Rocksveriges skribent Emil Agrell fick sig ett snack med Mario Duplantier från Gojira inför deras spelning på Metaltown den 15/6. I intervjun berättar Mario om namnbytet från Godzilla till Gojira, en ny EP tillsammans med Max Cavalera och den nya plattan L'enfant Sauvage.
RS - First of all - What made you change the name from Godzilla to Gojira?
Mario Duplanter - At the beginning we thought it was very cool to name our band Godzilla, cause you get a image of a big monster, and it will destroy everything. So it would be much in common with music. We loved the image. At the beginning we played a lot of gigs and our name grows bigger in our country, and everybody knew the name our band as Godzilla. But one day we received a letter that said; Hey you have to change the name - because of it had the same name as the movie title of the big U.S film Godzilla, and that moment we were all like "Oh shit!"
Someone asked us to change the name because of the american rights, but we decided to not change the meaning of the name, so we kept the name Godzilla but we change it to Gojira. Gojira is the France for Godzilla. In the same time we kind of changed the music genre a little bit. The state of mind of the band was a little different. The band was more organic, and we did put some voice changes, so we were more original and less death metal.
RS - Do you see the whole change as two different bands?
MD- It's still the same band of course, but we wanted to explore more, but it's the same band.
RS - Cool! What do you want to say to people with your music?
MD - With our music?
RS - Yes
MD - I don't really know! I sure want to explore myself first of all. I feel alive when I play this music. Sometimes even out of reality. I'm just myself. But I think with our music, we want to be honest, and courage people to be themselves.
RS - Earlier Joe was involved with Cavalera Conspiracy. How was it when he decided to play with two big bands?
MD - I think that experience brought a lot to him. It was the first time he entered the studio with different musicians. It was a very great experience! Not on the musical fact of you, but to work with producers. You have to adapt yourself.
RS - Does the band still have contact with the Cavalera guys?
MD - Yes, sometimes. We play the same festivals sometimes, so we get to hang out a little bit. Also we invited Max Cavalera to play on a EP with us which is not released yet.
RS - Is it coming?
MD - Yes, sometime this year it will. Max came to us and sang. We're all very good friends you know. But Joe could not make to play with two different bands, cause he's priority is Gojira for sure. This is our main band. It's our little baby you know! (laugh)
RS - Did you guys arrive today or did you got to hang out with Cavalera when Soulfly played yesterday?
MD - No, cause we were in Copenhagen. Copemhell I think?
RS - Yes, Copenhell. Almost every band here played there. (laugh)
MD - Oh cool! We just arrived this morning.
RS - Do you think there is any differences in playing Copenhagen or Gothenburg? Or is it just a festival like all others?
MD - Almost every metal festival is the same. It's all about the passion of metal. The crowd is almost the same but for us, we've played more in Denmark than Sweden. We haven't played too much in Sweden and that's something we want to change.
RS - And your new album L'enfant Sauvage, tell me about it!
MD - It's a new album! I'm very proud of it, I think it's simple and gets straight to the point. You have melancholic, and a kind of emotion and I think it's a very interesting album and I love it. And it's the first time we got an album released on such a big label. So that's a very big step for us. After being a band for 16 years I think, it's a big big step for us!
RS - Why Roadrunner?
MD - We had this opportunity cause the propose a contract to us! And we had a different label before and that contract was running to an end! And we had to change. we had some different opportunity to choose with. We wanted to do everything ourselves but that would be too much work so Roadrunner was the strongest label. It was logical cause they have supported us for 10 years. They've loved the band a long time back and we have very good relation with them, so it felt comfortable to go with them!
RS - Okey. And back in the days, It took 4 EP's before the first album, why?
MD - More like demo albums. Yes. It was because at that time we were a very small band. We started to play, we learned to play music, and we are one of those band who will take time to do something strong. Not like today, I know the new generation are very fast. You make a Facebook, you make a MySpace, you release a album, but we keep it to the old school generation you know. We spend hours and hours to practice before doing one single gig, before doing one website you know. I think it was very important to make the first album very strong!
RS - And festivals like this, do you practice before gigs or do you just play gig after gig?
MD - For my part, I don's usually practice too much, it's important to just take it easy and relax and maybe think about the show a little bit. Later on you have to focus and be an other person when you go on stage. But for me as a drummer I always sit down 1 hour before the gig and just practice with my drumpads and when I go on stage I'm totally warm and I can play the doubblebass very fast. So I have two practice pads for the pedals and one for the hands. And I play during one hour to warm up my legs and arms, and I also stretch before each show!
RS - If you got to choose between today's music industry and back in the days, what would you choose?
MD - I think we have to respect evolution. You can not be against evolution. in fact that people can download music is a good thing too you know.
RS - As long it's legal, yeah.
MD - Of course! But I mean, if I download a good CD and play the CD to my friends and they listen to the band, it's good for the band if everybody can hear it. So I think it's a good point, but now we have to find a solution to earn some money! Cause we need some money too!
RS - I can feel that in Sweden we have trouble understanding how big some of our local bands are internationally. How is it in France? How's the response from the french fans?
MD - We have a lot of support from France fans but also we have critics, cause it's like people think; They're already famous so we don't have to support them. But there are a sort of respect cause we are the first big french metal band. So we give hope to other french bands. Cause Gojira did it, then they can do it to. So I think it's very positive!
RS - Oh yeah, definitely. That was all for me, thanks alot Mario. Good luck with tonight's gig!
Bröderna Mario och Joe intervjuades även i Bandit Rock nyligen. Du kan höra hela intervjun via spelaren nedan.
Under måndagen hölls den årliga Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards i London. Ett evenemang som innehöll spelningar från Motörhead, Airbourne, Five FInger Death Punch, Coal Chamber och Paradise Lost rapporterar Blabbermouth.