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2 YEARS

Daft Punk Talk 'Random Access Memories,' EDM Scene in GQ

Says collaborator Pharrell Williams of the French DJ duo: "They’re like Men in Black -- they’ll zap you.”

Daft Punk GQ Portrait - H 2013
Christian Anwander/GQ

The notoriously press-shy Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) are featured in the May issue of GQ magazine, talking about the process of creating their upcoming album Random Access Memories. Due out later this month, it's the French duo’s first album in eight years -- not counting the soundtrack to 2010's Tron: Legacy, which they scored -- and one the two deliberated long and hard about.

Said Bangalter, “The thing we can ask ourselves at some point is like: We’re making music for twenty years, how many bands and acts do you have that are still making good music after twenty years? It always sucks -- almost always, you know?”

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“It’s always this thing where we’re constantly waiting for something that will come in electronic music that says, ‘Daft Punk sucks!'” he added of the EDM scene, which owes a great debt to the pair. “That’s actually much more interesting and exciting than someone who is paying homage.”

As a whole, the piece offers little new information, because the musicians are not forthcoming. They don’t confirm whether they will tour in support of Random Access Memories, nor would they say which of them is responsible for the robotic vocals on the new album (“Doesn’t matter,” Bangalter told GQ). Pharrell Williams, who is featured on the album’s debut single “Get Lucky,” which was released April 19, told the magazine, “I feel funny divulging information, because they’re like Men in Black -- they’ll zap you.”

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Other aspects of note in the interview include the fact that Daft Punk used older, practiced session musicians -- and steered clear of laptops -- to record the album, which was quite expensive to make. “In the history of pop music, a lot of great records cost an enormous amount of money,” Bangalter said in the interview. “There used to be a time where people that had means to experiment would do it, you know? That’s what this record is about.”

You can read the full profile on GQ’s website. Random Access Memories will be out May 21 on Columbia Records.

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