We Talk To Daft Punk About Their Debut Album ‘Homework’ Turning 20 Years Old
TO celebrate 20 years since their first album Homework, WWN journalist Paddy Browne travels to Paris, France, to meet electronic music legends Daft Punk in a rare and exclusive interview.
I arrived at the agreed location, Parc de Belleville, with instructions to make my way to a park bench on the east side of the picturesque green. Daft Punk’s agent said Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter would contact me once I got there.
Waiting for what seemed like 7 whole minutes, I decided to call it a day, thinking the pair had backed out of the interview.
Walking away from the bench I was approached by two elderly gentlemen.
“Bonjour, Paddy! So glad you could make it,” one of them began, “I’m Guy-Manuel and this is Thomas. We don’t have long as we’ve got a bridge game at 3pm in the community centre. Do you mind if we have our lunch while we do this?”
“No,” I replied, astounded by their lateness, “I’ve been waiting here for ages, so ye are very lucky that I’m even here at all, as I was about to go home”.
Apologising profusely for delaying me, I sat down and began the interview while the old pair tucked into some corned beef sandwiches and shared a flask of tea.
“So guys, it has been a staggering 20 years since your debut album, how do you think the music industry has changed since Homework?” I asked.
“Ah, the whole EDM scene is gone way too mainstream, if I’m honest,” Thomas opened up, grimacing at a gelatine piece of corned beef he picked out from his dentures, “electronic music is everywhere now; every pop song these days has some element of it. Take that auto tuned flute noise that’s in every song these days. Like, it was fine for a while, but now they’ve saturated the crap out of the one noise”.
“You mean, like ye guys did with that robot voice?” I posed.
Spluttering a spittle of moist bread onto my hand, which I ignored out of respect, Guy-Manuel chimed in: “Ah-ha, yes, but that auto-tune flute noise you hear everywhere now is very ‘ATB 9pm till I come’, and now it’s after reappearing again and it’s not very original”.
“So what have you guys been up to lately then?”
“Well, I’ve had to get surgery to get a weeping cyst removed from my head from wearing that stupid helmet all those years”, Guy-Manuel barked angrily, “I’m also blind in one eye from the bloody thing”.
“Sorry, let me rephrase, what have you guys been up to lately, music-wise?”
“Pardon, we are very old and sometimes lose track of ourselves,” Thomas cut in, as Guy-Manuel stood up from the bench and pulled his trousers above his belly button, “we have been working on a cover album, for old times sakes”.
“Wow! That’s great news, guys! What kind of songs will you be covering, or is that too much to ask right now?”
“No, no, not at all,” Thomas added, “we wanted to cover classics like The Vengabus by the Vengaboys, the Crazy Frog, Rebecca Black’s Friday, that kind of thing”.
“That sounds like it’s going to be a belter of an album,” I said, pretending to sound enthusiastic.
“Yes, we’re really looking forward to working with these artists. We hope to have the album out in May.”
“And a tour?”
“Depending on how Guy’s cyst heals up, we expect to be touring in the latter part of this year!”
“Do you think you guy’s still have a fanbase, at this stage? Will touring not take a lot out of you physically?”
“Why, yes; the venues maybe smaller and touring the world and performing will be strenuous, but at the end of the day, all we do is sit there with our helmets on, pretending to press buttons,” Thomas concluded fucking the last of his tea out onto the ground like it was no one’s business.
After the interview, I walked slowly with the two old producers around the park for a bit, before saying my goodbyes. They seemed old and frail, but still lucid.
It’s great to see Daft Punk still have a hunger for music after being so long in the business, and it was refreshing to hear they were producing again. I wish them all the best.
Daft Punk’s Almost Alive tour will begin in the Three Lions Bar in Manchester, England on the 29th of September. Tickets on sale from £5, or £8 on the door.