Gojira’s Mario Duplantier Defends Lars Ulrich: “We Need to Bring Some Justice for Him”


Stadium metal darlings Gojira have never been shy about their love for Metallica and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change anytime soon. In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Gojira drummer Mario Duplantier says that we need to give more respect to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who’s been the butt of every Metallica-related joke for the last couple decades.

“We need to bring some justice for him, because it’s not about moving tempo-wise.

“It’s what he created in the past. I’m a bit tired of seeing all this conversation about Lars because what he did create is quite unique. Listen to, fucking, …And Justice for All. It’s amazing.”

He went on to praise the fact that Ulrich can still play Metallica’s more physically demanding songs and that he also did a lot for the way metal bands looked back in the day.

“It’s very physical and what he brought to the table back in the day – you know, playing without shirts and doing all these faces, and standing up behind the kits – is almost more important than the rest.

“It’s the the personality on stage for me as a kid, I was just fascinated. It was not about the technique, you know? ‘Is it tight? Is he [playing well]?’ I didn’t care. I just saw someone behind the drums. A true personality.”

This isn’t a new sentiment from Mario Duplantier, who defended Ulrich to the same magazine in 2021.

“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.”

Regardless of how you feel about Ulrich as a person, Duplantier is right—without the Metallica drummer, the landscape of heavy music, and possibly music in general, would probably look quite a bit different.

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