Iconic bands built themselves after developing an entire imagery around them that goes accordingly with the music they play. Not only through album artworks, or videos, but through everything they do.
Gojira, a French progressive death metal band with a drummer that also happens to have a major on plastic arts, have built for themselves a very powerful and artsy visual aspect. This week Gojira released a twenty-one minutes documentary about their spring tour through North America with mighty Mastodon this year where they keep building a very strong and unique imagery.
Most bands have a good visual behind the music they make, but to have an “in house” plastic artist who is also part of the composition team, things get to a whole new level. Gojira has done DVD releases from their concerts ever since ‘The Link Alive’, but this documentary, besides being a twenty-one minute marble for all the YouTube surfers of the world, is also a visual art piece with little fragments of songs from Gojira’s repertoire, which are somehow revisited in a different way that flows smoothly from beginning to end. Apart from the musical value of the documentary, it also gives a glimpse on how foreigners take the massiveness of the United States. From the west to east, we see through the very artistic eye of Monsieur Mario Duplantier how landscape changes and we have a rare opportunity to see more of how Gojira band members are during the stressing, daunting and yet accelerating process of going on tour. It is a rare opportunity to see these guys in a more relaxed mode, where you can see Jean-Michel Labadie skateboarding here and there, or Joe Duplantier just playing guitar, Christian Andreu enjoying the ride, and obviously, Mario Duplantier showing the goofy personality that doesn’t show in the intensity of his on-stage persona.
Besides the artistic value of the video, that is impressive on many levels, we can see the appreciation these guys showed to the tour crew through a proper introduction, and the cameos done by the members of Mastodon, a band that also try to include the fans on their off-stage band moments. But a very interesting part of this mini-documentary is the switch between the concert energy, with fans banging their heads as hard as it’s humanly possible, and the traveling itself with a section dedicated to each city they went to, including a very bizarre section dedicated to the sin city.
Personally, there are times in which I kind of forget why I like this or that band, and I was going through it with Gojira. But after watching this video where I could recognize segments of different songs, to watch them doing smoothies and what I believe was a vegetarian burger, and obviously the intensity these guys have on stage, it took me back to the exact feeling I had the first time I saw them live. If you are into Gojira as a whole concept you will enjoy this video completely.