Paul Williams and DJ Falcon are the next featured collaborators in Vice and Intel’s Creators Project series exploring Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories, and the two shed light on making the record and their respective creative processes in their separate segments.
“There’s a bit of a connection based on my conversations with these two wonderful gentlemen to a film called Phantom of the Paradise,” Williams said, referring to his starring role in the 1974 movie, “where . . . I think the sense of the mask and working from behind the mask may have been born.” Williams said he became addicted to attention when he found success, becoming better at “showing off” than “showing up,” and praises Daft Punk for obscuring their identities. “On that level, I love that they choose to be anonymous,” he said. “They disconnect who they are to allow you to experience what they create.”
Williams related a story of when his wife gave him a tangerine and told him to pretend it was a fruit from another planet that he had never eaten or experienced before. “There are elements of that in this record,” Williams said. “The first thing we talked about was like, ‘Who am I writing for?’ What we talked about was an unidentified first-person. In other words, we don’t know if this is an alien, this is some creature waking up coming out of a coma experiencing a life as if it was the first time. And we never really identified totally who that person was.”
For DJ Falcon, the experience brought him back together with Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter, with whom he collaborated in 2000 for the project Together. Falcon recalled how his friend Busy P, head of Ed Banger Records and former manager of Daft Punk, organized a big party in Paris in 1993, where they would first meet the band. “They were just starting their project, their first album Homework,” DJ Falcon said.
DJ Falcon explained how electronic music has come to define France’s artistic identity. “There was not a lot of French sounds before electronic music, except maybe Serge Gainsbourg,” he said. “There was nothing really we can be [really] proud of.”
Random Access Memories will be out on May 21st.