Hails and Horns website recently met up with Joe Duplantier from GOJIRA and they spoke about a ton of stuff covering all things GOJIRA including touring with Metallica and LAMB OF GOD, choosing Josh Wilbur to produce the album, the use of experimental sounds and what the band thinks of the Occupy movement. You can see some extracts from the interview below:
GOJIRA is currently in New York City at Spin Studios recording the long awaited new album, how did you guys end choosing this studio?
So I arrived in New York about two months ago with the idea of finding a studio and a recording partner, either a co-producer or engineer. In the beginning I had no idea where I was going. I was by myself and when I started looking at studios it wasn’t very easy as I wasn’t in my element and New York isn’t the first city someone’s thinks of for making an album. But I really wanted to make it in New York so that’s why we chose to record here since as co-producer I really wanted to chose something that worked. This studio was actually the first I vested and I found it perfect, it was almost a random finding.
For this album, the producer is Josh Wilbur, the same man who produced LAMB OF GOD’s new record, did you get in touch with him through LOG or did you seek him out yourself?
Josh Wilbur is actually the co-producer for this album because at first I was going to produce this myself. When I was visiting the studio, Josh was there and was putting the finishing touches on the LAMB OF GOD album. I didn’t know he was producing it at the time or that they were working together. He had me listen to some of the LOG takes and I found them to be really awesome and from there we decided to work together. Well, I invited him to join us for the album after a completely random meeting. It was actually pretty uncommon, usually these types of connections are made first by management but this time it was through a personal meeting.
In terms of the album itself, how is that going so far?
Everything’s going great. Usually we do it all really ourselves in our own place. When we do it at home we have a lot of mistake and we have to play catch up with ourselves sometimes. But with this new studio and Josh there really aren’t any errors made on the technical level and we do everything really one step at a time. We just finished the drum part and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I really think that it’s the best drum sound we’ve ever had until now.
Was the writing process different at all compared to The Way of All Flesh?
Yeah, on The Way of All Flesh we had just finished all of our tours and it kind of felt like we had to pull this album out of thin air. So we hurried ourselves a little bit for the writing of The Way of All Flesh. It was basically just Mario and I who worked on everything on the computers and it was only the two of us because the others (guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist Jean-Michel Labadie) had other things to take care of. So we pushed things a little bit but for this album since we’ve had more time we were really able to do things as a band. We jammed together a lot, we’d have entire sessions of nothing but jamming and it was the best way for us to compose. It really gives it a band energy that will really be felt throughout the album.
That sounds awesome, I know that you guys like to experiment with sounds that don’t necessarily come from instruments, what sort of wild and crazy objects have you guys been using for the new album?
So, we actually used a door. We like using acoustic sounds, natural sounds that don’t come from our drums or guitars. It not really a concept, we just like to send the listener on an auditory trip. When people listen to the album, we want to create a journey and with this album using the door, that’s actually the front door to the studio, is a big metallic door that sounds in the staircase that brings up to the studio. We spent a long time experimenting with the door, we banged a lot on it and we put different instrumental sounds over it. It almost sounds like it was a sound generated by a computer because it has a real metallic sound but it’s really 100% real.
You guys are definitely environmentally, socially conscious people, have you guys been paying attention to the Occupy movement and have you checked out Occupy Wall Street at all?
Yeah I actually went to Wall Street when it was first starting out and I wanted to go out and see what was going on. I know there’s a lot of people who are in support of this movement, a lot of people are angry, there is a sense of we’ve had enough. There’s also a bunch of different people at Occupy Wall Street. Some people are just there to have a good time and some people are really angry and want to destroy cars. But I think it’s good for American society to do some kind of protest. It’s important for any country that the youth expresses that they’re tired of taking shit. In France it’s a little different. It’s almost an institution that every year there’s at least some kind of demonstration in the streets, the people there have a much greater political conscience. In the United States I think it’s been lacking a bit of this, the last social demonstrations go back to the 60’s. I was surprised but also happy to have seen this in the United States.
This is something I’ve always been curious about, in your playing you use a lot of single finger tapping, was this something you discovered on your own or were inspired by another musician?
Well I’d say we only tap with one finger because we’re not super technical pros! *Laughs*, with one finger it’s easy! I couldn’t really say how since we’re kind of influenced by everything up to now. We also don’t really have the style of going super fast. What interests us is finding some kind of emotion and that’s how we’ve created some sort of identity.