by DJ Magazine after appearing at position 44 in the year before. On 19 January 2012, Daft Punk ranked No. 2 on Mixmag's Greatest Dance Acts of All Time, with The Prodigy at No. 1 by just a few points.
Daft Punk worked on their fourth studio album, Random Access Memories in collaboration with singer-songwriter Paul Williams and Chic frontman Nile Rodgers. In May 2012 it was also announced that Giorgio Moroder had collaborated with the duo, recording a monologue about his life in a vocal booth containing microphones ranging from 1960 to present day.Chilly Gonzales stated in an interview that he had performed material for the duo's project in a one-day session: "I played for hours and they’re gonna grab what they grab and turn it into whatever." He also said that the album would be released "next spring".Fourplay member Nathan East later mentioned that he had contributed to the project.
In October 2012, Daft Punk provided a fifteen-minute mix of songs by blues musician Junior Kimbrough for Hedi Slimane's Yves Saint Laurent fashion show. The duo also placed 44th in DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 DJs list.
In January 2013, de Homem-Christo revealed that Daft Punk was in the process of signing with Sony Music Entertainment through the Columbia Records label, and that the album would have a spring release. A report from The Guardian followed specifying a release date of May 2013. On 28 February, Daft Punk's official website and Facebook page featured a picture of the duo's helmets, with a "Columbia" logo in the corner, to announce the Columbia signing. On 2 March, a fifteen-second television advertisement aired during the Saturday Night Live program—it depicted an animated, stylized version of the band's logo and the aforementioned image of the helmets. On 23 March, a pre-order page for the new album appeared on iTunes and this was the first time that the title Random Access Memories was revealed, together with a release date of 21 May 2013. The official website for the album and an updated television advertisement were also unveiled. On 3 April, the official album website launched The Collaborators, a series of 16mm documentary videos about the album.
The details of the album were then announced and the 79th Annual Wee Waa Show, held on 17 May 2013 in the rural Australian town of Wee Waa, was selected as the launch venue. However, no actual members of Daft Punk were in attendance. On 12 April, a video preview for the song "Get Lucky", in which Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers appear, was played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The radio edit of the song was released as a digital download single on 19 April 2013. "Get Lucky" became Daft Punk's first UK No. 1 single on 28 April 2013 remaining at number one for 4 weeks (as of 24 May) and the Spotify music streaming website reported that the song is the most-streamed new song in the service's history.
Daft Punk were scheduled to appear on 6 August episode of The Colbert Report to promote Random Access Memories, but were unable to do so because of conflicting obligations regarding the duo's future appearance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. According to Stephen Colbert, Daft Punk were unaware of any exclusivity agreement and were halted by MTV executives the morning prior to the taping. Colbert nevertheless broadcast an elaborate sketch of himself dancing to "Get Lucky" with various celebrities, including Hugh Laurie, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Fallon, Bryan Cranston, Jon Stewart, Henry Kissinger, Matt Damon, and The Rockettes. At the Video Music Awards, Daft Punk debuted a trailer for their single "Lose Yourself to Dance," and presented the award for "Best Female Video" alongside Rodgers and Pharrell.
For the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Random Access Memories was awarded the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album, Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, while "Get Lucky" received the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and the Record of the Year. Daft Punk also performed a medley at the ceremony with Rodgers, Pharrell, and Stevie Wonder of "Get Lucky", "Le Freak", "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", "Another Star", "Lose Yourself to Dance", and "Around the World". Pharrell later released his second studio album G I R L, in which Daft Punk performed additional vocals for the song "Gust of Wind".
On 10 March 2014, the Daft Punk song "Computerized" surfaced on the Internet. The song features Jay-Z and appears to contain elements of “The Son of Flynn" from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.
