Shrouded in mystery, the helmeted French techno-pop duo known as Daft Punk have been creating some serious buzz in the scene of electronic dance music since the early 90’s. They’ve won Grammy Awards, created fusions of techno and rock, helped evolve the raving subculture, and maintained a serious dedication to helmet hair whenever in the public eye (…not sure if they shower with them too, but I would never doubt it). And now with the release of Tron: Legacy and their subsequent film-scoring debut, they are truly at the top of their game.
Their score for the futuristic sci-fi film will combine a full orchestra with their already rich sounds, and if you’ve already heard pieces like “Derezzed” or any other part of the soundtrack, you know it delivers a thick, colorful sound that will make you want to tap your feet in the theatre (as long as you can remove them from the goo that covers the floor). In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the pair discuss how they came on board to score the movie and their opinions on the film’s themes, their view on technology today, how the soundtrack was influenced by Lawrence of Arabia, and their plans for the future.
Hit the jump to check out what Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (yeah, those are their names) had to say:
quotes via THR
Bangalter: “I think we were really approached by [director] Joe Kosinski in the early process of the early research and development of the film. It wasn’t greenlit yet, and there wasn’t really a script per se. We were on tour at that time, and it took almost a year to decide whether we had the desire and the energy to dive into something like that.”
What gave them confidence to say “yes”:
Bangalter: “You never know whether something will be good, but the interesting thing for us was that Joe was concurrently working on this film with Steven Lisberger, the director from the first one, for which we have great admiration and respect as a human being and the legacy of that film. Having Jeff Bridges on board helped too.”
What attracted them to the film:
Bangalter: “We were interested in the relationship between society and technology, and how the place of technology in the world had changed so much. The first movie in 1982 was a very colorful, hopeful, naive look at technology, and the power of the computer. Thirty years later, this new movie would be a dark and not-innocent look at technology. It was in common with how we feel about technology, which is this love-hate relationship with it. It can be wonderful and terrifying.”
What kind of approach they took:
Bangalter: “I think Tron is a good example of minimalism. That’s what we liked with the direction of the new film. It can be huge film, but there’s a lot of negative space, so there’s this certain minimalist approach, that “less is more” feel, that we appreciate artistically.”
Bangalter: “…when we started to look at that concept art, we actually started putting music together before we had the script. We thought of the digital world as being like a desert. Jeff Bridges’ character almost looks like the Ten Commandments. We liked this idea of taking classic Hollywood scores and try to clash it against electronics and 1970s science fiction soundtracks with a much darker feel…”
Their thoughts on their costumes:
Bangalter: “We really feel like The Wizard of Oz sometimes; we’re the guys behind the curtains pushing some buttons. We like this idea of stimulating the imagination and blurring the lines between fiction and reality.”
Their plans for the future:
Bangalter: “We never say never. We want to do more Daft Punk music. We’ve learned a great deal of things from this. We like the idea of having this addition to our palette. It definitely opened up some new possibilities of adding traditional instruments with electronic ones. We are trying to find every artform to express ourselves…We just finished this thing [Tron soundtrack], which was a challenge, and we’re now working on things to come.”
De Homem-Christo: “We like to keep things as a surprise. It’s always better like that.”
With Tron: Legacy’s release, the film has received many reviews, and most of them have lacked a certain…positive feedback. RottenTomatoes shows mixed results, as the movie holds a feeble 48% even though 83% of the audience enjoyed it. Nonetheless, there has been a unanimously positive response to the music that overlays the film with excitingly vibrant sounds and rhythms. I do not know if I will be seeing Tron any time soon, but I’ll make sure to ask for the soundtrack as a stocking stuffer.