|Years active||1993 (1993)–present|
They achieved popularity in the late 1990s as part of the French house movement; they also had success in the years following, combining elements of house music with funk, techno, disco, rock and synthpop.
They have worn ornate helmets and gloves to assume robot personas in most public appearances since 1999 and rarely grant interviews or appear on television.
Rolling Stone ranked them No.
12 on its list of the 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.
1987–1992: Early career
The two became friends and recorded demos with others from the school.
This led to the formation of a guitar-based group called Darlin' with Laurent Brancowitz in 1992.
Bangalter and Homem-Christo played bass and guitar, respectively, while Brancowitz was brought on board after the two sought an additional guitarist.
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."
Instead of dismissing the review, they found it amusing.
As 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 Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk and experimented with drum machines and synthesisers.
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 them 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 stated that while the duo received numerous offers from record labels, they wanted to wait and ensure that Daft Punk did not lose creative control.
He ultimately considered the deal with Virgin to be more akin to a partnership.
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 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 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."
As noted by critic Alex Rayner, Homework brought together established club styles and the "burgeoning eclecticism" of big beat.
In 1997 Daft Punk also launched their Daftendirektour to promote Homework in several cities throughout the world.
For this tour the duo used 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."
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.
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 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 and album created a new generation of fans mainly familiar with the second Daft Punk release.
"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.
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.
2004–2007: Human After All
In March 2005, Daft Punk released their third album, Human After All, the result of six weeks of writing and recording.
Reviews were mixed, with criticism for its repetition and seemingly hasty recording.
A Daft Punk anthology CD/DVD, Musique Vol. 1 1993–2005, was released on 4 April 2006.
It contains music videos for "Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive)" and "The Prime Time of Your Life" directed by Daft Punk and Tony Gardner, respectively.
The film does not include Daft Punk's music.
Midnight screenings of the film were held in Paris theaters starting from the end of March 2007.
Initial public comments have since been positive.
Several festival appearances in Europe followed throughout the summer.
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.
Daft Punk also mixed and composed much of the music for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 Womenswear Full Show on 7 October 2007.
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 tour eventually culminated in Sydney at the Showground Main Arena.
Daft Punk released its second live album titled Alive 2007 on 19 November 2007.
It contains the duo's performance in Paris from the Alive 2007 tour.
The live version of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from Alive 2007 was released as a single.
2008–2011: Tron: Legacy
Following the Alive 2007 tour, the duo focused on other projects.
Daft Punk made a surprise appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards on 10 February 2008.
For the appearance, Daft Punk used 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.
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 are 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 Mag 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".
Later 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.
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.
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".
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 helmets within the film's virtual world.
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 the character 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.
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).
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".
2011–2015: 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.
The duo also placed 44th in DJ Magazine's annual Top 100 DJs list.
A gradual promotional rollout was later launched featuring billboards and television spots, leading to the reveal of the album title and the release date of 21 May 2013.
On 3 April, the official Random Access Memories website launched The Collaborators, a series of documentary videos about the album.
The radio edit of the song was released as a digital download single one week later 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.
"Black Skinhead" was the first track to come from the collaboration, and was composed using drums from Daft Punk's recording sessions for Random Access Memories.
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 performed at the ceremony with Stevie Wonder, Rodgers, Pharrell Williams as well as Random Access Memories rhythm section players Nathan East, Omar Hakim, Paul Jackson, Jr. and Chris Caswell.
The ensemble performed "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.
On 10 March 2014, an unreleased Daft Punk song called "Computerized" surfaced on the Internet.
The song features Jay Z and contained elements of "The Son of Flynn" from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.
The song was originally intended to be a single to appear in and promote Tron: Legacy, but it was scrapped after concerns of the lyrical content being too grounded to fit the film.
In April 2015, Daft Punk appeared in a short tribute to Rodgers as part of a documentary on his life titled Nile Rodgers: From Disco to Daft Punk.
In the short clip, the two send a "transmission" to Rodgers with the message: "Dear Nile, We are sending you this transmission to thank you for all your amazing songs.
Your music continues to inspire the world... With love, Daft Punk".
Later in 2015, a documentary, Daft Punk Unchained, was released.
The film covers Daft Punk's music career from the 1990s up to and including their 2014 Grammy appearance.
The documentary features interviews with Rodgers, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, and others.
2016–present: Recent projects
The song later hit No.
Both songs appeared on The Weeknd's album Starboy.
Throughout the end of 2016, rumors began to surface of a Daft Punk Alive 2017 tour.
In September 2016, the rumors led to Pitchfork reporting that Daft Punk had no plans for a future tour.
A fan-made website that first appeared on 27 October 2016 featured a blank page with text reading Alive in plain text.
Within the website coding were geo-coordinates based in Paris, Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, São Paulo, Ibiza and Indio, the last being the location of Coachella.
The website has since been taken down.
In February 2017, Daft Punk launched a pop-up shop in Hollywood, California featuring memorabilia, artwork, and a display of the various costumes the duo has worn over the years.
