The “Random Access Memories” promotional train continues to push forward, albiet at a much slower pace. There was a spike in Daft Punk discussion this week regarding their past. Specifically, the story behind the creation of their android/robot transformation in coordination with the release of their second album “Discovery” back in 1999/2000. So the story goes that Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem Christo became robots on September 9th, 1999. This was the day that “9999” bug corrupted the hardware in their studio, erased the last bits of music they’d created as humans, and led to their transformation.
“We were doing a track and our sampler crashed and exploded and there were sparks,” he explained. “We were hurt a little bit so we had to make a little surgery and then we became robots.” – Thomas Bangalter
They’d shared bits and pieces of the story behind their move to full anonymity as artists but we’d never gotten the full story. Earlier this week, journalist Piers Martin shared (via Thump/VICE) the transcripts from an in depth discussion he’d had with the duo back in 2000. At the time, he had been sent to Los Angeles to meet with the duo to write the first piece on their sophmore album “Discovery” for the now defunct The FACE Magazine. As you’ll see below, Bangalter goes into great detail regarding the development of their robot personas as well as the themes behind the “Discovery” record. As a massive Daft Punk fan, this was really cool to read. These guys truly love what they do and will do whatever it takes to maintain creative control.
We also received a special treat from the good folks at Mixmag this week. They sat down with special effects wizard Tony Gardner whom Daft Punk tapped to work with them to craft their robotic disguises. The result is a mini-documentary entitled “Behind The Helmets.” So cool to get the story behind the concept/design of the helmets and their evolution over the years. Gardner shares early illustrations and mock-ups of the helmets as well as the gloves they’ve used.
Daft Punk and Garner have maintained a longstanding working relationship since. He’s worked with them on the music videos for “Technologic”, “The Prime Time of Your Life” and their feature length film “Electroma”. Today, we receive the result of another of their collaborations, the official music video for the latest single off of “Random Access Memories”, “Instant Crush” featuring Julian Casablancas. It’s a huge departure from the visual for “Lose Yourself To Dance.” No disco glitz or glamour here. A little lack luster in my opinion but I get the emotion they are trying to get across. Check it out.