Joseph Duplantier of French progressive metallers GOJIRA, who have been involved in environmental and animal rights activism, spoke to Mexico's WARP magazine about the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and launched a global pandemic in March 2020. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "For vegans, it's very upsetting, this freakin' pandemic, because it always comes from mistreating and eating animals. All the viruses, if you think about it — from chicken, the mad cow, whatever it's called, all these COVID episodes that we have — it's always from eating animals, because we're not supposed to. That's what I think. Anyway, I'm a bit upset about that. I don't think it's a conspiracy or God punishment; I think it's just a normal reaction to our behavior on this planet. Shit like that's gonna happen if you don't fucking behave."
Asked what people can do to make the world a better place, Joseph said: "It means we have the power. We do. When you go to the supermarket or to the grocery store or to the marketplace — wherever you go to buy food — are you gonna choose to buy a product from a farmer that beats his wife or a product from a farmer that doesn't beat his wife? Or mistreats his animals or doesn't mistreat his animals? Who are you gonna support? Are you gonna buy a product that was brought here from the other side of the planet and took three planes and two boats to bring, or are you gonna buy a local vegetable? 'Oh, I eat local' — oh, it sounds fancy, you fucking hipster. No — you need to fucking eat local. When you live down in Mexico, I'm sure you have more choices in the food that you eat. In colder countries, maybe people buy avocado and banana that was brought from very away. But it's probably the case in Mexico too, I'm sure — you can choose to buy something local or that comes from far. So I think it starts here."
He continued: "This is something I tell people, and they're often very surprised, and it's not metal to say that, but the power is in your wallet. Even if you spend just two dollars a day; it's still… you have a power there. And also our thoughts, what we think becomes what we are. So it's very important to have good thoughts about ourselves and about others around us and try to see the positive in people or bring the positive in other people. [That's] another thing we can do. We can be polite and try to listen to people and better ourselves instead of being mad and angry at the world. We can turn on the water to wash our hands and turn it off right away. We can choose to ride a bicycle instead of taking our car, even if we have money to buy gas. And so on and so on. So all these little things mean we have the power. It's not the government, it's not the president that's gonna change things for you, because he only cares about being re-elected; I think people should understand that by now."
Duplantier added: "And also, I will add that about this — it's just a sentence, I guess, that wraps it up — but I think the true revolution is coming from within, from individuals. If there is a revolution happening in you, you're gonna better yourself, there's gonna be a change on some level — it could be small, it could be big — I think that's it; it's a revolution that works. Because trying to [start] a revolution with a lot of people, like in France — 'Let's behead the king' — turns into a mess. Then it's a republic, and people are not happy anyway. So if people change, they're gonna inspire people around them to change."
GOJIRA's new album, "Fortitude", was released in April via Roadrunner Records. The LP was recorded and produced by Joseph Duplantier at Silver Cord Studio — GOJIRA's Ridgewood, Queens, headquarters — and mixed by Andy Wallace (NIRVANA, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE).