KHDK products

How we made Gojira Drive: Special Pedal for Joe Duplantier

Joe Duplantier of Gojira with KHDK Gojira Drive pedal

What do all KHDK pedals have in common? Homies.

With KHDK, all my previous colla-bro-ations were with special friends like Scott Ian of Anthrax, Gary Holt of SlayerTrivium's Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu, Nergal of Behemoth and Doyle of MISFITS

This one is no different: Joe Duplantier is a rad human being, dad, friend and of course a sick artist who pushes the envelope of metal sound.

In the early days of KHDK, Joe was one of the first guitarists to try out our fresh-out-the-oven Ghoul Screamer and Scuzz Box. And it was our No.1 Overdrive that added to Gojira's tone on the Magma album. 

Joe Duplantier KHDK pedals Ghoul Screamer Scuzz Box No.1Joe Duplantier with KHDK pedals: Scuzz Box (left), Ghoul Screamer (center), No.1 Overdrive (right)

Building a Custom Abyss Pedal Enclosure for Jean-Michel

Our friendship with Gojira grew from there - Jean-Michel fell in love with our bass tool Abyss (Read: Jean-Michell: "I don't have many pedals in my setup, but the Abyss is here to stay!").

Jean-Michel of Gojira with KHDK guitar pedal AbyssJean-Michel with his custom-made Abyss pedal

As a special treat, our designer Dan Kurz made Jean-Michel a unique enclosure using old Mercedes cogwheels for his Abyss pedal. (Read: "How I Built a Custom Pedal Enclosure for Gojira")
Gojira guitar pedal by KHDK for Jean-Michel AbyssCustom made Abyss pedal for Jean-Michel

Gojira Drive is Born in 2016

Back in 2016, Joe and I started talking about building a pedal together. We knew it would have to be a standout piece and we sure as hell took our time with it.

Me (David Karon - left), Joe Duplantier (center)

Of course, Joe wanted to encapsulate the uniquely Gojiraesque harmonics.

The first prototypes that our engineer Antonin Salva built for Joe were more of a booster - though as it involved, the pedal got a disticntly overdrive characteristic and an all-new circuit.

Gojira Drive guitar pedal Joe Duplantier prototypeEarly Gojira Drive prototype from KHDK workshop with Frankenstein-style knobs

Antonin added an active EQ section that Joe loved and Gojira Drive is now his always-on pedal that has been to many battles on their 2022 tour.

Force of Nature Artwork

For the enclosure, we called on our designer Dan Kurz again, the creator of Jean-Michell's unique Abyss. Dan is a sick metal vocalist himself and fucking loves Gojira. We knew he would honor their aesthetic style and elevate the pedal to a piece of art.

Joe Duplantier Gojira guitar pedal by KHDK

"When designing the Gojira Drive artwork, I based it on the design I made for Jean-Michel's Abyss years ago," says Dan. "Gojira stands for the appreciation of nature so I worked with that element to create a crying planet with a tree growing out of it to symbolize hope for the future and it's infinite ability for rebirth." 

Gojira Drive is out now - only 333 pieces are available 

I am incredibly proud of this pedal and the KHDK crew that pulled together to make it happen.

As Joe and I toasted to the completion of the build in Prague this summer, I knew it wouldn't be our last project stay tuned for more madness from KHDK tone labs!