Every year the Daft Punk rumors fly: “I read on a blog they’re playing at Coachella!” “No, dude, they’re gonna play Electric Daisy Carnival.” “You’re both wrong; Daft Punk is playing at my house.”
Now that a forthcoming album has been confirmed via Columbia Records, it’s a hot topic of discussion among electronic-music fans whether they’ll even tour in support of it. But if you’ve never seen the masked duo known for their elaborate stage shows, two Phoenix-based DJ/producers aim to fill the void for fans. Remaining as anonymous as their illusive idols, One More Time has been performing their tribute act for about three years. They’ll make their first Las Vegas stop on April 5 (First Friday) at LVCS Downtown.
Before starting the tribute act, what were your backgrounds in electronic music and DJing?
I was actually 19 years old, working at a college radio station with a lot of indie rock. I remember they gave me an album to review, which was Daft Punk’s Discovery. When I listened to that album, that really kick-started me into electronic music and DJing. When I was around 22, I started DJing at my first club in Phoenix.
How many times have you seen Daft Punk live?
I have never seen Daft Punk live.
So you’ve only been able to study their show through videos?
Exactly. There was a fan community that I was frequenting—I made the set of helmets and around Halloween time we threw these things on, and it started taking off from there. People legitimately thought we were Daft Punk.
What prompted you to start a full-on tribute act and go out to entertain people?
Because I’ve never seen them live I’ve always thought that the show itself—from what I’d seen online—was just so awesome. A friend of ours was doing a tribute night in Tucson, and we thought, “Let’s put these helmets on and go check it out.” From there it just worked. Fans were taking pictures with us, and next thing you know, our friend that was doing the tribute night was pushing it out to San Diego, L.A. and so on.
What does your live show bring to the table?
A lot of lights and really loud, fast-paced music—we’re sort of a club-inspired version of Daft Punk. With the current music scene and the trends, we cater to that with the show and the music. It’s a lot of partying, I guess. [Laughs.]
Instead of just playing track after track of Daft Punk originals, you keep it current with new remixes, correct?
Correct. A lot of what you’re going to hear are mixes made by both the fan base and by us. We don’t just get up there and press “play.” There’s stuff that’s done live and everything. A lot of it is edits and mixes, but it’s all Daft Punk-based.
Would you consider paying homage to other electronic acts?
Currently we’re focused on doing just this one, but the idea moving forward is we might branch out and do our own original thing. Both myself and my partner are producers as well as DJs. We write our own music and we got our start from doing Daft Punk remixes and edits. That’s how we got involved in writing music and learning the software. We feel that as a tribute band, we’ve got limitations to what we can and can’t do. If we decide to branch out as our own artists with our own production and our own show, then it’s unlimited; we can do anything at that point.
You haven’t heard any feedback from Daft Punk, but what’s the fan reaction been like—good or bad?
It’s about half and half. There’s a fan base out there that likes what we do. We’re sort of giving them exactly what they want to see, which is the show. The actual band itself, when they go and do tours, it’s like less than 10 shows. And then you don’t see them for the next 10 years. What we do is fill that void. So people either like it or they hate it. There are the haters out there who troll us on our Facebook page with “What you guys are doing is fucked up, it sucks.” But everybody else is like, “The show is there to entertain and is a great homage, because they actually look like the band.”
Now that a new Daft Punk album is confirmed, what do you hope to hear from it, and do you think they’ll finally tour again?
I would really like to see them at some point. My partner has seen them once and was just blown away by the show. I can only imagine what it’s like to see this big production and electronic show for the first time. They started that whole movement. For them to come back into the game, I’m very curious how they’ll change everything again. For them to come back when there are artists like Deadmau5 and these huge production shows, what could they possibly do to change all that? My assumption is, well, the music. I was watching Saturday Night Live and there was less than a 10-second snippet of a taste of what their new album is about, and it was disco to the T. I was blown away. It’s sort of them going back to their roots. I can’t wait.