Ruminating further on those themes of lifecycle and legacy, we wonder where Gojira see themselves as part of the broader metal family 24 years in, and nearly 16 since breakthrough third album From Mars To Sirius. Ethically and instrumentally, a new generation of outfits have picked up their ideas and run with them. Is there a race to remain on the cutting edge?
Joe pauses a moment, contemplating the idea of Gojira as elder-statesmen.
“Life is short and it goes by quickly so we may as well concentrate on what we have,” he answers. “I don’t worry too much about bands that go faster than us, or look cooler. We try to be relevant, but we are confident that our artistic taste is impeccable. Musically and visually, we have our own world. We have worked for a long time on the integrity of this realm – this art and this entity that we are developing. We are confident that it has worth. It’s like we found a mine and we’re still digging and digging at it. We definitely have fuel for a few more records. Our vision is not fulfilled completely yet.”
For now, he gestures, it is just about forging into the future and cherishing each victory as it comes. Each “wonderful moment” with family that would have previously been sacrificed at the altar of the band deserves celebration. Delivering this album to a growing legion of fans who have waited too long to hear it will be a milestone. And, as Gojira return to the limelight, the righteous fire in his belly will inevitably begin to burn again.
“I consider myself an activist,” Joe concludes as we bid au revoir. “It’s a state of being. Each time I can touch someone with a sentence or an idea, each time I agree with someone that something will be good to do, each time that a worthy project sees the light of day, it activates me. I have this safety net inside me that I’ll never give up, never give in, never despair. I see the beauty of humanity through music and thinking, togetherness and community. We have this power inside us that is so tremendous. I believe in these things, and I will never stop fighting for them – through songs, through conversations, through interviews, through art.”
A band to believe in, to the bitter end.
Fortitude is released on April 30 via Roadrunner Records – pre-order / pre-save your copy here.
Click the button below to download your print-at-home Kerrang! cover, smartphone wallpapers and more.