exactly 10 years ago today, on 29th of April 2006, T. Bangalter & G.M. de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk debuted with their pyramid setup for the first time on Coachella and changed the landscape of electronic music forever. I think that this was some kind of blessing and I lowkey hope that they will come back this/next year with 20 years of Alive tour (1997 - 2007 - 2017)
[This interview is no longer available– I happened to find it on the Wayback Machine, so I’m “archiving” it here. :D]
BUY IT, USE IT, BREAK IT, FIX IT BY RANDALL ROBERTS LA Weekly Thursday, October 25, 2007
On the eve of its final American performance of 2007, Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter discusses the duo’s banner year, the future of the music industry and the current state of electronic music.
This Saturday night at the Vegoose Festival in Las Vegas, Daft Punk will conclude its revelatory summer American tour. Praised by both critics and fans as one of the best shows of the year – and by many as the greatest show in the history of electronic dance music – the veteran French house duo’s performances saw them perched atop a magical pyramid as a feast of effects and epiphanies swarmed from floor to rafter. L.A. Weekly recently spoke by phone with Thomas Bangalter, who, with partner Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, comprise Daft Punk.
L.A. Weekly: I’m trying to get a sense of your mindset when you converged on Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for your summer American tour. What were your goals, and what were your expectations? Thomas Bangalter: We’ve really been on a world tour since that first show at Coachella in April, 2006. We played all summer in Europe last year, and then we played South America and Asia, and also in the fall of last year, too. And we went back to more rehearsals and then played in America, and now we end up in Vegas and then in Mexico and Australia. But it’s true that the headquarters of this tour, are, in a sense, Los Angeles, where we have our creative offices right now. So the tour has been linked to L.A. since before we played in L.A. in July. The rehearsals took place between February and April of last year, 2006, and then there were more rehearsals and more changes in L.A. between April and May of this year.
Who are Sebastian and Kavinsky :)? Are they friends or colleagues of Pedro/Justice/DP?
Very short answer: Yes.
Long answer: This is Sebastian Akchoté.
He was born in 1981 and is of French-Serbian heritage. He went back and forth between Paris and Belgrade in his childhood; I have no idea how he or his family fared during the Yugoslav Wars, but he still goes back often and has claimed that he feels fully dual-cultured. Sometimes his name is stylized as SebastiAn and he is noted for perpetually wearing an expression of Kierkegaardian existential conflict. Currently he is affliated with Ed Banger Records, managed by Pedro Winter, who also manages Justice currently and once managed Daft Punk. Sebastian released a full album (Total) that featured himself kissing himself on the cover and caused a bit of a stir at the time. He has made the Daft Punk remix that Daft Punk themselves like the best and his music is of a very strange and heavily-emotive kind, interspersed with ‘interludes’ and rapid mood changes. Recently his music has been becoming alarmingly darker if ‘Moi’ is any indication. The few instances he does not seem to be walking the path of the knight-of-faith, it is during his interactions with VincoDanVinco Stavinsky Vincent Belorgey, who he met during Daft Punk’s Alive 2007 tour as opening acts. (Only kiwis, koalas, and Breakbot have a similar effect on his person.)
This is him, better known as Kavinsky:
He was born in 1975 in France, but has never progressed beyond the 1980s in terms of style and preferred aesthetic. He does an excellent job of bringing back retro and putting on an excellent live show which is a magnificent feat for somebody who is dead. His music largely focuses around a ‘backstory’, that of a high school student who fatally crashed his car one night only to come back as the undead after a long time has passed; he does the moonwalk, rescues lovely girls from bad guys, drives around in his beloved Testarossa that may or may not have shared a soul with him, is extremely well-endowed, and spends much of his time drinking and smoking because lmao what’s that gonna do now, kill him? He mostly released EPs before his major first album, Outrun, came out - his character backstory is established through his songs and some music videos that have been made, though he has disowned the one for ‘Deadcruiser’ for not reflecting his vision truly enough.
His biggest hit ‘Nightcall’ was produced with Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, who apparently has a touch as golden as his robot exterior is because he seems to have a history of this happening with stuff he’s involved in. Kavinsky is not affliated with Ed Banger Records but considers Pedro more of his lover than a manager, anyway. Pedro is just that good.
Watching him, you get the impression that he is affectionate with everything and everybody and always craving some kind of gentle warmth. Sebastian might outwardly seem like an odd choice for that, but they’re both best friends. Lovely people overall.
They wiggle a lot.
You see what I mean about Sebastian dropping the existential anguish. For most part, anyway. When people ship Kavinsky and Sebastian together - sometimes as RPS, sometimes making good use of Kavinsky’s fictional universe - it is called ‘Sebinsky’, and I am a trash product of it. There about 20 or so fics of them on AO3. I hope to contribute to that soon. And that was my attempt at an edm lesson for the day
Daft Punk’s visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. This was presumably when they were over there for their Alive tour in December 2007. Whoever edited this picture put Thomas’ helmet on the wrong person though, lol.
Anyone else thinking that the woman at the front holding the koala could be Guy’s former wife/gf? Because of the way they’re standing and she sorta kinda resembles the blonde woman from the Electroma premiere, idk.
These days, a producer or a DJ has so many options and choices when it comes to playing their music live.
Just look at some of the different setups that artists are using these days:
Richie Hawtin’s Live Rig:
Richie Hawtin is a techno pioneer that’s been known for his ability to layer sounds and create space like no other DJ on the scene. His live rig consists of using a Allen & Heath Xone 92 Mixer, Maschine MK2, Traktor Scratch Pro, 2 x Native Instruments X1s, and several other iterations. He’s now incorporated the new Ableton Push into his sets.
Daft Punk’s 2007 Alive Tour Live Rig:
The French duo definitely doesn’t go shy on the analog equipment during their shows. You can see a host of Moog modular synthesizers and Behringer BCR2000s (loads of them) to help control parameters on effects and builds which they all have centralized through Ableton. Loops, effects, and so much control with this setup.
DJ Enferno Live Rig:
DJ Enferno is a lesser known DJ but has been putting out some quality YouTube videos of him creating some crazy mashups and routines using 2 x Technics 1200 Vinyl turntables with a Maschine MK1 to help his sets out by launching samples as well as control effects parameters.
We see the benefit of each side and also the downsides of each side. It’s a really nervous feeling when your Macbook crashes on stage with your whole set going silent on you.
But for what it is, the digital realm can really help shape your music through endless parameters that are just not available in the analog realm….or at least not conveniently without extensive modular analog rigs that are definitely not mobile by any means.
So with that said, we really look forward to using one of these in the near future.
Our live rig would consist of: 2 x Pioneer CDJ 2000 Players, Allen & Heath DB4, and Novation Launchpad. Giving us the flexibility to really use what we develop in the studio while playing live.
And create our own sounds and fills on the fly. Beautiful indeed.