So, I am a relatively new convert to French metallers Gojira, over the last year or so. But when I got my hands on L’enfant Sauvage I was blown away and had to go get everything. I was lucky enough to have drummer Mario Duplantier call in to say hello in advance of their show here in Dallas next week, and give us the update on the tour, and life in a band with his brother Joe (guitar/vocals), as well as some hints at new music. He also didn’t make fun of my feeble attempts at pronouncing the album title, so that’s a plus! Here you go:
Amps: How is the tour going with Slayer? Is this a dream come true, or what?
Mario: It is. Touring with Slayer is an amazing feeling. We’re really enjoying this tour and we feel very lucky and motivated!
Amps: During your earlier headlining run, I know Joe had said it was your first time in Texas. Did you get to see any sights, or enjoy the food, like barbecue?
Mario: No, it was basically bus to show, back to bus. But you know through the window of the bus, it looked nice (laughs). And all the people that we met at shows were also very nice.
Amps: Yeah, here in Texas we love our metal.
Mario: I know, I can tell!
Amps: I know you guys support Sea Shepherd. Do they have a merch booth at shows on this run? I wanted to ask in case some of our readers wanted to find out more.
Mario: I’m not sure because it’s not a headline tour, so we cannot propose that sort of thing. We have to be respectful to Slayer and not take up too much space. But if we do another headlining tour in America, we’ll probably ask them to come along, I’m sure.
Amps: It’s amazing that you’ve kept the same line-up since 2001, what with the rigors of being in a band. Not only that, being in a band with your brother. Why do you think you’ve managed to keep the guys together this long?
Mario: I would say the fact that the four of us have this common point, that it’s very important for us to communicate, just talk. If we’re all on the same page we try not to let the tension take too much away from us. If there is tension, we just talk. It’s like a couple. If you are with a girl and you never talk you will break up one day because life with tension everyday it’s so easy to lose contact. We feel lucky because we are all the same kind of guy, and we understand each other really well.
Amps: Do you think that being such a solid unit for so long has helped the band progression, and in my opinion, get better with each record?
Mario: Yeah, probably. You’re right, the fact that we know each other so well, we can write music very fast. So we can just play, and it comes. Good point for sure!
Amps: Ok. The latest album… I’m going to try, so bear with me. Is it (says album title in horrible accent) L’enfant Sauvage?
Amps: Whew, got it! I’m noticing an evolution in your sound, culminating in this album. It’s some of your best work. And I really like “Born In Winter”. Just the way it simmers and simmers, then just boils over, I thought that it was the best song and most unique thing about L’enfant Sauvage.
Mario: I agree with you in that it is very unique. I also think it’s one of the best we’ve written. We play metal music, but we have other things to talk about in our songs. We have this dimension, and we are very open-minded. We love rock and roll, classical music, and “Born In Winter” is a good combination of a lot of the influences we have. Sometimes you write a song, and you can’t explain why it works, but I also think it’s our best song. So, thank you. And hopefully we can enter this dimension a bit more on the next album, so we’ll see.
Amps: What’s next after this run with Slayer? Are you taking some time off, or is it back to work on the next record right away?
Mario: We are in our composition process because we are not the headliner here; we are not as busy as Slayer, so we have all this time during the day for composing. Right now I am in front of my computer listening to melodies and riffs that we have worked on all day. We will enter the studio next year, but I don’t know when.
Amps: So, at some point in 2014 we’ll get a new Gojira record. That’s all I needed to hear.
Mario: (laughs) yes, yes.
Amps: I am so pumped for this show in Dallas on November 13, Mario. It’s a great triple bill. A friend of mine in L.A. saw both nights and said you guys just destroyed, so I can’t wait!
Mario: Oh, cool! We love the fans here in the USA, and to be on tour with Slayer, it’s such a big deal. We are ready.
Amps: Before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to say to the Gojira fans worldwide?
Gojira are set to rock South Side Music Hall here in Dallas this Wednesday, November 13 alongside Slayer, and Australian thrashers 4ARM. If you are not there, then shame on you, turn in your Metal Card. Line forms to the right…