We’re gonna need a bigger hall to fit these whales because Decibel is proud to welcome progressive groove masters Gojira and their 2005 opus From Mars to Sirius into our Hall of Fame. The 7-page story appears in the August 2018 (#166) edition of Decibel, available here.
It includes interviews with everyone who played on From Mars to Sirius—guitarist/vocalist Joe Duplantier, drummer Mario Duplantier, bassist Jean-Michel Labadie and guitarist Christian Andreu—the same lineup Gojira began with and contains to this day. Hit the link above to purchase your copy of Decibel #166 (comes with an exclusive Possessed flexi) and keep reading for an excerpt from the magazine.
The record is a concept album; tell us a bit about the concept behind it.
JOE DUPLANTIER: I was always into Greek mythology and all sorts of ancient beliefs and astrology and stuff like that. At the time, I was reading a book about the energy of the planets. And Mars is the god of war in a lot of mythologies, and it’s the red planet, and Sirius, in some cultures, is known as a planet that represents hope and that has more of a feminine energy. I thought it was interesting to invent this journey through space from the planet Mars to the Sirius system; Sirius is a star that is 20 times brighter than our sun, so the idea between moving to a brighter state of mind or a brighter state was roughly the idea behind it. Moving from a state of war and conflict and competition to a higher level of compassion and understanding and evolution. It’s an album about evolving internally to a higher level [laughs]. That’s always been the idea behind the music—a desire to be better people, to grow spiritually. So that’s pretty much the idea behind it.
ANDREU: Although we gathered to discuss topics, Joe wrote all the lyrics. There is almost a call to a state of consciousness on this album. The awareness that our planet is precious, but also awareness that we must be anchored, both feet in the ground, to face the world.
MARIO DUPLANTIER: Mars is associated with the red color. It is also associated with violence, anger, war, all the usual attributes of the god Mars. If the heat of our sun keeps the living world alive physically, Sirius is considered to keep the spiritual world alive. It is the “true light” shining in the East, the spiritual light, as the sun illuminates the physical world like a great illusion. Joe wanted to develop the idea that humanity could embark on a journey towards a brighter future, to move away from the physical energy of a war to a more spiritual state of consciousness.
LABADIE: I guess Joe is in the best position to describe the album concept as he is the author of the lyrics. For my part, I only got involved in the music.
Was it daunting to create a 66-minute concept album about these big ideas?
JOE DUPLANTIER: Yeah, it could be a little intimidating when you have that idea, like, how do you approach this? But I think because we were pretty young and naive, we weren’t scared of anything. Now, looking back at the music and lyrics, there’s a lot that I think are too epic or too dramatic, compared to what I would do today. But because we were young and… not naive, but, unscared, and we weren’t thinking too much. It was really the gut and the heart speaking. We just dove into it without thinking, really.
ANDREU: I like the epic feel of the album; maybe it was written at a time when people were less connected and listened to music more carefully, with more patience, in a way.
MARIO DUPLANTIER: Not really, we needed such a length of time to express ourselves musically.
LABADIE: We did not think of it during the songwriting. We just let the ideas out without thinking of any limitation, and it happened to be 66 minutes long, which I found cool.