GOJIRA frontman Joseph Duplantier was a guest on a recent episode of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. Asked what he and his bandmates learned from 2016's "Magma" album that became "starting points" for the follow-up effort, the upcoming "Fortitude", Joseph said: "Well, 'Magma' was a beautiful experience, and it sort of brought us to another level, but we didn't really realize that [at the time]. I see that today — when we release something, [there's] much more attention around the band and stuff — but I was working hard, going on tour and I didn't see anything really happening other than my everyday life with the band. But when we started to work on 'Fortitude', we wanted something different. 'Magma' was a little dark. We expressed some intense emotions related to the departure of my mom while we were recording the album. We talked about it, but on this album, we wanted to express something different, something more joyful and energetic. And [by] joyful I mean punchier music, more flamboyant, but the lyrics, like usually, talk about humanity and and the evil that men do. So, in that sense, it's not exactly a party album. But the sound is more rock, more exciting, I would say."
Duplantier also talked about the album title "Fortitude" and why it was important for him to encourage betterment of self, community and world. He said: "I don't know. Despite the fact that I think humans are pretty fucked up, and a part of me wishes that humans disappear from this planet to leave these poor animals alone, I believe in the potential of us human beings. I think we have beautiful things to offer, and I still wish to see that best that we have inside of us come out. And that's what I'm trying to do on an artistic level and a human level in my everyday life. And that's what we wanted to express in this album — to see people give their best and be strong and to not despair, and to project a positive image for their future and for our future. And through discipline and decisions and the right intentions, we can better ourselves and better this world. So it's almost by default the energy and the message we choose versus, 'Ah, let it burn.'"
"Fortitude" will be released April 30 via Roadrunner Records. Recorded and produced by Joseph Duplantier at Silver Cord Studio — GOJIRA's Ridgewood, Queens, New York headquarters — and mixed by Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), the LP is a collection of songs urging humanity to imagine a new world — and then make it happen. The band initially laid the foundation for "Fortitude" last year with the surprise release of the 2020 single "Another World". NPR hailed the track as "an apocalyptic banger," and Stereogum declared, "GOJIRA are one of this century's most important underground metal institutions," while "Fortitude" was Voted by fans as the #1 release on Revolver's "Most Anticipated Albums of 2021."
On "Magma", GOJIRA found strength — and crossover success — through a singular commitment to self-reflection. The intensely personal record, penned in memory of the Duplantier brothers' late mother, was a painful significant turning point for the French group. The album earned the band two Grammy nominations — "Best Metal Performance" and "Best Rock Album," and upon release, "Magma" took the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums chart, a first for a French band. "Magma" also asserted itself as one of the most acclaimed albums of 2016, earning Metal Hammer's coveted "Album Of The Year" title while also landing on Rolling Stone's "Top 20 Metal Albums of 2016," and Consequence Of Sounds' "Top 50 Albums of 2016" / "Top 10 Metal Albums of 2016" lists.
GOJIRA's widely anticipated tour dates supporting DEFTONES have been rescheduled for later this year.
Photo credit: Gabrielle Duplantier