New Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo talks about
joining the legendary band Metallica
After 20 months, Robert Trujillo has still not
celebrated landing his new job. Not that he hasn't wanted to, he's just
been a little busy learning two decades worth of music.
intense. You know people say 'You must have been doing back flips.
Aren't you excited?' Well.. yeah! But I have to be focused (on the
music) first. I have just been in a different head space," Trujillo
In early 2003, the
bassist, who has spent his career playing with notable metal acts such
as Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and Suicidal Tendencies, joined what some
fans consider to be one of THE metal acts of all-time: Metallica.
Grammy winning group is scheduled to play shows on the "Madly In
Anger" tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 19 and 20 at the
Wachovia Center, Philadelphia.
Trujillo, who said he
immediately felt comfortable in the band's line up next to front man James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett and drummer Lars Ulrich, noted
that his new gig has been a challenge for him both mentally and
intended, but not a lot of people could do this job. The workload and
the physical demands are incredible at times...A lot of guys can play
Metallica songs, but I think the band was looking for someone whose
personality fit too," Trujillo said.
The native Southern
Californian replaced Jason Newstead, who acrimoniously split from the
group in January of 2001. Since then, Trujillo mastered a bootcamp of
bass lines, beats and back-up vocals to prepare him for his slot in the
extensively in 2003 after releasing the album St.Anger, and it continues
to play live shows to support additional ventures such as Some Kind of
Monster, a live album whose title track shares the same name as the
documentary film that chronicled the period after Newstead's departure
and the band's inner struggles with each other and their own personal
"They are stronger
now because of it," Trujillo said. "They made it through that
time and can go forward... I am excited to be a part of it."
Trujillo said some fans
still aren't shy about letting him know that they still remember
Newstead's contributions and that producer Bob Rock, not Trujillo,
played the bass tracks on St.Anger.
appreciate and are excited about the band moving forward... I take some
shots about not having played on the album, but you know, Metallica fans
are intense. They say what's on their minds. All I can do is hit it hard
and not try to be Jason or Cliff (Burton, the band's former bassist who
died in a 1986 bus crash), but just be myself."
Trujillo and his
bandmates have begun recording while on the current tour in preparation
for the group's next album, which he said they hope to begin studio work
on in late February or March 2005.
That's on the heels of
a year which has seen Metallica release the documentary, the live disc,
a hardcover anthology ("So What") and later this month,
through its website Metallica.com, a limited edition vinyl box set.
Some critics and long
time fans have pointed at those commercial ventures as evidence that the
seminal band has "sold out." Trujillo said he sees it
"I think those
things are ways the band challenged themselves... That's the sign of a
great band. That's the way I take it.. There's no doubt it seems like a
big machine sometimes, but come the end of November (the tour's end) the
machine will shut down for awhile."
Not forever, though.
In late September, the
group appeared on "The Jane Pauley Show," a day time talk show
whose mainstream, female-dominated audience one might not readily
associate with Metallica. Trujillo said that appearance had to do with
the band's new outlook, rather than it selling itself or its music.
"We're not out
there trying to rock out. It was an important step in therapy for Lars,
James and Kirk."
Trujillo said that
those steps are essential in allowing Metallica to continue to be what
he called "a signature band."
"(With all of the
struggles) this could easily have not been a band anymore... They're
back," Trujillo said, then paused.