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Gojira drummer Mario Duplantier talks influences and why Metallica’s Lars Ulrich is a genius

Posted by on June 15, 2021

PHOTO CREDIT: GABRIELLE DUPLANTIER

Gojira’s Mario Duplantier has been busy promoting the group’s latest release, Fortitude. However, the drummer made time to speak to Louder Sound about his drumming influences. Duplantier names Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich as perhaps his biggest influence and the reason he became a drummer. It was him seeing Lars as the best drummer in the world when he was young. 

Duplantier stated:

“Lars Ulrich was probably the first drummer that really made me pay attention. I was maybe ten or eleven years old and my brother had received the Metallica ‘Live Shit: Binge & Purge’ video boxset for Christmas. We were sat watching it and I couldn’t take my eyes off of Lars; the way he was playing, the color of the drum-heads, the movement… it was all so badass. Right away I was telling my brother [Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier], ‘That drummer is the best in the world!’ That was when I decided I wanted to play drums. Lars is a genius; if you listen to the first five Metallica albums, the drumming is so special, particularly the way he writes those patterns. Even now I think he’s the best showman drummer in the world. It’s not about the tempo or technicality – it’s something else. Nobody could imagine Metallica with another drummer.”

 

Duplantier also expressed his thoughts on  Pantera’s drummer, the late Vinnie Paul, stating:

“Like a lot of metal kids in the ’90s, I grew up listening to a lot of Pantera. I don’t listen to them as much these days, but still love their music and Vinnie Paul was one of the most talented drummers in the metal scene and really stood out as a player. He had a unique groove, but was also incredibly precise and knew just where to place his parts to really give the songs a real impact. His feet were super-fast and tight and the way he hit the drums was unbelievably powerful – he was a real king of thrash. A visual drummer with a big charisma who invented a lot of the most memorable drum parts of the genre, he was a big influence on me and I love the sense of style he brought to drumming.”

 

David Silveria of Korn is another drummer that has influenced Mario in his drumming. Here is what he had to say about Silveria:

“Just listen to any of those first five Korn albums. Each of those records would make my Top 20 albums of all-time, right up to ‘Untouchables.’ David Silveria is definitely one of the main reasons I love it so much, but I could also pick out the guitars, the sound of the bass, the way Jonathan Davis sings… It’s perfect and contributes to the overall power of the music. There’s so much variety and power in their music, but David Silvera in particular created his own style. On the first two albums he plays a crazy amount of ghost notes, playing without using a metronome so his beat is moving all the time – it’s so tasty and groovy. Then on ‘Issues’ he got rid of all the complexity of the first album and came in with this fresh, simple style that really inspired how I approach the writing.”

Mario Duplantier has no doubt been a tremendous influence on this generation of drummer as he is one of the heaviest hitters behind the kit.

 

 

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