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Thomas Bangalter on ending Daft Punk: "I’m relieved to look back and say 'Ok, we didn’t mess it up too much'"

Bangalter looks back on Daft Punk’s first-ever show, why they began wearing the helmets, and why they took them back off in a new BBC interview

  • 5 August 2023
Thomas Bangalter on ending Daft Punk: "I’m relieved to look back and say 'Ok, we didn’t mess it up too much'"

Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter has opened up about why the duo decided to end the Daft Punk project in a new BBC Radio 6 Music interview.

Speaking on their split in 2021, Bangalter explained that it “felt good” to put the project to rest. “The question I ask more myself is why we did end it rather than how it could last for so long,” he said when asked why the duo parted ways.

“It’s a lot like a story or mini saga – sometimes there’s a TV show that has a special place in people’s heart and it keeps that place, and it runs for one, two, three, four, five, sometimes 10 seasons,” he says.

“There’s a moment where it ends and I think it’s actually interesting to have this opportunity to start, have the middle and to end it.”

Read this next: Daft Punk shares never-seen-before 'Random Access Memories' studio footage

Bangalter also told Radio 6 that he was “relieved and happy to look back and say: ‘Ok, we didn’t mess it up too much’.”

“You have an idea when you’re like 25, you don’t say ‘you know what, we’re going to dress up like robots until the day we die’,” he explains when speaking on their decision to start wearing the helmets, following the release of their debut studio album, 'Homework' in 1997.

“I really remember thinking – it would be fun to just have some special effects guys from Hollywood do these personas - robotic personas like if they were part of the cantina scene in Star Wars or something like that,” he continues. “It was a weird idea and neither me nor Guy-Man ever imagined it would end up taking such proportions.”

He added that their musical career felt like an adventure where they could create their own narrative, and “blur the line between fiction and reality”. He adds: “In some way, I felt it was almost like directing a film without cameras.”

Read this next: Daft Punk release special edition ‘Random Access Memories’ for 10th anniversary

Speaking on the first show that Daft Punk ever performed together in Marseille circa ‘94 - ’95, Bangalter explains that Guy-Man, the second half of Daft Punk, hid under a table for most of the gig.

“We were kind of terrified,” he says. “Guy-Man was so terrified that he spent almost half of the show hidden under the table.”

Listen back to the full interview with Thomas Bangalter on BBC Radio 6 Music here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

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