Gojira's Mario Duplantier

Gojira’s Mario Duplantier Says Metallica, Korn, Deftones, Sepultura, Candiria, Etc. Drummers Changed His Life


Gojira drummer Mario Duplantier has earned himself a reputation of being one of the more technically proficient and inventive drummers active in the current metal scene. While some of that praise certainly resst on the shoulders of his bandmates and the freedom they offer him, there’s no denying he has some chops.

Speaking recently with Metal Hammer, he provided a list of the ten drummers who changed his life. While some might expect a list of the old masters or current fusion legends, Duplantier‘s inspiration appears to have largely been drawn from the metal scene of the 80s/90s metal scene.

His complete list with explanations for each choice can be found at Metal Hammer, while the list itself and some excerpts from it are available below:

  • Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
  • Iggor Cavalera (ex-Sepultura)
  • Sean Reinert (ex-Death/Cynic)
  • Gene Hoglan (ex-Death)
  • David Silveria (ex-Korn)
  • Abe Cunningham (Deftones)
  • Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel)
  • Kenneth Schalk (ex-Candiria)
  • Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine)
  • Vinnie Paul (Pantera)

Regarding Lars Ulrich:

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 colour of the drum-heads, the movement… it was all so badass. Right away I was telling my brother, ‘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. Its not about the tempo or technicality – it’s something else. Nobody could imagine Metallica with another drummer.”

Regarding David 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.”

Regarding Abe Cunningham:

“The Deftones sound is the perfect balance between the three core elements – drums, bass and guitar. I can’t imagine anybody else drumming for them, because Abe Cunningham has such a unique groove. Just listen to the way he fits so many ghost notes between the snare and the kick; the groove and tempo is so unique and so special that his style of playing really touches my soul. It’s almost like he turns the drums into a melodic instrument – he doesn’t play percussively, he really builds the musical elements.

There’s nobody else that really plays like that and there are songs like ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)‘ where his beats hook you right from the very start of the song. I really appreciate that kind of approach and have used it for our songs a few times too.”

Gojira and Deftones will be touring together later this summer with Poppy opening. The dates include:

08/12 Minneapolis, MN – The Armory
08/14 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Club/The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
08/15 Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
08/17 Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
08/18 Toronto, ON – Echo Beach
08/20 Laval, QC – Place Bell
08/21 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
08/23 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena
08/24 New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 17
08/27 Philadelphia, PA – The Met
08/28 Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Summer Stage
08/29 Washington, DC – The Anthem
08/31 Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center
09/02 Indianapolis, IN – Amphitheater at White River State Park
09/04 Atlanta, GA – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre
09/06 Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
09/07 Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
09/08 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
09/10 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
09/11 Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheatre
09/14 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre
09/17 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
09/18 San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
09/21 Seattle, WA – WAMU Theater
09/22 Portland, OR – Theatre Of The Clouds at MODA Center

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