Bangalter and de Homem-Christo have credited many sources that influenced their musical style. Years before producing electronic music as a duo, they shared tastes for Elton John, MC5, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Stooges. Bangalter recalled that the records motivated him to learn English as a second language, since he wanted to understand the lyrics. The duo's mutual admiration for rock bands led to the founding of their own indie group called Darlin'. Bangalter explained: "It was still maybe more a teenage thing at that time. It's like, you know, everybody wants to be in a band." They also drew inspiration from the rock and acid house in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. De Homem-Christo referred to Screamadelica by Primal Scream as the record that "put everything together" in terms of genre".
The liner notes of Homework pay tribute to a large number of musical artists and contain a quote from Brian Wilson. Bangalter stated: "In Brian Wilson's music you could really feel the beauty—it was very spiritual. Like Bob Marley, too." When questioned on the success of Daft Punk's debut album and the rising popularity of their associated musical genre, Bangalter responded, "before us you had Frankie Knuckles or Juan Atkins and so on. The least you can do is pay respect to those who are not known and who have influenced people." The Daft Punk track "Teachers", from Homework, refers to several influences, such as Romanthony and Todd Edwards. De Homem-Christo stated: "Their music had a big effect on us. The sound of their productions—the compression, the sound of the kick drum and Romanthony's voice, the emotion and soul—is part of how we sound today." A 2011 Bodytonic podcast featured tracks from all of the artists named in "Teachers", the Brian Wilson speech quoted in the liner notes of Homework, and a Kraftwerk-like 1983 track produced by Daniel Vangarde, father of Bangalter.
Romanthony and Edwards later collaborated with Daft Punk on tracks for Discovery. For the album, Daft Punk focused on new styles of electronic music. A major inspiration was the Aphex Twin single "Windowlicker", which was "neither a purely club track nor a very chilled-out, down-tempo relaxation track", according to Bangalter. The duo also utilized vintage equipment to recreate the sound of an artist from a previous era. As stated by de Homem-Christo, "On 'Digital Love' you get this Supertramp vibe on the bridge," which was generated through an in-studio Wurlitzer piano. During a later interview, de Homem-Christo clarified that "we didn't make a list of artists we like and copy their songs." Daft Punk would collaborate with Edwards again on the song "Fragments of Time", featured on the 2013 album Random Access Memories.
During a 2009 interview, Bangalter named Andy Warhol as one of Daft Punk's early artistic influences. For the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, the duo drew inspiration from Wendy Carlos, the composer of the original Tron film, as well as Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, John Carpenter, Vangelis, Philip Glass and Maurice Jarre. Daft Punk later sought a "west coast vibe" during the production of Random Access Memories, referencing such bands as Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers and the Eagles. They also highlighted the influence of Jean Michel Jarre in an interview following the album's release.
Visual components and image
Daft Punk are noted for their use of visual components associated with their musical productions. The music videos for their singles from Homework featured distinctive characters and placed emphasis on storytelling instead of musical performance. The album Discovery subsequently became the soundtrack to Interstella 5555.
Their outward personas have also changed over time. In one the duo's earliest magazine appearances, de Homem-Christo stated in a Jockey Slut interview that, "We don't want to be photographed. [...] We don't especially want to be in magazines. We have a responsibility." Although they allowed a camera crew to film them for a French television arts program at the time, Daft Punk did not wish to speak on screen "because it is dangerous." During their Homework years, the duo would usually wear masks to hide their appearance. When not wearing disguises, they occasionally preferred to be replaced by animation (as they appeared in The Work of Director Michel Gondry DVD) or have their faces digitally obscured for press kits. Few official photos of the duo's faces exist, including a blurry one found in the Homework liner notes.
In their more visible Discovery years, they appeared wearing robotic headgear and metallic gloves for publicity photo shoots, interviews, live shows and music videos. The helmets were produced by Paul Hahn of Daft Arts and the French directors Alex and Martin, the duo who also designed them. With engineering by Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc., they are capable of various LED effects. Wigs were originally attached to both helmets, but the duo removed them just before the outfits were publicly unveiled in 2001. Daft Punk introduced the costumes to many U.S. television viewers through an advertisement for a special presentation of their videos during Cartoon Network's Toonami block. Thomas Bangalter once stated, "We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 am on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots."
