“In Scream 2, they have this discussion about how sequels always suck,” quips Thomas Bangalter in the latest interview with the elusive Daft Punk, published in the May issue of GQ. “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?” Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, who apparently kept quiet for much of GQ’s time with the duo, then adds: “So our new album is supposed to really suck.”
With less than a month of impatient waiting until we can wrap our ears around Random Access Memories, the hype is red-lining. In the GQ profile, the Frenchmen seem acutely aware of how their last studio album Human After All left a faction of fans cold. So how do you return eight years later and win them all back? Perhaps that’s not the plan.
“It’s always this thing where we’re constantly waiting for something that will come in electronic music that says, ‘Daft Punk sucks!’,” Bangalter muses in the interview. “That’s actually much more interesting and exciting than someone who is paying homage.”
With each album, Daft Punk is out to confound expectations, as Bangalter says: “We did Homework as a way to say to rock kids, like, ‘Electronic music is cool.’ Discovery was the opposite, saying to the electronic kids, ‘Rock is cool, you know? You can like that.’”
As The Creators Project videos suggest, Random Access Memories was an expensive album to make, involving state-of-the-art studios, recording sessions in L.A., New York and Paris, expert collaborators like Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers and vintage gear that doesn’t come cheap. “In the history of pop music, a lot of great records cost an enormous amount of money,” Bangalter tells GQ. “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.”