Gojira’s Joe Duplantier Says Lars Ulrich Is Just Dancing Around James Hetfield’s Guitar

Gojira guitarist and singer Joe Duplantier spoke in a recent interview with Rock Sverige and revealed his opinion about Metallica frontman James Hetfield.

In the conversation, Joe praised the talent of James by saying that he is something else than being a regular guitar player and mentioned that he would get a lesson from James if there was a rock school.

Furthermore, Joe talked about the time when they were touring with Metallica and said that he had a chance to listen to what James’ monitor sounds like, which was really surprising for him.

As Joe was mentioning the fact that James wasn’t getting any kinds of drum sounds on his monitor besides the hi-hats, he also claimed that Lars Ulrich is just dancing around James and stated that everybody just follows James during the live shows.

Joe Duplantier on the one musician that impacted his whole career:

“James Hetfield. I know, it’s surprising. No, it’s not surprising, because I’ve been talking about him. Surprising because James is more a bandleader and a singer and nobody thinks of James Hetfield as a guitar player. Some people do, but I really put it up there.

“I’m not talking about solos. I’m not a shredder. I don’t shred. I create platforms for songs with rhythm guitars and subtleties within them. If I’m going to talk about a guy who does solos, and it’s not original, but Dimebag.

But James Hetfield has something… if there was a school, he would be my teacher. 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. He’s the foundation of the rhythmic section in Metallica.”

He continued:

“I think Lars is just dancing around James’ guitar. Everybody follows James. One time we were on tour with them, we became friends with their monitor engineer because he was doing our monitors too, we hired him. We gave him like $100 in cash every day, ‘Can you do our monitors? We don’t have our own monitor guy.’ and he was like ‘I got you.’

Then when Metallica played, one time he gave me James’ spare in ears. This little box, a receiver. He said, ‘Joe, come here!’ – because he saw me watching James and analyzing his fucking right hand. It’s out of this world. 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?’ I plug them in and put them in my pocket and look at him and I was amazed to see that there were almost no drums in there. Who does that? What?”

Joe Duplantier added:

“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.

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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