Daft Punk swept the board at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night but, until now, few have known the true identities of the men behind those trademark helmets.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were spotted going through security at Los Angeles’ LAX airport by gossip website TMZ, minus their robotic disguises.
The French electronica duo wore sunglasses, but otherwise looked rugged and unshaven in their baseball caps and t-shirts. “They’re not hot!” and “pretty damn boring”, read snarky captions in TMZ’s video.
Daft Punk’s secretive stage presence began in the Nineties, when they wore black bags over their heads during performances. Creepy Halloween masks and camp wigs were next, before the futuristic get-up they now don for gigs was born.
“We’re interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life,” Bangalter once told Rolling Stone. “People thought the helmets were marketing or something, but for us it was sci-fi glam.”
“We’re not performers, we’re not models, it would not be enjoyable for humanity to see our features, but the robots are exciting to people,” added de Homem Christo.
Daft Punk’s sleek helmets are believed to have built-in air conditioning and communications systems for live shows. Other sets are purpose-made for photoshoots.
Bangalter and de Homem Christo value the privacy the helmets offer them too, with Bangalter explaining that “it’s nice to be able to forget” when out in public.
Last summer, New York-based pop group The Knocks shared a photo on Instagram of Daft Punk playing ‘champagne beer pong’ sans helmets, but removed it soon afterwards.
Daft Punk achieved international success in 2013 with chart-topper “Get Lucky”. The song won the pair a Grammy for Track of The Year and Best Pop Duo, alongside Random Access Memories's awards for Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical.
During the ceremony, the dance act performed a mash-up of “Le Freak” and “Another Star” with soul legend Stevie Wonder.