Daft Punk have spoken for the first time about their highly anticipated Tron Legacy soundtrack, talking to Dazed & Confused they spoke candidly about the pressure of the experience, the necessity to expand their sound to use a full orchestra, and how they’re trying educated people on the virtues of classical music.
“This project is by far the most challenging and complex thing we have ever been involved with,” declares Thomas on their Tron: Legacy soundtrack. “Coming from our background of making electronic music in a small bedroom, and ending up having our music performed by a 90-piece orchestra, with some of the best musicians in the world…We are lucky to have had the opportunity to experience some powerful moments artistically over the years, but recording this orchestra was a very intense experience.”
After Daft Punk were reassured by Disney that they weren’t just going to make a copy of the first Tron – it appears that Daft Punk took some time to consider the magnitude of the project.
“As soon as we saw the filmmaker was not trying to copy the first [Tronmovie],” says Thomas, “But expand it after almost 30 years, we thought it was interesting. Then we questioned ourselves as to whether or not it was something we could actually do.”
“The most pressure we feel is always from ourselves, even in a project like this. I think that is why we took so much time before we jumped on board, so we could guarantee our freedom and room for experimentation in this environment – it’s a dream factory. Hollywood is at the corner of imagination and industry.”
Daft Punk then went into detail about the decision to move away from their traditional sound, as they immediately realised that they wouldn’t be able to do the project from a small bedroom, with two synthesers and a 808 drum machine.
“We knew from the start that there was no way we were going to do this film score with two synthesizers and a drum machine,” he adds, having cited Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, John Carpenter, Vangelis and Maurice Jarre as inspirations.
Thomas stresses the timelessness of orchestral instruments relative to electronic tools. “A cello was there 400 years ago and will still be here in 400 years. But synthesizers that were invented 20 years ago will probably be gone in the next 20. Synths are a very low level of artificial intelligence. Whereas you have a Stradivarius that will live for a thousand years. In the past, we have worked with clashing genres like disco and heavy metal, and here we would do it with film scores…this idea of the ultimate retro-futurism.”
Read the full interview – and check the accompanying 3D photo-shoot – in the new issue of Dazed & Confused, out now.