When a band has been around for over two decades, one can assume they’re at the top of their game, musically. But it’s not always a given that such an established act uses their platform to contribute more than great albums, but to actively campaign for causes that they believe in outside of music.
Gojira not only tick all the boxes when it comes to the traditional roles of being in a touring band but are known for using their status and influence for environmental and social activism.
The forthcoming release of their newest album, Fortitude, has certainly been a vehicle for Gojira to make the global impact they desire. But after the band experienced a significant loss in their personal lives during the creation of their previous 2016 album, Magma, drummer Mario Duplantier said the band first and foremost set out to have fun and take their time during the writing and recording process.
“We spent so much time working on details, song structures, meaning of the lyrics, you know. We set the bar very high this time. But yeah, the album is more uplifting I would say, we feel stronger than ever as well. The previous album was a bit dark because we lost our mother on this album during the process of writing and I would say during this huge thing of my life I feel stronger.”
A more relaxed approach was helped along by a strong sense of accomplishment Duplantier said he and his bandmates felt coming off the success of Magma and several successful tours.
“We got nominated for the Grammys, we got the attention of the media in France for the first time - because France is not a rock country - we were invited on the T.V. shows...we felt great, you know, it’s always so good to feel the love from the community, the fans.”
The result is the powerful and elevating record that is not only impactful for listeners but also to the world at large. Gojira and Maniacs teamed up with Carbon Neutral's Plant-a-Tree program so when you pre-order Fortitude via the Maniacs Store, we will plant a native tree on your behalf.
The band also used their single, Amazonia, to and raise money for The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, wrangling friends in bands like Metallica, Tool, Bring Me the Horizon, Slayer and more to raise over one-hundred thousand dollars.
“We wanted to act a little bit more on this cycle of album...it’s good to write songs, it’s good to talk about things but if we can act a little bit more it’s even better. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem and I feel the new generation is giving us the example. People like Greta Thunberg, or even in France I see so many teenagers who are already more mature than us on the climate subject. So our generation has a responsibility, I feel.”
Given the definition of ‘fortitude’ is ‘courage in pain or adversity,’ it’s undoubtedly an apt title not only given the Dupalntier brothers’ personal experiences before writing their seventh studio album but given we’re all coming off the back of the global pandemic. The message of Fortitude is simple but important now more than ever.
“Don’t give up, raise your fist in the air and believe in yourself, be strong. It sounds so cliché, but it’s true.”
Fortitude comes out this Friday 30th April. Pre-order it before then via the Maniacs store and we'll plant a tree on your behalf!
Watch our full interview with Mario Duplantier below.
Listen to Gojira Now.