Watch: Gojira Backstage Interview – Soundwave TV 2014

 

Joe Duplantier is a french musician and songwriter. He has been in two bands with his brother, Mario Duplantier; one being his main project, Gojira, and the other being Empalot.  Some of the lyrical themes of Gojira reflect Duplantier’s personal beliefs in preserving the environment. He is part of the environmental corporation Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

 

Watch Gojira’s ‘Born in Winter’ [Official Video]

Sheer brilliance. The genius of Gojira.

 

 

Before all things reborn again
You learn the painful breath of time
Cold mourning stretches out your arms
To the mighty warmth of the golden sun
Seem all have gone insane for gold
All was created out of the night
We’re all born from the burst of a star
The day you’ll come to life you’ll realize
Expanding force to life where you belong
And in the winter cold, with opened eyes
You’ll find the strength to fight and stand upright
One day you’ll walk the world and keep in mind
The heart you’ve been given in winter time
And through the bitter cold, with opened eyes

Slayer and Gojira at Madison Square Garden Theater

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[I]t was good to witness such a deserving act[Gojira] delivering a fine performance to a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

“Slayer” and Gojira. Not Slayer and Gojira. “Slayer” and Gojira.

Thus have many observers dubbed the bill for this tour, thanks to the absence of Dave Lombardo and Jeff Hanneman. Paul Bostaph is back on the drum throne, where he spent most of the ’90s. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt retains the live guitar spot he’s held for the past two years and looks poised to keep it.

These folks consider this version of Slayer illegitimate — a shameless exploitation of a legacy, especially in the immediate wake of Hanneman’s death. The financial nature of the band’s dispute with Lombardo deepens the impression, as does their decision to populate their set entirely with material from their classic first five albums. (You can see the setlist here; it nods to Holt with an Exodus cover.) Despite Bostaph’s presence, the set included only Lombardo-era material — an irony and arguably a mercy.

Perhaps the current version of Slayer really is fake or exploitative in some way. Lombardo would likely say so, though the limited information available to fans makes it hard to say which party is in the right. And ultimately, I’m not sure that I care. At the least, I have a hard time holding Tom Araya and Kerry King’s choice to carry the torch against them. Slayer has been a professional venture as much as an artistic one for well over a decade; their newer albums exist mostly to justify their tour schedule. Three of the band’s four current members are 49, while Araya is 52. They have all been living as pro musicians for thirty years, and they now operate in a market that is more hostile than it has been since the dawn of mass-market music. These guys have no alternative résumés behind them to fall back on; their pensions will come out of their own wallets. Bostaph and Holt are basically working stiffs. Araya and King are reputedly quite wealthy, but they also have children to consider.

Put aside the unknowable nature of the Lombardo split for a moment and suppose that Araya and King’s decision to continue as Slayer is purely financial. Do you blame them? If you were in their position, would you set aside the creative business that you’d built up for your entire adult life in favor of the nebulous cause of artistic integrity? Or would you do as they’ve done, and keep reigning?

Perhaps many of you would have King and Araya fold the band, and I can sympathize with that perspective too. Monetary disputes among aging musicians are ugly, and metal fans (myself included) dislike both the idea of art-as-commerce and reminders of the practical pressures their heroes face.

But the attendees of this packed NYC show (myself included again) were clearly glad that Slayer still exists in some form. This band continues to inspire the kind of borderline-pathological enthusiasm that is normally reserved for acts like Phish and Jimmy Buffett. Metal’s unspoken law against sporting the logo of the band you’re seeing has no force at Slayer shows. We saw Slayer shirts without number; Slayer hats; Slayer hoodies; Slayer jackets; Slayer tattoos; even multiple pairs of sexy Slayer/American flag leggings. (The trendy Slayer Christmas sweater was notably absent). I planned to keep track of how many times I heard people spontaneously scream “SLAYER!” between bands, but I lost count before I got past the beer line.

