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with METALUNDERGROUND.COM > Dec 2006 > On Their First American Tour

Gojira is in America touring with Amon Amarth, and Children of Bodom (as openers). This interview shows the bands humility and passion for what they do. In a way, explaining what they are about to people who have not yet discovered them in the states, even how they came to name themselves. Very to the point (thanks Joe).

or link here

Gojira have harvested success in their home country of France since their initiaton 10 years ago. But only after their last year’s release From Mars To Sirius did they show the world their true potential. The album created a surge in the metal press and was dubbed one of the most interesting releases of the year. Often compared to bands like Morbid Angel and Meshuggah but at the same time setting themselves strongly apart with ecologically inspired lyric concepts, something quite atypical for the genre. Currently on their first North American tour with titans Amon Amarth and Children Of Bodom, I caught up with enigmatic mainman Joe Duplantier last Saturday during their Worcester, MA stop.

Daniela: How’s the tour so far?

Joe: Uh… good

Daniela: How’s the US crowd treating you?

Joe: Uhm.You know we’re openers so we’re treated like shit most of the time [ laughs].

Daniela: Wow, that’s so sincere.

Joe: I mean, we have to get used to that. Especially in the States we’ve been told that headliners are gods. So when you’re the main support it’s ok but when you’re openers…

Daniela: Well, you’re not the first openers

Joe: No, we’re not. For Sanctity it’s worse but we feel close to them, you know [ laughs].We feel friends with them in this sense.

Daniela: And how do you get along with the Scandinavians. I understand you’re not the type of person to get drunk often and party?

Joe: No, we’re not big partiers. We learned a new word- it’s party-pooper. That’s what we are [ laughs]. So we just drink water and go to bed very early. Even in France we do that most of the time so we’re not great partiers. We say hello, how are you, to them [we are] pretty friendly but we’re not in the same world really.

Daniela: They can drink a lot

Joe: Yeah, they’re drinkers [laughs] but they’re kind to us and we respect them and they respect us and the way we do things so it’s a good atmosphere in the buses.

Daniela: Obviously, your latest album received a lot of hype in the press. Were you surprised that exactly this and not your previous albums acquired this success?

Joe: Not really. We were very into the music and the composition and we didn’t really try to guess what was going on in the press and whatever but we worked a lot. We do our best all the time so we know that it won’t be unnoticed. People most of the time, in France, they’re touched, moved by what we do so we’re not surprised that people like it. It’s not pretentious to say that we’re now an established band in France because we’ve been around for 10 years. So it’s easier to make it in the States when you have this confidence and we’re pretty confident. But yes, sometimes we’re surprised that people understand our music so well because it wasn’t very easy in the beginning.

Daniela: Nature is the main scope of your lyrics. Where do you stand on the recent ecological issues?. Do you care about that personally?

Joe: Yes, yes, we do. It’s one of the main things of our lives. I mean, we really do care. And we feel concerned because we are and we all are concerned, we live on this planet and there’s nothing we know about anything except this planet. I mean, this is our home, spaceship so if we don’t take care of it, we may be lost…

Daniela: Is that your message as a band?

Joe: One of the messages. We don’t want to preach really, or tell people what they should do but we like to talk about what’s affecting us and what’s important for us, that’s one of the main things we want to say.

Daniela: What kind of a mindset do you put yourself in to write the lyrics?

Joe: Uhm, it depends…

Daniela: Do you have a certain formula to get in the mood for it?

Joe: You know, there’s something very strange when it’s the moment you really have to write lyrics because you have no time left, you have to record songs and you really have to do this. Sometimes its tough but sometimes it just comes very spontaneously and it can be joy, you know, I can be in the state of joy or sometimes very sad, very depressed.

Daniela: Do you write the music first or the lyrics?

Joe: Most of the time it’s the music that comes first. But, for example with the last album, we already knew the subject and issues we wanted to write about so sometimes we were just composing a song and knowing that it was about a certain subject. For example, one of the songs is about a planet covered by ocean, Ocean Planet, and it’s also about planet Earth. When we composed this song, we had to find the right way to create the feeling of softness and flow.

Daniela: Are you writing any new material? Not on the road obviously, but back home

Joe: Yep, in our heads we do. We already have some ideas and sometimes when we do the sound check, we play some of the tunes. Sometimes we have 2 or 3 spare days to compose but since last September ( 2005) we play all the time. We’re on the road all the time and we have 1 or 2 weeks and we need vacation and after that we can always find 2-3 days to compose things. We now have maybe 2-3 songs, at least the main ideas

Daniela: Do you feel that after a great album there’s a certain pressure as far as the expectations for the next release?

Joe: Actually we work a lot on that point- getting rid of the pressure. We try to stay exactly as we are; you know, honest. That’s the main thing in our work because when we’re in the rehearsal room and we grab our instruments, we know what to do because we just let it flow and this is a good feeling, especially between Mario [ drums] and I.

Daniela: You guys are brothers, right?

Joe: Yeah, we’re brothers so since he was 12 yrs old and me 17, we do that- we compose songs, that’s our stuff, that’s our thing. So we know how to do it.

Daniela: Which bands did you first start listening to?

Joe: For my part, it’s Metallica.

Mario: Sepultura

Joe: Death, Morbid Angel. At first it was a big shock to discover this music, it was really like – what is that?

Daniela: When I first saw a Morbid Angel video, I was actually scared. I was only listening to GNR at the time and when I saw God Of Emptiness I was shocked

Joe: When I first saw Iron Maiden, I was scared also. Iron Maiden [laughs]. It takes time to get into this kind of music.

Daniela: Whose idea was it to name the band Godzilla at first?

Joe: Well, we had to pick a name [laughs]. We wanted something big and something crushing so we picked that name. At that time it was very mystical, it was not very famous. It was before the release of the big Hollywood movie, it was just like this dark Japanese thing coming from the Eastern world. So we picked that name and when the movie came out, we had to change it for copyright reasons. So we just thought- Gojira is the original name anyway and that’s how we ended up with it

Daniela: Thank you very much for your time, I appreciate you being so sincere. Any last words to our readers?

