Guitarist/vocalist Joseph Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA was interviewed on the June 8-10 edition of Full Metal Jackie‘s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: The new [GOJIRA] album [“L’Enfant Sauvage”], it’s about freedom and responsibility and Joe, being a musician, how is your freedom and responsibility different than other people?
Joseph: I have less and less freedom and more and more responsibility. [Laughs] It’s very hard, it’s a very hard life that we have but it’s the only option I can think of. I’m living a dream, it’s a hard dream but it’s really fantastic — we hang out with one of our biggest heros, the METALLICAs, the SLAYERs and we’re on the road and we do the music that we like and we have this feeling that we make no compromise at all. Every day we need to be on time for the show and we work with a bunch of people, we have a crew around us, we have a lot of responsibilities but it’s a choice. I think freedom for us are in the choices that we make for our lives, for our futures, for our souls. We’re just having a blast constantly, on a certain level, on another level it’s hard because the music industry and all that is not easy to deal with but we find a balance somehow.
Full Metal Jackie: Joe, GOJIRA is such a socially conscious band. Worldwide, which do you feel you’re known for more, music or activism?
Joseph: I don’t know, I hope it’s for music because that’s what we do first. We are just musicians, music fans and we are trying to create something that will help people no matter who they are, well, they have to be at least a little bit metalheads. [Laughs] We’re trying to express ourselves first of all and to communicate something positive then if people get some of the things that matter to us and a little bit of our message, well, it’s even better. First of all, we just want people to bang their heads. We play metal, we love it, it’s good for you, it’s good for the health so I hope people dig our music first, of course.
Full Metal Jackie: “The Flesh Alive” DVD comes out here in the states in July; it documents the recording and touring of your last album, “The Way of All Flesh”. Watching it now, four years later, what’s the biggest change you see in yourself?
Joseph: When we released “The Way of All Flesh”, we were still getting known out there in the world and we’re still fighting to be present on festivals and on the press and all that and we feel like we crossed a certain threshold especially since we went on tour METALLICA so many times. Our name is becoming familiar on the metal scene and stuff, this album is really important for us because a lot of people are waiting like, “What are they going to do now? Are they going to write music for the radio?” So it’s a big challenge for us to confirm this buzz that we have around the band but still keep the heart of the music alive and what we are. The biggest effort is to be completely honest and to ignore the pressure and to put out great songs that are still exciting for us. I’m very happy with this new album because this is us more than ever. We passed the test and we’re super-excited, we’re getting closer to the core of what we want to express with this music, with metal.
Full Metal Jackie: GOJIRA is going to be on tour with LAMB OF GOD and DETHKLOK starting August 1. That tour goes through the middle of September. Joe, what do you like most about those bands that you’ll want to watch them every night?
Joseph: Well, we are very familiar with LAMB OF GOD and we became good friends with them. I don’t know, there is this theory in this band that we feel very close to. I’m good friends with Randy [Blythe, LAMB OF GOD singer]. We have a lot in common, he’s a fuckin’ beast onstage; he’s very, very entertaining to watch. They have music that goes straight to the point. We learned from that kind of band — that are very relaxed and not complex and they play true metal and it’s very inspiring for us. I don’t know DETHKLOK that much. In Europe, it’s not that famous, but I’m really looking forward to know them better.
Full Metal Jackie: Have you seen “Metalocalypse”, the show?
Joseph: I have seen it a couple of times when I was in the U.S. but they don’t play it in France, so it’s mostly a North American band, so I’m very curious and I cannot wait to see them perform. I heard they were amazing. I know Gene Hoglan is playing drums; it’s gonna be something.
“L’Enfant Sauvage” (song) video: