Guitarist/vocalist Joseph Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA was interviewed on the October 19-21 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: DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and THE ATLAS MOTH, you're going to be touring with these guys. Just out of curiosity, do the bands on a tour influence or change the way you think about music?
Joseph Duplantier: Yes, absolutely, and that's why we are who we are today is because we toured with all these bands throughout our career. They've had an influence on us — the way we behave onstage, the way we play, they way we approach the whole thing. Sometimes it's purely technical, like the way they plug in their gear. So we always learn something from touring with people. That's why I'm so happy to tour with Devin; he's such an incredible singer — one of my influences, actually, and he'll be opening for us. [laughs] How crazy is that? We're all huge fans of Devin Townsend [and] STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. It's a great honor to have him on tour.
Full Metal Jackie: He's such an awesome and really intelligent guy so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of crazy late-night conversations between the two of you guys.
Joseph Duplantier: Yeah. [laughs] Sometimes you get lost when you talk with him because it's so wide — you have a wide range of subjects he can talk about. He's an awesome guy.
Full Metal Jackie: Devin sang on your "Sea Shepherd" EP and you sang on his "Deconstruction" album. Any chance you'll be joining each other onstage on this tour?
Joseph Duplantier: We're trained to do good, we're trained to do our homework, we stress all day because we want to give it our best and he's still like that. It makes it harder to jump onstage for him after he played, or for me when I'm warming up. We haven't talked about it, actually, but maybe by the end of the tour we will do something together — that would be awesome. We did in Australia one time; it was a disaster. [laughs] We didn't get the chance to rehearse the song at all so it was really weird, but it was great because we were onstage with Devin and Fredrik [Thordendal] from MESHUGGAH, so it was very exciting to be onstage with those guys — almost too exciting. We played way too fast and I was watching them onstage and made a lot of mistakes on the guitar.
Full Metal Jackie: Originally, GOJIRA was on the bill of the LAMB OF GOD tour that got canceled. France isn't far from the Czech Republic. What surprised you most about Randy's [Blythe, LAMB OF GOD] situation?
Joseph Duplantier: What surprised me the most was that they were not aware that one of their fans died before they went there. They were so surprised when they arrived there that police came straight there in the plane and took them to jail — the whole band went to jail the first day. I talked to Chris Adler [LAMB OF GOD drummer] on the phone the same day and he was so depressed and they were shocked and surprised that it happened. I don't know something went wrong somewhere that the information didn't go to them. I'm sure they would do something if they knew a kid died at one of their shows — at least try to reach the family, send some money. The surprise is what made it really bad for them because they're gentlemen. Randy is such an incredible guy and I'm sure he would have done something before. I just thought about this now while you were asking me the question. For me, it was a bad situation, a very sad situation. I saw Randy when he came back. He has a good, strong spirit so he knows how to react to this and he'll go back there and finish this whole thing. I hope it will turn good for him, I hope he will not give have to give some more money or go to jail.
Full Metal Jackie: It's a well-known band. It would not have been difficult for someone to get a hold of him. For two years to pass and no one to even try — call the venue, call the agent call the manager. It would've taken two seconds. It still just baffles me.
Joseph Duplantier: The Czech Republic is very, very different than France and other countries. Yes, you're right — it's not far, it's like another state for you Americans — but in Europe each country is such a different world. I don't know how it works over there. It seems like they took advantage of that — having a big American star in their jail. Maybe they tried to get some money out of this, probably. For me it's just an accident.He's not guilty of anything. He's just a rock star. He's a beast onstage, and you go to see him onstage, you're not supposed to be onstage.
Full Metal Jackie: Anybody who's been to a LAMB OF GOD show knows it can get violent down there and to go onto the stage while somebody's performing, it's not smart.
Joseph Duplantier: Yeah absolutely, I kicked so many people off stage. Sometimes people get onstage and they dance in front of the microphone so I cannot even see the crowd with them in front of me, so I just kick this person nicely, but it could turn out bad. This person could fall on their head and now everybody's thinking about what happened and I talk to a lot of singers and they said never again they will touch a fan. It's too dangerous.
Full Metal Jackie: The new video for "Explosia" really shows the intensity of GOJIRA live. On tour, how do you come down from so much adrenaline?
Joseph Duplantier: I think it's the faith that we have in what we do. We really, truly, deeply embrace our music and believe in what we do, I usually say that we're not great musicians. Mario [Duplaniter] is a very good drummer and he's very stable, he's very tight and inventive and he can groove, but the rest of us [laughs], my God, it's a big mess. If you could hear the separate tracks of each show, every guitar player knows when you move your head, you dance on the stage or whatever, it's hard to play tight, so we're also very, very focused and we try to deliver a very tight show. That show was really hard for us, because it was really hot and the stage is small, so at one point we said, “You know what?! Let's be a punk band tonight." [laughs] Because we did this tour recently in the States in small clubs and it was awesome to go back to small clubs and to feel the craziness of the crowd and the heat. When we jam onstage, we just play our music, which is the thing we like the most in life and we feel inspired by this music in general.