Joe: Well, take care [laughs]. Take good care and don’t forget your dreams because it’s possible to live your dreams, to experience your dreams. We all think it’s possible so that’s our message

with METALSUCKS.NET > Nov 2011 > New Album L’enfant Sauvage Exclusive

After 4 years we have a new GOJIRA ALBUM! This interview is amazing in all ways! Joe and Mario talk together about the details of creating the new album, the art work, and the move to New York. Also, they discuss the Sea Shepherd EP, and how they create the music we all love. Get behind the scenes look at how they do, what they do (including Mario recording drums from a stairway)

or link here

There’s so much to ask you guys, I almost don’t know where to begin. Let’s start here: you just signed with Roadrunner… How did that come about?
Joe Duplantier: I don’t know. There are so many different perspectives and points of views. For us, the way that we see it is we really needed a platform for the band to be promoted and distributed properly. We’ve been in touch with a lot of labels lately since we finished our contract with Listenable [who released the band's three previous albums]. To go on with Listenable was not an option, even though we had excellent relations with them. We really needed a bigger platform, and Roadrunner offered us an am amazing deal. They have been super into the band for years and years. They have been… I would not say “chasing us,” but… well, I would say “chasing us,” but they would say “interested.”

That’s just industry speak for “chasing.”

JD: It’s been a long story. We’ve known [the Roadrunner] guys for years and years – first as metal fans, when we were listening to Sepultura and Death and all those bands. I remember buying a CD because the Roadrunner logo was on it. It was a sign of quality. And we’ve known those guys for a couple of years. We’ve known [Senior Vice President of A&R] Monte Conner and [UK General Manager] Mark Palmer. They expressed how enthusiastic they were about our music in a very intelligent way. They really get what we’re trying to do, so we signed with them.

It’s been three years since The Way of All Flesh;  it’ll be closer to four years by the time this album comes out.  You took a year off.  Was that part of the process because you were looking for a new label, or were you taking your time writing the new album…?

Mario Duplantier:  Both.

JD:  I never felt like I took a day off in fifteen years.  We took some time off press and off tour but…

MD: We were constantly thinking about the band and talking about the way we would like to evolve, talking about the music, and composing.  We knew that a lot of change around the band meant that we had to re-organize.  It was not like we stayed home and just relaxed.

JD: It was also a very special and unique situation in our career.  We were between  labels and managers and crews…  We felt so fragile and naked for a couple of months.  It was an incredibly scary feeling, but at the same time, very good, because we felt so free.  Basically we could do whatever we wanted, but at the same time, we were extremely worried.  When you don’t have the right people around you to work on the band, you can’t relax, really, because you’re on your own.  Even our webmaster changed! The whole team changed.  Just a couple of people who have been following the band since the beginning are still with us somehow, especially on the road crew and stuff.  Other than that, we had no manager to speak to.  No nothing.  We found a manager.  It took us a year to create a relation with this new management, RSE, in Los Angeles.  They manage Mastodon and Slayer.  That was a big change, also.  So we were off, but not in our heads.  We were talking and doing band meetings weekly and talking on Skype with the new management and stuff and working on contracts.  It was pretty intense.  I’m exhausted from this time off.  [laughs]  Exhausted!

Were you really worried about the band’s future during that time?  I don’t know what your perception is actually being in Gojira, but the hunger amongst the fan base for new music from you guys is… people are rabid! You guys sneeze and we get a hundred e-mails from people going “Gojira sneezed! Why haven’t you written about it?!?”

JD: We take it easy.  We know what we’re doing.  We’re recording music and performing onstage, that’s what we do.  The fact that we’re successful — not like Madonna-successful, obviously — but the fact that it works and we have people that are attentive to what we do… It’s real support, but we’re still constantly worried about doing the right thing, and struggling to make a living with music.  We’re not super good at business.  We’re not good at Facebook and all that stuff.  We’re just about music.  We  have a Facebook page and all that, but [now] we have someone taking care of that, so it’s cool.  We’re constantly trying to find the best way to communicate with the fans.

We don’t sell shirts.  We sell shirts on tour.  But there are no shirts in stores. Most bands make a living out of selling shirts [not just on tour], and we’ve never thought about it.  We have new management that asked, “Do you want to sell shirts?”  “Fuck yeah! Of course we want to!” [laughs] It’s just hard to put your head into this.  So we need to take that step to be more organized and have more of a connection with the fans.  We focus on the music.

Do you enjoy that element of it – connecting with the fans? Are you into that?

JD:  We have an immense respect for our fans.  We realize every day that without them, this band doesn’t exist.  It’s as simple as that.  This band is our fans and us.  We’re the band: us and our fans.  There’s no question.  Of course we need to make that effort.  Even as a couple, it takes you some effort to talk with your girlfriend.  You need to be present and stuff.

MD: From my point of view, the concept of a “fan” is that you are a human being.  We feel so close to human beings in general. We talk to a humans.  Sometimes relations are difficult because we are shy.  I feel shy.  So it’s not easy for us. But I feel on the same level as everybody.  When I talk to a fan, I talk to a human, so I have to be careful.

JD:  Some bands are like, “Yo, motherfuckers! It’s going to be awesome! Check this out, motherfuckers!”  If we give a message to the fans or if we communicate, we try to bring something more.  Sometimes we can be too picky, so we don’t give anything for two months – no information, nothing.  We just don’t have anything to give.  We don’t want to keep them in the dark like that.  If we have something to give, we give.  If we don’t have it, we don’t give.

Do you guys feel pressure following up the last album?

MD: Of course a little pressure, because when people say that they can’t wait to hear the album, it’s a message, and we receive the message.  So we have to make a good album.  At the same time, we want to make a good album because it’s a way for us to be balanced in our lives.  We sing what we believe.  We have to be proud of our music.  It’s not about just making a CD and giving it to the fans.  We have to do something essential for us.  Usually when we are proud of our music, we know that most of the people will enjoy it, too.

That’s a good approach to take: if you like it, they’ll like it.

JD: We breathe this music.  If you change one note, it’s not the same anymore.  We’re very picky about what we’re doing.  Sometimes even something very simple in a riff or song… the vibration is exactly what we need at this moment.  It’s more than producing some sounds.  It’s about us.  It’s a lot about Mario and me composing.  The other guys [guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie] are involved also.  We jammed for months and months to create this album.  Mario and I composed this mostly, and we’re brothers.  It’s like something in the gut.  It’s very intense.  It’s impossible to lie during this process.  If something isn’t good, we know it right away, and we cannot live with it, and we cannot sleep.

Do you two always agree about what’s good or do you –

BOTH: [without hesitation] Always.

Oh, really? You never disagree? That’s pretty amazing.

JD: That’s why we can trust this brotherhood.  We trust that when we compose.  “It’s good?”  “Yeah, it’s good.  Let’s go.”

Mario was telling me outside that you have more songs coming into the studio this time than you normally do…

MD:    Exactly. On the last album, we took four full, intense months to compose the entire album.  I think it was very short.  On this one, we spent seven or eight months composing.  We had some songs… [to Joe] how do you say [speaking in French]?

JD: Extra songs.

MD: Extra songs! And that’s very cool, because it’s a good way to select the best songs.  Now we realize that when you release an album, each song has to be the best ever.  Now our priority is that each song has to be perfect.

