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A Requiem for Daft Punk

Ongoing History of New Music

Episode 271 Season 1
29min
26.8 MB
Explicit

It takes a special kind of band to obscure their appearance…but if you can do it right, then it moves from being a silly gimmick to an important piece of your identity, image, and brand.…

When Kiss came along in the early 70s with their Japanese kabuki-inspired makeup, it wasn’t that far out…they came from New York where there was a glitter scene that had a lot of guys wearing make-up…kiss just took it to an extreme: The Demon, Star Child, Spaceman, and Catman…

It worked--eventually…Kiss has sold 100 million albums…there was that period after 1983 when they wiped off the greasepaint and showed their faces to everyone, but that’s not what the fans wanted, and they eventually brought it all back…

A more contemporary example is Slipknot…their masks have been an essential part of their identity since the band started up in 1995…it started with the clown wearing a clown mask for the band’s first gig shortly before Halloween that year…the rest of the guys thought it was dumb at first, but then they all joined in…

Fans now keep close tabs on each member’s mask, parsing what each new iteration—and they can change or be updated almost yearly—might mean…

There are other mask-wearing bands: the residents with their eyeball heads…any number of dark metal bands from Scandinavia like Ghost and Lordi…Pussy Riot (largely to keep their identity hidden from the authorities)…then there’s Gwar, who have taken it to a completely different level entirely with their alien costumes…and deadmaus has had his big mouse head for years…there are tons of others, but you get the idea…

This brings me to Daft Punk…from 1993 until their breakup in February 2021, they acted like robots with elaborate helmets that completely obscured their identity…we knew they were French, and we knew their real names…but beyond that, they were a cool mystery that we played along with…

Now that they’re done, though, it’s time to dig through their history…what the hell was Daft Punk all about?...and why did they matter so much?...here is their requiem…

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