Gojira’s Mario Duplantier thinks Metallica’s Lars Ulrich deserves way more respect than he gets

Mario Duplantier and Lars Ulrich
(Image credit: Katja Ogrin/Redferns, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Over the years, Metallica drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich has certainly received his (un)fair share of criticism over his technical ability as a musician. Despite his band helping to define heavy metal itself, Ulrich’s drumming has often been the butt of countless jokes aimed at Metallica - and, according to Gojira’s Mario Duplantier, it's all pretty uncalled for.

In fact, the Gojira drummer believes Ulrich deserves far more respect than he gets. While speaking on the Downbeat Podcast with Stray From the Path's Craig Reynolds, Duplantier explains, “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."

Elsewhere, Reynolds praises Lars' ability to still comfortably power through Metallica's more physically-demanding tracks each night at 60 years of age.

"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," Duplianter adds.

"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 the first time the Gojira drummer has offered praise to Lars. In 2021, he described him as “the best showman drummer in the world” and “a genius”.

In conversation with Metal Hammer, he offered: "I was maybe 10 or 11 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 drumheads, the movement… it was all so badass”.

He continued, “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.”

Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.