Daft Punk have said that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. However, Bangalter later stated that the costumes were initially the result of shyness. "But then it became exciting from the audience's point of view. It's the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower." When asked whether the duo expressed themselves differently within the robotic suits, Bangalter stated "No, we don't need to. It's not about having inhibitions. It's more like an advanced version of glam, where it's definitely not you." With the release of Human After All, the musical duo's outfits became slightly less complicated by consisting of black leather jacket and pants and simplified versions of the Discovery headgear. The attire was designed by Hedi Slimane. Bangalter stated that, "We never like to do the same thing twice. It's more fun and entertaining for us to do something different, whether it's wearing masks or developing a persona that merges fiction and reality. We're happy to give back to the masses".
According to Bangalter, the duo has a "general rule about not appearing in videos." Although Daft Punk rarely grants interviews, Bangalter is cited as being the more talkative and opinionated one of the duo. With regard to fame and stardom, he said:
We don't believe in the star system. We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise.
We're trying to separate the private side and the public side. It's just that we're a little bit embarrassed by the whole thing. We don't want to play this star system thing. We don't want to get recognised in the streets. Yes. Everyone has accepted us using masks in photos so far, which makes us happy. Maybe sometimes people are a little bit disappointed but that's the only way we want to do it. We think the music is the most personal thing we can give. The rest is just about people taking themselves seriously, which is all very boring sometimes.
In the same interview, he was also asked a question if stardom can be avoided.
|“||Yes. I think people understand what we are doing. I know many people who maybe like the way we are handling things. People understand that you don't need to be on the covers of magazines with your face to make good music. Painters or other artists, you don't know them but you know what they are doing. We are very happy that the concept in itself is becoming famous. In France, you speak of Daft Punk and I'm sure millions of people have heard it, but less than a few thousand people know our face—which is the thing we're into. We control it, but it's not us physically, our persons. We don't want to run into people who are the same age as us, shaking our hand and saying, 'Can I have your autograph?' because we think we're exactly like them. Even girls, they can fall in love with your music, but not with you. You don't always have to compromise yourself to be successful. The playing with masks is just to make it funnier. Pictures can be boring. We don't want all the rock n' roll poses and attitudes—they are completely stupid and ridiculous today.||”|
During the filming and promotion of Daft Punk's Electroma, the duo went to great lengths to avoid showing their faces. While on the set of the film, the duo chose to be interviewed with their backs turned. As reported on October 2006, the band went as far as to wear black cloth over their heads during a televised interview. During this interview they noted that the use of cloth bags in particular had been a spontaneous decision, reflecting their willingness to experiment with their perceived image in the media.
It is believed that the mystery of their identity and the elaborate nature of their disguises have added to their popularity. The iconic status of the robotic costumes has been compared to the makeup of KISS and the leather jacket worn by Iggy Pop. As Bangalter noted, "The mask gets very hot, but after wearing it as long as I have, I am used to it." He later stated that the helmets in their current iteration are fitted with ventilators to prevent overheating.
In the mid-to-late nineties, Daft Punk performed live without costumes in many places including the United States. In 1996, the duo were featured at an Even Furthur event in Wisconsin, their first public performance in the U.S. In addition to live original performances, they performed a number of times in various clubs using vinyl records from their collection. They were known for incorporating various styles of music into their DJ sets at that time.
In the fall of 1997 they did their Daftendirektour to promote Homework in several cities throughout the world. For this tour Daft Punk opted to utilize their home studio equipment for the live stage. As Bangalter stated, "Everything was synched up—the drum machines, the bass lines. The sequencer was just sending out the tempos and controlling the beats and bars. On top of this structure we built all these layers of samples and various parts that we could bring in whenever we wanted to." 25 May 1997 saw them perform at the Tribal Gathering festival at Luton Hoo, England, headlining with Orbital and Kraftwerk. Also of note is 8 November performance in Birmingham, UK, from which came the recording of Alive 1997.
