Gojira performs at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival in 2006
|Also known as||Godzilla (1996–2001)|
|Genres||Technical death metal, progressive metal, groove metal, thrash metal|
|Labels||Roadrunner, Prosthetic, Listenable|
Gojira is a French heavy metal band from Bayonne. Originally formed as Godzilla in 1996, they changed their name to Gojira in 2001 prior to releasing any studio albums. The band's lineup, consisting of brothers Joe Duplantier (vocals, guitars) and Mario Duplantier (drums) as well as lead guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, has been the same since then. They have released six studio albums and three live DVDs. They are known for their environmentally-themed lyrics and have gone from "utmost obscurity" to being placed "amongst the genre's leading new millennium upstarts". Gojira have received Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album for their latest album Magma, and Best Metal Performance for their single 'Silvera'.
- 1 History
- 2 Side projects
- 3 Musical style and lyrical themes
- 4 Members
- 5 Discography
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early years and Terra Incognita (1996−2002)
Gojira was formed in 1996 by Joe and Mario Duplantier, Christian Andreu, and Alexandre Cornillon in their hometown of Ondres. Gojira's music combines elements of death metal, groove metal, thrash metal and progressive metal. The band started touring and recording under the name Godzilla and released their demos Victim, Possessed, Saturate and Wisdom Comes in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000, respectively. After touring, supporting Cannibal Corpse, Edge of Sanity, Impaled Nazarene and supporting Immortal in September 1999, legal problems forced Godzilla to change their name. They changed their name to Gojira, the rōmaji spelling of the fictional monster Godzilla. Their debut album Terra Incognita was released under the new name in 2001.
The Link and From Mars to Sirius (2003−2007)
The band released their second studio album in 2003, The Link (reissued in 2007 with remastered audio and new booklet artwork). After the success of the first two albums and their live performances they made a DVD in Bordeaux produced by Gabriel Editions. Since 19 May 2004, The Link Alive has been on sale in France. In 2005, Gojira decided to sign with French-based Listenable Records to help give them exposure outside France with the album From Mars to Sirius.
Gojira was featured on Children of Bodom's US tour in late 2006, joining Amon Amarth and Sanctity as the openers. Furthermore, Gojira supported Trivium on the UK dates of their European tour in 2007 with Sanctity and Annihilator. Later they supported Lamb of God on their 2007 American tour along with Trivium and Machine Head. In late 2007 they took part in the Radio Rebellion Tour, featuring co-headliners Behemoth and Job for a Cowboy, as well as Beneath the Massacre. In October 2007, Listenable Records re-released Gojira's 1997 demo Possessed as a limited edition.
The Way of All Flesh (2008−2011)
The Way of All Flesh was released on 13 October in Europe via Listenable Records and 14 October in North America through Prosthetic Records in 2008. On 25 July 2008, the band announced the track listing and revealed the final cover art for the record. Joe Duplantier stated about the album: "This record is a lot darker — like, a lot darker, I would say. The music is darker and more violent." The album will be "more intense, more brutal, and more melodic" than its predecessor. "That's the theme — it's about death itself," he explained. "It's also about the immortality of the soul. That's the main subject for us". Randy Blythe from the American band Lamb of God appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "Adoration for None" The album took four months to write and record, and three months to mix. On 17 March 2009, the band's first North American headlining tour was announced. Opening bands were The Chariot and Car Bomb. Gojira accompanied Metallica on their tour 14 September – 18 October, performing before Lamb of God. Gojira entered a Los Angeles, California-area studio in early November 2010, with producer Logan Mader to begin recording a new non-profit four-song EP, the proceeds from which will benefit Sea Shepherd, an anti-whaling organization. According to Joe Duplantier, the EP will feature guest appearances from the international metal scene. "Of Blood And Salt" will feature Devin Townsend and Fredrik Thordendal. The other tracks will feature Randy Blythe, Anders Fridén, Jonas Renkse and Max Cavalera. As a preview of their Sea Shepherd EP, Gojira released the song "Of Blood And Salt" in May 2011, featuring Devin Townsend as a guest vocalist and a guest guitar solo performed by Fredrik Thordendal. As of 2016, the EP has yet to see a release, as the hard drive it was on crashed.
L'Enfant Sauvage and Magma (2012−present)
They were acquired by Roadrunner Records and released L'Enfant Sauvage on 4 April 2012 on that label. The title translates to "The Wild Child." The album features 11 tracks, and was released on 26 June 2012. The title song "L'Enfant Sauvage" was released as a single along with a video to support it followed by a release of the song "Liquid Fire" as a free download on Gojira's official website. The album was released 26 June 2012 through Roadrunner Records. On March 11, 2014, Gojira released a Live CD/DVD/Picture book Les Enfants Sauvages, which was recorded at Brixton Academy London in March 2013.
In November 2014 the band began constructing a recording studio in Queens, New York City. That same month, Mario Duplantier moved to New York.
