Gojira is finding that absence has made U.S. and Canadian fans' hearts grow fonder.
The French hard rock group last hit these shores in 2009. It was due here again last fall with Lamb of God, but that tour was canceled due to the headliners' legal problems overseas. So Gojira has finally made it back to support its fifth album, "L'Enfant Sauvage" ("The Wild Child"), and it's been pleased to see that its audience has only grown during the interim.
"Oh, big time," says frontman Joe Duplantier, 36. "Our (business) partners are always telling us we need to tour and tour and tour, and if we stop touring people are going to forget about us and stuff.
"But it seems like the opposite has happened. People are excited to finally see us on tour after such a long time. In some cities we triple the capacity that we used to do in 2009, so it's a wonderful thing happening for us right now."
Gojira went through quite a bit between albums, including changing record companies and changing management. "There were a lot of band meetings, a lot of decision to make," Duplantier acknowledges. But, while that may have delayed the release of "L'Enfant Sauvage" it didn't interfere with the quartet's ability to make its new music.
"I think we have the ability to focus on what we do, without pressure," he explains. "We realized a long time ago that if we stick to what we like and if we play the music that we want to hear, then it works -- we never tried another way, of course, so we cannot compare. But it feels right to just play the music that we want to hear, and that's all.
"So yeah, it works. We put enough pressure on ourselves in general to deliver the best. We don't need to worry about another kind of pressure. "
Gojira, the Devin Townsend Project and Atlas Moth perform Sunday, Feb. 10, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 day of show. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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