Drum heroes week: Gojira's Mario Duplantier on Lars Ulrich

Lars Ulrich may just be the most divisive drummer on the planet.

Lauded for his leadership of the world's biggest metal band but derided for a perceived lack of chops, Ulrich is nonetheless an influence to millions of young sticksmen the world over. One such budding player to take inspiration from the Metallica man is Gorjia's Mario Duplantier.

"I started playing drums at 12 years old," says Mario. "At that time my big brother was in a band and was a big influence on me. He introduced me to music and spontaneously I wanted to play drums.

"Maybe the first time I saw a video with the big thing called drums was Lars Ulrich with his white Tama drums. That was a big shock for me and right away I wanted to try. Lars was my biggest influence, maybe the only influenced I had starting out.

Mario adds that once he had started to get up to speed behind the kit it was another metal master that piqued his interest.

"After that I started listening to more metal and got into Sepultura with Igor Cavalera on drums, Igor and Lars were my biggest influences and then I discovered more extreme music."

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).