“It Sucks…But He’s So Good!” My Night With Gojira And Devin Townsend

Sean Harris

If I didn’t have photographic or video evidence of the happenings I endured in Vancouver on January 19, I would be called a stinking liar. Words cannot describe the experience I had at The Vogue Theater that night, but I will try.

Luckily, I have some awesome hook-ups and I was supplied the chance to conduct an interview with lead singer and guitarist from Gojira, Joe Duplantier. I , once again, delved into the catacombs of the mighty Vogue Theater in search of Mr. Duplantier. What I did find was the green room. Talk about fancy!

Giant televisions and leather couches as far as the eye could see. Maybe I’ll give the whole rock star thing another shot. Or maybe not, seeing that Joe has more talent in his pinky than I have overall. I really tried to hide my giddiness and I feel that was accomplished. The interview process tends to get easier with each one I do. Joe definitely made it easy on me, though. He was open, honest and entertaining about everything. A true class act.

On the topic of his brother he stated, “I was in bands in high school and of course, my brother always tagged along. He would watch my setup and he eventually gave the drums a shot. In three days, he picked it up so fast! You know, hanging with your little brother, it sucks! Except he’s so damn good!”

Mario Duplantier was a natural from the get-go.

He got rather emotional when I mentioned Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe and his bullshit situation in the Czech Republic.

“It makes me sad man,” he said. “I’m just sad because I can’t do anything about it. The whole ordeal is such a fucking joke.” Truer words have never been spoken.

When I got out of there and received my comped ticket, I stood in line with my buddy Greg and realized something I didn’t put any thought into. This is a Devin Townsend show, too! I remembered that when we were surrounded by World of Warcraft-playing, glasses-wearing, horrible beard-having NERDS! That’s right, NERDS! At a metal show! I fit two of those characteristics but I wouldn’t be caught dead playing W.O.W.

These were full-on suspender wearing geeks…not that there’s anything wrong with it. I quickly came to grips with it knowing that it’d be only a few minutes ’til I would see Hevy Devy live for the first time. He would not disappoint this nerd.

Luckily, we got to the cage to take in what would be a full hour of ridiculous videos hosted by who else, Ziltoid. Everything from dancing cows, dancing goats, boots and cats, sitting on the toilet and any other stupid viral video was covered. At least it was better than standing there and twiddling our fingers. The show, on the other hand, was a must-see. Devin’s stage presence and sense of humor is off the charts.

He demanded everyone do the “jazz hands” during “Lucky Animals.”

Devin yelled, “I don’t care if you’re a bad-ass heavy metal guy with your Vital Remains shirt. You’re gonna do the jazz hands and you will like it!”

Everyone did the jazz hands except for the loser in the front row with his Vital Remains shirt, who was promptly taunted by Devin for not conforming. Devin was, and will most likely forever be, the only artist I will ever see get off stage after his set and shake hands with everybody in the front row. Class act was apparently the theme of the night.

Gojira’s angle is obviously not hilarity but just pure and unadulterated beautiful musicianship and heaviness.

The lighting was dark and eerie, Mario was a fucking madman on the drums, Joe oozed stage presence with his insane multitasking ability and the band overall were on like Donkey Kong. Joe completely transformed from easy-going interviewee to “The King Of Heavy Metal.” Talent most surely runs in the family as for one song, Joe and Mario switched places and tore the house down on each others instruments.

The set list was picture perfect too. Everything new and old that you would need in a kick-ass set was there. “The Art Of Dying,” “Vacuity” and of course “L’Enfant Sauvage” was sending the crowd into a frenzy. An absolute amazing way to start my concert-going new year. To cap the night off, every member not only thanked the audience but took the leap of faith and crowd surfed.

That, my friends, is more bad ass than all the Vital Remains shirts in production worldwide.

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