About Robert Trujillo
So, you're a successful bassist. You play in Ozzy Osbourne's band and have formerly been part of well-respected bands like 'Infectious Grooves' and 'Suicidal Tendencies'. Life is pretty good…
… Then, you get a call: 'Metallica is looking for a bassist... wanna try out?' - and your life kicks into super-turbo-overdrive.
Well documented in the documentary 'Some Kind Of Monster', bassist Jason Newsted left Metallica in early 2001. Though it was clear to the world that things were askew in Metallica land, the news of Jason leaving still came as a shock, given his high-energy hard-hitting performances.
It was clear that Metallica were not ready to search for bassists right away and had some things to solve. It was simply a matter of four guys that got propelled into something that was no longer theirs - it belonged to the world. Like Newsted would later say, 'I saved Metallica by leaving'.
In all of that, Robert came into view and met and performed with the band for the first time while the cameras for 'Some Kind Of Monster' where rolling. Imagine the pressure! The remaining Metallica members, keen to avoid adding a bassist just to have one, took their time and made sure that Robert was the right fit.
If you ever have the chance, check out 'Some Kind Of Monster'. All the bassists auditioning are great players in their own right, but when Robert pops up during a montage of bassists running through 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', things just seem to 'fit'.
Another thing that is very clear is that Robert, although nervous, has tons of headroom and takes things in a calm and cool manner, with style. This has since helped him to deal with every challenge being in Metallica has thrown at him, from last-second setlist changes with obscure songs popping up, to dealing with the pressures of filling the shoes of the late Cliff Burton. Like Robert himself once said: 'you just take things as they come and hold on tight, because these guys move fast!'
Since his inclusion, Robert has more than proven to fit the role of bassists in Metallica and has recorded 2 albums and one EP with the band (2008s 'Death Magnetic', 2011s 'Lulu' with Lou Reed and Metallica and 2011s 'Beyond Magnetic', an EP with extra material from the Death Magnetic sessions). He is in many ways the guy that has truly saved Metallica and propelled them into the next stage of their existence. Another testament to Robert's dedication to the band is that he worked really hard on his singing and is currently able to harmonize with James Hetfield easily and provide authoritative backing vocals.
Robert prefers to play with his fingers instead of picks and mainly uses Warwick, Nash and Zon bass guitars - all strung with his signature Dunlop bass strings.
Fun fact: Robert has recently acquired the "Bass Of Doom"; A de-fretted mid-1960s Fender Jazz Bass that was formerly owned by the late Jaco Pastorius. Somehow it seems the torch has been passed on from one bass guitar genius to another.