We missed virtually all of 4Arm, whom I was unfamiliar with before the show. The song and a half I did catch sounded quite a bit like mid-period Slayer. Do unoriginal bands feel uncomfortable when they open for the groups whose style they bite? Is there awkwardness backstage? This is one of metal’s many mysteries to me.

Fortunately, I did see all of Gojira, who held their own against some extremely stiff competition. Their reverby, chugged-out grooves have always struck me as crafted with big venues in mind, and they projected an epic sense of scope in the MSG Theater’s cavernous, 7,000-cap confines. I’m often disappointed or baffled by which modern metal bands get popular and which fail to find traction; it was good to witness such a deserving act delivering a fine performance to a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

But this was a Slayer show, and even the best opener ever at a Slayer show will always be a temporal obstacle between you and Slayer. And unsurprisingly, Slayer were exactly what I expected. They were not “Slayer.” they were SLAYER.

They didn’t entirely look like Slayer. Kerry King is slowly transforming into a bearded pierogi covered in tribal tats. Tom Araya looks and talks more like The Dude with each passing year, especially when he chides bouncers and audience members for boorish behavior. Gary Holt has a totally un-metal way of standing with his knees pointed inwards, like he really needs to pee and is trying to hold it in until the end of the set. He nailed all of his parts into the ground, but Hanneman’s presence was missed nonetheless.

But they sounded right, and nothing else mattered. Slayer have inevitably lost a step with age, but their fury remains potent. I’ve only seen them once before, when I was in high school and the original unit had gotten back together relatively recently. Roughly a decade and many, many metal gigs later, I received the exact same berserker charge from this set.

It’s amazing the way that great songs, played nearly perfectly, can strip away cynicism. When the band segued from “Raining Blood” into “Black Magic” just before the brief encore break, I was more interested in punching the entire universe in the face than in dissecting King and Araya’s motives. When they deployed a huge banner of Hanneman’s familiar ersatz-Heineken logo just afterwards, I got a little verklempt. Neither typical metal shows nor half-assed nostalgia acts can elicit such emotion.

And that’s good enough for me. Slayer in 2013 are not who or what they used to be. Their live show is aging, but mostly superficially. They’re either cynically exploiting their fans or just giving those fans what they want. It’s tough to tell the difference, but the audience at this gig wasn’t trying to — they were more interested in enjoying Slayer’s twilight years while they last.

Photos by Caroline Harrison, Dough Moore

SLAYER/GOJIRA TOUR EXPANDS L.A. AND N.Y. CONCERTS TO FIVE-WEEK NORTH AMERICAN FALL TOUR

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Following a summer of storming through Europe, South America and Mexico while topping the bills at solo shows and major festivals, Slayer will headline its first North American tour in two years. The tour will include the band’s previously announced return to New York’s Theatre at Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Palladium, venues the band hasn’t performed at in 25 years.

Gojira and 4ARM support on all dates.

Tickets for all dates on Slayer’s U.S. tour, go on sale beginning this Friday, September 6. Log onto http://www.slayer.net for complete on-sale dates and ticketing information.

With more dates to be announced, confirmed dates for Slayer’s 2013 Fall North American tour are as follows:

OCTOBER
25 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
28 Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA
30 Events Center @ San Jose State, San Jose, CA

NOVEMBER
08 Myth, Minneapolis, MN
10 FunFunFun Fest, Austin, TX
12 Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX
13 South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX
15 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
16 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
17 LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
19 The Fillmore, Washington, D.C.
20 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
26 Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT
27 Theatre @ Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
29 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
30 Tsongas Arena, Boston, MA

Tickets for these newly-added dates go on sale beginning this Friday, September 13. Log onto www.slayer.net for complete on-sale dates and ticketing information.

Newly-added dates for November:

Tickets for these newly-added dates go on sale beginning this Friday, September 13. Log onto www.slayer.net for complete on-sale dates and ticketing information.

