Enlarge Mario Duplantier credits Lars Ulrich with inspiring him to learn the drums.

Gojira Drummer on Metallica’s Lars Ulrich: “Lars is a Genius”


The highly knowledgable staff of MetalSucks deemed Gojira’s Mario Duplantier the second best drummer in metal (but really the best) in an extremely thorough scientific analysis we conducted back in 2012. That was before Gojira rose to the top of the metal pack, and the dude has just kept getting better and better with each passing album and year. He is truly a marvel.

His biggest influence, however, may upset internet drumming elitists: Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, a frequent target of criticism.

Speaking to Metal Hammer about the 10 drummers that changed his life, Duplantier explained that it was Ulrich who first inspired him to play drums:

“I was maybe ten or eleven years old and my brother [Gojira frontman/guitarist Joseph Duplantier] 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 drumheads, 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. It’s not about the tempo or technicality — it’s something else. Nobody could imagine Metallica with another drummer.”

He’s right about that very last part, at least; it IS tough to imagine Metallica with anyone else, regardless of what you think of Lars’ skills. As for the best showman drummer, though, I dunno… this guy and this guy both easily beat Lars, IMO!

Elsewhere in the Metal Hammer feature, Mario gave props to Vinnie Paul Abbott (Pantera), Igor Cavalera (Sepultura), Sean Reinert (Death, Cynic), Gene Hoglan (Testament, Death), David Silveria (Korn) and Pete Sandoval, all great drummers too, to be sure.

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