We know what you’re saying, “the androids did a boatload of press leading up to Random Access Memories, how are there things we didn’t know?!” Honestly, most of those outlets didn’t get down deep. You’d think that they didn’t even like Daft Punk, but were just collecting that check. DAD can’t blame them, but we don’t just wear “androids” in our URL; we’ve been fans for a while. There’s Daft lore, and then there’s the interesting cameos inHuman After All-era videos. Or the inspiration for certain albums. Or which producer got denied a Daft Punk sample.
Here’s a list of things may have or may have not known about Daft Punk:
Their first release as Darlin’ came out on Stereolab’s Duophonic Records
Thomas and Guy-Manuel, along with Laurent ‘Branco’ Brancowitz, formed the group Darlin’. Two of their tracks, a cover of The Beach Boys’ “Darlin'” and an original track, “Cindy So Loud,” were featured on the multi-artist EP Shimmies in Super 8, which came out in 1993.
“Cindy So Loud” was described as “daft punky thrash,” which amused Thomas and Guy-Manuel
The now-infamous Melody Maker review of Shimmies in Super 8 called the lone original Darlin’ track on that EP (“Cindy So Loud”) “daft punky thrash,” which amused Thomas and Guy-Man so much that when they left the group (leaving Branco to form Phoenix), they used the “Daft Punk” barb as their new stage name.
Daft Punk were champions of artistic control
Today’s EDM scene is full of chiefs and their own imprints, but Daft Punk found a way to be signed with a label like Virgin and, while they gave up more money than they could have made, they ended up getting better deals. Here’s Thomas explaining their position on control: “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.”
Daft Punk denied will.i.am from releasing a remix containing samples from “Around the World”
will.i.am’s EDM thirst isn’t new at all, but many forget how his remix of “I Got It From My Mama” contained a sample from “Around the World.” He ended up producing a music video with the sample intact, but Daft Punk’s disapproval of the sample blocked him from releasing the remix.
Daft Punk originally only wanted 50,000 CD copies of “Homework” printed
At the time, the androids wanted the majority of the pressing of their debut album to be in vinyl, but high demand of the album forced the need for more CD pressings to be done.
“Homework” didn’t go gold in the U.S. until 2001
2001 was also the year that it reportedly reached the two million sales worldwide mark. DAD’s wondering if the 2001 release of Discovery drove more fans to buy the first album.
“Human After All” was inspired by the novel 1984
The theme of Human After All was the oppressive force that the media has over us, a dark tone that Thomas credits to being inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. At the time, the androids refused to be interviewed about the album, even going as far as leaving a note on the Japanese edition of the album that said the album spoke for itself. Guy-Manuel now feels that denying interviews for Human After All was a mistake.
Their Alive 2006/2007 tour made people reconsider their opinion on “Human After All”
The androids’ third album was the most commercially panned project, with many critics picking up on the project being made in 10 days and the repetition of the music as being ultimate letdowns compared to their previous output, which was mirrored by the fans. Busy P, then manager of the androids, has said that “When we put out Human After All, I got a lot of bad feedback, like, ‘It’s so repetitive. There’s nothing new. Daft Punk used to be good.’ Then they came back with the live show, and everyone shut their mouths… People even apologized, like, ‘How could we have misjudged Daft Punk?’ The live show changed everything. Even if I’m part of it, I like to step back and admire it. Me, I cried.””
As of May 2013, however, Human After All has only sold 125,000 copies in America.
Chucky makes a cameo in the “Technologic” video
Yes, the same animatronic doll from the Seed of Chucky film was used for Daft Punk’s “Technologic” video (Tony Gardner worked on both projects, as well as the video for “The Prime Time of Your Life” and Daft Punk’s Electroma). The robot, known as “The DJ,” is said to have cost roughly four million dollars to create.
Daft Punk funded the recording of “Random Access Memories” themselves
Thomas is quoted as saying the cost of the performers and equipment they used on Random Access Memories is over one million dollars, but is not his concern: “There used to be a time where people that had means to experiment would do it, you know? That’s what this record is about.” Todd Edwards said that the microphone he used on “Fragments of Time” was previously used by Frank Sinatra, and costs more than his car.