01 WAMU Center, Seattle, WA
03 Stampede Corrall, Calgary, AB
04 Shaw Center, Edmonton, AB
05 Praireland Park Center, Saskatoon, SK
07 MTS Center, Winnipeg, MB
21 Ricoh Colibsum, Toronto, ON
23 CEPSUM/University of Montreal, Montreal, QC
24 Pavilion de la Jeunesse, Quebec, QC

Watch Godsmack perform Voodoo (AOL Sessions)

Godsmack band members

Godsmack band members

Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Since its formation, Godsmack has released five studio albums, one EP (The Other Side), four DVDs, one compilation album (Good Times, Bad Times… Ten Years of Godsmack), and one live album (Live and Inspired).

The band has had three consecutive number-one albums (Faceless, IV, and The Oracle) on the Billboard 200. The band also has 20 top ten rock radio hits, including 15 songs in the top five, a record number of top ten singles by a rock artist.

Since its inception, Godsmack has toured on Ozzfest on more than one occasion, and has toured with many other large tours and festivals, including supporting its albums with its own arena tours. Godsmack has sold over 20 million records in just over a decade, yet despite the decline of album sales in recent years, they have proven to be one of the highest-grossing artists in the United States.

The band’s primary influences include Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Pantera, and Rush according to Erna, Larkin, and Rombola. Erna has cited Staley as his primary influence. The overall sound of the band’s first two albums sound similar to the sound of the Alice in Chains album Dirt. More recently, Godsmack has attempted to distance themselves from the Alice in Chains comparison with Erna stating in an interview with Matt Ashare, “I’ve just never really heard that in our music”. On their more industrial songs Godsmack seems to have taken an influence from White Zombie, also covering their song “Thunder Kiss ’65”.

Rolling Stone Magazine describes the band as “hard as nails and cranked to eleven”, while Alternative Press praised the band for its “churning, riff-driven hybrid of all that is  heavy, past and present”.  Singer Sully Erna has cited Alice in Chains‘ former vocalist, the late Layne Staley, as his primary influence on singing.

Life Advice From Alice in Chains – Take It of Leave It

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“When it comes down to Jerry [Cantrell] and I, everything operates friends-first, just like the band always did,” says Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney. “You gotta like what you’re doing and enjoy each other. There’s no reason to be out there riding around with someone you don’t like.”

That’s no small feat, especially as Alice in Chains has been a band for longer than some of their fans have been alive—going on 26 years. Nor is it mere lip service. “There are a lot of bands who don’t speak. They don’t like each other,” he observes. “Also, after all we’ve been through, it’s even more. . . . It’s a glaring everyday thing we live with, where you really miss people that you loved. They were your favorite people on the planet and when you live with that, it even means more.”

It’s a rare serious moment for the irrepressible drummer, who is, of course, referring to the death of vocalist/Alice in Chains founder Layne Staley in 2002 as a result of his decade-long battle with drug addiction, as well as the 2011 death of former bassist Mike Starr, who also succumbed to his demons.

Staley’s health issues essentially forced a band hiatus that began in 1996. Though, thanks to radio hits like “Man in the Box,” “Rooster,” and “Would?,” the band remained in the public consciousness. It wasn’t until 2005 that they reunited for a benefit show utilizing various vocalists, the surviving members tuning out the “No Layne, No Chains” outcry from some corners.

Those naysayers have since been silenced, and AIC themselves are both surprised and honored that fans embraced their second record with singer William DuVall, 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. DuVall’s powerful voice and commanding but not overshadowing presence were key components of AIC’s resurgence. Cantrell was rabid fan of DuVall’s Atlanta-bred band Comes with the Fall, using the group as both openers and his backing band for his 2001 and 2002 solo tours. By 2006, it appeared inevitable that DuVall would be the only choice if AIC was to carry on.

“When we were first touring in 2006, we were booking more shows piecemeal as we were on the road,” remembers DuVall. That turned into a year of touring, with one common thread: “It was all over the world, all these different scenes, languages, and weather systems, but playing for a whole wall of folded-arm-skeptic kind of people. Promoters were kind of reluctant to book the thing back then.”

