Drummer Mario Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA spoke to The National Student about the band's desire to constantly push the envelope musically and experiment with new sounds. "For us, specifically with Joe [GOJIRA frontman and Mario's brother, Joseph Duplantier], it's very important to try new things with his voice," Mario said. "He's 40 years old and you don't want to scream forever. He needed to express this and he told me, 'I want to sing,' and I said, 'Yeah, but you have to scream.' He said, 'No, I need to sing.' So I said, 'Then let's sing. Try it. Work on your voice and try it.' He was very shy at the beginning, but he came out with 'Shooting Star' and 'Low Lands' [off the new GOJIRA album, 'Magma']. Then even he was, like, 'Oh, I don't know, really,' because it was not in his comfort zone. But it was essential for him."
Even though GOJIRA's more diverse and emotional style is a huge departure from the band's more aggressive early efforts, Mario continues to look for new ways to inject his insane, extended double-bass blasts and mid-tempo rock power groove into GOJIRA's songwriting.
"The death metal roots, we feel far away from them," stated Mario. "We feel that we've changed. Even me, I'm not listening to a lot of extreme music anymore. But I'm still passionate and I love to work my double-bass very fast, it's like an art for me. It's more than just 'I'm a metalhead.' We feel different today. So, probably, the new sound of GOJIRA will follow in this way. More diverse but still catchy, and we'll still explore."
He continued: "I worked my drums hard this week and I found so many new, interesting drum patterns, so I can imagine with a guitar that it will sound very death metal-ey. They're some crazy patterns. And I'm already thinking about playing these parts to my brother so he can find a riff for them. It's just being original, because we know so many things have been done. So I just try to always find a new trick or a new thing. It's for myself, the other guys are, like, 'Whoa, this is too technical!' I'm the one that loves technical stuff as a drummer. For me, it's more, like, 'Yeah, kill the routine and kill the easy stuff.' Instead of being lazy, just try to push yourself to do something original."
"Magma" was released on June 17 via Roadrunner Records. The follow-up to 2012's "L'Enfant Sauvage" was recorded at Joseph Duplantier's Silver Cord Studio in Queens, New York.