In an interview conducted in February 2015 with AMH TV, Mario Duplantier stated that the band is working on a new album. Further speaking with AMH TV, he went on to say that "We spent two months... composing new stuff, composing new songs. And we feel very optimistic about the future. We're already enjoying a lot of the new stuff. We want to make the strongest album we can do. I mean, all the bands say they try to make the strongest album, but this time, I think we will really do it."
That same month, Rolling Stone named the album their sixth-most anticipated album of 2016.
In April 2015 the band finished the construction of their New York recording studio, 'Silver Cord Studio'. However, ten days into recording there, Joe and Mario Duplantier learned that their mother had fallen very ill and so the band put the recording session on hold. Their mother later died, and this experience had a profound influence on the recording process.
On 13 April 2016, the band released a thirty-second video teaser confirming that the album will be titled Magma and will be released June 17, 2016 through Roadrunner Records. They followed this with the release of the first song from Magma, titled "Stranded", on 22 April. The single's music video was directed by Vincent Caldoni. On 20 May 2016, a second song, "Silvera", was released, accompanied by a music video directed by Drew Cox.
Magma was officially released on June 17, 2016 through Roadrunner Records to "universal critical acclaim". The album marked a change in style for the band, with Joe Duplantier experimenting with clean vocals, and with Mario commenting that "this time, we just felt all together that we wanted something straight to the point more. We wanted to change the dynamic." The band will tour North America with Tesseract from mid-July through October 2016 in support of the album. In 2016, the band will tour the United Kingdom with Alter Bridge, Volbeat, and Like a Storm.
Joe Duplantier was invited by the founding brothers of influential Brazilian band Sepultura, Max and Igor Cavalera, to join their new band Cavalera Conspiracy as a bassist. The album Inflikted was released in March 2008 and a tour followed in mid-2008. Also, the Duplantier brothers formed an avant-garde metal band called Empalot in 1998, starring Stéphane Chateauneuf, who appears in The Link Alive DVD's short show called "Thang & Tanguy". Their first release was a demo album called Brout. It was released in 1998. Two albums followed: Tous aux Cèpes in 2001 and a live CD called Empalot en Concert in 2004.
Musical style and lyrical themes
Gojira's sound is not easily classifiable as they blend several styles. Genres that have been associated with Gojira are technical death metal, progressive metal, groove metal and thrash metal. Gojira has been influenced by heavy metal artists such as Slayer, Sepultura, Death, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Tool, Metallica, Pantera, and Neurosis.
Gojira plays a technical and rhythmic style of heavy metal with precision drumming along with blast beats, unusual rhythm patterns, and start-and-stop riffs. Gojira has also been known to incorporate textured atmospheric elements and instrumental songs into their music. Gojira songs have progressive and uncommon song structures, rarely using the standard verse, chorus, verse songwriting. The vocal style is varied, ranging from the screamed style often employed in extreme metal, with the death growl style predominantly used in death metal, in addition to clean vocals and higher screams. At times, death metal growls and clean vocals are mixed to create an aggressive but melodic effect.
Gojira's lyrics tackle themes of life, death, rebirth, spirituality, and nature. In particular, their 2005 album From Mars to Sirius is a concept album tackling environmental issues as well as broader themes of life, death, and rebirth.
The members of the band were raised in Bayonne, a city on the south west coast of France (Pyrénées-Atlantiques/French Basque Country). The surrounding scenic countryside and rugged coastline inspired Gojira's interest in nature and the earth. Gojira uses its lyrics to spread its spiritual beliefs and concerns for the environment. They also cooperate with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to protect marine animals, especially dolphins, whales and sharks. Members from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are allowed to run a merchandise booth at Gojira gigs. In addition, Gojira is working on the Sea Shepherd EP with well-known musicians from the metal scene, including Devin Townsend. All proceeds from the project will go to the organization, though as of June 2016 the current status of this project is unknown.
- Studio albums
- Terra Incognita (2001)
- The Link (2003)
- From Mars to Sirius (2005)
- The Way of All Flesh (2008)
- L'Enfant Sauvage (2012)
- Magma (2016)
- Gojira at AllMusic
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- fr:Empalot (groupe)[better source needed]
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- Lissa Brennan, With French death-metal pioneers Gojira, the lyrics matter as much as the blastbeats, pittsburghcitypaper.ws, 15 October 2009.
- "Slayer Stories from Pantera, Slash, Slipknot, Korn, Rob Zombie, Johnny Knoxville, Deftones, Gojira, and more". artistdirect.com. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
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- "Gojira entry". MySpace. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
Morbid Angel, Metallica, Tool, Meshuggah, Neurosis, Death
- "GOJIRA Frontman Talks Lyrical Themes Of Upcoming Album - Metal Injection". Metal Injection. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
- "NO CLEAN SINGING » Why Gojira is the Best Metal Band in the World". Retrieved 2016-06-20.
- "#9: GOJIRA - FROM MARS TO SIRIUS". MetalSucks. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
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- Gojira profiled on the White Noise Metal Video Podcast
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