Daft Punk and their legend is captured in many aspects of their brand, from their music, to their futuristic stage design and of course their iconic helmets which have transformed members Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo into the robots that fans recognize around the world. Of course, long time fans will recall an early era of the group, when the duo would utilize various masks and even perform without covering their faces, but that period ended in the 90’s as the Robots took over in 2001 for their Discovery album era.
“We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 am on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.”
That is how Thomas Bangalter relays the story of how Daft Punk transformed into the robots who would once again take over the world with their anthem, One More Time, and moving one step closer to simply allowing the music to speak for itself without having to publicize their appearances. For the recent look back at the creation of the original helmets, Instagram user @undercoverosh of OSH-FC shared a post showing several prototypes and sketches from 1999. In the early images, the designs are at times drastically different from the sleek finish that would eventually be revealed by the group. Most shocking, one of the original concepts features a wig of wires flowing from the back of the helmet. It creates a somewhat chaotic and busy visual, and almost resembles the back of the head from the Predator character. Flipping through the images, the final concepts and designs come into view more clearly and the final slide shows a helmet with working LED lights flashing across the visor.