While many bands offer practical advice or discuss creative habits when answering questions about their writing process, experimental French metal band Gojira embrace a much more esoteric approach.
"It is a spiritual process, a mystical process," frontman and rhythm guitarist Joe Duplantier tells Exclaim! when discussing the writing of their fifth studio album, L'Enfant Sauvage. "In a weird way we don't control any of it."
While the band may enter the studio with a solid conceptual sense of the album they wish to write and an outline of the message they want to convey, the writing process itself is something much more akin to channelling.
"We make ourselves available for a certain energy that moves through us," Duplantier explains. "My bandmates and myself gather in a room, and the music moves through us continuously. My brother and I write most of the stuff, but really what is composing? It is just making yourself available, grabbing your instrument, relaxing, and then boom! You play something, you don't know where it comes from."
This energy not only defines the band's recorded output, but their spiritual nature also bleeds over into their live performance as well. Duplantier notes that he enjoys playing for smaller audiences in relatively intimate clubs because the setting allows Gojira to "turn the show into a whole new experience, you can go to a higher dimension." Rather that just the usual live music experience, he hopes to lead the audience on what he calls "a collective trance."
Whatever energy or inspirational force inspires Gojira, Duplantier says that it is not an energy that exclusively belongs to him. "What Gojira is, is a certain energy that doesn't belong to me, but maybe it belongs to a group of people, to all of us, the band and our fans."
Gojira's L'Enfant Sauvage, based on the French legend of the wild child who was raised by wolves and only later in life reintroduced to civilized society, was released by Roadrunner Records late last month. Though they were recently forced to cancel a tour with Dethklok and Lamb of God due to LoG frontman Randy Blythe's legal troubles in the Czech Republic, Gojira were able to salvage several dates.
You can see all the rescheduled shows below. These include stops at Toronto's Heavy TO on August 11 and Montreal's Heavy MTL in August 12.
8/9 New York, NY - Santos Party House
8/11 Toronto, ON - Heavy TO Festival
8/12 Montreal, QC - Heavy MTL Festival
8/13 Worcester, MA - Palladium (Upstairs)
8/14 New York, NY - The Studio at Webster Hall
8/15 Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room
8/16 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
8/18 Minneapolis, MN - Knotfest
8/19 Milwaukee, WI - Rave Bar
8/20 Cleveland, OH - Peabodys