Yesterday, a New York-based electronic music duo named The Knocks posted a photo of another electronic music duo to their Facebook page.
Unfortunately, the latter duo is better known as Daft Punk, and soon the entire Internet went nuts, thinking that they were finally seeing the robot duo behind a recent number 1 album without their trademark masks.
The Knock swiftly deleted the photo, and the group have spent most of today on Twitter pointing out that they did not take the photo, are not signed to Columbia/Sony Records (where the photo was taken), and that the photo was already available on the Internet.
Why is everyone so worked up about this? Because there's a perception that no-one knows what Daft Punk looks like, since in all recent promo shots they have appeared behind custom-made "robot" masks.
However, if you wanted to find out what Daft Punk looked like before this photo, it was remarkably easy. Take their real names (Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo) and put them into google image search.
Images of de Homem-Christo are slightly harder to find, but still appear if you search his name:
On imgur, someone has even made a collection of the images showing the pair without masks.
Daft Punk aren't anonymous like Banksy (who has good legal reasons to remain anonymous) — they are simply two guys who don't want to be celebrities. However, their identities are known and outside of their Daft Punk life they appear in the public (and are sometimes photographed) under their own names without much hassle. Before they had robot masks they even did promo shots without them.
In a recent interview with the NME, de Homem-Christo told the British music magazine why this suits them: "The robots are famous, we’re not. We’re allowed to have a normal life like regular people and interact normally with people without so much of a fake situation. That’s really important to us."
There are downsides, of course — Bangalter told the Rolling Stone that a few years ago someone ran up a huge tab in his name at a bar in Ibiza.
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