How to be ahead of your time as an artist: Daft Punk as Pioneers “five years ahead of people”


Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk, work with an acute self-awareness of their innovation, and of their audience’s incomprehension of their ingenuity and impact.

“To jump from 1,800 people to 40,000 was pretty brutal,” he says, stretching out the word. “Because of the anonymity, the relationship with our audience until that point was an abstract concept, so to feel this energy was very strange. It felt like we had validated something that had been so abstract— in French, it’s called le concrétisation…”

De Homem-Christo offers a translation: “Make it real.”

“We like the idea of trying to be pioneers,” continues Bangalter, “but the problem with that is when you’re too much ahead, the connection doesn’t really happen at the time. At Coachella, we still may have been five years ahead of people, but the connection was happening at that moment. It was the most synched-up we ever felt.”

Regardless, they still want that fan connection. It’s strange to think their “show”, the costumes and helmets, which separate them from their fans, in fact allows for that real connection to happen through the music.

Bangalter recalls a well-behaved teenage acquaintance who wished to be an accountant because he could “have a cool retirement plan.” The pair, who were among only a few in their school who were into the likes of Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Big Star, the Beach Boys, and the Velvet Underground, quickly bonded. And, in their own way, they’ve been bucking the status quo ever since. It’s why Daft Punk are more punk than almost any punk band of the last 20 years: They refuse to take the familiar path, all in the name of keeping themselves— and their audience— engaged. Random Access Memories, their first proper album in eight years, takes this impulse to the extreme.

How to be ahead of your time as an artist:

1. Know your history

Daft Punk is incredibly knowledgable about where their type of music came from and where it’s going. It’s strange to think disco has done so much. Go into the history of your art form. You’ll find that history has already shaped you and can grow your potential even more.

2. Find inspiration in those who came before you

Dead or old, the masters of your craft, many you’ve never heard of, will teach you more than you’re ready for. Seek them out. Copy them. Learn their strengths and weakness. 

3. Collaborate

Daft Punk realized their limitations as artists so they shared their vision with other musicians. Not only did they develop their craft, but the inspiration challenged their vision.


Music I listen to while I write: Mason Jennings – Darkness Between the Fireflies

Music I Listen to While Writing: Avett Brothers

Music I listen to while writing: Broken Social Scene’s Sweetest Kill

I would post the music video, but it’s really gory, so here’s just the music:

Music I listen to while writing: Tiger Lou

It’s hard to believe a lot of what I write is crap. I have to wade through its awfulness later. I mean loads and loads of crap.

As the below video displays, I’m not a very talented guitar player.

I started playing almost four years ago while a counselor at a summer camp. I learned a few chords and from that could play a few thousand songs. I loved it. But if I took an honest account of my playing abilities I might cease to pick up the guitar at all.

Yesterday my friends were joking about their Inner Critic, whom they had to ignore in order to finish their work. I hadn’t put a name to the feeling I’ve been struggling with, that Inner Critic, which slows my writing progress to a stalemate on the page. Some people might call it writer’s block.

The initial creation moment (and its preceding moments), must banish the Inner Critic at all costs. That’s what I’ve learned. To just fill pages with writing, think less and write more. Overwrite, I tell myself.

I’ll admit, a lot of it is crap. I have to wade through its awfulness later. I mean loads and loads of crap.

But there’s also some good stuff (at least to my standards).

There are times when we must write to write and edit later. Perhaps not all writing purposes benefit from this. But for now, for me, even though I’m cringing.

I’ll let Michael Mayerhofer in “Advice to Writers: Stay Home” conclude:

So, again, here’s my not-so-humble advice: stay home. Don’t call anyone. Don’t text. Don’t update your Facebook status to say what you’re reading, or how many thousands of words you’re going to write today. Just leave your ego in a shoe box, sit down, and read. And write. And if you look down at your first draft and think it’s golden—well, you’re wrong.

Sigur Ros and Justice Make Annoying Music

I didn’t know this, but somehow music is mathematical. The song that hits the spot, somehow hits the spot mathematically. And then there’s music that just gets on my nerves. It’s annoying.  But sometimes I wonder if it’s not the math or the music that is off. Maybe somehow I’m off. Maybe it’s not the music that is annoying or loud or obnoxious or terrible. Maybe I’m not ready for the music. Maybe I’m too loud or obnoxious or terrible.

And then I wonder what other things I’m not ready for. And what does it take, not for me to understand the math, but to accept the solution? To lose myself in the beat, and the rhythm, and the melody. Essentially, I guess it’s coming in tune with the world around me. And that takes looking to its Creator and its Savior.

(Here are some examples of bands whose music might get on your nerves initially, but then you learn to like it: Sigur Ros and Justice.)

Acoustic Version of Mrs. Officer

This is the acoustic version of Lil Wayne’s song “Mrs. Officer”. Thanks to Elmo for mic’en it up for me.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Here’s the original music video of Mrs Officer by Lil Wayne. It’s not as sexy as mine. It’s hard to compete with Elmo though.

“In the Shade of the Tree” Live Music Performance

The world debut of LOST is only one day away. It will be posted tomorrow morning at 7:30. You might want to get in line early because it will be a sold out event. People are calling it the most anticipated internet movie of the summer.

To add to this weeks festivities of the movie release I’m pleased to introduce to you the live music performance of my band which is called We’re Siblings. My sister Hannah plays the bongos and does some back up singing. The song is called “In the Shade of the Tree.” Enjoy and we’ll see you tomorrow for the debut.