Gojira in 2017
|Also known as||Godzilla (1996–2001)|
|Labels||Roadrunner, Prosthetic, Listenable|
Gojira are a French heavy metal band from Bayonne. Originally formed as Godzilla in 1996, they changed their name to Gojira in 2001. The band's lineup, consisting of brothers Joe Duplantier (lead vocals, guitar) and Mario Duplantier (drums, backing vocals), guitarist Christian Andreu, and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie, has been the same since the band's name change.
They have released six studio albums and three live DVDs. They are known for their environment-themed lyrics and have gone from "utmost obscurity" to being placed "amongst (death metal)'s leading new millennium upstarts". Gojira have received Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album for their latest album Magma (2016) and Best Metal Performance for their single "Silvera".
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. Cornillon left the band in January 1998, and was replaced by Jean-Michel Labadie. 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 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, The Link, in 2003; it was 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 were included in Children of Bodom's US tour in late 2006, joining Amon Amarth and Sanctity as the openers. Gojira also 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, Job for a Cowboy, and 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." Duplantier stated 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. The opening bands were The Chariot and Car Bomb. Gojira accompanied Metallica on their tour from 14 September to 18 October, performing before Lamb of God.
Gojira entered a studio in Los Angeles, California, 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 was going to feature guest appearances from the international metal scene. "Of Blood And Salt" features Devin Townsend as a guest vocalist and a guest guitar solo performed by Fredrik Thordendal. The other tracks feature Randy Blythe, Anders Fridén, Jonas Renkse, and Max Cavalera. As a preview of the Sea Shepherd EP, Gojira released "Of Blood And Salt" in May 2011, but the EP has yet to see a release, as the hard drive which held the recordings crashed.
L'Enfant Sauvage (2012−2015)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2017)
Gojira were acquired by Roadrunner Records and released L'Enfant Sauvage on 26 June 2012 on that label. The title translates to "The Wild Child". Joe Duplantier explained that titling the album in English inadequately encapsulated the meaning of the French term: "'Sauvage' is something that is not educated or something that is like free and completely free in nature. A wild flower that goes wherever she wants and becomes something beautiful. The idea with "L'Enfant Sauvage" is like with a human that would grow up in nature, raised by wolves, for example, without the influence from others and the influence from institutions or society in general."
The title song "L'Enfant Sauvage" was released as a single on 27 April 2012, along with a video to support it. It was followed by a release of the song "Liquid Fire" as a free download on Gojira's official website. On 11 March 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 was working on a new album. Further speaking with AMH TV, he went on to say that "[w]e 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."
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 ill, so the band put the recording session on hold. Their mother later died, which had a profound influence on the recording process.
On 4 January 2016, the band posted a video on their YouTube page announcing the new album would be out in spring. That same month, Rolling Stone named the album their sixth-most anticipated album of 2016. On 13 April 2016, the band released a thirty-second video teaser confirming that the album will be titled Magma and would be released 17 June 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 through Roadrunner Records to a generally favorable critical reception, scoring a 79 on Metacritic. 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 toured North America with Tesseract from mid-July through October 2016 in support of the album. In 2016, the band toured the United Kingdom with Alter Bridge, Volbeat, and Like a Storm.
The band played as a supporting act on Metallica's U.S. WorldWired Tour in summer 2017, along with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat. Gojira did a United States headliner throughout the fall of 2017, Converge, Code Orange, Pallbearer, Oni and Torche supported them on selected dates.
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, released in 1998. Two albums followed: Tous aux Cèpes in 2001 and a live CD called Empalot en Concert in 2004. Joe Duplantier lent his unique vocal style to Devin Townsend on his 2011 album 'Deconstruction'. The song that uses Joe's vocal talents is titled 'Sumeria'.[circular reference] Joe Duplantier also performed vocals with the Swiss band Kurger on the 2010 album "For Death, Glory And The End Of The World" on the song titled "Muscle".
Musical style, influences and lyrical themes
Gojira's sound is not easily classifiable as they blend several styles. Gojira are a technical death metal band "with an unpredictable blend of death, thrash, groove, progressive, and math metal." Gojira have been influenced by heavy metal artists such as Godflesh, Slayer, Sepultura, Death, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Tool, Metallica, Pantera, and Neurosis.
Gojira play a technical and rhythmic style of heavy metal with precision drumming along with blast beats, unusual rhythm patterns, and start-and-stop riffs. Gojira have 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 songwriting. The vocal style is varied, using 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 and 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 use their 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, and Meshuggah guitarist Fredrik Thordendal. All proceeds from the project go to the organization, though as of June 2016 the current status of this project is unknown.
- Joe Duplantier − lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1996–present)
- Mario Duplantier − drums, backing vocals (1996–present)
- Christian Andreu − lead guitar (1996–present)
- Jean-Michel Labadie − bass (1998–present)
- Alexandre Cornillon − bass (1996–1998)
- 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)
Awards and accolades
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2017||"Silvera"||Best Metal Performance||Nominated|
|2017||Magma||Best Rock Album||Nominated|
Loudwire Music Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2017||Mario Duplantier||Best Drummer||Won|
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Morbid Angel, Metallica, Tool, Meshuggah, Neurosis, Death
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gojira.|
- Official website
- "Gojira stalks city". Worcester Telegram & Gazette. 15 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
- Ross, Curtis (30 March 2007). "Gojira Makes A Whale Of A Sound". Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 July 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
- Gojira profiled on the White Noise Metal Video Podcast