So you’re not sure which songs are going to end up on the album? Or do you already have a sense of that?

MD: Not really.

JD: We have a sense of some that are going to be on the album for sure.  Now, the ones that are going to be bonuses or something like that… we can’t decide because we love them all.

MD: Sometimes [a song] can be very good but doesn’t work [for the final album].  Sometimes a good song has to go be a bonus track, because it doesn’t go with the album because of tempo and the dynamic of the album.  We are very picky with all the details.

JD: I didn’t record the vocals yet.  It’s just the drums for now.  It’s just the beginning [of the recording process], but already we can tell there is a very cool harmony.  It’s very fluid and beautiful.  It’s a beautiful drum sound and a beautiful balance in the songs.  Sometimes we can do just the drums and go, “Wow, it’s kicking ass!” But with the vocals [completed], we’ll be able to say, “This one needs to be on the album and this one can be a bonus song.”

Can you tell me anything about the actual music on the new album, other than the fact that you’re banging on doors?  How is it different from other Gojira albums?  Did you have a vision for it going into the process?

JD: It’s more mature.

How so?

JD: There’s less bullshit. [laughs] There’s more intensity and simplicity at the same time. Drum-wise, for example, Mario has been serving the music, but with a lot more of his experience in the drumming, and a lot of reflection in the work.  His drum fills, for example, are be simpler, yet more technical.  For a real drummer to hear [what he's doing], they’ll go “Holy shit, man. What did you do?”  For someone who is not into drumming, they’ll go through the song and say “Wow, cool.” There’s more technique and more experience.

MD: It’s more ambitious. There’s a space in the songs. [hums a riff] It’s more… [looks to Joe]

JD: Wide?

Expansive?

JD: It’s hard to talk about it, really.

Talking about music can be difficult.

JD: We’re not trying to avoid anything…

That’s cool. I usually ask bands how their new album sounds and they go, “It’s heavier,” which doesn’t really mean anything, so I appreciate you trying to express the sound to me.

Going into it, did you say we want to make something more open and more ambitious, or is that just how it turned out in the songwriting process?

MD: We never think about it, we just play.  Sometimes I want something fast, and Joe is the same.  We just go to the studio every day, to the practice room, and play together, and something happens.

JD: Something totally unexpected happens.  Personally, I had a vision of this album, with what I would like to see happening.  I was imagining something very organic and very deep, with more natural sounds.  Music-wise, it’s something like a dream and a storm… it’s magical.  I had this vision with colors, sounds and shapes in my mind.  I almost dreamed about it.  “Wow, I feel like this album is going to be like that.” But I didn’t know.  I have no idea until we see what happens when we get into the practice room.

Mario did a lot on this album, more than other albums.  He’s always very active, especially with the drums and the structure.  On this album, he came up with a lot of musical ideas, melodies, and sometimes riffs.  It was a very good combination.  He brought more musically than he usually does.  I was very busy on the business side, with how to organize things and the boring shit. It was interesting also because it’s political.  “Now we have more weight and we can sign a deal with whatever we want to do exactly.”  I had my mind on this a lot… I was on the phone, the internet and stuff — Mario, too, actually.  Christian, our guitar player, is giving a hand on paperwork and stuff.  So we’re very together, but Mario took more space on the musical side of stuff.

MD: Yeah, I felt very inspired.  I felt it was my role to bring the dynamic to the songs. We compose together, but I brought more dynamic than usual.  I have an idea to do a song for three minutes and go, “This and this.  Joe, can you help me?”  He took the guitar and helped.  He’s very reactive.  When I talk about something, like an idea or an energy — “What about [hums drumming]” –he took the guitar, and five seconds later, he proposed something to me.  It’s very interesting, because you don’t take four hours to do something.  It’s very quick and fast.  It was a very good combination.

JD: We learn about each other.  We trust each other.  Sometime I come up with something that I’m not sure about, and we try it.  If it’s not good, we both know.  If it is good, we both know.  Sometimes he comes up with a melody and we try it.  After five minutes it’s like, “Wow!  Of course!”  So we always get to that point where we agree on things.  We always come back to this relationship that we have.

I don’t remember what the question was, actually.

Neither do I, but I’m loving the answer.

[laughter]

What about working with Josh Wilbur?  There were a lot of rumors going around about who the producer was going to be on this album…

JD: We talked to several people.  What happened is, we were in touch with several producers in Los Angeles.  We didn’t know yet if we would use a producer for the first time or not. We mostly wanted to have advice on sound.  We usually do everything ourselves.  I produced the last album.  I was following the whole process: mixing and making sure that the vision of the band was respected in the studio.  This time, we wanted to have more help from someone with more experience with producing.  It couldn’t happen with a bunch of guys in Los Angeles and other places.  No one was available.  There were a lot of people who said that they wanted to do it, but it didn’t work out.  At one point, I said “Fuck it, I’m going to produce it.” Mario was like, “Yeah, I like this idea. I like that we can be free to do whatever we want to do.” Not that it would be the opposite with a producer.  There are tons of ways to work with a producer.  It could just be someone who brings amazing advice, who looks at you and how you play and says, “Maybe you should try that amp.  Maybe you should jam more, because that riff could be a little stronger.”  I said that I didn’t want to go to Los Angeles because I wanted to go to New York because I loved this city since I was a kid.  I’ve always been fascinated by New York.

You lived here for a little while, right?

JD: Yeah, two years ago, and also five years ago, I came here alone and rented a flat and stayed for inspiration and stuff.  This time, I’m here to stay.  I don’t know for how long.  I moved here basically a month ago.

So I decided to find a studio and an engineer or co-producer/mixer or whatever to put the thing together.  That’s what I did a month and a half ago when I came here.  The first studio I visited was here, Spin Studios.  The guys are super nice.  I’m alone, and I’m like, “Hey, I’m looking for a studio.” “Who are you?”  “I’m from that French band Gojira.” I visited this one first, and Josh was in this room mixing the new Lamb of God [Resolution].  I was like, “Hey, what’s up?”  He was like, “Hi, my name is Josh.” I didn’t know him, never heard of him before.  He played some songs from Lamb of God because he was mixing it, and then I asked him to play the drums dry without any reverb or anything, to hear how the drum room sounds here — because that’s the most important thing on the record. And it sounded amazing.  He taught me some tricks, like what microphones to use and this and that.  He’s young and full of energy.  He was bouncing on his chair when he was playing the songs.  I was like, “Wow.” I was listening on the headphones and on the speakers, and it just sounded exactly the way I was imagining the next Gojira. We’re not so far from Lamb of God, but far enough that we’re different genres.

So I felt the potential of the studio and of Josh.  I called Mario and said, “I met this young guy and he’s full of energy and he’s working on Lamb of God.”  Mario said, “Fuck yeah, let’s go!” So we’re co-producing this album – Josh and I. That’s the story.

And it seems like it’s going well in terms of your collaboration with him?

JD: Yeah, because we jammed for a day here in this room, and he took notes on some songs.  He was totally respectful, and knows exactly where we come from.  He was a big fan of our last album and stuff.  So he’d say, “I think this last part could be stronger,” but with a lot of respect.  He’d say, “I know it’s your music, and I don’t want to touch it, but on that part, I cannot really breathe before this other part comes.” And this is the first time someone tells us something like that.  So we tried it, and were like, “Oh, you’re right.  It’s better like that.” He just pushed us a little bit to make something a little better.

Sound-wise he’s doing an excellent job.  Mario was using one cymbal and Josh said,”Use this one because I think it fits better with the other one.” “Yeah, but we’ve used this cymbal for ten years now!” But we tried it and were like, “Fuck, he’s right!”  He says something, and sometimes, he’s right.  If it’s not right, we’ll tell him.  For now, he’s a great guy to work with.

That’s great.  And is your first time recording in the States, is that correct?

JD: We recorded the drums for The Way of All Flesh  in Los Angeles. The rest in France.

Have you found living here and doing a lot more recording here… has the change of environment affected your music in any way, or is it more like, wherever you go, there you are?

JD: I’m not sure.  We’re inspired.  Mario just arrived here for drum tracking and said, “Wow, there’s a lot of energy here.” Somehow, it’s an influence even on Mario’s playing.

MD: I spent ten months in France, and went to the ocean every day to surf.  It was my way to work on the drums.  I went in the ocean and played the drums.  My inspiration came from the ocean on this album.  I live in the town in France where there is nothing to do except go to the ocean.  No concerts, no exhibitions, no bars, nothing to do.  So when you arrive here, it’s so powerful.  It gave me the energy to record.

So how did this banging on the steel door thing come about?  Was it pre-planned, or was it something off the cuff that you just came up with today?

MD: Usually, when we record in France, we have a lot of stuff around, like a piece of metal or a piece of wood.  We love to experiment with percussions and make strange noises.  We have a big space in our practice room, and we usually find something and go, “Oh this piece of wood looks cool,” so we take it and go “whack!” This time I didn’t bring stuff to the U.S., so all the wood and the percussion stuff was in France.  So we had to compose in the environment.  We thought about this, and maybe tomorrow we’ll take a walk around the neighborhood to find more stuff [to bang on]. So in this way, we will feel New York on the album.

JD: We always experiment on albums.  On each album there is at least one track with strange sounds that we recorded in the forest or in the studio.

And you said that at the end of the day, there are going to be nine songs on the album?

MD:   Nine main songs with a couple of interludes.

And the bonus stuff.

JD: I know that at the beginning of this recording, I thought, “Okay, let’s not make another epic album.  Let’s make something a little shorter.” So when you go through the album, you want to play it again right away, instead of getting a little tired and saying. “I’ll listen to it later.” We’d like to keep it entertaining.  So we were thinking of making a shorter one this time.

Speaking of short, I almost hate to ask, but… what’s going on with the Sea Shepherd EP?

JD: With the what?

With the Sea Shepherd EP?

MD: What’s that?

The EP you guys have been working on…?

[The Brothers Duplantier stare at me blankly -- it's incredibly awkward. And then they suddenly burst into laughter.]

You had me there for a minute!

[They continue to laugh.]

I know you guys lost a bunch of stuff unfortunately.  Do you think that it’ll finally come to fruition at some point?

JD: Yeah, it’s just these small things that come at the wrong time, the wrong moment.  The whole process is very difficult.  We just regret that we started to talk about it, actually.  We should have kept it a secret. Because there’s no problem.  We like to take our time anyway.

We went to Los Angeles to record this with Logan Mader.  We had a lot of people involved in this, and everybody doing things for free.  Even our lawyer here in New York did some paperwork for free.  All kinds of people brought something for the cause. We felt after awhile that we had this responsibility to all these people.   There is a lot of controversy with the Sea Shepherd, but we don’t give a fuck, because they are just amazing people dedicating their lives to doing something good.  Even if you do something that doesn’t look so good… the goal is something pure.  They just want to protect life in the ocean.  It’s beautiful.  We want to contribute to that.

We’re almost done; we just have to add a couple of things.  When we were almost finished, we had a computer crash, and lost the hard drive.  We’re still trying to get some stuff off of it.  We have vocals that people sent, and some bass that we recorded.  We arranged a lot of stuff after Los Angeles, because we had to hurry when we were there.  Back in France, we recorded some stuff, and then we lost that.  We still need to re-record some stuff and maybe hopefully we’ll get the vocals out of this hard drive that crashed.

MD: It’s such a nightmare.

JD: Yeah, it’s a nightmare.  We sent [the crashed hard drive] to a guy in France who took forever to come back to us.  We had to chase him, and at the same time, prepare the new album.  When it’s a nonprofit thing and people do things for free, everything takes more time, which is normal.  Everybody has to work and do their stuff to feed their families.  You cannot push people and go, “Do that and that.”

MD: I think that there was no luck.

It sounds like it.

MD:  It was so bad, but we’ll get that done for sure.

JD: We love the songs.  They are Gojira songs with other people singing.

“Of Blood and Salt” with Devin Townsend and Fredrik Thordendal from Meshuggah… I’m not clear if it leaked or was officially released, but it sounds great.  People were really stoked on it.

JD: That was the first one done. The others… I could play them now because they sound as good as that one, but some things are missing.  It’s likem “Ahhh!  We’re going backwards now.” We’ll get that done eventually.  We cannot say when really.  We also have a terrible lack of time because we’re working every day on this album.

 

 

with METALSTORM.NET > March 2009 > Jean-Michel and Christian before show in France

Well, we rarely hear much from the other half of Gojira, but this interview gives a great description of the lesser known guys Jean-Michel and Christian. What music they like, their childhood and what bands have inspired them, and how they feel being a part of Gojira what it’s like to hear their own music, and much more. A must read for Gojira Fans!

Darkside Momo: Well… First I wanted to talk a bit about your previous shows and tours, and particularly the show you played in Arras, when you opened for Metallica… So, how was it?
Jean-Michel (bass): Well, er… It was, and still is, a completely crazy memory… To be there, to tread on the same stage as the band that gave us the urge to do this, it was a childhood dream. I know that I had goosebumps, I wanted to cry, laugh, jump, and share all this with everyone… It was a real celebration for me to open for Metallica and to play with my band. So, it was many blended emotions, and a great joy to be able to do it.
Christian Andreu (guitar): Yeah it was crazy, crazy… It’s difficult to put it into words, that’s a dream come true.

DM: And, are there any other bands with whom you’d want to share the stage?

JM: There still are, yes.
C: For me it would be Tool.
JM: Yeah, Tool. We could also name… Meshuggah, stuff like that. Or Neurosis.

DM: And about the tour with in Flames, that you finished a few months ago I think…

JM: …One month and a half…

DM: … how was it?

JM: It was great, it went off really well. We got along very well with the crew working for In Flames too, so it was a tour that… it was a big family travelling. And then, of course, the first part of the tour was in Europe, and we went playing in countries that we never really explored before. So we were able to see the status of the band there.

DM: Which countries, for example?

JM: We never really went to Germany before, we had played in two festivals; but festivals are a bit like an industry, there’s a lot of stuff going on, so focusing on one band is not that easy! In a venue, that’s another story. So we’ve been able to try how it was for us in Germany. We felt that the reception was a bit… er…
C: Colder…
JM: Colder, but attentive. And we went to Italy for the first time, and there the reactions were really hot! (laughs) We also explored Spain a bit more, and we felt that we took hold there too, that they understood our percussive style… and that’s it. So, in Europe it was great to be able to see all these countries in one month and a half, to have a part in all this! Then, well, the second part was in the States, it was the fourth time we went there, and we found out that a lot of people that came to see us during our first tours, came back with new friends.

DM: The word’s being spread…

JM: Exactly, and it makes us happy! So we got home tired, but happy and full of memories, of stuff… And eager to go back!

DM: And when would it be?

JM: In the States? This year…

DM: Do you have a headliner tour planned, or not?

JM: That’s in the works, yes. This will be our first headliner tour…
C: In May.
JM: Yeah, in May. But we’re talking about taking a rest before…
C: Yeah. But that’s what we’re up to.
JM: So this will be our headlining tour, and 2009 will be mostly headlining for us. And this is a relief because, after 2 years passed as the opening band, to develop ourselves in foreign countries… Because it is a bit as if we started again from scratch, whereas we’re quite renowned in France, and so this is great, it’s a bit like an apotheosis, to be able to propose our show and our music for a longer time, for people who would like to see it differently and not 30 minutes.
DM: That’s nice you’ve already answered my next question! (laughs)
FreakyMarge: Do you think that all your audiences have something in common? In the various countries you’ve been to, can you find similarities or do they all have their own way to react?

C: Well, first of all, they all are metalheads (laughs), but it’s true that in every country it’s different… In Germany, they were a little… they were wondering “what’s that band? We heard about them, let’s see…” And they were a little like that (he makes a serious face) they weren’t moving. In Spain it’s a big success, in Italy it’s always like an explosion, so it depends on the country, but metalheads stay metalheads, they’re moshing, stage diving… In fact it’s more in the US that we can see the difference between Europe and them, because over there, they’re already listening to metal when they’re 6 years old, it’s a more popular culture and they don’t hesitate: if they like a band, it’s boom “let’s go there and mosh, let’s party…”

DM: Even more than in Germany? Here in France we have this image of Germany being a metal country and it seems colder, the way you describe it…

C: Well, we feel that the audience don’t let go as much as others… I don’t know, there are different ways to see this I think but it’s true that in the US, the guys are screaming, even those who are in the back of the venue.
JM: It’s very spontaneous…In fact the Americans have had that kind of music for a long time I think, a lot of music comes from there, they have big music industries and as a band you have to fight hard to exist so they’re doing a real show, people love that, they want to see a big show and craziness. The consequence is that the audience is very spontaneous. In Europe you have a few spontaneous people but they are mixed in with the critical ones, the sceptical ones… In Europe you have old cultures, Europe is old somehow! America is a new nation, it’s crazier… Europe and US have quite the same size, but Europe is made of different countries and cultures and so of different temperaments and dispositions.

DM: Next, about this summer… What about festivals? I know you’ll be at Hellfest, but are there others?

JM: Well there’s the Printemps de Bourges, and… What else… There will be many, I know some are still waiting for confirmation.
C: Well it’s still in the works, you see. It’s true that there are these two, but we’ll do about fifteen I think.

DM: Nice!

C: Yeah, yeah, I think we’ll be on big ones this year…
JM: Yeah, from early June, when it begins, up to mid-August, we’ll be kind of everywhere.
C: There’s one that bodes really well in Spain…
JM: Yes but we can’t speak of it! (laughs)
C: That’s what I was about to say, you’ll probably learn more soon!

DM: And Wacken, maybe?

C: Not this year for Wacken. The bill is already complete… There was no place on it. Sadly.
JM: We would have really liked, it still is THE European metal festival. Next year maybe!

DM: Now, I have two questions about The Way Of All Flesh. Why is this album so dark? Especially compared to From Mars To Sirius, which was really bright (at least I felt that way), and awesome because of that! Bright death metal… So why this ‘step back’, so to speak, towards something darker?

JM: Well Joe would be the best to answer this question, but we share his stuff a little I think. So you find this darker side because, for the past two years we had to defend and promote the band in foreign countries, so it was like starting from scratch again. Starting like a young band who opens for a bigger one: you put on your stuff when told to do so, you play 30 minutes and that’s all, you live it all the hard way. So living this for two years made us grind our teeth and also gave us the will to go on. So people saw we were dedicated… There’s also the harshness of this life, as we were on the road for more than 8 months a year, 160 shows a year…

DM: It must be tiring…

JM: It is tiring. We went through times that were psychologically really hard, and I think it is what made this album a bit darker, a bit more furious… I don’t know, I just say that, but maybe Joe felt some sensations of death, of “aarrrgggg”… We were crushed under all this, we fought in it, and he wanted to address these subjects too, death in general, on many levels. So it shows in the music.
And also, mixing with many different bands, Swedish, American… that are really metal, and seeing how they were reacting, how they were, their music, sometimes it made us wonder. This ultra violent and primitive side that they put into it, and this probably influenced us somewhere, to live with these guys for months on the road…
So it’s a mix of many things. An evolution that led to our stuff being a bit more straight to the point, direct, and a bit more sombre too.
C: After that I think that Joe likes subjects that are a bit philosophical. You know, he’s a philosopher, poet, artist, and all that. So, it’s the first album that’s about introspection, he tackles some universal problems, you see… I think that we all think about death, especially when you’re thirty… So I think it all came naturally, with what we have lived and stuff…

DM: So it was a bunch of questions that would have come one day or another…?

C: That’s it, it was logical. He deals with spirituality, introspection, the state of the planet, or environment… “Oh shit, forgot about death… So let’s talk about death, then!” (laughs)
JM: He likes to talk about stuff that appears to be a little taboo, I think, in European societies or culture. We don’t speak about death, it’s frightening.

DM: No, we elude the subject as much as possible.

JM: That’s it, and so he wanted to explore it and show that death could be beautiful too. But it’s not only death as in “a person dies”, it’s the death of many things, of a state of being… For example, a person is in a certain way, five years later he or she changes so it’s the death of the previous self. It can go quite far…

DM: Death and rebirth to go towards something else…?

JM & C: Yeah, yeah, exactly…
DM: And the other question is about Toxic Garbage Island. What is it about really? What’s this story with this plastic bag?

C: In fact, from what he explained to me (I didn’t know beforehand), apparently there’s a place on the planet, I think it’s in…
JM: … the Pacific Ocean…
C: …in the Pacific Ocean that, because of the maritime currents, carries in fact all the shit…
JM: …all the garbage thrown in the oceans converge towards this stream, and when they are carried that creates this ‘hole’, that was called the Toxic Garbage Island by the Americans.
C: Apparently it really is an island made of plastic bags, garbage and floating shit.
JM: And this came… Well Joe had a dream one day, in which he imagined he was in the water, well I don’t really know but it was something like that, and he was a turtle stuck in a plastic bag… The will to speak about this is a part of our commitment about ecology.

DM: Do Greenpeace still have a stall at your shows?

JM: Yes. Well they can’t come to every show, for example yesterday in Montpellier they were there; it’s something that’s important for us. Increasing public awareness… And some go, some don’t, we don’t force them.

DM: And what do Greenpeace gain? More adherents, maybe?

JM: In practical terms we don’t really know… We ask them to come because we are involved in the stuff, but after that everyone is free to do it or not. If they come, they certainly gain something, to pass the word and show what they’re doing, and increase people’s awareness to all this…
C: Generally we go and see them after the show, and so the guys tell us “yeah, that’s great!” But after that it’s true that we don’t ask them about the way they are satisfied. I think it has some results when there are 1000 people coming, like this evening. There’s at least a handful that will go and see them, so that’s already a victory.

Marge: Speaking about your commitment with Greenpeace and stuff, do you think that it’s a part of your originality? What vision do you have concerning your music, what makes you think that you are original?

C: We are inside it so we don’t tell ourselves “we are original” or “we’re not”…we are who we are, you know. It’s true that in everyday life I eat organic food, I try to do things as I can, at my level, to feel that I have a little impact because of what I buy or consume. I think Joe and everybody in the band is like that. Music is just a part of us. Whatever we do in our lives, whatever our job… Actually we found ourselves playing music and in that music you can find who we are, you know. It’s true that those themes are quite rare in metal bands so in consequence it can bring an original side to Gojira. But we don’t do that to be original; we do that because we are like that.
JM: It came naturally I think.
C: I think that if Joe was writing lyrics that would go in the opposite way I personally would quit the band. For my part it’s my battle in life too. You know, Joe is the leader of the band, he composes and writes the lyrics and my personal battle is that band, to touch thousands or even millions of people. So it represents my commitment, to follow that guy because I believe in what he says, I agree with him, we think the same things.

Marge: Actually, I would say that music represents your more efficient way of expression…

C: Yeah exactly. That’s exactly what I wanted to say.

Marge: And if it hadn’t been music? I mean, I always wonder how bands begin in music…Have they been ‘called’ by the music? Have they really chosen that? Have they worked specifically for that? Is it innate, or is it destiny?

C: I think it’s everything you’ve just said.

Marge: Ok (laughs).

C: It’s a mix of everything…you see?
JM: We don’t really know that we’re going to dedicate ourselves to that. When I was young, 11 years old, I heard Metallica, it gave me goosebumps, I didn’t know what it was, what metal was but it touched me, that electric guitar and everything…And little by little, I began to listen to Iron Maiden, Pantera…and then you’re 15, 16 years old, somebody at school has a guitar and says “come to my house I’ve got a guitar and I will show you some stuff!” He plays some chords and “woah!!” it appeals to you. And then you begin to watch some videos of bands like Metallica and then you know a guy who’s playing drums and it begins like that. And the first time that we play in a bar in front of two guys we’re like “yeah it was so great!”…
C: Yeah, for my part, I truly believe in destiny, but one that is not necessary written when you’re born. I do agriculture and I often take this example: when you sow a carrot seed, it becomes a carrot even though it is very small at first. It’s very down-to-earth, it’s a basic example. And when you come on earth, you’re nothing at first, and then you become somebody. So, for me, I think that we must become what we must become. But to do that, you have to listen to yourself and follow your intuitions, to know “am I feeling good in that life? Am I in my element?”. Without that, you stop, and try another thing. And if you can do something that belongs to you, you’re going to blossom and you’ll be…I don’t say “happy” but you’ll know that you’ll be in your element and into what belongs to you. You see? So I think there is a part of destiny.

                                              Gojira Together
with FOURTEENG.NET> NOV 2007 >Chicago House of Blues> Radio Rebellion Tour

 

KARMA OMAWALE sits down with Gojira Mid-tour to learn more the guys and the music. This is a good In-depth Interview going over Joe’s work with CC,  creation of The Way of All Flesh, Spirit, and what its like being the “French Conservationist Metal Band” lol. Joe gets deep into very interesting convo… Check it out.

In case you hadn’t known, France’s Gojira is taking over the world of metal as we know it. Since the band’s maiden tour (with Children of Bodom), this band has gained mad respect from fans especially here in the States when the band converged on America during their opening slot on the Sacrament Tour back in March. Gojira has definitely started to make a name for themselves. The band is at an exciting stage in their career, they stormed North America again in the fall on the Radio Rebellion Tour with Job For a Cowboy & Behemoth and are in the process of writing follow-up to last year’s mammoth release, From Mars to Sirius. Join in conversation with the band’s dynamic singer, Joe Duplantier, as he discusses the magic of it all in regards to touring, playing with Brothers Cavalera in the Cavalera Conspiracy, creating their new album, etc… Hang on to your crown chakras…

Karma: Okay Mr. Duplantier, please share with the audience your involvement with the Cavalera Conspiracy.

Joe: It’s been a great experience, really. I was a big, big fan of Max & Igor’s since a long time. And when I first met them, I was nervous. They made me feel comfortable, right away. Max is such a sweet, sweet guy; [said through his thick French accent]…not Swedish. [Laughs] Igor is also a sweet guy so that’s the great part; I mean, it’s been a great experience. But I must say, that it been also a bit hard to be thrown like this in between these two brothers because I wasn’t really prepared, you know. They have been together since, forever, you know so…I needed maybe two or three days to get used to the situation. Finally its been very enriching. I was also able to bring something like personally in the composition. It was a bit strange to be with these guys that are like, regular dudes, you know. And at the same time, they are like…

Karma: …heroes to you.

