“Ninety percent if not higher of all recordings that I’ve ever made in my life have been the result of a very impromptu initial meeting that feels so natural and so organic that you have to take it to the next level,” Rodgers says. Having worked with everyone from David Bowie to Madonna to Duran Duran, Rodgers describes meeting Daft Punk for the first time in a similarly casual setting, and finally getting to hit the studio with the duo in New York after several missed connections.
The fact that they worked at Electric Ladyland was particularly exciting for Rodgers, who grew up around Jimi Hendrix’s legendary downtown studio, jammed in the space when it was still a nightclub and even recorded his first Chic single there. While they worked, Rodgers said he felt the mark of a great collaboration in which both artists challenge and bring out the best in each other – “They make you up your game, even if your game is pretty good.”
Rodgers also discusses and plays a few of his most famous guitar riffs (including, at the end, a tasty one that’ll appear on Random Access Memories), while he also touches on his jazz-fusion-inspired style of disco guitar and the first time he heard fellow Daft Punk collaborator Giorgio Moroder’s indelible production on Donna Summers’ “Love to Love You Baby.” “The magic of that groove and the way it just wrapped my body,” Rodgers says, “is the way I feel when I listen to that record.”
Despite a bit of a generation gap, Rodgers sees Daft Punk as his contemporaries working in a style of music he knows rather well. “I feel like I’m working with people who grew up with me and feel it the same way we felt the vibe when we were creating this stuff. It’s like they went back to go forward.”