Members: Joe Duplantier - vocals, guitars Christian Andreu - guitars Jean-Michel Labadie - bass Mario Duplantier - drums, backing vocals
Biography: Hailing from Bayonne, France, Gojira's recent ascension in the metal scene betrays the fact that these guys have been at it for a long time. Formed in 1996, Gojira originally went by simply Godzilla, until 2001. Their lyrics have themes of environmentalism, the inner-child, and are generally more positive than a lot of other metal (!) Their unique musical style is best defined by their tendency to switch between various styles of metal. Though death metal at their core, they incorporate passages of more soaring and operatic styles of metal, as well as doom, grindcore, and sludge, typically within the same song, with songs following not so much a verse-chorus structure as the song segments representing these different styles.
Major Discography: I think it is fair to say that L'Enfant Sauvage ("The Wild Child") is Gojira's breakthrough commercial release. They have continued to blow up with their 2016 album, Magma, which they continue to tour in support of.
Genre: Death Metal, with elements of several other genres within metal, such as sludge, prog, grindcore, groove and so on. Similar Artists: Meshuggah, Opeth, Mastodon. Toured with Metallica in 2017. Touring this year with Slipknot, Volbeat and Behemoth (Roo if you're reading this please add Behemoth) Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Deafheaven. Sorta. Both are metal. Deafheaven is more black metal as opposed to Gojira's death metal, but who really cares? All Them Witches are not super similar but if you like them you'll probably like Gojira. Same goes for Kikagaku Moyo
Suggested Listening I would especially focus on L'enfant Sauvage, particularly the live release, to get a feel for what to expect, as well as the most recent album, Magma. The production on the studio albums can be a little polished for my taste, but they definitely bring a rawness to the live show that feels more.. METALLLLL.
Physical Reaction/Live Show If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in the crowd of 2000 or so metalheads gathered at That Tent at 2 in the morning afternoon, expect to see a big pit. The people there are going to be the diehards. The lead singer, Joe, also likes to encourage that kind of rowdy behavior. Expect lots of strobing white light during the blast beat sections, with some occasional respite in softer atmospheric sections with matching lighting. It promises to be a full on assault on your senses: intensely loud and fast music, flashing lights, bearded dudes bumping into you, and who knows what smells. Ok. I know. It'll smell like cigarettes, weed, mud, and B.O. after a long Friday at Bonnaroo from a bunch of smelly hippies.
Interesting Facts Magma was Metal Hammer's Album of the Year in 2016. It was nominated for Best Rock Album at the Grammys, and the single Silvera from that album was nominated for Best Metal Performance.
Personal Notes Gojira were, when the lineup first dropped, something of a token metal act for me. I celebrated the return of Metalroo, brought by Gojira and Deafheaven, but Gojira struck me as somewhat of a poor man's Meshuggah. After researching and listening to them some more, I am appreciating them for what they are. While not necessarily excelling at any one thing the way Meshuggah does, Gojira are fantastic about moving their way through different metal styles and giving their songs a diverse, ever-changing feel, song-to-song but also within songs. If you are a person who likes metal but can only take so much death metal, thrash metal, grindcore, etc. before it all starts to sound the same to you, (I can often feel this way about death metal in particular) Gojira is a really great band for you. The only constant is change. They have the growling vocals of death metal, but also the epic vocals you might find on a Mastodon or System of a Down album.