Joe: [Nods head] …heroes to me so I had to deal with these feelings. So I had to work on that. But it’s very interesting because now I am confronted to that kind of people. Like say for example that guy Rex [Brown] from Pantera…

Karma: and Down.

Joe: [Acquiesces]…the bass player came in the studio, a guy from the Misfits came in the studio, Dino Cazares (Fear Factory)…

Karma: …and now Divine Heresy.

Joe: Yep, that kind of guys that are just, normal…I won’t ask them not for autographs or anything because I am working with these guys now and it feels great!

Karma: That’s awesome Joe!

Joe: It is awesome! [Smiles]

Karma: On to the new album, how’s it coming along?

Joe: We’re working on the compositions right now and it’s pretty exciting! But we started to work on this new album before taking a real break from the last tour, the Sacrament Tour. And we had some European festivals also and some gigs in France, Norway…Europe. Now we’re coming back to the States for another tour and it’s hard to, to be able to bring some new ideas and material when you’re touring all the time. So we have a lot of ideas, I’m working on the lyrics right now and the design for the cover. I’m pretty tired but excited at the same time, So now we have to put all these ideas together and record them.

Karma: How much pressure is being put on you guys to come up with a bigger, better product past From Mars to Sirius?

Joe: I know that I don’t want to release the album in August but…okay so there’s the band and there’s the management. All we want to do is take our time and lead our passion; I mean do exactly what we want to do. We are musicians because we like to chill out and grab a guitar suddenly and rock really, and that’s what we like to do… But it’s not like this in the real life, it’s much more complicated; I mean I would love to live this life, chill out and suddenly grab a guitar and go, “Hey, let’s go on tour!” [Laughs] “You know a lot of people want to see us, let’s go on tour!” It’s not like that! It’s a LOT of work and a lot of sacrifice. When you do concessions, the label and the management, the tour manager and the prime minister…they talk together! [Smirks]

Karma: [Blank countenance] The Prime Minister of France?

Joe: [Nods]

Karma: Okay, so you’re being a smart ass right now, right!

Joe: [Laughs hysterically] Okay, so all these people who talk about the band and they’ll say how the last tour was great but… But now the time has come and we need a new album. It’s totally unknown that we’re getting famous and I know it’s totally gonna work. I mean we are musicians okay, and we don’t give a fuck! We just want to chill out and grab a guitar suddenly. But [the label] have this chat about us and they give us a phone call. “I think we should release this album in May!” We have two options, it’s May or September…because in September, kids go back to school and they want to buy some new music. We don’t want to wait too long, because people forget about you. You know that right?

Karma: All TOO well I am familiar with this concept Joe!

Joe: We have had several meetings and we decided it was wise to release the album before next summer.

Karma: Plus you can really take advantage of the summer festivals, etc.

Joe: Yeah, yeah! So it means it’s going to be out in May/June.

Karma: Of course since you’ve got your own studio you can afford to take a little more time but since this is a time sensitive issue but there’s something to be said about taking your time too.

Joe: Yes, it is a very good thing. Because we do everything, it can take more time because we have this option to…

Karma: …be a little more free.

Joe: Yeah, which is good but it drives you mad sometimes.

Karma: Since you are doing everything yourself, would you ever entertain the idea of an outside producer coming in?

Joe: Yes! Yeah, why not! It’s an option that…

Karma: …you’ve kicked around.

Joe: Yes, we’re actually going to talk about that in a couple of days when the rest of the band comes to the States.

Karma: Guess it goes without saying that you’re stoked for this upcoming tour?

Joe: The upcoming tour is going to be a BRUTAL tour! Very death metal and it’s probably even better for us than a hardcore tour, you know. It will be the first time in the States where we play with extreme death metal bands. It’s going to be very interesting because especially with Behemoth we have like common points with this band, maybe like the same influences. It will be interesting to see a new crowd. Like people who want to see Behemoth or Job For a Cowboy or even the first band Beneath the Massacre.

We like being in the States, we love that! We love new places like Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando, also and we’re playing San Francisco for the first time. [Eyes brighten] A lot of new things and its all-very exciting.

Karma: How does it feel to be able to represent your country with France having a relatively underground status to the world of metal, until now?

Joe: It feels good; it’s exciting because it’s one of the first times that a French band has had a career here in the States. That’s what we’re about, is to live but it’s cool!

Karma: What have you learned about yourself and your band mates as musicians over the years?

Joe: Very interesting question, it would take AGES to answer that one. [Laughs] I’ve learned, and I going to try to be effective, I learned how to manage my fears and my anger when I’m mad a someone or when I have that feeling, I learned to turn them into good vibrations and into music. SO I have this impression where I take my fears and suffering and pain… [Pauses]

Karma: …and channel them?

Joe: Yeah! And sculpt it, you know. I have this image of I put all this in front of me and I just do something with it, with my friends, my colleagues, my family…and we learn friendship; it’s a beautiful adventure. It’s hard to explain this to people usually. Especially when people go, “So how’s it going?” [Shrugs shoulders] “I don’t know, it’s going! It’s amazing, it’s fantastic!” It’s been ten years now.

Karma: Well suffice it to say, it’s been a great ride!

Joe: It’s great!

Karma: And just to think ten years in and it’s only the beginning, here in the States and all…

Joe: Yes, it’s only the beginning.

Karma: So I had to look this up, in regards to Sirius C- Dogon: Nommos, that roughly translates into “Day of the Fish”. Is that religious belief the basis behind the concept of From Mars to Sirius?

Joe: Not really “religious” beliefs,

Karma: Well then more of a spiritual influence?

Joe: Yes, spiritual. I believe that we don’t know everything. I like to talk of things that we are not certain of, you know. Human beings, people in general are so certain that we know everything, “Okay, are they there? I have this number. I have my I.D. I have this and my car. I live there, and my name is” But so what? Finally, what do you know? [Laughs] We know that we live Joe Duplantier of Gojira (Photo: Erika Kristen Watt)on a planet surrounded by never ending space so it’s exciting. I like to read things about aliens or new planets to discover, ocean planets and uh, whales. [Laughs] Alien whales, I dunno, just dreams, just imagination. But to me, spirituality is to be able to speak as a child with questions and not being certain of everything all the time, and I like that!

Karma: Do you believe in the afterlife?

Joe: [Without hesitation] Yes!

Karma: And what is your take on “god”?