That tour galvanized Alice in Chains (bassist Mike Inez has been with the group since 1993), forging a “gang mentality” that kept them strong. Cantrell, Kinney, and Inez, DuVall acknowledges, “were risking the reputation they had spent years building. My stake in it was proving, ‘No, I belong here, this is my house, fuck you motherfuckers!'”

With The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here they’ve got nothing to prove, following up their 2009 “comeback” album, Black Gives Way to Blue (which was only the band’s fourth studio record since 1990’s Facelift). Kinney, with his usual pointed, sarcastic humor and mocking tone, notes his band’s place in the critical and commercial pantheon: “Truth is, all our records are meaty two-stars when they come out. In hindsight, everybody’s [he shouts] ‘IT’S A FUCKING MASTERPIECE!’ Go back and read the reviews. It was mainly shit, and this band has always had that.”

But they’ve also always boasted a business sense as solid as their friendships. Alice are the rare band who didn’t go for immediate gratification in the heady days of big record company advances and mega publishing deals. “We were fortunate from the get-go,” Kinney says. “Instead of money, we choose to keep our rights. There was no A&R guy saying, ‘You need to rewrite this.’ Very early on, maybe they attempted that, but we’d be, ‘Um, refer to page 29 of the contract. Fuck you! I know you’re not used to this, but, hey, guy that sits in an office, who can barely play “Stairway to Heaven” on your guitar, maybe you should go back to doing that, because if you were so kick-ass at what you fucking do, maybe you’d be doing what we’re doing. And then I’d be sitting in your office telling you, “I’m not hearing it, man,”‘” Kinney laughs.

From Facelift to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, AIC have made “records we like, for us. It’s a pretty selfish thing.” Kinney recalls the band’s early days, being told by the powers-that-be: “‘Man in the Box’ is a career-killer. Your record is stalled at 40,000.’ We said, ‘Nope.’ We put it out, and that was the turning point. Then they fly out on a Sony jet and the thing goes gold, and they hand you a spray-painted Mott the Hoople album, and put your sticker on it, and they take a picture of you for the trade magazine.”

As the members and band enter midlife, they’ve lost none of their weird humor (“buffoons” is how DuVall refers to himself and the band) nor their often dirgeful yet catchy musicality. And with perspective comes gratitude. “If Alice in Chains started now, we wouldn’t exist. We’d have 3,000 Facebook friends and a MySpace page we were still trying to work. We’d have ‘unfinished’ music on the Internet. It’s tough out there,” says Kinney.

His advice to the many bands who ask him for it? “It’s your life. Do the best you can, and take your lumps. You learn from fucking up, not from doing things up. Don’t be a victim. Don’t do it on the backs of others. If you’re OK with yourself, for the most part, you’ll be OK with life.”

As Alice in Chains co-headline the Uproar Tour with Jane’s Addiction, they’re on the road with lot of old friends. “We made our own opportunities,” reflects Kinney of the band’s early days of touring. “We’d play with Poison and with Iggy Pop. Our whole deal was, ‘Are people there? Cool, ’cause we’re pulling about 12.’ That’s what helped the band. We’re out with Van Halen, with Slayer, with Extreme. We pushed our way into the mainstream because we went anywhere we could. We didn’t completely fit in. But we do: We’re a rock band. We play rock songs.”

Ultimately, Kinney and Cantrell remain the pre-grunge Seattle boys who were in the KISS Army, and possessed of none-too-lofty ambitions, as Kinney reminisces. “We’re still the same; then, our goal was to sell out a bar when we got old enough in Seattle. When we did that, we thought, ‘Oh, we made it.’ We kind of still operate the same way. We’re not overly jaded. We never lost sight of the fact that we’re fortunate to do this.”

About Alice in Chains band

Alice in Chains
Band
Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney, and bassist Mike Starr. Wikipedia