Daft Punk

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Daft Punk
Daftpunklapremiere2010.jpg
Daft Punk at the premiere of Tron: Legacy in 2010. From left: Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo
Background information
OriginParis, France
GenresFrench house[1]
Years active1993 (1993) – present[2]
LabelsSoma, Virgin, Columbia
Associated actsDarlin', Stardust, Together, Le Knight Club, Crydajam
Websitedaftpunk.com
MembersThomas Bangalter
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo
 
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Daft Punk
Daftpunklapremiere2010.jpg
Daft Punk at the premiere of Tron: Legacy in 2010. From left: Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo
Background information
OriginParis, France
GenresFrench house[1]
Years active1993 (1993) – present[2]
LabelsSoma, Virgin, Columbia
Associated actsDarlin', Stardust, Together, Le Knight Club, Crydajam
Websitedaftpunk.com
MembersThomas Bangalter
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo consisting of musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.[3][4][5][6] 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.[4][5][7] 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.[8] Early in the group's career, the band members were influenced by groups including The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones.[9]

Bangalter and 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 garnered three Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year, while "Get Lucky" received two nominations, including Record of the Year.

Daft Punk is noted for its elaborate live shows, in which visual elements and effects are incorporated with the music. The group is known for its emphasis on 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 public appearances since 2001. The duo rarely grants interviews or appears on television.

History[edit]

Early years (1987–1993)[edit]

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met in 1987 while attending the Lycée Carnot, a secondary school in Paris.[6][10] 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.[9] Bangalter and Homem-Christo played bass and guitar, respectively, while Brancowitz performed on drums.[11] The trio had branded themselves after The Beach Boys song of the same name, which they covered along with an original composition.[12] Stereolab released both tracks on a multi-artist Duophonic Records EP and invited the band to open for stage shows in the United Kingdom.[12][13] 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."[14] A negative review in Melody Maker by Dave Jennings[15] subsequently dubbed the music "a daft punky thrash."[16] Instead of dismissing the review, they found it amusing.[10] As Homem-Christo stated, "We struggled so long to find [the name] Darlin', and this happened so quickly."[17] Darlin' soon disbanded, leaving Brancowitz to pursue other efforts with Phoenix.[9] Bangalter and Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk and experimented with drum machines and synthesizers.

Homework era (1993–1999)[edit]

Thomas Bangalter performing in Miami, Florida in 2007
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo performing in Turin, Italy in 2007

In 1993, Daft Punk attended a rave at EuroDisney, where they met Stuart Macmillan of Slam, co-founder of the label Soma Quality Recordings.[10] 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.[14] 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.[11] 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.[6][11] 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.[18]

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.[18]

"Da Funk" and "Alive" were later included on Daft Punk's 1997 debut album Homework. The album was regarded[according to whom?] as an innovative synthesis of techno, house, acid house and electro styles. "Da Funk" was also included on The Saint film soundtrack. It was during this period of change in dance music that Daft Punk became largely successful. They combined the aforementioned music styles with crowd pleasing elements of rave. The most successful single from Homework was "Around the World", which is known for the repeating chant of the song's title. Daft Punk also 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.

Discovery era (1999–2004)[edit]

By 1999, the duo was well into the recording sessions for its second album, which had begun a year earlier.[19][20] 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.[13] 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.[13] 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.[21] 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 the members of the duo have said is their childhood hero.[22] 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.

Daft Punk performing in Berkeley, California on 27 July 2007

Human After All era (2004–2008)[edit]

Starting on 13 September and ending on 9 November 2004, Daft Punk devoted six weeks to the creation of new material.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] Initial public comments have since been positive.[26]

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.[27] The live version of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from Alive 2007 was released as a single.[28] 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.[29]

Tron: Legacy era (2008–2011)[edit]

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.[30] He stated in a later interview that Daft Punk is working with an unspecified management company in Los Angeles.[8] The duo held its Daft Arts production office at the Jim Henson Studios complex in Hollywood, California.[31] In 2008, Daft Punk placed 38th in a worldwide official poll of DJ Magazine after debuting at position 71 in the year before.[32] 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 in DJ Hero

