The duo, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, has been working on their new album since 2008."After three records, there was a sense of searching for a record we hadn’t done," Thomas told Rolling Stone.
"Electronic music right now is in its comfort zone and it’s not moving one inch," Bangalter says. "That’s not what artists are supposed to do."
So then what?
The solution for Daft Punk was to borrow both musicians and recording techniques from years ago. For this album, they're using "top-notch session players" who played in classic records by Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, and Eric Clapton. A promo video features Nile Rodgers of Chic playing guitar. And the way everything was recorded was very different as well -- no "laptop" recording.
"There are songs on the album that traveled into five studios over two and a half years," Thomas says. "They’re vials being filled up with life. Today, electronic music is made in airports and hotel rooms, by DJs traveling. It has a sense of movement, maybe, but it’s not the same vibe as going into these studios that contain specific things."
The promotion is different as well -- TV commercials during Saturday Night Live as well as billboards.
"When you drive on the Sunset Strip and see these billboards, it’s more magical than a banner ad," Thomas says.
Let's look at this and how it relates to your music.
It would be easy to say that electronic musicians using non-electronic instruments, real players instead of samples, and old school ads such as television commercials and billboards is regression.
It's not -- it's transition. And this is always what keeps things fresh and moving forward, even if it involves technology and other elements of the past.
It would be easy for Daft Punk to release the same album again and again. Plenty of bands do that. You may be doing that.
When you have something that works, why rock the boat?
But as Thomas Bangalter says above, "That’s not what artists are supposed to do."
Regression is what happens when you're not moving forward. This is because the world is changing around you, whether you like it or not. And with the world, your fans are changing too.
It's easy to see how an act like Justin Bieber, with an audience of finicky and indecisive tweens, would need to progress in order to keep them interested. But your act, because your fans are older and more set in their ways, is different, right?
Time is speeding up. Attention spans are getting shorter. We have more entertainment options than ever.
This affects everybody, regardless of age. If you aren't moving forward, you're going to be run over by change around you.
How do you make sure you're moving forward? Choose growth over comfort.
Here are 15 ways to do just that...
- If the band you're in isn't working for you, quit it and start something else.
- If the demos you're working on for your new album aren't going anywhere, consider ditching them entirely and starting from scratch.
- Put yourself out there more -- share personal videos in which you let people know there is more to you than just music.
- Share new songs before they are "perfect" to get feedback (good or bad) so you can improve them even more.
- Set a deadline (such as releasing one new song a week for several weeks) and announce it publicly, knowing people are expecting you to deliver.
- Plan a tour through cities you've never been to.
- Play a venue that makes you nervous. For some people that could be any venue. It might be busking. If you play house concerts and the idea of playing in front of hundreds of people makes you nervous, do it anyway (or vice versa).
- Write a song with a partner (or with a new partner).
- Write a song on your own.
- Do a solo gig (and if you're already doing solo gigs, do something with a full band).
- Delegate music business tasks.
- Fire band members (or anyone else who isn't working out).
- Say "yes" to opportunities (like playing with a band that plays a different genre of music, or taking a gig on a cruise ship, or putting your own projects on hold to play in someone else's touring band for a few months).
- Do something to challenge a limiting belief. For example, if you really want to play a certain club but is think, "They'll never let me play there," take some sort of action to challenge that belief (such as calling the club owner or sending him/her your demo). Even if you get rejected, the action itself was taking a risk and that risk can help build momentum to take bigger risks that will pay off for you.
- Make plans to totally focus 100% on music for a certain amount of time -- taking a leave of absence from, or quitting, a job, putting aside all distractions to write, booking a lengthy tour, going to another country to tour, moving to another city, taking time away from naysayers, etc.
Any others? Free free to add to this list via the comments section!