Daft Punk - bring life back to music, on Homework's 20th birthday, please announce Alive 2017
Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of Daft Punk's debut full length, Homework. No doubt you'll be seeing a lot of think pieces about what a masterpiece it is, how it birthed French Touch and brought dance music into the mainstream. Daft Punk are my favourite band and Homework is my favourite of their albums, but I just can't bring myself to write a piece about how great they are, truth be told, I'm finding it harder than ever to be a Daft Punk fan.
Sometimes it feels like the whole world is waiting for Alive 2017 to be announced, but the robots are resolute in their stoic silent. I get it - they've never played the media game, not before the transformation into robots and certainly not after. Seeing Thomas and Guy-Man posting selfies, complaining at airlines and getting into petty beefs like the rest of the DJ Twitter-verse would completely ruin their mystique. The problem is, in the absence of any official communications a series of trolls have filled the void.
We've had no less than three Alive 2017 hoaxes in the past four months. The first was a leaked lineup poster for this year's Lollapalooza Chile. The second was an elaborate website with a message buried deep in the source code and a countdown timer. The most recent was a fake trailer with coordinates seemingly linked to tour destinations.
All have been proven false and, in my opinion, have damaged the robots reputation. You see while each hoax gets a significant amount of press coverage and gets DP's legions of fans hyped that 'this might actually be it this time', when the fakery is exposed, it just makes team Daft Punk look like they don't care about their fans.
If Daft Punk don't want to tour in 2017, then that's obviously up to them, but if they've made that decision, they should let the fans know. Even if a tour is planned, but don't want to announce it yet, then they should shutdown these hoaxes as soon as they emerge. Remaining silent is allowing their fans to be trolled, to have their hopes built up and then shattered.
And as long as they remain silent, there'll be many more hoaxes to come. Now that trolls across the world have seen how easy it is to dupe vast swathes of the dance music press into reporting their prank, they'll come thick and fast until an official statement comes from Daft Punk. Yes, if a tour is planned, these hoaxes have been very helpful in building hype, but - jesus christ - you're Daft Punk, you tour once a decade, you're massive, there's a whole generation of your fans that have never seen you live, you don't need any more hype. Allowing this fake news to go on is just playing your fans for chumps.
And as a Daft Punk fan I'm sick of feeling like a chump.
Like many people my age my introduction to the robots came in 2001, where at the age of 11 I first heard Discovery. From those opening chimes on "One More Time" I was hooked. I got my hands on Homework a year or so later and had both on heavy rotation on my Walkman over the next few years. I got the Interstellar 555 DVD, I got Human After All, I even got a bootleg T-Shirt, and still, after five years I'd never come close to seeing them live.
Then in 2007, a full six years of Daft Punk obsession later they were booked for Ireland's Oxegen festival.
School was ditched, tickets were bought and excitement built and built and built. This was the year of my A levels, the year I left school and they year I moved to England to go to Uni, but the most vivid memory I have of that year came from finally seeing the robots in their neon spaceship.
For some reason they were to headline the second stage, whilst The Killers took the main. A small number of my friendship group even made the horrendous decision to ditch their vocoded greatness for Brendan Flowers' pub closing karaoke. But me and five of my closest friends were determined, not only to see them, but to be in the front row. In a laughable booking, My Chemical Romance had the set before and we stood through every minute of it, gradually easing our way to the front through hordes of eye-lined teens.
Then as Gerard Way screamed his last notes, he did something that made me eternally grateful to The Black Parade. He got on the mic and told everyone to "go see The Killers". Cue mass emo exodus as the crowd took their leaders advice and beelined for the main stage. This was our moment! We surged against the current ploughing through a sea of Slipknot hoodies. Finally we hit metal and found ourselves smack band in the middle of the front row.
A black curtain had fallen over the stage while engineers were setting up the biggest spectacle in electronic music. We waited and waited and waited. Over an hour later, the sun had set and thousands upon thousands of people had gathered behind us. The curtain dropped and the noise from Close Encounters of the Third Kind echoed across the field.The next 90 minutes were the greatest musical experience in my life.
This summer it'll be ten years since that night and the possibility of getting to see that show again is just too sweet to ignore. But I'm sick of the hoaxes and I'm getting more and more disheartened that Daft Punk seem more interested in flogging yoyos, windbreakers and whatever the fuck these are than playing for their fans. Hell, now they're even selling posters of the shit they're selling. It's gone on long enough.
So here's what I'm going to do. If Alive 2017 is planned, the most obvious time to announce it will be tomorrow, on Homework's 20th birthday. If no announcement comes tomorrow, then I'm going to assume that Alive 2017 isn't happening. I'll click on no more links, I'll report on no more hoaxes. And I encourage the rest of the dance music media to do likewise.
That said, I've got everything crossed that the announcement finally comes tomorrow. Daft Punk - bring life back to music, announce Alive 2017!
Follow Matt on Twitter
More Daft Punk:
19 Jan 2017