After achieving worldwide success, the mysterious electronic music duo Daft Punk announced their separation on Monday after more than 25 years of career.
But what do we really know about Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, the two helmeted Frenchmen who made each of their (rare) appearances an event?
Europe 1 takes stock.
"I recorded the songs in our studio, I had them burned in London, in good recording studios. I had sleeves printed and I sell them to distributors in France, who dispatch them to distributors in abroad. "
The tedious process was described in 1995 by Thomas Bangalter in a television interview, alongside his friend Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo.
Facing the camera, the two young-faced men are just in their twenties.
For two years, they have formed an electronic music duo called Daft Punk, refreshing but not yet legendary.
A duo who bowed out on Monday.
>> READ ALSO
>> READ ALSO
- "We should give Daft Punk lessons in Marketing schools"
Anonymity turned running-gag in a film
More than 25 years later, these images are extremely rare archives.
Because the group, which announced its separation via a Youtube video entitled "Epilogue", no longer - or almost - showed its face uncovered, making scarcity and mystery a marketing argument.
During their first concerts, the two high school friends sometimes wore Halloween masks, or plastic bags, on their heads.
And then very quickly, they became the famous "Robots" now famous throughout the world, with shiny helmets, made in California.
For the public, therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to know what the two men, now 46 and 47, look like - even though Thomas Bangalter made a very brief appearance as an extra in the film
, by Quentin Dupieux, in 2015, as noted by
Their anonymity had also been erected to the rank of running-gag in the film
, by Mia-Hansen Love, released in 2014. In the feature film, two young men, whose records are broadcast everywhere, can not fit into the Parisian evenings where they are invited, because the physiognomists at the entrance do not know their features.
Behind the name of the group, a murderous criticism
So what do we really know about Daft Punk?
, its two members, born in the Paris region, had a rather bourgeois childhood.
The father of Thomas Bangalter, producer, is at the origin of the words of great hits of La Compagnie Creole, like
C'est bon pour le morale
Son of managers of an advertising agency, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo comes from an aristocratic family in Portugal.
In high school, the two boys initially dreamed of being a rock group, under the name of Darlin ', in the company of the future guitarist of the group Phoenix.
But the murderous criticism of an English magazine calling their first song "silly punk" puts an end to that dream ... And also inspires the name of their new electronic project, "Daft Punk", in the early 1990s. Then follow: first steps in a sharp Scottish label (Soma), signing with Major Virgin, first album "Homework" (1997) doped with hits (including
Around the World
and its clip signed Michel Gondry) then a second ("Discovery" , in 2001) which imposes the group in the United States.
>> READ ALSO
>> READ ALSO
- The Daft Punk phenomenon: "They already have several billion streams on Spotify"
"Strangely, the invention of robots is what allowed them to remain human, to remain completely free. This is the price that they bought their freedom, by sending the robots to do the dirty work. for them ", analyzed in 2015 the editor-in-chief of
, Jean-Daniel Beauvallet, in the documentary
Daft Punk Unchained
, broadcast on Canal +.
Installed between Paris and Los Angeles
Herald of the "French touch", Daft Punk however quickly projected far from the borders of the Hexagon.
Since 2001, they have lived half the year in Los Angeles - although their children, two each, go to school in France.
And if Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo wore Yves Saint-Laurent costumes in concert, they always "blackmailed" in English and refused several national distinctions.
Accession to the rank of knights of the Order of Arts and Letters, in 2005, or a nomination for the Victoires de la musique, ten years later, after a card at the American Grammy Awards.
In a rare interview, still in
, Thomas Bangalter was annoyed when he was criticized for marketing forgetting a little about France: "I do not accept that you imply that (...) we make music for sell records. It's really a French spirit to think like that. (…) We haven't surfed the wave. In France, there is always such cynicism… "
During their career, however, the two friends kept some links with their country of origin. In recent years, they have collaborated with the Australian group Parcels or the Canadian singer The Weeknd, but also the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, for a title called
. Recently, an incredible coincidence recalled the roots of the duo, when an unreleased set from its early years, recorded on two banal audio cassettes forgotten in the bottom of a shoebox, near Avignon, was found 25 years later. And in 2015, it was a French sculptor, Xavier Veilhan, who managed to convince the Daft Punk to pose for him, his face hidden behind simple sunglasses. Without helmet.