Gojira’s Joe Duplantier on His Early Music Influences + French Curse Word of Choice
When we spoke with Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier during their tour stop in New York City, he talked about the success of the French metal act’s latest album, ‘L’Enfant Sauvage,’ which we documented in our recent interview feature. During that same interview, he also discussed some of his musical influences growing up and his fondness for using a certain French curse word.
Duplantier details the music scene in his home country of France by saying, “The young generation is fascinated by American music and English music. When you’re a kid you don’t give a f— if it’s French or English but the radio would play a lot of the Beatles, Dire Straits and the Rolling Stones, not so much the band Journey. Everyone’s always surprised that I don’t know this band. [Laughs]”
He goes on to say, “I grew up listening to a lot of English and American stuff. My mother’s American, so I had this influence. Then later I discovered some very good French singers, even the older ones. My favorite is Alain Bashung — he died not too long ago but even if you don’t understand the music is incredible.”
Duplantier continues to express his admiration for Bashung, “There’s a tradition in France of poetry and writing and using the words and playing with the words, it’s a very rich, beautiful language and this guy was doing an amazing job with that. He would put words together that would f—ing blow your mind and so that on top of great music and great voice and presence it’s just amazing. This will never be famous outside of France, it’s unfortunate.”
Speaking of words that will blow your mind, Duplantier also gave us a little lesson in French, specifically what French curse word he is most fond of. “I don’t know what my favorite is, I would need to think about this for a long time, but definitely the one I use the most is ‘putain.’ It technically means prostitute but in France people use that word all the time.”
He continues, “It’s like an old-school word, it just became something else, it’s almost like punctuation now. For example you knock your head you go, ‘Ah, putain!’ It goes very often with merde which means ‘s–t.’ So just imagine when you knock your head you go, ‘Ow prostitute.’ It’s amazing this word is everywhere and people say it all the time and they don’t even realize it.”