Joe and Mario Duplantier's mom passed away after a year-long battle fighting cancer, during the recording of Magma. Their loss inspired the spiritual direction that Gojira take on the album and is even reflected in its title. "Magma actually refers to the lava when it is still in a volcano, it's the blood of the Earth at the point where it is boiling and ready to explode," Joe Duplantier explained to The Independent. "We put the sun on the cover to symbolically represent the big bang, the source of life. Not only that, but if you remove the 'g' from Magma it spells Mama and we see the 'g' as a representation of Gojira."
Angus Young created the distinctive opening guitar part for "Thuderstruck" by playing with all the strings taped up, except the B. He learned the studio trick from his older brother George Young, who was the rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats.