GOJIRA – In your ghetto blaster
I påvente av et helt nytt intervju med GOJIRA som kommer online her på Eternal Terror i løpet av januar, har vi plukket fram et lite intervju vi gjorde med vokalist Joe Duplantier i 2005 som dere kan kose dere med i jula.
Da albumet "From Mars to Sirius" dukket opp her hjemme, fikk jeg litt bakoversveis. Jeg hadde hørt GOJIRA‘s andre skive "The Link" uten å bli videre imponert. Men med "From Mars to Sirius" tok, i mine ører, GOJIRA tak i toppen av kransekaka når det gjelder innovativ metal. Det var flust med såkalt groovy gode låter. Når i tillegg man finner nyheten om at bandet skal spille i Bergen under Hole in the Sky festivalen i august i år, da måtte jeg bare ta kontakt med bandet for å finne ut litt mer om disse franskmennene. Det er vokalist og gitarist Joe Duplantier som har stått for svarene.
First of all, let me congratulate you with an excellent album in From Mars to Sirius. It’s not often I get my hands on such an innovative album these days. It must have been a very exiting time when you recorded this album and at least not to play the songs live.
Yes we love to be in the studio and make our ideas come alive through the recording process. The compositions we have only in our minds becoming reality, bounced on a CD : that’s my favourite part of the job.
I actually find Gojira, among with your countrymen Scarve, as one of the most innovative metal band at the moment. Would you say that the French metal scene is especially innovative compared to the rest of the world?
Well I don’t know! I think each band has is own originality and I like to say that we belong to planet earth and not France or Norway or England. But yes, France is awaking and you can find there very solid bands. To many to mention.
Gojira isn’t too well known here in Norway yet, so could you please fill us in with a little history.
We formed the band in 1996 in South West of France near the city of Bayonne. We recorded about 4 demos under the name "Godzilla" and in 2000, changed the name of the band into the original Japanese version "Gojira" and recorded our first album : "Terra Incognita" witch is pretty basic death metal… We changed our band name into Gojira because we had problems with the US movie rights and we liked the idea of the "true" name of the giant monster! since that time, we released two other albums : "The Link" (2003) and "From Mars To Sirius" (2005) The line up is : – Christian Andreu : Guitars – Mario Duplantier : Drums – Jean-Michel Labadie : Bass – Joe Duplantier : Vocals-guitars
I know that the lyrics are very important for you, but what do you look for especially when you are writing new songs?
The lyrics are about humans and the will to evolve. We live on a very small planet in a never-ending space with no high and no low, no south and no west, and all the points of reference we have are all in our minds… good & bad, up & down, black & white, space & time… And some of us are so certain that they know everything about everything… I like the idea of taking some distance for a different point of view and talk about things that are not certain. Like "life after death", ”extraterrestrial life” or ”the vision of a world without war”! All those things are not certain but very probable…
..and while we are in the subject of the important things, tell our readers about the lyrics as well.
"From Mars To Sirius" is about a journey. The person that will plunge into the sound of this album will travel from one energy to another. From the red planet Mars symbol of war and destruction in many cultures (in Greek mythology, Mars is the god of war) to the planet Sirius C, satellite of the star Sirius. Sirius is the brightest star of the night sky and also synonymous of hope and consciousness in many civilizations like ancient Egypt. There is a parallel made with our humanity that needs to take an important step forward… If we want to survive and save our planet we need to turn this destructive energy of war and madness into a wiser state!
What do you think of the things happing around the world with the weather conditions and the global warming? Do you think we can stop it or is it too late?
It’s never too late. You can always do something to change the course of things, and we have a choice: pessimism and suicide, or construction, hope and life. I choose life.
To me, our destiny is in our hands and we have an incredible power inside. We just have to connect it and understand we are creators of our life and of the world. ”Society”, ”politicians”, ”them” ”people in general” all this is illusion. To me, the only reality is you and me, and the will to evolve.
It’s very difficult to place Gojira musically; where do you want to be placed yourself?
In your ghetto blaster !!
How would you describe the songwriting process in Gojira? Is everybody in on it and what comes first; the music or the lyrics?
Me and my brother Mario (drums) are composing most of the time together and then, we work on the structures with Christian and J-M. The technique is : we let the song come through us like a gift. We feel like the idea is already there somewhere in the air, and we just have to catch it or let it come. It sounds ”clich” but it’s true. We try not to judge the riffs and let them grow. Sometimes we have good surprises!
When we do this we are in a kind of light trance and let rhythms and sounds flow in the rehearsal room. The lyrics are coming often on the same time.
You re-released ”The Link” earlier this year. What is the reason for this?
We remixed it because we didn’t like our first mix and re-released it right after.
Gojira are now under the wings of one of the most successful metal labels, Listenable Records; Are you happy with the job they are doing?
Just one word; Yes
Last question; it must be a blast seeing you live. Will we ever see you up here in Norway?
For sure. We’ll be there certainly sooner than you think… Our first gig in Norway will be this summer for the festival ”Hole in the sky” August 28th.
That’s what I have; thank you very much for your time and I really hope to see you soon.
Well, thank you very much! Without you all, Gojira and other bands only exist in dreams!