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The Rhythm of the Wild
Mario Duplantier of Gojira delivers a violent piece of drum art.
By molding disparate elements of classic, progressive and extreme metal, the brand of sound that Gojira represents has lent them a position as one of the forerunners in today’s metal scene. One key ingredient behind the monster that has become Gojira is the incomparable drumming of Mario Duplantier – an inventive, layered and highly expressive combination of refined finesse, technicality and savage power.
All of this is what Mario brings to the Rythme Sauvage MIDI pack. Loosely based around the Gojira catalogue as well as several all-new compositions, he delivers a collection of grooves that expresses the whole range in tempo, emotion and complexity. Be it classic or progressive metal, heavy rock or fusion, this is the perfect set of grooves for any writer.
Q. When and how did your interest in music start?
A. My first memorable moment with music was when I was 11 years old and heard a Queen song for the first time. I quickly became obsessed with the song, and listened to it about 40 times a day. The rhythm of the drums and bass was so hypnotizing. Not long after that, my brother introduced me to Metallica. It was the track “Orion” from “Master of Puppets” that made me fall in love with them. When I was 12 years old, my mother bought me my first drum kit. My brother and I formed Godzilla (Gojira) two years later.
Q. How come you ended up behind the drums?
A. The first time I watched a live Metallica concert on VHS, I was fascinated by Lars Ulrich. His presence behind that monumental drum kit, the fire and energy he has while playing left me absolutely stunned. I knew then and there, I wanted to start playing the drums.
Q. In Gojira, talk about the creative process and how you normally come up with your beats to the songs. Is it a case of jamming or do you map them out in your head, on the computer or in some other way?
A. We have several different approaches to composing Gojira music, it could start with a jam, a melody that we have in our head, or a drum pattern that I’ve created. I’m always challenging myself through my instrument, creating drum exercises to keep my chops up. A lot of the time these exercises translate well into riffs or a foundation for a new song. A few examples being; “The Art of Dying”, “Explosia”, “Liquid Fire”, “The Cell”, “Pray”, “Remembrance” etc…
Q. In this collection of grooves, you’re covering both new and altered renditions of Gojira-related material as well as a wide range of all-new beats and fills. Talk a little about what you were trying to capture.
A. I tried to channel my influences from a number of grooves that I’ve actually used on some Gojira albums, while also incorporating new rhythms and techniques that I’ve never used before. I truly had a lot of fun working on this pack, I put a lot of heart and creativity into it. Some of these riffs may even end up on a Gojira record one day, who knows!
Q. You also did the artwork for this release. Let us know a little about what the piece symbolizes and what it means to you.
A. This painting is a portrait of a man I created using acrylic and industrial types of paint. There wasn’t a real concept behind this piece, just spontaneous artistic expression. My art is raw and a bit naive, it’s my own approach, which corresponds well with my style of drumming.
Q. What is your happiest drum memory?
A. Probably the first time we opened for Metallica!
Q. What’s your WORST drum memory?
A. I remember a time in 2003, we were playing a festival in Paris with about 30 other bands. We started the show and my throne (seat) dropped rapidly about 14″ inches in one shot. I looked like I was sitting on the floor, and I had to finish the song like that! What a nightmare…
Q. Name a few albums where you think the drums really stand out, either on a sonic or performance level.
- Deftones, “Around the Fur”
- Death, “Human”
- Metallica, “…And Justice for All”
- Sepultura, “Chaos AD”
- Machine Head, “Burn My Eyes”
- Candiria, “What Doesn’t Kill You”
- Meshuggah, “Nothing”
- Pearl Jam, “Vitalogy”
Q. What Toontrack products do you regularly use?
A. EZdrummer 2.
Why this title, you may wonder? Mario’s a native Frenchman, his style of drumming is wild and full of surprises – and Gojira’s breakthrough album is called “L’Enfant Sauvage”. Combine all of those facts, and there couldn’t be a more fitting title for a collection of grooves that combines art, Gojira, ingenuity, finesse and raw power.
Mario Duplantier: Drummer, Artist and Artist
Mario is the man and mind behind the art for the Rythme Sauvage MIDI pack. From studio sessions to world tours, Mario transforms his musical experiences into artistic paintings, using his own drumheads as a canvas. His pictorial artwork has become a very significant part of his career, as Mario is now considered one of the most recognized painters in the rock industry. This gallery is dedicated entirely to Mario Duplantier’s artistic world, displaying all his latest creations, with new paintings and prints available for sale each month.
Find Mario’s art gallery and website here: marioduplantier.com
- Drum grooves and fills for classic and modern metal
- Performed by Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
- More than 550 individually played files
- 4/4 and 6/8 in straight and/or swing feel
- Tempos ranging from 100 to 206 BPM
- Song structure categorization (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, etc)