One of the big winners of the 2014 Grammys just so happened to be a pair of French robots. The duo won Best Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical for their game-changing "Random Access Memories" album, and Record of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Performance, for their summer jam "Get Lucky." With "Get Lucky's" popularity overshadowed by Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus's antics last year, things weren't looking good for the team, but the power of robotics triumphed.
But who are these mystery musicians? Here are your answers to the riddles of Daft Punk.
Q: Why did Daft Punk decide to disguise themselves?
A: Let's let the robots explain (via Rolling Stone):
Thomas Bangalter (silver robot): "We're interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life" — and a way to enfold Daft Punk's music within a tradition of flamboyant pop theatricality that includes "Kraftwerk and Ziggy Stardust and KISS; people thought the helmets were marketing or something, but for us it was sci-fi glam."
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (gold robot): "We're not performers, we're not models — it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features … but the robots are exciting to people."
But perhaps the best benefit of wearing helmets is the ability to send people of the same body types to appear as them. For their 2006 art film, "Electroma," two production assistants, who just happened to fit Daft Punk's leather suits, filled in for the robots during filming. For all we know, Daft Punk could've been watching the Grammys from the comfort of their own homes!
Q: How did the helmets come about?
A: With the idea of anonymity in mind, the French electronic music duo wore a series of cheap Halloween-quality masks at performances before taking on their robot personas. An artist friend created the now-iconic robot helmets for a 2001 photo shoot. They were originally fitted with wigs, which the pair promptly ditched.
The matte white helmets with gold visors that Daft Punk wore at the Grammys was the first time in their entire career they've changed the original helmet designs.
Q: What does Daft Punk look like under the helmets?
A: As much as we'd like to believe that Grammy winners Daft Punk are complicated pieces of futuristic technology under their stylish helmets, they're actually a pair of regular-looking French dudes. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were photographed a bit in their early careers when they were briefly in a rock band called Darlin'.
As for what they look like in real life? Here's a very very old photo of the duo, likely in the early '90s if not earlier:
THIS IS DAFT PUNK I'm not sure if they were younger in this or if it's current but that's them pic.twitter.com/ccjhIHfKEw— kaylaaa (@luxurylixm) January 27, 2014
Very sneaky photographers can sometimes catch Daft Punk without their masks. Here’s a fairly recent photo of Bangalter that a photographer with a good eye caught at an event in 2010.
Where else have Daft Punk popped up in?
Outside of their illustrious and influential music career, which includes hits like "One More Time," and Kanye West sampling their robot voices from "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" for his own song "Stonger," they've popped up in various unexpected places. They scored the soundtrack for the 2010 "Tron: Legacy" film, were featured in a 2003 Gap commercial with Juliette Lewis, had their own Coca-Cola bottles in 2011, and quite appropriately, had their own "Get Lucky" condoms.
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- Daft Punk
- Thomas Bangalter