Daft Punk Interview Takes Us Inside Robot Duo's Paris Studio

May 21, 2013 8:03 PM

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Daft Punk Interview Takes Us Inside Robot Duo's Paris Studio

Daft Punk's Paris studio sits on an ugly, bustling thoroughfare on the south side of town, near a train station and a hospital, behind a green garage door. To enter, you press a buzzer and present your face to a security camera, at which point the door lurches upward to reveal a lovely cobblestone courtyard and a cluster of beige buildings covered in whorls of ivy. On an early spring afternoon, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter – lifelong Parisians, longtime friends and the compulsively secretive musicians behind the Daft Punk robot masks – are standing on the cobblestones, blinking in the sunshine like they've emerged from a deep cave. Which they sort of have. "It's the first beautiful day we've had in weeks," de Homem-Christo says. Nodding toward a windowless room where he and Bang­alter have spent untold hours hunched over synthesizers, chasing new sounds, he musters a resigned Gallic shrug: "We're always in the darkness, anyway."

Bang­alter plucks a key from his pocket and unlocks the room – it was here, in April 2008, on the heels of a world tour, that Daft Punk withdrew to write songs for their fourth album, Random Access Memories. On the road, they'd transformed packed amphitheaters, baseball fields and soccer stadiums in...

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