The Alive 2006/2007 tour began with a sole United States performance at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California in May 2006. Several festival appearances in Europe followed throughout the summer. Two consecutive performances also took place at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, held in Osaka and Chiba City respectively. Daft Punk's final performance of the year occurred in the autumn, when they visited South America and played their second U.S. performance at the Bang! Music Festival in Miami, Florida.
In June 2007, the duo resumed touring, beginning with an appearance at the RockNess music festival in the United Kingdom. After further shows and festival performances in Europe, the act returned to North America for a full-fledged eight date tour. This reached many markets for the first time on the trek and included a headline festival slot at Lollapalooza in Chicago. A second leg of shows in October followed, consisting of an appearance at the Vegoose music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada and three shows in Mexico. In December 2007, the duo returned to Japan to play a trio of dates. This was followed by a series of special shows in Australia, dubbed "Never Ever Land". The dates featured regular tour stalwarts SebastiAn and Kavinsky and were ultimately the fastest selling Daft Punk-related events to date. The tour eventually culminated in Sydney at the Showground Main Arena.
Daft Punk mixed and composed much of the music for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 Womenswear Full Show on 7 October 2007. The duo later stated in an EMI-sponsored live webchat that there would be no tour performances for 2008, and that they would instead focus on new projects.
Daft Punk made a surprise appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards on 10 February 2008. The duo appeared with Kanye West to perform a reworked version of "Stronger" on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For the appearance, Daft Punk utilized four JazzMutant Lemur controllers. A press release specified that this was the first televised live performance by the duo in their career. Bangalter's wife Élodie Bouchez also attended the event.
In February 2009, a website stated that a "hidden" tour had been set for 2009. An event for 13 February 2009 in Shanghai, China was mentioned in the website. It was later revealed to be a hoax unaffiliated with Daft Punk and a scam to sell tickets for a nonexistent event. Representatives of the band announced that Daft Punk had no tour plans for 2009, but stated that the duo was looking forward to performing in China during their next world tour "in 2010 or 2011". The announcement also stated that all of Daft Punk's shows are and would be posted on their official MySpace page, and that the page can therefore be used to verify validity. In September 2010, The Daily Swarm reported that the duo would perform live sets in major cities to promote the film Tron: Legacy.
Daft Punk made a surprise guest appearance during the encore of Phoenix's 20 October 2010 show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. They played a medley of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" and "Around the World" before the song segued into Phoenix's song "1901". The duo also included elements of their tracks "Rock'n Roll", "Human After All", as well as one of Bangalter's side projects, "Together".
Daft Punk performed at the 56th Grammy Awards ceremony on 26 January 2014. The duo's performance featured Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams as well as Random Access Memories session musicians Nathan East, Omar Hakim, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Chris Caswell. The ensemble performed the Grammy-winning "Get Lucky" before moving into a medley consisting of Chic's "Le Freak" and Stevie Wonder's "Another Star" as well as elements of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", "Lose Yourself to Dance", and "Around the World". The stage backdrop used for the performance was designed by Daft Arts to resemble a recording studio, incorporating a functioning mixing console operated by Daft Punk.
Appearances in media and tributes
Daft Punk's popularity has been partially attributed to their appearances in mainstream media. The duo appeared with Juliette Lewis in an for The Gap, featuring the single "Digital Love", and were contractually obliged to appear only in Gap clothing. In the summer of 2001, Daft Punk appeared in an advertisement on Cartoon Network's Toonami timeslot, promoting the official Toonami website and the duo's animated music videos for their album Discovery. The music videos later appeared as scenes in the feature-length film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, in which Daft Punk make a cameo appearance as their robot alter-egos. The duo later appeared in a television advertisement wearing their Discovery-era headgear to promote Sony Ericsson's Premini mobile phone. Their robotic costumes also make an appearance in the "Masterclass" section on Chilly Gonzales' 2006 DVD release From Major to Minor. In 2010, Daft Punk appeared in Adidas advertisements promoting a Star Wars-themed clothing line.
