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Robots don't make people feel like there's an idol on stage. It's more like a rave party where the DJ isn't important. We are two robots in this pyramid with this light show, but everything is [meant] for you to have fun and enjoy yourself.—Thomas Bangalter
One of the most popular electronic bands ever (along with Kraftwerk and a few others). Formed in 1993 by Frenchmen Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, they basically invented French House music and have done much to make electronic music mainstream.
They have released three albums so far (as well as a number of remixes, a film score or two, two different movies, and a bunch of other side projects). The first two, Homework and Discovery, are pretty much universally loved, while Human After All is not. There's also two live albums full of mashing and mixing of their songs too, entitled Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
They've released a number of extremely popular singles, such as "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", "Around the World", "Technologic", "Revolution 909" and "One More Time". They've been sampled numerous times, most noticeably "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Kanye West for his song "Stronger".
The duo are also the embodiment of The Faceless, having spent the bulk of their careers shrouded in secrecy and, save for several publicity photos taken early on in their careers before signing to a major label, never being photographed without some form of mask over their faces. Their most famous mask of course, being their robot masks which have come to be known as their de facto "faces" to the general public.
They also pull off one of the best live shows in existence by mashing and mixing together their songs... while playing in an LCD screen pyramid in front of a glowing honeycomb. And dressed as robots. (No, really, see for yourself.)
They collaborated with the legendary Leiji Matsumoto to create an animated film out of their album Discovery called Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. They also created a surealistic art-house film called Electroma, which basically tells the origin of their robotic alter egos.
Their last project was the score for Tron: Legacy. They do appear in the movie as the personified versions of media player programs.
They also contributed eleven mixes for the Guitar Hero Spin-Off, DJ Hero, as well as being playable characters in the game. Two of these mixes are "Another One Bites Da Funk" and "We Will Robot Rock You".
Daft Punk provides examples of:
- Animated Music Video: Interstella 5555 is essentially a glorified one of these, along with all of the Discovery music videos which were derived from it.
- Aerith and Bob: Their names are Guillaume Emmanuel ("Guy-Manuel") de Homem-Christo... and Thomas Bangalter.
- Appropriated Appellation: They're named after a disparaging review of their previous band (a garage rock band called Darlin', where the reviewer described it as "a bunch of daft punk").
- Arc Symbol: For Human After All, a television. There was one on the album cover, one on every single cover, and songs such as "Television Rules the Nation" and "On/Off" continued the trend.
- Audience Participation Song: A lot of the songs off Alive 2007, most notably when "One More Time" and the instrumental "Da Funk" come into play.
- Awesome McCoolname: Behold: Guillaume Emmanuel de Homem-Christo
- Body Horror: The music video for "Prime Time of Your Life".
- Brown Note: Thomas Bangalter wrote the film score for Irreversible. He loaded the soundtrack up with these in order to disturb the audience.
- The Cameo
- Cool Helmet
- Cluster F-Bomb: Their "Touch It"/"Technologic" mix during the Alive 2007 tour had the robot voice dropping one of these by splicing different phrases together.
- Darker and Edgier: Human After All. Its songs had a lot more of a rock influence, and a grittier sound overall. Not to mention some of the music videos were downright terrifying.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Guy-Manuel in his earlier years.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Inverted on Alive 2007. It starts with two voices chanting "ROBOT" and "HUMAN" back and forth at each other, getting faster and faster, before segueing into the largely-instrumental "Robot Rock".
- The Faceless: The duo are famous for their refusal to allow ANYONE to see their true faces, to the point that the two did interviews promoting Electroma with hoods over their heads.
- During the pre-production of Tron: Legacy, they actually met the Director at a Los Angeles pancake house... while wearing their robot suits!
- This, however, is only true since they got the robot helmets made. They were just two French Guys (tm) during their first tour. They've been described as "incredibly shy", which might have something to do with the helmets.
- Fading Into the Next Song: The first few songs from Homework all fade into each other.
- Discovery has only a few noticeable song breaks throughout the entire album.
- Being a live album, Alive 2007 is chock full of these.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: "Derezzed", from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.
- Also to a lesser degree during "Around the World/Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: The opening of "Aerodynamic".
- Freak Lab Accident: Legend tells that when the pair were working on a sampler on September 9th, 1999, at exactly 9:09 AM, their studio exploded. When they came to, they were robots.
