Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier has said Metallica‘s frontman James Hetfield is the most important musician for his musical formation.
Gojira’s lead singer and guitarist Joe Duplantier has appeared in an interview recently. In the interview, he talked about his thoughts about Eddie Van Halen, James Hetfield, Dimebag Darrell, and Lars Ulrich. While emphasizing the musical importance of Hetfield for him, Gojira frontman also praised Dimebag Darrell as a solo guitar player, while highlighting Hetfield’s being both a singer and a musician.
When asked to name one musician that was the most important for his musical formation, Gojira frontman Doplantier replied:
He named Metallica’s Hetfield on top, and he went on to tell in what aspect.
“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.”
Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier then named his favorite guitarist in terms of playing solos:
Doplantier praised Pantera’s guitarist Dimebag Darrell in terms of doing solos.
“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.
Dimebag is up there when it comes to shredding and when it comes to breaking the rules and when it comes to fucking playing the guitar like a bird is flying, that would be Dimebag for me. His solos are absolutely breathtaking.”
Duplantier went back to Hetfield again, talking about how he wanted to follow his musical principles:
“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.”
Joe Duplantier talked about a memory with Metallica, also mentioning the drummer Lars Ulrich and the precision of James Hetfield:
“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.”
Joe Duplantier continued and mentioned the time he plugged in James Hetfield’s monitors, which shocked him as there were almost no drums.
“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?
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 few 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.”
After highlighting the incredible skill level of Hetfield, Joe Duplantier voiced an interesting opinion about Lars Ulrich:
“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.”
Asked to talk about the meaning of Eddie van Halen for him, Duplantier said:
“I can’t say no because that would sound horrible, but not really. I was aware of him and many of my friends are ‘Aaaahhh, he’s a god!’, and I’m like, ‘Oh, cool! I need to dig…’, but I’ve only said that a few times, ‘Oh, I need to listen to it.’
But then Fender sent us the EVH amp one day and I was like ‘Wow!’, so we are connected to EVH somehow because it’s the brand we use. I even have a signed cabinet in my studio by Eddie Van Halen, but I never really listened to his music, unfortunately.”