The duo has also been acknowledged in works by other artists. "Losing My Edge", the first single by LCD Soundsystem, bragged about being the first to "play Daft Punk to the rock kids." LCD Soundsystem also recorded the song "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House", which reached No. 29 in the UK and was nominated for the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. The Soulwax remix of the song also contains samples of many Daft Punk tracks as well as tracks by Thomas Bangalter. The song "Number 1 Girl" by the Dutch music project Le Le mentions the names Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo among other producers and artists. In the Flight of the Conchords episode "Sally", a music video for the Flight of the Conchords song "Robots" is shot with homemade robot costumes fashioned by the band's manager, Murray. Jemaine comments, "It doesn't look like Daft Punk. We wanted ones like Daft Punk."
A number of Daft Punk tracks have been sampled or covered by other artists. "Technologic" was sampled by Swizz Beatz for the Busta Rhymes song "Touch It". In a later remix of "Touch It" the line "touch it, bring it, pay it, watch it, turn it, leave it, start, format it" from "Technologic" was sung by R&B and rap artist Missy Elliott. Kanye West's 2007 song "Stronger" from the album Graduation features a vocal sample of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Daft Punk's robotic costumes make an appearance in the music video for "Stronger". The track "Daftendirekt" from Daft Punk's album Homework was sampled for the Janet Jackson song "So Much Betta" from her 2008 album Discipline. The track "Aerodynamic" was sampled for Wiley's 2008 single "Summertime". "Veridis Quo" from the album Discovery was sampled for the Jazmine Sullivan song "Dream Big" from her 2008 album Fearless. DJs Marc Mysterio and Téo Moss released a cover version of "One More Time" featuring the vocals of Yardi Don. Daft Punk's "Around the World" was sampled for JoJo's 2009 song "You Take Me (Around the World)". The song "Cowboy George" by The Fall contains a clip of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".
Daft Punk has also produced music for other artists. They produced the Teriyaki Boyz's debut single "HeartBreaker" on the album Beef or Chicken?. The song contains a sample of "Human After All". Daft Punk later produced N.E.R.D's song "Hypnotize U". Daft Punk are featured on the cover of the December 2010 issue of British publication Dazed & Confused to promote the film Tron: Legacy, for which the duo composed the score. They also made a cameo appearance within the film as masked DJs at the "End of Line" nightclub.
In 2011, Coca-Cola distributed limited edition bottles designed by Daft Punk, called Daft Coke. They were only sold in France. A newer version of these themed bottles now exist as collectors items, some parts of the bottles such as the cap and Coke logo being plated in gold. In a December 2012 episode of The Simpsons titled "The Day the Earth Stood Cool", recurring character Disco Stu wears an outfit which is very similar in design to Bangalter's. The online role-playing game World of Warcraft references the musicians with non-player characters Guyo Crystalgear and Tivilix Bangalter, which wear distinctive diving suits and helmets based on the duo's signature appearance. Daft Punk, along with Courtney Love were photographed for the "Music Project" of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. The duo appear in their new sequined suits custom made by Hedi Slimane, holding and playing their new instruments with bodies made of lucite. In 2013, Bandai Tamashii released a SHF (Chogokin) action figure for Daft Punk coinciding with the release of Random Access Memories in Japan. Following a series a teaser trailers, Daft Punk made a rare public appearance at the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix in May on behalf of the Lotus F1 Team, who supported the duo by racing in specially-branded cars emblazoned with the band's logo. Daft Punk later made an appearance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
- Homework (1997)
- Discovery (2001)
- Human After All (2005)
- Random Access Memories (2013)
Awards and nominations
- at the Internet Movie Database
- discography at Discogs
- discography at MusicBrainz
- at AllMusic
- Daft Punk interview (French), France Inter,