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.[33] Daft Punk's score was arranged and orchestrated by Joseph Trapanese.[34] 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.[35] Joseph Kosinski, director of the film, referred to the score as being a mixture of orchestral and electronic elements.[36] 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.[37][38] A teaser trailer features Daft Punk and their track "Derezzed" from Tron: Legacy.[39] The soundtrack album of the film was released on 6 December 2010.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

In 2010 Daft Punk were admitted into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an order of merit of France. Bangalter and Homem-Christo were individually awarded the rank of Chevalier (knight).[43]

Random Access Memories era (2011–present)[edit]

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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46]

Daft Punk worked on their fourth studio album, Random Access Memories in collaboration with singer-songwriter Paul Williams and Chic frontman Nile Rodgers.[47][48][49][50] 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.[51] 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".[52] Fourplay member Nathan East later mentioned that he had contributed to the project.[53]

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.[54] The duo also placed 44th in DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 DJs list.[55]

In January 2013, 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.[56] A report from The Guardian followed specifying a release date of May 2013.[57] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[60] The official website for the album and an updated television advertisement were also unveiled.[61] On 3 April, the official album website launched The Collaborators, a series of 16mm documentary videos about the album.[62]

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.[63] 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.[64] The radio edit of the song was released as a digital download single on 19 April 2013.[65][66] "Get Lucky" became Daft Punk's first UK No. 1 single on 28 April 2013 remaining at number one for 4 weeks[67] (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.[68]

Daft Punk were scheduled to appear on the August 6 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.[69][70] 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, Matt Damon, and The Rockettes.[71][72] 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.[73]

Influences[edit]

Bangalter and 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.[9][74] Their 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."[14] They also drew inspiration from the rock and acid house in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. Homem-Christo referred to Screamadelica by Primal Scream as the record that "put everything together" in terms of genre".[7]

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."[14] 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."[14] The Daft Punk track "Teachers", from Homework, refers to several influences, such as Romanthony and Todd Edwards. 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."[13] 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.[75]

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.[20] The duo also utilized vintage equipment to recreate the sound of an artist from a previous era. As stated by Homem-Christo, "On 'Digital Love' you get this Supertramp vibe on the bridge," which was generated through an in-studio Wurlitzer piano.[76] During a later interview, Homem-Christo clarified that "we didn't make a list of artists we like and copy their songs."[77] 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.[78] 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.[79][80] 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.[81] They also highlighted the influence of Jean Michel Jarre in an interview following the album's release.[82]

Visual components and image[edit]

Daft Punk are noted for their use of visual components associated with their musical productions. The music videos for their singles from Homework featured memorable characters and placed emphasis on storytelling instead of musical performance. The album Discovery subsequently became the soundtrack to Interstella 5555.

Their outward personae have also changed over time. During their Homework years, the duo would usually wear masks to hide their appearance.[14] 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. Not many 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.[83] With engineering by Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc., they are capable of various LED effects.[84] Wigs were originally attached to both helmets, but the duo removed them just before the outfits were publicly unveiled in 2001.[85] 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.[86] 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."[13]

Daft Punk have said that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines.[87] 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."[7] 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."[7] 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.[7]

According to Bangalter, the duo has a "general rule about not appearing in videos." Although the duo rarely grants interviews, Bangalter is cited as being the more talkative and opinionated one. 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.[88]

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.[14]

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.[14]
Daft Punk during an interview in the television show Kastljós on Sjónvarpið

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.[89]

It is believed that the mystery of their identity and the elaborate nature of their disguises has added to their popularity.[7] The iconic status of the robotic costumes has been compared to the makeup of KISS and the leather jacket worn by Iggy Pop.[90] Bangalter stated, "The mask gets very hot, but after wearing it as long as I have, I am used to it."[90] He also stated:

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.[13]

Live performances[edit]

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.[91] 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.[14] 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."[13] 25 May 1997 saw them perform at the Tribal Gathering festival at Luton Hoo, England, headlining with Orbital and Kraftwerk.[92] Also of note is the 8 November performance in Birmingham, UK, from which came the recording of Alive 1997.

