GOJIRA's Mario Duplantier Likes To Draw On His Drumheads
Gojira drummer Mario Duplantier might be located all the way in the back of the stage when his band is performing, but for me, he is the star of the show. When seeing Gojira on their recent tour, I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He. does. not. fuck. up. He is constantly headbanging, double-bassing at ferocious speeds and the way he puts his whole body into playing, it's as if he is dancing with the drumkit on stage.
To put it succinctly, Mario is an artist. And his expression is not just through music, it's through visual means as well. I recently learned that Mario is a budding illustrator. Mario combines his love of art and music by drawing on his drumheads in between blasting them silly. I had the opportunity to email Mario a few questions about his artwork, and here is the conversation that spawned out of that email:
How did you come up with the idea of illustrating on your drum heads?
Since I began playing drums, I've always written or drawn on my snare skins. Ranging from music notation on the technical side for my hands/feet/rests/etc., to sometimes motivational sections or bars. It's funny the things that keep me in order while I'm playing a show. I would sketch and draw anything that came to mind while spending entire days in the rehearsal studio with the band. I would come up with tons of musical ideas, riffs and tempos all the time. As far as the sketching and drawing go, I think that began in my school agenda like most kids.
Other than drumheads, what sort of materials do you use to create your art?
It can be anything from Canson drawing paper to wood, to basically anything I can get my hands on. I used a lot glycerol, chinese ink. Sometimes, I use water or spit. Spit creates very interesting matter [laughs].
Is there any overarching theme to your work?
My work is automatic, spontaneous, and guided mostly by my raw emotions. However, I think I am most fascinated by the mystery of humans, the relations between them, our animosity, fragility, and also our profoundness. Still, a lot of subconscious ideas are released in my artistic approach.
Finally, do you ever get tired of all that double bassing on stage?
NEVER! It is the perfect discipline to stay centered and grounded in my life [laughs].
To see more of Mario's artwork, visit his portfolio.
All artwork featured on this page by Mario Duplantier. Photographs by Gabrielle Duplantier.
Gojira's L'Enfant Sauvage is out now. Buy it on Amazon.com.