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Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter discusses the duo’s split, origins and future in new BBC radio interview

"I'm relieved and happy to look back and say: OK, we didn't mess this up too much"

Daft Punk Thomas Bangalter The First Time BBC 6Music

Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter has discussed the duo's decision to split, their musical origins, art, aesthetics and his future solo work in a new BBC radio interview. 

Speaking to 6Music's Matt Everitt for 'The First Time' series, in which musicians look back on formative years and milestones, the French producer spoke candidly about the seminal electronic act's history, choices, and last chapter.

After almost 30 years of activity, four critically acclaimed albums and innumerable sold out clubs and arenas, Bangalter explained he's "relieved and happy to look back and say: OK, we didn't mess this up too much" and that it "felt good" to put Daft Punk to rest. He also reveals his biggest personal he is asked remains: "Why we did end it, rather than how it could last for so long."

He said: "It’s a lot like a story or mini saga – sometimes there’s a TV show that has a special place in people’s heart and it keeps that place, and it runs for one, two, three, four, five, sometimes 10 seasons... There’s a moment where it ends and I think it’s actually interesting to have this opportunity to start, have the middle, and to end it.”

Recalling the duo's first ever show in Marseille, sometime between 1994 and 1995, he said his studio and live partner Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo was so nervous he spent much of the gig hiding under a table. Whether this was a precursor to donning the iconic robot helmets is less clear, though. 

"I really remember thinking, it would be fun to just have some special effects guys from Hollywood do these personas — robotic personas — like if they were part of the cantina scene in 'Star Wars' or something like that... It was a weird idea and neither me nor Guy-Man ever imagined it would end up taking such proportions," said Bangalter. “You have an idea when you’re like 25, you don’t say ‘you know what, we’re going to dress up like robots until the day we die'." 

Bangalter previously discussed the end of Daft Punk in April, just before the release of 'Mythologies', his latest album and first foray into orchestral composition. Last week, Daft Punk shared unseen studio footage from the recording sessions for their acclaimed LP, 'Random Access Memories'. Next year, a major new book will be published on the cultural and musical impact of the duo, and their contributions to the development of audio-visual technology, featuring interviews with Paul Johnson, Annie Mac, Todd Edwards and more. 

You can listen to the full BBC 6Music interview here