- Are you sure it wasn't a drum machine?
- Fun Personified: As can be seen in the quote above, they take the enjoyment of their fans VERY seriously. Their iconic robot look is a way for fans to immerse themselves into the music and its themes.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: The duo has known each other since grade school and are seemingly the closest of friends after all these years. There is a big d'awww factor in that as well.
- Homage: There's a reason the first album was called Homework. Further, one of the songs on Human After All is called "Robot Rock" -- Kraftwerk's preferred term for techno.
- "Teachers" is this. It's a List Song of Daft Punk's influences as musicians.
- Idiosyncratic Cover Art:
- All three of their studio album covers simply read "Daft Punk" on front of a fairly simple image. The actual album title is nowhere in sight.
- In addition, all the singles from Human After All ("Human After All", "Technologic", "Robot Rock", and "The Prime Time of Your Life") all have similar cover art: a picture on a television screen. They also all have the group's name in the top left and the song title in the top right, all in the same font and color.
- Idiosyncratic Album Naming: Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
- The Invisible Band
- Kayfabe Music: Their personae as a couple of robots.
- Large Ham: Thomas Bangalter
- List Song: At least two. "Teachers", from Homework, is a list of musicians that are their influences, all described as being "in the house".
Dr. Dre's in the house, yeah
Omega in the house...
- "Technologic", from Human After All, list things that can be done with technology, most ending in "it".
Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it
Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it, snap it, work it, quick, erase it...
- Live Album: Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
- Looped Lyrics: Many of them.
- Notable Music Videos
- Pretty much all of Discovery's music videos, which were clips from Interstella 5555.
- Also, the video for "Around the World", featuring skeletons, giant monster things, dancing girls, and robots. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
- The music video for "Da Funk", which is less of a music video and more of a short film detailing the adventures of an anthropomorphic dog with a broken leg named Charles with the song as a backing track. The video for "Fresh" is a sequel, following a similar premise.
- And of course, "The Prime Time of Your Life", which is an extremely weird, quite graphic video involving a girl with anorexia peeling all her skin off bloodlessly and dying.
- Record Producer: The DIY side of it, at least.
- Reclusive Artist
- Rock Opera: Discovery, sorta. It's the soundtrack for Interstella 5555, which is told entirely through that album. It makes no sense as an opera without the movie, though.
- Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego
- Sampling: As is par for the course, given their genre. Notable examples include Breakwater on "Robot Rock", Billy Joel on "High Fidelity" and "Fresh", Barry Manilow on "Superheroes", and lots of other 70s disco, funk, R&B, and soul artists. The most high-profile case of Daft Punk themselves being sampled is probably Kanye West's "Stronger". "Robot Rock" is also a very popular track for up-and-coming rap talent to freestyle over, as well.
- This video shows most if not all of the songs that were sampled in the making of Discovery.
- Self-Deprecation: Daft Punk appear as themselves in a cameo in Intestella 5555 at a music awards ceremony, where they lose to the main characters. In case you don't get the significance of that, in a 65 minute video (opening and credits included), they have a five-second cameo, and then they lose to a fake band playing their music.
- Shout-Out: They have a song called Revolution 909.
- Signature Song: Interestingly, while the duo themselves seems to use "Alive" as this (judging by how often it's played/sampled live, and the names of their biggest tours [Alive 1997 and Alive 2007]), "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", is probably the better example.
- Silence Is Golden
- Speedy Techno Remake
- Stealth Pun: Clocking in at exactly 10 minutes, "Too Long" is the longest studio song the duo has ever recorded.
- Title-Only Chorus: "Around the World", which is actually a title only song. The only words are "around the world/around the world" over and over again.
- Title Track: On Human After All.
- Todd Edwards: Co-produced and provided the vocals for Face To Face.
- Tron Lines
- They've appeared in several concerts with their costumes outlined in red lights, like at the "Alive 2007" in Bercy, or the surprise appearance at the Grammys. And let's not forget the awesome pyramid effects.
- And of course, their incarnations in Tron: Legacy. The usual robot getups fit perfectly with the scenery anyway.
- Unplugged Version: They released an unplugged version of "One More Time," performed by Romanthony (the original singer, without vocoder this time) on Daft Club.