Têtu : Random Access Memories is a surprisingly hard Disco. You wanted to rise from the ashes.
Thomas Bangalter : That was the idea! We wanted to find a state of mind, a vibration characteristic of this period that starts in 1975-76 and goes to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Find this unbridled optimism and hyper innocent party. When you see pictures of the Dance Floor Studio 54, you are amazed! We wanted to know if this spirit was still possible today.
Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo : In the current global crisis and mental state, we need time to celebrate!
Têtu : The first track of the album ’s called’ Give Life Back To Music ’, the music you like it if you dying?
Thomas : We can translate the song by “revive the music” but also “give life to our music." But yes, today, a large part of the music affects us more. It lacks soul. The current electronic music is very aggressive. It is a pornographic version of the music.
Guy-Manuel : We could call the song ‘Give Soul Back To Music’. Now all the music, pop, hip-hop or electro occurred on the same computers. It is that the music is democratized so that everyone can do on the iPad, but suddenly, it’s standardized. There is currently no more depth. No more life.
Têtu : RAM is your most human, the carnal sense album.
Thomas : The more organic, yes. It is a record on human relationships. The challenge was to work with very different musicians. Create meetings. Try to bring up the best of Nile Rodgers with the best of Pharrell … It was very difficult to record the disc. We worked on it for five years between Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Têtu : This is also a record of Dance-Floor. In 1990, you came out in clubs in Paris?
Thomas : Absolutely! Rex, Queen much … But also in New York, at the Sound Factory after Junior Vasquez, mostly gay but say … very straight-friendly. (Laughs) In the 1990s, most of the musicians we liked was programmed in clubs frequented by homosexuals. There is a different vibration in gay clubs, a report to the body and dance. These are homosexuals who were first adopted techno when the music was still underground and totally rejected.
Guy-Manuel : The accusation was made in techno at first, it was to be a music for gay people. It was the same with the disco, also! Now it is the case, it has become an accepted music.
Têtu : What links the music of Daft Punk will maintain it with gay culture?
Thomas : I think we share a lot in common with the gay community. The same openness compared to the rest of society. And then we art lovers, stylish things. When we were teenagers, it was Andy Warhol fans, Joe Dallesandro, Paul Morrissey or Tom of Finland …
Têtu : Tom of Finland! Really? What you have left it 'Tom Finland’ in Daft Punk?
Thomas : (Laughs) Fewer things, necessarily … Although there still has some time, we were two robot bikers in leather gold and chrome!
Têtu : The robot are they pro-marriage for all?
Thomas : Of course, the robots are definitely for marriage for all! Although, frankly, the idea of marriage a little bored. But it is obviously for equal rights!
Guy-Manuel : On returning to France, a strange thing happened. Taking the RER Roissy, I found myself surrounded by guys dressed in pink with hostile slogans regarding gay marriage. It was quite violent after returning from California. There, everything is accepted: Gay culture, smoking weed, aliens! (Laughs). Europe is stuck in the past, in history. Things eventually move … But it’s slow.
Têtu : Side look, you make a flamboyant return. Once again, this is 'Hedi Slimane’ who designed your costumes …
Thomas : We are friends with Hedi for a long time. In 2004, it was he who had created our leather suits. It pleases us to continue reinventing robots with him in a sense with more "glitter”. It is in a different and also creative cycle: Hedi trying to redefine what Saint Laurent brand, it takes some elements of the past to integrate them into the present, while refocusing on fundamental principles, the rule of original mind. This is exactly what we are trying to do with music.