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Gojira Interview

A Conversation With Vocalist/Guitarist Joe Duplantier

By

Gojira

Gojira

Prosthetic Records
Updated October 14, 2008
After exploding out of the underground with 2006's From Mars To Sirius, the French band Gojira is prepared to ascend even higher with their latest CD The Way Of All Flesh, which features a guest appearance from Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Duplantier fills us in on the new album, his recent stint with Cavalera Conspiracy, some French bands we should know about, and more.

Chad Bowar: How has the band’s sound evolved from From Mars To Sirius to The Way Of All Flesh?
Joe Duplantier: This record is probably darker and more straight to the point than From Mars To Sirius.

Is there a theme or concept to the album?
This album is about the notion of death. In our lyrics, there's a lot of soul searching and also some spontaneous expression of emotions. Writing about mortality has been a good way for me to face my inner fears related to my own death.

What inspired the CD title?
The desire of understanding fears and expressing how hard it is to go through life in general.

How did Randy Blythe’s guest appearance come about?
Randy Blythe and Chris Adler from Lamb Of God contacted us two years ago because they liked our music. They practically brought us over to the U.S. and helped us a lot. We opened for LOG on a big part of the Sacrament tour in 2007, and became good friends. I would sing with them on "Redneck" almost every night. Randy and I have things in common, like the love of nature. We have very different personalities, but we're on the same page when it comes to music and making fire out in the wild. Having him singing on our album was more than natural and a great experience.

You produced the CD, but Logan Mader did some engineering, mixing and mastering. How was he to work with?
Absolutely great. Logan is a killer engineer. It's been a great experience to be able to work with him. He's calm, precise and he knows exactly what he's doing in a studio because he's a musician himself and a fabulous one. It was very enriching for me to work with him and I learned a lot from this association. He brought us the big sound we've always wanted.

What are your expectations for the CD?
The Way Of All Flesh is our fourth album, but to a lot of people, it's our second album because we're a new band outside of France since From Mars To Sirius. We expect a reinforcement of our band and we hope this album will help us to reach a new level and bring Gojira to a headline position. That would be fulfilling for us.

What are your upcoming tour plans?
We are currently touring in Europe with In Flames until November, then we will join their U.S. headline tour for one month. We also plan to tour in France in February. It will actually be our first French tour in three years and we are very excited to come back home.

Which countries are still on your list to play live that you haven’t been to yet?
Sweden, Italy, Austria, and hopefully Australia and Japan.

What has been your most memorable tour, and why?
The Sacrament U.S. tour with Lamb Of God in 2007. Machine Head and Trivium were also on the bill. 42 gigs all over US and Canada.

How did you get involved with Cavalera Conspiracy?
They reached out to us to be part of this project. Jean Michel, our bass player, wasn't available at this period, so we decided to have me replace him. I've been such a fan of Sepultura for so many years that I couldn't refuse it.

How was the experience making that CD?
That was such an awesome experience! I remember the first day, when I came in the studio with my bass. I was a bit nervous. When Max showed up, he hugged me and said "Hey, Joe! We’re gonna have a blast !" And from this point, things started to be so simple. We jammed for about two hours, playing old Sepultura stuff. I couldn't believe my eyes, I was playing bass with Max and Iggor Cavalera. The next day, we were composing and recording the first song of the album. We worked in a very spontaneous way during the whole process. Plus, I met Logan Mader who first became a friend and finally recorded and mixed our latest album.

Do you anticipate working with them again in the future?
Actually I’m quite busy with Gojira, we have the new album coming out and so many countries to blow through.

The lineup for Gojira has been the same since the beginning. How do you guys manage to get along so well?
We all love what we do, we try to communicate as much as possible, and we respect each other as much as possible.

How is the metal scene in France?
Growing.

What genres of metal are the most popular there?
All of them. France is a really open-minded country regarding music.

Who are some French bands we might not know about that you would recommend?
Manimal, Eths, Black Bomb A, Ultra Vomit, Curtiss, Lazy, Demians, Aside From A Day, Tang, Happy Face, Trepalium, Dagoba, Psykup, Punish Yourself, Klone, and so many others.

Was there a song or album that inspired you to want to perform music?
“Fade To Black” from Metallica’s Ride the Lightning.

What’s your single all time favorite CD?
Grace by Jeff Buckley

What’s your all time favorite song?
“Imagine” from John Lennon

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