The post-Grammy deluge of “who-is-so-and-so” tweets have become so familiar that they hardly merit commemorative Tumblrs anymore. But this year, the confusion is perhaps understandable: After all, Daft Punk wear helmets and rarely grant interviews, which makes them slightly more accessible than, say, Bon Iver (see: who-is-bon-iver.tumblr.com).
Fortunately we — and Google, for future reference! — are here to answer your most pressing questions about this year’s best-album winner. Like who Daft Punk are. And what’s up with those helmets.
Who is Daft Punk and should I care?
— Miles Burnett (@MilesBurnett) January 27, 2014
Daft Punk is a French house duo who have been together since the early ’90s. Even if you haven’t heard of them, you’ve probably heard their music — “Get Lucky” has spent the last 32 weeks near the top of the Billboard charts. (TL;DR: You should probably care.)
I know I'm old, but, I don't understand this "Daft Punk" thing. Are they DJ's, or a group? And what's with the space helmets? Please explain
— Mark Stacken (@MarkStacken) January 27, 2014
The space helmets, more than mere gimmick, are one of Daft Punk’s great innovations — a way to distance the music from its creators and add something of myth to it. “We’re interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life,” the duo told Rolling Stone last year. Hence they’ve worn the helmets in performances for years, and are more or less anonymous in real life. Wrote Ryan Dombal in a recent Pitchfork profile of the duo, “It’s an instinct to keep the idea of mystery alive at a time when it seems to be in historically short supply.”
"They're not really robots though, right?" – My aunt about Daft Punk.
— kp (@kfp24) January 27, 2014
Nope, definitely not robots.
What if Daft Punk took off there helmets and they were Biggie and Tupac? #Grammys
— Chris Cubas (@ChrisCubas) January 27, 2014
What if Daft Punk was actually Scott Stapp and Chad Kroeger?
— Ethan Luck (@ethanluck) January 27, 2014
Hilaaaarious as this joke may be, and secretive as Daft Punk are, we do, in fact, know their names: Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangaltar. In fact, there are even a few photos of them out there — this one was taken last year, purportedly at Sony’s New York offices. They’re playing champagne beer pong, per the caption.
One thing I'm still confused about– how did Daft Punk win 5 Grammys yesterday when the only song people know by them is Get Lucky?
— Maddie. (@MCONXO) January 27, 2014
Not so! You’ve probably heard several Daft Punk songs, whether you realized it or not. “Around the World” and “One More Time” have both charted on the Hot 100. Kanye West sampled “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson and Pharell have also borrowed from Daft Punk in their own work.
Seriously, how did Daft Punk just randomly get popular after being ignored by the mainstream so long? #confused o.O
— Alexis (@kaydeelex) January 27, 2014
This is a fair question — after all, Daft Punk has been together since the ’90s — but all the recent attention isn’t totally out of the blue. “Get Lucky” charted significantly higher than any Daft Punk singles have in the past. The duo appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in June. As for mainstream neglect, Daft Punk have actually scored a handful of Grammy nominations before, including one for best dance recording in 1998. They didn’t win until 2009, however, when “Alive 2007” picked up best electronic/dance album and “Harder Better Faster Stronger” got a best dance recording nod.
is 'old people being confused by daft punk' the new 'bonny bear' ????
— Sydney (@wayharshtai) January 27, 2014
Looks like it, yeah. Until next year…!