The duo also performed with The Weeknd at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards on 12 February 2017.
Throughout the years following the Starboy collaborations, Bangalter and Homem-Christo have worked solo as producers appearing on several projects.
On 21 June 2017, the Australian band Parcels released the song "Overnight", produced and co-written by Daft Punk.
In February 2019, it was announced that Daft Punk would launch an electronic art exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris featuring various costumes, guitars, and other fixtures based on the theme of the duo's song "Technologic".
On 27 April 2020, a la Repubblica interview with Italian filmmaker Dario Argento stated that Daft Punk had reached out to him with the desire to make the soundtrack of his upcoming film Occhiali neri (English title: Black Glasses).
The producers of the film have since clarified that no formal deal has been made regarding the film score.
The public relations firm behind Daft Punk have also stated that the duo are not associated with the film.
Visual components and image
Daft Punk are well known 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 of the duo's earliest magazine appearances, 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 a variety of masks to hide their appearance.
Bangalter noted that "the foundation for a lot of what we’re about artistically" is the 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise, in which the title character prominently wears a mask.
Daft Punk were also fans of the 1970s band Space, known for wearing space suits with helmets that hid the performers' appearance.
In 1998, the Bangalter side project Stardust experimented with the band wearing reflective costumes in their music video.
When not wearing disguises, Daft Punk 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, Daft Punk 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.
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 in an advertisement during a special presentation of the music videos from the Discovery album during Cartoon Network's Toonami block.
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 outfits to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines.
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:
In the same interview, he was also asked a question if stardom can be avoided.
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 in October 2006, the band went as far as to wear black cloths 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.
Bangalter has 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.
Daft Punk continued to wear the robot costumes in their live performances at the 2008, 2014 and 2017 Grammy Awards, with variations in clothing.
During the 2014 ceremony, they also accepted their awards on stage in the outfits, with Pharrell and Paul Williams speaking on the duo's behalf.
The decision to stay in costume drew criticism from viewers on Twitter, including future White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who misspelled the duo's name as "Daft Funk".
In both their appearance at the 2017 Grammy Awards and in the Weeknd's "I Feel It Coming" music video, the duo wore long black capes and chrome-plated gloves along with their customary helmets.
Appearances in media
Daft Punk's popularity has been partially attributed to their appearances in mainstream media.
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.
Daft Punk have also produced music for other artists.
The song contains a sample of "Human After All".
Daft Punk later produced N.E.R.D. 's song "Hypnotize U".
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.
The duo appear in their new sequined suits custom made by Hedi Slimane, holding and playing their new instruments with bodies made of .
In 2013, Bandai Tamashii released a S.H.
Figuarts (SHF) 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 were scheduled to appear on the episode of The Colbert Report on 6 August 2013 to promote Random Access Memories, but were unable to do so because of contractual obligations regarding the duo's later 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.
In 2015, Daft Punk appeared alongside several other musicians to announce their co-ownership of the music service Tidal at its relaunch.
Bangalter and Homem-Christo have credited many sources that influenced their musical style.
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.
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."
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.
The duo also used vintage equipment to recreate the sound of an artist from a previous era.
During a later interview, 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.
They also highlighted the influence of Jean Michel Jarre in an interview following the album's release.
In January 2017, London-based music publication FACTmag featured a 1000 track playlist of Daft Punk's influences to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Homework.
The duo has been acknowledged in works by other artists.
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.
Jemaine comments, "It doesn't look like Daft Punk.
We wanted ones like Daft Punk."
Daft Punk tracks have been sampled or covered by other artists.
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.
Daft Punk's robotic costumes make an appearance in the music video for "Stronger".
The song "Cowboy George" by The Fall contains a clip of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".
A cappella group Pentatonix performed a medley of Daft Punk songs, released as a YouTube video.
As of June 2020, the video had been viewed over 330 million times.
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.
The 2014 French drama film Eden includes appearances by two actors who portray Daft Punk at various points in their career.
An hour long documentary named Daft Punk Unchained was televised on 24 June 2015 in France and on 9 February 2016 in the UK.
It uses prexisting Daft Punk footage along with new interviews of their colleagues to document the rise to fame and the lives of the duo and their pioneering influence on the electronic music scene.
The duo was satirized in a 2015 episode of Family Guy.
In the 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls, two ghosts shaped like both elements of Daft Punk appear in the episode "Puffdora's Box".
A medley of Daft Punk songs was played at the 2017 Bastille Day parade by a French military band, in front of French President Emmanuel Macron and his many guests, including U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the DuckTales reboot episode "McMystery at McDuck McManor!
", Dewey Duck adopts the persona of "DJ Daft Duck" and wears a helmet modeled after de Homem-Christo's.
Footage of Daft Punk's 2006 performance at the Coachella Festival was featured in the documentary film Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert, released on YouTube in April 2020.
Main article: Daft Punk discography
- Tron: Legacy (2010)
Awards and nominations
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Daft Punk
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daft Punk.