French progressive metallers GOJIRA will release their long-awaited new album, "Fortitude", on April 30 via Roadrunner Records. The follow-up to 2016's "Magma" was recorded and produced by GOJIRA guitarist/vocalist Joseph Duplantier at Silver Cord Studio — GOJIRA's Ridgewood, Queens, New York headquarters — and mixed by Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE).
Asked in a new interview with Finland's Kaaos TV how the coronavirus pandemic affected the release of the new LP, drummer Mario Duplantier said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We were very patient, and we knew something so important is happening in the world right now, so we couldn't really complain. We were just a bit worried about when the world will reopen. We took some time off, and actually, it was great to take a little step back from the songs. Because for six months, we didn't listen to the songs — my brother and I. And when we went back to it, it as very pleasant, and we had the confirmation that the album is good for us; we felt great about it. But then I would say it's more around September [and] October, we had to find a solution to take decisions. It was a bit more stressful at this time, because [there was] a lot of back-and-forth with the management and the record company. We had to find a solution to finish everything — the cover, the mixing. So everything accelerated a little bit. But finally we are ready to release it. And [we are] super stoked about it."
Mario went on to say that all the songs were completely written before the start of the pandemic. "We were done with the vocals in January 2020, and we were about to mix the album with Andy Wallace in March — around the 10th," he said. "But we had to cancel the mixing, because Andy was in Florida and we couldn't fly, et cetera, et cetera. But the songs were ready. And I would say the weird thing is, in the band, we thought, 'Oh my God, with this pandemic, the songs [don't] mean anything.' Because talking about the Amazonia [the Amazon rainforest] in this time of pandemic — it's such a huge problem for everyone, so it seems a bit awkward to talk about something else. But finally, after one year or pandemic, we think it's the right moment to release this album, because now the lyrics are actually in [line] with what's happening with the world. The album is talking about strength — it's like a quest of courage — so actually, it's the perfect time to release it now. So there is a second dimension to it."
The official music video for the album's first single, "Born For One Thing", can be seen below. The clip was directed by Charles De Meyer and was shot in France and Belgium.
Joseph Duplantier said of "Born For One Thing"'s anti-consumerist message, which was partially inspired by the Tibetan and Thai philosophers he read in his youth back in France: "We have to practice detaching ourselves from everything, beginning with actual things. Own less possessions, and give what you don't need away, because one day we'll have to let everything go, and if we don't, we'll just become ghosts stuck between dimensions."
GOJIRA initially laid the foundation for "Fortitude" last year with the surprise release of the 2020 single "Another World".
The artwork for "Fortitude" was created by Joseph Duplantier and can be seen below.
"Magma" earned GOJIRA its first-ever Grammy nominations for "Best Metal Performance" and "Best Rock Album." GOJIRA's crushing track "Silvera" received a nomination for "Best Metal Performance", while "Magma" was nominated for "Best Rock Album" at the awards.
Photo credit: Gabrielle Duplantier