Last month, French progressive metallers GOJIRA shared "Amazonia", a brand-new single featured on their widely anticipated new album, "Fortitude", which will be released April 30 via Roadrunner Records. "Amazonia" is available on all streaming platforms and is accompanied by a Charles De Meyer-directed official music video shot in France as well as various locations in Brazil. De Meyer collaborated with multiple filmmakers (Vincent Moon, Hauxplay, Jennifer Kumiko Hayashi and Midia Ninja) to help bring an unfiltered look into the lives and struggle of the indigenous tribes there.
On "Amazonia", GOJIRA takes aim at the crisis impacting the Amazon and its indigenous communities. A lush ripper interwoven with indigenous folk instruments and groove-metal rhythms, the soundscapes skew verdant, but the themes prove anything but idyllic. Vocalist / guitarist Joseph Duplantier surveys the endangered rainforest, concluding: "The greatest miracle / Is burning to the ground." Proceeds from the song will benefit the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) who advocate for environmental and cultural rights of indigenous tribes in the Amazon who have suffered immensely - victims of deforestation, land loss, forced labor, violence, and harassment.
Launching alongside the song and video are two fundraising initiatives to help raise money for the indigenous-owned NGO APIB. Working with the social good-focused digital platform Propeller, GOJIRA is curating a month-long charitable campaign featuring an auction of one-of-a-kind items from the band and their friends. The auction launched today with a Joseph Duplantier signature guitar hand engraved by Duplantier with artwork celebrating Amazonian wildlife, in addition to a hand engraved Nash Guitars bass from METALLICA's bass player Robert and his artist wife Chloe Trujillo, a signed exclusive photo print from LAMB OF GOD's Randy Blythe, a limited-edition Rockhard SLAYER motorcycle helmet, and more. Each week new items will be added to the auction. To see the current auction listings, visit link text. Furthermore, GOJIRA has launched a limited-edition art print to benefit the APIB, where the first 500 fans who purchase the print will have their names added to the final design. The limited-edition prints are available at this location.
A new three-minute video in which Duplantier discusses the fundraising initiative can be seen below.
"This is a call for unity" says Joseph. "The music community can be powerful when united towards something meaningful like this. So many friends, great artists, bands have joined the movement without hesitation by donating instruments. This is a collective effort from so many people around us."
The efforts continue GOJIRA's career-long tradition of harnessing their music as a vehicle for environmental activism, not only surveying critical cases, but also catalyzing listeners to take action. "We don't want to just release a song called 'Amazonia' — we want to do something on top of that," Duplantier explains. "We feel a responsibility as artists to offer a way for people to take action."
"Amazonia" follows the album's lead single, "Born For One Thing", which is arrived last month accompanied by a Charles De Meyer-directed official music video shot in France and Belgium. Both tracks are available as instant rat downloads with all pre-orders of "Fortitude" — GOJIRA's first album in five years and the follow-up to 2016's Grammy-nominated LP "Magma".
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), "Fortitude" 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