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[WATCH] Go Behind the Helmets With Daft Punk



December 23rd, 2013

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When Daft Punk dropped their landmark album Homework in 1997, the duo had a decidedly less sophisticated set of masks to conceal their identities during live sets. The latest installment of Switch on the Night, the nightlife documentary series by Mixmag and Olmeca Tequila, gives viewers an inside look at the evolution of the duo’s now famous robot helmets. Entitled Behind the Helmets, the documentary starts at the very beginning with their debut album Homework was released; at the time, their disguises were decidedly less sophisticated. By the time the duo released Discovery in 1999, they had the vision (and budget) to create their futuristic on-stage personas and the duo sought the help of special effects extraordinaire Tony Gardner of Alterian Inc. to aid them in bringing their ideas (including an all-gold helmet for Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo to an anime-influenced design complete with human hair for Thomas Bangalter) to life. Drawing inspiration from ‘50’s sci-fi classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Gardner worked closely with the duo on a number of prototypes before finally achieving their iconic look.

daft punk helmets

The final, current incarnation of the overall objective of Daft Punk as a live act is to draw attention away from the duo’s human personalities and successfully fuse their robotic alter-egos to their performances; the helmets seamlessly connect the duo to their music and light shows presented in their live performances. Though the most drastic changes to the costumes occurred during the Discovery era, subtle changes were added in the subsequent years, such as turning Bangalter’s smile into an emotionless slit and adding a live-wire red outline to the duo’s costumes, presenting them as silhouettes during their live performances.

Daft Punk have most recently dropped their new album Random Access Memories after a lengthy hiatus and exploded back onto the scene thanks to their Pharrell Williams assisted single ‘Get Lucky’ this past summer.

 

 

 

Written by contributor Steve Cahill.



Steve's obsession with music began when he was 16; he saw his then-favorite band, Metallica, play the TD Garden in Boston. His musical tastes have broadened since then, but he is still chasing that feeling of excitement & unity he felt at his first show. His introduction to the dance music came when friends brought him to a Bassnectar show, and he hasn't looked back since. When Steve heard MASS EDMC were looking for writers, he jumped at the chance to get more involved. Writing for MASS EDMC has given Steve a rare opportunity to combine two of his passions: writing & live music.