GOJIRA Doesn't Consciously Try To Break New Musical Ground: 'It's More Organic', Says MARIO DUPLANTIER
September 20, 2022
In a new interview with Colombia's Radioacktiva, drummer Mario Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA was asked how he and his bandmates go about exploring fresh musical areas every time they are making an album. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's not very intellectual; it's not very mental — it's more organic. We jam, and when we hear something cool, we say, 'Let's go.' It's not very we try to catch more people here and there.
"I would say… I have to be very honest, but the fact [that] we are touring so much… We are a live band mainly — 90 percent of our life is on the road. So we play shows — we do soundcheck and we play shows; soundcheck, shows, soundcheck… Over and over and over again, it's like a huge circle. We do Europe and U.S., Europe and U.S., sometimes South America, Asia — it's crazy. So when we write the music, we want to play songs that are gonna be fun, maybe, to play live as well. And it's not a conscious thing — we're not trying to do something, 'Let's catch more people.' It's really, 'Let's have fun onstage and have something maybe more simple sometimes.' Because when you play very technical music and you start to play arenas or stadiums and festivals — huge festivals — you just notice that if it's too crazy, too technical, it doesn't really work."
Mario's latest comments echo those of his brother, GOJIRA guitarist/vocalist Joseph Duplantier, who told SPIN in a 2021 interview: "When you start to play bigger slots at festivals in front of more people — when every show on your tour is now a freaking area because you're opening for an arena band — the response, the echo of your song, is different than in a 1,000-capacity club. Sometimes when we end up performing for a large audience and all we have to play is death metal songs, subconsciously we want to adapt our repertoire to a wider audience. We're, like, 'What do we have in our back catalog that we can play and not freak people out? Not so intense and long and epic."
He continued: "Naturally and organically, a sound is shaped by our experiences on tour. This is something people might not understand or think about, but the progression of the band is also shaping our sound, as much as our songs and our sound dictating how good we're going to do. Of course we keep that in mind that if we do a song with a chorus that people can sing along to, we're going to have bigger chances to succeed in this business. But it's not also a business for us — it's been a reason to be alive, to play music in the first place, since we were teenagers. If we betray ourselves, our tendencies, if we don't fulfill our creative hearts, we are going to fail. We are going to lose the point. For us, it's very important to be in tune with our music because this is what we eat and breathe for years on the road. We play these songs every single night. We want to punch people in the face with our music. We're not here to sing a lullaby. We want it to be powerful and meaningful, and also it's a little bit more political than before in a weird way. Also we were [ages] 14 to 18 or 19 when we started, and now we're in our 40s. So we have a different internal pace. It sounds clichéd and bragging a little bit — 'I don't care about the pressure or success.' Of course we want to drive a career in a smart way, but we try to concentrate on what the music will create in our hearts."
GOJIRA's latest album, "Fortitude", came out in April 2021 via Roadrunner Records. The follow-up to 2016's "Magma" was recorded and produced by Joseph Duplantier at Silver Cord Studio — GOJIRA's Ridgewood, Queens, New York headquarters — and mixed by Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE).
GOJIRA initially laid the foundation for "Fortitude" in 2020 with the surprise release of the single "Another World".
The artwork for "Fortitude" was created by Joseph Duplantier.
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