PLUS KNOCKED LOOSE & ALIEN WEAPONRY
Gojira tends to operate in polar extremes. “I can’t help but see humanity as a parasite,” Gojira’s co-founding guitarist and principal songwriter Joe Duplantier explains, “and yet the most beautiful things come out of humans.” To that end, the French quartet—Duplantier and his brother Mario [drums], Christian Andreu [guitar], and Jean-Michel Labadie [bass]—have spent the past 15 years translating this duality into a distinctive sound: dark, crushing metal brightened by triumphant arena-rock melodies, contrast-heavy and emotionally charged.
Enter 2016’s Magma, whereupon Gojira found strength—and crossover success—through a singular commitment to self-reflection. The intensely personal record, penned in memory of the Duplantier brothers’ late mother, was a painful significant turning point for the French group. It debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 chart, topped the Billboard “Hard Rock Albums” chart (a first for a French band), and netted nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance (for “Silvera”) at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Numerous global headlining tours, including a stint with Metallica, followed. Coming out of Magma, Gojira weren’t just one of the biggest metal bands on the scene—they were one of biggest rock bands in the world, unified and self-emboldened.