Joe: It’s what I’m going to say is pretty strange because I think it’s very simple but at the same time it could be like blasphemy but I would say that we are god! We are the creator of our own lives and god for me is infinity. The smallest parts of my body, of your body, we’re all linked by the same energy and we are all a part of the same light. There is light, and we are light and we are god. That’s what I would say! I mean god is a beautiful word because each one of us has its own definition of god. Yeah, to me its pretty powerful.

Karma: Well that was a powerful answer! Switching gears a bit, I have to say that I loved the album! It’s one of the most original ones for that year, or otherwise!

Joe: [Humbled] Thank you very much! That’s nice to hear.

Karma: Sounds like you were able to exorcise your demons as From Mars to Sirius served as a testament to your personal evolution of enlightenment and betterment.

Joe: [Acquiesces] Yeah!

Karma: How hard was it for you to be able to put into words what you were feeling? How labourious was it for you to do?

Joe: Yes, it was hard. At the same time it’s like the lyrics just come to me so I have to be patient. Maybe for a week I will write things and I will try to think of what’s in front of me, you know the ideas and the feelings, the experiences and try to be positive and constructive. But at the same time I have to deal with my demons, my fears, my anger, jealousy, etc. Sometimes I like to talk about the fact that I feel lost or just without any strength. And sometimes I just “feel” [said in his finest French accent] life, you know. Yes, it’s hard to write lyrics. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. It’s like giving life to someone, because we are the parents of the song and then we let them go and then it belongs to the world, to the audience, the people. It’s not us, it’s like when you give birth.

Karma: Such a poetic way of putting it. Never have I heard it quite in those terms.

Joe: [Laughs] Cool!

Karma: Well for you “not being able to explain” it came out very well! Did you intend to make an album over an hour long [1:06:52]? However, you were able to do some amazing things in that time frame.

Joe: Yeah, we just let things go. I had an idea of a short album with short songs, may be nine, ten songs and finally we have a one-week album! [Chuckles] It’s like a very long trip to hear that and the songs are something like seven to eight minutes so, it was not planned, you know. It just came like that. And we like it, finally. It’s intense! Very, it’s almost work to hear to listen to this album.

Karma: But having said that, it’s a journey, a very enjoyable journey.

Joe: But you have to hear it at the right moment so you won’t get bored, I think.

Karma: Hmmm…I will disagree with you on this. l I think even if you were bored this album will pull you out of it. You don’t have to even be in a particular mood to listen to this album…but this is just my 2¢.

Joe: Well I guess it’s because I’m in the band its different for me,

Karma: And of course since you did create the songs you would think differently but there’s something new to discover every time you hear it.

Joe: Oh well thanks! Cool!! So then finally it’s not that long, huh?

Karma: No! The hour passes very quickly!

Joe: Well I almost feel there are two albums in this one album. We could have two albums with the ideas and what I see in it. The materials for two albums mixed in one, but I’m happy with it.

Karma: What’s your favorite song off the album and why?

Joe: Today it’s “World to Come” because there is hope, because its about the world that I would like to see for the next generation and for me later. I like it because I’m getting old, I’m 31… [Laughs hysterically]

Karma: Oh poor you, you’re so ancient!

Joe: [Smiles] “World to Come” is mid tempo; it’s more light, it’s not as heavy as the rest of the album. So on one of the French tours, we had an hour and a half so we had the time to play three albums, a lot of things. We used to play that song, and on stage I mean man, I changed my guitar, I took a Telecaster, the sound was changing and refreshing so I really like that song.

Karma: If not music, then what?

Joe: Baseball!

Karma: [Shocked] Really?

Joe: Yeah! I love baseball; I’m a pitcher. In France we don’t have so many teams, you know. When I was 15-years old I wanted to be professional, you know. It was impossible so I formed a band.

Karma: Is there a Gojira song that sums up your life in a nutshell?

Joe: “Backbone” actually, the lyrics are about I feel indestructible. I believe that! When you believe in life after death, life after life…you feel indestructible. I like this feeling, when I’m down; I like to think about these things. If you’re alive [pauses, switches gears] if you’ve got an arm, for example, you’re still alive. If you’ve got the other one too…legs, if you take off the eyes and if you take off the head, are you really dead? It’s just the body doesn’t work anymore. We are more than just flesh, water and bone you know. When you look at someone, you see much more. I like to stay in this idea and make something grow, like a fire that you’re building, you put wood on it. This idea I’m just making it stronger and it makes me feel indestructible.

Karma: Something else I wanted to ask you concept wise, what do whales represent/mean to you?

Joe: the whales have so much grey matter, even more than human beings. And they don’t understand yet why because they don’t have to build houses or go to school or go to work. So why are they so intelligent, finally? They have migration, we don’t explain because it’s not for food, it is not for reproduction. Some say that it’s kind of healing for the earth. So they move like the chakras of the earth. [Grins] So it’s like if the whales were very conscious of what’s happening on earth and they know us. I have special feeling with them. I think we have things to learn from the whales; I love those animals and we just kill them. Some countries still hunt them and I wanted to put a flying whale on the cover, I think it’s just beautiful.

Karma: And that it is! Is there one common misconception about the band that people may have about you and/or the band that you would like to dispel?

Joe: Oh yeah, [laughs] yes a lot. Some say that we’re eco-warriors which is cool but we’re concerned a lot. We do give money to Greenpeace for example, a little bit because we don’t have a lot of money, of course. We give a bit of money so we can have the paper each month…sorry, I don’t have the words, if this were in French, this would go faster. [Laughs sheepishly] We like to know what they do in Greenpeace but French Press, for example used to say that we’re eco-warriors. They forget the spiritual part! They just ask, “so what do you think of this boat polluting this or that?” That’s a misunderstanding, and that’s kind of cool. Some say that we’re kind of weird because of flying whales. [Chuckle] So they we are hippies, well why not! Well I feel you understand pretty well.

Karma: Definitely, my name is Karma after all! [We all laugh] What would you like the music community to remember about Gojira?

Joe: [Thinks] I dunno, brutality!

Karma: If you could commission a band to do a Gojira cover, particularly off this album, who would do it and which song would it be?

Joe: Wow, that’s a question! Hmm…Metallica! YEAH! Why not! I’m free. Metallica playing “Backbone!” That would be awesome! I don’t think it’s gonna happen but maybe they’re gonna read this interview and something will happen.

Karma: Yeah, that would be awesome indeed! But hey stranger things have happened Joe! Stranger things! Now do you have any special messages to your fans?

Joe: For the American fans, beware, Godzilla’s coming for you [Laughs hysterically] and for the others, be patient!

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COOL INTERVIEW VIDEOS

[ultimate 4 /]

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