Gojira singer/guitarist Joe Duplantier was recently interviewed by the Metal Shrine blog, and he had a lot to say about the title of the band's new album, L'Enfant Sauvage, and the concepts it signifies.
Says Joe, "We couldn´t call it 'The wild child' because it's hard to translate 'L’enfant sauvage.' It's not really the wild child as understood in English, because a wild child for me, has an aspect like someone out of control somehow. 'L'enfant sauvage' in French… sauvage is something that is not educated or something that is like free and completely free in nature. A wild flower that goes wherever she wants and becomes something beautiful. The idea with L’enfant Sauvage is like with a human that would grow up in nature, raised by wolves for example, without the influence from others and the influence from institutions or society in general. Without a social security number. (laughs) Not even a name. This is what you are and I am on the inside, right? How much the education and the culture, emotions and the guilt are interacting with us and it changes us and how far are we from this pure child inside? That's the question we had on this album."
He explains that it has personal resonance for him, raising fundamental questions of identity; he says, "When I'm not the singer in Gojira, I'm just someone and I don't know exactly what I am. Now I feel comfortable doing this interview and stuff, but it's hard to know who you are outside of your condition. It's a lot of personal reflection on what am I? Am I free and what is freedom anyway? Maybe I think too much?"
He also discusses how his songwriting has changed over the years, saying, "I'm way more picky. If I come up with a riff and it's good, it's not good enough. 10 years ago it was good enough, you know. A lot of people think that bands in general become lazy and sometimes it's true, but in our case it's that we work more to make a song because we have more experience and we want to raise the bar higher and higher. We're the same people, but we try to raise the bar. We make that effort to go deeper and deeper. Somehow it's strange because the music becomes easier to understand and there are less things to understand and it's less technical and stuff. It's not because we want to sell more records, it's just we take things more easy. What we played 10 years ago is not what we wanna hear anymore and we want to create more sophisticated things and more simple at the same time. It's a very complicated balance. With this album I'm pretty happy and still I cannot grasp what we did and that's the beauty of it. You work so much on every detail and then 'Wait a minute, what is this beast?'"
L'Enfant Sauvage will be in stores June 26.