Joe Duplantier (Gojira)
Interview with Joe Duplantier from Gojira
by Emily Coulter at 19 March 2017, 4:59 PM
GOJIRA is one of the biggest metal bands around right now from Europe, a back catalogue of some of the heaviest albums you can hear, and an even more dedicated fan base. The French band have been dominating the metal scene for 2 decades and have no signs of stopping soon, relentlessly touring their new album “Magma” around the world. Metal Temple’s Emily Coulter speaks to vocalist, Joe Duplantier, on the Leeds date of their UK tour, about “Magma”, touring, and his studio.
You're halfway through your UK headline tour, how has it been so far?
It's been great, the tour actually started in Scandinavia but my vocals were pretty rough, as I didn't warm up properly, as I had my wife & kids around. So the tour started with my vocals blown but I'm back on track now so the UK shows have the full show.
Do you regularly take your family out on tour?
Sometimes. I have two kids but when I just had one, my wife would take her out on tour with us for about a week or two but it's harder now, as the oldest has begun school so it's starting to be more of a normal life for the family, apart from me touring a lot.
Any stand out moments?
I'm gonna say the London show, as it was unexpected how good it was. We have two huge shows at the L'Olympia in Paris, which was one of the first venues in France at the end of the tour so we're very excited about those but we didn't realise how big The Forum in London was and so many people! It was an important gig but we didn't feel the pressure, which we normally do.
Last year you supported ALTER BRIDGE on tour and played an almighty set at Bloodstock, is 2017 going to be even bigger?
I'd like to think so yes, every step is a little bigger than the one before and for 20 years it's been this way.
What are your favourite tracks from “Magma”?
It's hard to say, as it's come from a very important chapter in my life, but I'd say the opening track, “The Shooting Star”.
Do you think the response to the new album has been as good as the previous albums?
It's been different. Some people were disappointed because they like the death metal thing we had going on and we have less of that now, but they have more of something else now. Different but interesting.
Would you consider “Magma” to be softer compared to previous albums, or heavier?
It's softer but deeper, like when you give a massage. If you go hard, they wont like it; you gotta go soft then deeper and that is what “Magma” is like.
GOJIRA is very original, in terms of sound and lyrical content; what inspires you to write for the band?
The world. All the shit and all the good stuff too.
What is the metal scene like in France compared to the likes of America and the UK?
It's less obvious, not as mainstream with bands and it's very underground. It's got a rich and intelligent scene but it has some issues with elitism at times. I'm not like that though, as I do enjoy Katy Perry.
You own your own studio, “Silver Cord Studio”, in New York; has that always been a goal of yours to have your own place?
Yeah, ever since I started music I have been recording myself with an old beat up cassette recorder. We built our own studio in France to record “The Link”, we took a loan at the bank and did everything ourselves and we didn't know how to use some of it! We did the same for “From Mars to Sirius”. And it got to a point where I just wanted my own studio, so I opened Silver Cord Studio, as it's always been in my blood.
You worked with your support band for this tour, CAR BOMB, on their most recent release, “Meta”; how was it working with them?
It was great, they're dear friends of mine. It was fun and intense, very well prepared and the guitar player, Greg, is a genius. All I had to do was trim the fat and change very little.
Are there any specific bands you'd like to collaborate with?
Of course! All of them! I'd love to work with KVELERTAK and I may be working with THE ATLAS MOTH, who we have toured with. Some bigger bands have contacted me but I can't say anything at the moment. I'd love to work with MESHUGGAH on an album.
30 March 2017