At the start of 2006, Daft Punk announced plans for a number of special summer shows. On 29 April, Daft Punk performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival where they received a jubilant reception for their first U.S. performance since 1997.[93] Thomas Bangalter had initially been reported as saying that there would be a DVD of their recent live set.[94] He later emphasized his reluctance for such a release, as the duo felt that online amateur videos of their performances were more compelling than anything captured professionally.[95] In an interview with the Miami Herald Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo stated that their 11 November appearance at the Bang Music Festival was their final for 2006 and that Daft Punk would conduct more performances in the future.[77] The band later specified a date for a live show at Bercy, Paris for June 2007.[96] Also reported were dates at the Wireless Festival and RockNess in June, the Oxegen festival in July and Lollapalooza in August.[97][98][99][100] Daft Punk then announced a world tour called Alive 2007.[96]

Daft Punk played at the RockNess Festival by the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland on 10 June 2007 as the headline act in the 10,000 capacity Clash tent. To the crowd's displeasure, the show was delayed, but the crowd gave the duo a jubilant welcome when they appeared. Due to popularity, part of the tent was removed to allow thousands of people outside to see the show.[101] On 16 June 2007 Daft Punk successfully headlined the third day of the O2 Wireless Festival to positive reaction and reviews. The Times described the set as a "memorable sensory spectacle, both dazzling and deafening" and ThisisLondon declared it "an almost faultless set of relentless electro euphoria".[102][103]

Daft Punk headlined Stage 2/NME Stage at the Oxegen music festival on 8 July 2007. Their live set was preceded by a showing of the trailer for the film Daft Punk's Electroma. Subsequent reports stated that the Daft Punk appearance was the highlight of the festival. NME wrote that the performance was "a robotic spectacular", while Shoutmouth described the set as "typically triumphant".[104][105] Four days later, the duo played at Traffic Torino Free Festival in Parco della Pellerina in Turin, Italy.[106]

Daft Punk headlined the AT&T stage on 3 August 2007, the first night of the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Their show there was praised by Pitchfork Media stating that the experience of watching the performance "was a much-needed reminder of the still-potent power of communicative pop."[107] On 5 August they performed at the International Centre in Toronto followed by an 9 August performance at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, New York.[29]

Daft Punk mixed and composed much of the music for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 Womenswear Full Show on 7 October 2007.[108] The duo also headlined the Vegoose festival in Las Vegas on 27 October. They appeared at the festival along with bands Rage Against the Machine, Muse and Queens of the Stone Age.[96] At the end of the month, Daft Punk performed in Mexico City.[109] The duo also performed on Friday 2 November 2007 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico and Guadalajara.[110]

Closing scene of Daft Punk performing at Sydney in 2007

Modular announced that Daft Punk would appear in Australia for an event in December 2007 called Never Ever Land.[111] The announcement addressed years of speculation on whether Daft Punk would visit Australia for live performances. Daft Punk were supported by their regular acts SebastiAn and Kavinsky at the appearances, which had been announced as an extension to the Alive 2007 tour.[96] Never Ever Land toured to Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Perth at the Esplanade, Brisbane at the Riverstage and finally Sydney at the Sydney Showground Main Arena.[112] A Triple J interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P) revealed that Daft Punk's Sydney appearance on 22 December would be their final show for 2007 and the last to feature the pyramid light scheme.[113] Tickets for the Australian tour sold more quickly than for any Daft Punk-related event in their history.[114] The duo stated in an EMI-sponsored live webchat that there will be no tour performances for 2008, and that they would instead focus on new projects.[115]

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.[116] For the appearance, Daft Punk utilized four JazzMutant Lemur controllers.[117] A press release specified that this was the first televised live performance by the duo in their career.[116] Bangalter's wife Élodie Bouchez also attended the event.[118]

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.[119][120] 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".[121] The announcement also stated that all of Daft Punk's shows are and will be posted on their official MySpace page, and that the page can therefore be used to verify validity.[121] In September 2010, The Daily Swarm reported that the duo would perform live sets in major cities to promote the film Tron: Legacy.[122]

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".[123]

Daft Punk is one of the scheduled acts to perform at the 56th Grammy Awards ceremony on January 26, 2014.[124] The duo's performance will feature Stevie Wonder, Rodgers, Pharrell Williams as well as Random Access Memories session musicians Nathan East, Omar Hakim, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Chris Caswell.[125]

Appearances in media and tributes[edit]

Daft Punk's cameo appearance in Interstella 5555

Daft Punk's popularity has been partially attributed to their appearances in mainstream media.[7] The duo appeared with Juliette Lewis in an advertisement 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.[86] 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".[28] The track "Daftendirekt" from Daft Punk's album Homework was sampled for the Janet Jackson song "So Much Betta" from her 2008 album Discipline.[126] The track "Aerodynamic" was sampled for Wiley's 2008 single "Summertime".[127] "Veridis Quo" from the album Discovery was sampled for the Jazmine Sullivan song "Dream Big" from her 2008 album Fearless.[128] DJs Marc Mysterio and Téo Moss released a cover version of "One More Time" featuring the vocals of Yardi Don.[129] 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".[130]

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".[131] 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.[132] 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.[133] In 2013, Bandai Tamashii released a SHF (Chogokin) action figure for Daft Punk coinciding with the release of Random Access Memories in Japan.[134] 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.[135][136] Daft Punk later made an appearance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.[73]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

American Music Awards[edit]

The American Music Awards are an annual awards show from American Broadcasting Company held every year. Daft Punk received one nomination

YearRecipientAwardResult
2013Daft PunkFavorite Electronic Music ArtistNominated

BRIT Awards[edit]

The BRIT Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. Daft Punk has received four nominations.[137][138]

YearRecipientAwardResult
1998Daft PunkBest International GroupNominated
Best International NewcomerNominated
2002Daft PunkBest International GroupNominated
DiscoveryBest International AlbumNominated
2014Daft PunkBest International GroupPending

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Daft Punk has received thirteen nominations; two of which resulted in awards.[139][140][141][142][143][144][145][146]

YearRecipientAwardResult
1998"Da Funk"Best Dance RecordingNominated
1999"Around the World"Best Dance RecordingNominated
2002"One More Time"Best Dance RecordingNominated
"Short Circuit"Best Pop Instrumental PerformanceNominated
2006Human After AllBest Electronic/Dance AlbumNominated
2009"Harder Better Faster Stronger (Alive 2007)"Best Dance RecordingWon
Alive 2007Best Electronic/Dance AlbumWon
2012Tron: LegacyBest Score Soundtrack for Visual MediaNominated
2014Random Access MemoriesAlbum of the YearPending
Random Access MemoriesBest Dance/Electronica AlbumPending
Random Access MemoriesBest Engineered Album, Non-ClassicalPending
"Get Lucky"Best Pop Duo/Group PerformancePending
"Get Lucky"Record of the YearPending

MTV Europe Music Awards[edit]

The MTV Europe Music Awards were created in 1994 by MTV Europe. Daft Punk received eight nominations.

YearRecipientAwardResult
1997"Around the World"Best VideoNominated
Daft PunkBest DanceNominated
2001Best DanceNominated
Best French ActNominated
www.daftpunk.comBest WebNominated
2013"Get Lucky" (featuring Pharrell Williams)Best SongNominated
Daft PunkBest ElectronicNominated
Best French ActNominated

MTV Video Music Awards[edit]

The MTV Video Music Awards were created in 1984 by MTV Networks to honor the best music videos of the year. Daft Punk received two nominations.

YearRecipientAwardResult
1997"Around the World"International Viewer's ChoiceNominated
2013"Get Lucky" (featuring Pharrell Williams)Best Song of the SummerNominated

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External links[edit]