Gojira's Joe Duplantier and the power of positive thinking

A photograph of Gojira's Joe Duplantier

Did you ever imagine that Gojira would be as successful as it is today?

Joe Duplantier (vocals): “Of course not – that’s really, really awesome. But part of me – I don’t know if it’s the foolish part – felt something great was going to happen to us since day one. It’s almost like a choice to believe it’s going to work.”

How has the metal scene changed since you started out?

“There’s more fashion going on; there’s more fancy haircuts and fancy tattoos. I don’t know what that means, but there’s a lot of good-sounding bands. I kind of miss the good old days sometimes – what I call the good old days, ’cause I was born in ’76 – when things were a little more raw, a little more real. Now people have an attitude where they want to look cool. But there are great bands as well. Kvelertak, for example, are bringing back this good old rock’n’roll vibe.”

Why are Gojira so concerned with big global issues?

“I don’t know why. Maybe we shouldn’t care, but I think there is this power in what we do, all of us. Every thought we have, every word we say, every single thing we buy – it has an impact on the world around us. I think it’s important to make the right choices and live the right life. Some people say the Earth is going to disappear anyway, so we can do what we want, and it doesn’t make any difference. But I think it does at a certain level.”

Do you think people are becoming more environmentally conscious?

“Yes, I think so. The situation is changing, there’s more people on the planet, and people in Western society are on their phone a lot more. It’s a good thing because they get a lot of information about what’s going on around the world, but it’s also a bad thing, because people get used to getting what they want right now and somehow care less about sustainability and more about their immediate comfort. These days I think the main thing is for people to reduce their consumption of meat.”

On some level you have become celebrities. How do you deal with that?

“It is a bit strange. The strangest part is to stay myself completely when people look at you like they want a piece of you. Sometimes I have 10 people around me and I don’t know what’s going on and I want to disappear. In these situations, it’s hard to stay relaxed. But we’re not superstars, either – we can go on the street or on a plane. And most of the time people are super respectful and make it easy for us.”

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