Lars Ulrich Follows James Hetfield’s Rhythm Live With Metallica, Says Gojira’s Joe Duplantier
Metallica's James Hetfield is the master of rhythm and in a recent interview, Gojira's Joe Duplantier expounded on that sentiment, calling him the "foundation" of the band's rhythm section while noting that drummer Lars Ulrich follows him live and that he utilizes almost no drums in his in-ear monitors onstage.
Duplantier, who will release a new album with Gojira, Fortitude, at the end of the month, is a known Metallica superfan. In March, he told Loudwire Nights radio host Toni Gonzalez that he owes his career and marriage to Metallica, if that's any evidence of just how deep his affectations for the metal titans go.
"If there was a school for rock, he would be my teacher. I want to follow his course. His right hand is a hammer, an unstoppable hammer," Duplantier gushed with praise in an interview with Rock Sverige. "He's the foundation of the rhythmic section in Metallica. I think Lars is just dancing around James' guitar. Everybody follows James," he added.
Recollecting a personal moment from the time Gojira spent on the road with Metallica, playing in stadiums across North America, the Gojira vocalist and guitarist explained how he befriended Metallica's monitor engineer, who he then hired for $100 for his own band.
"Then when Metallica played, one time he gave me James' spare in-ears [monitors]." Duplantier began.
"He said, 'Joe, come here,' because he saw me watching James and analyzing his fucking right hand. It's out of this world," he added, continuing, "It's not necessarily impressive on a technical level, it's the precision and the consistency and it's sharp. He gives me a little radio there and I plug it in, I have my own in ears and I'm like, 'Oh my god, oh my god! This is James' fucking monitors! What?'"
Amazed by what he heard, Duplantier described how Metallica approach their live performances.
"I plug them in and put it in my pocket and look at him and I was amazed to see that there was almost no drums in there. Who does that? What? Maybe there was some hi hat, but he was flying through the songs, playing and singing and it was only him in his monitors. A little bit of drums to stay connected to the rest, but some people need a lot of drums because they´re so chaotic and are just sitting on the drums, like in my case for example," he recollected.
Heaping more praise unto Hetfield, he noted, "This guy can do a whole show and I'm pretty sure everybody's following him, even Lars. I think Lars follows James when he plays."
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