Interview With Mario Duplantier, Drummer of Gojira

When did you start painting? Was it first music or painting?

I’ve always painted since I was a child, as my father is a painter and drawer, I grew up surrounded by his paintings and drawings. So it appeared as something natural for me to paint. I started making music and playing drums at 12 years old.

024-gojira-2014 I see a clear relation between the themes present on Gojira’s music and your paintings. Are they making music and painting two different ways for you to release a similar impulse, a similar feeling?

Yes for sure, My music and my paintings come both from me, from my guts. So definitely it starts from the same point.

In this sense, is it playing drums like releasing the primitive power and instinct of an animal and painting a more mental and human process? To put in other words: is it your music what speaks for you as an animal and painting as a human?

Playing drums is more physical. It comes from my body like a primitive force, most of the time it turns into a physical trance. Painting is also something primitive for me, in the way that I paint in a very spontaneous way, I just do it, I don’t think too much. So I would say that that the difference is playing drums requires a technique, even though it expresses something very primitive, it needs a lot of work and technique to be able to communicate with drums. Those are two different but complementary ways to exorcise, they are both a combination of animal instinct and human knowledge to me.

There is a naïve and primitive component in your work, as if your paintings were made by a caveman from 10000 years ago, like those in Lascaux or Altamira. Do you want to avoid any unnecessary element and focus on the concept, the idea? Is this approach to painting a call to wildness?

Yes exactly that’s a good analysis.

Capture There has been plenty of modern artists who also looked back to the primitive, like Paul Klee, Gaugin, Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Michel Basquiat. Have any of these particular artists influenced you? What are the artists that you always go back to, the ones that helped you getting to the point where you are now?

I love all the artists you mentioned. Three artists have had an impact on my work: Mario Bota, a Portuguese painter, Jerome Bosch and my father Dominique Duplantier. But to be honest, when I put my paintbrush on a canvas, I don’t know what is going to happen. I like to paint without thinking of any particular artist, I have a very naïve and simplistic approach of it.

Do you prefer to play in natural spaces like open air festivals or in small venues, darker, oppressive but closer to the crowd? Both can be amazing experience. It is a very different feeling, on both situation it depends on the crowd’s energy and response.

Sometimes it can be more scary to play in front of 30 people, than in front of 10000.

Capture3I’ve read you paint when touring. How? How do you find the space and the time?

I don’t have the space, I take it from the others, haha. Most of the time, the tourbus becomes my creative studio until it creates a rebellion from the others. From the moment I wake up , between sound checks, interviews and shows, I find the time.

What are your favorite materials and media?

Chinese inks, coffee (I like the effect it creates), but it really depends on the mood, and the phase. For exemple I can be really into glycerol paintings for weeks, and then into black inks with water only, then tapes … I have different techniques that I use, I always experiment new materials.

Capture2Any future exhibitions planned, any done so far? Is there any paper catalogue of your work available? Are you represented by any art gallery?

There is no exhibition planned for now, I made few exhibitions in France. But for now, I am too focused on Gojira’s projects, so that is why I have my online Gallery, that is a good way for me to show my work regularly.

Photo credits:

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