“Stanley Kubrick level of planning” went into Daft Punk’s RAM, says Chilly Gonzales

The Canadian musician also praised the duo’s “timeless songwriting”, saying one could play their songs “on any instrument in any era”

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Chilly Gonzales

Image: Daft Punk’s Memory Tapes

Chilly Gonzales has spoken about the “Stanley Kubrick level of planning” that supposedly went into Daft Punk’s 2013 album, Random Access Memories.

The pianist, who first worked with Daft Punk on the 2003 track Too Long, was speaking in the latest instalment of their YouTube docu-series Memory Tapes. Spanning a total of eight episodes, the series features interviews and unseen studio footage on the making of the French electronic duo’s last album, Random Access Memories.

In the new video, Gonzales praises Daft Punk’s songwriting prowess, saying the pair would have been making “timeless masterpieces” anyway had they been “songwriters back in the 70s”.

“When a song is divorced of its production and you play something on a piano there, you see if it passes the test of just being musically sound,” Gonzales explains. “And Daft Punk songs do work on the piano so you realise that when songwriting is that good it doesn’t matter how it’s dressed. It’s always going to create that emotional response.”

“Now looking back on Within and if I just play the melody itself… I mean that is just such classic writing and storytelling. You could basically play it on any instrument in any era. It just so happens the one that they chose has a crying robot and a Rhodes piano and some other elements.”

“The robots had a vision for how to use me,” he says. “So we kind of laser-focused on what was going to happen between Giorgio by Moroder and Within.”

The musician also shares that he was “really impressed” at the time given that it was a “solid maybe two or three years before [Random Access Memories] even came out of my session.”

“But they already had the track order,” Gonzales recalls. “So for me it was almost a Stanley Kubrick level of planning that was going into this project.”

And while working with your heroes can often turn out to be a disappointing experience, Gonzales says that “with Daft Punk it far surpassed even my greatest expectations on Random Access memories, especially when they themselves willfully removed some of those sonic elements that had made them so famous.”

“It was as if they were also saying now that we have access to all these traditional musicians, let’s see if we can still make it sound like Daft Punk without necessarily resorting to those elements that people associated them with.”


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