ROBERT TRUJILLO States “There Exists Few Bassists” Capable of Performing in METALLICA, Commends CLIFF BURTON & JASON NEWSTED


Upon joining Metallica, Robert Trujillo encountered the formidable task of not only assimilating into one of the most legendary bands in metal history but also mastering a role that numerous bassists would perceive as intimidating. Trujillo, who has been a member of Metallica for more than two decades, recently shared the unique challenges he faced in an interview with Bass Player.

Reflecting upon the time of his integration into the band, Trujillo remarked, “I have encountered numerous difficulties. Living in Los Angeles, but since I became part of the band, the majority of my time is spent in the Bay Area, which I have grown to appreciate. Los Angeles has become excessively populated and chaotic. San Francisco has a pleasant equilibrium, reminiscent of a groovy ’70s atmosphere. Similar to how LA was during the Cheech & Chong era!”

Despite the geographical shift, his primary challenge lay in his bass playing. “The most significant hurdle has been with my bass playing. I do not intend to belittle all the bassists out there, but there exist few bassists capable of handling this responsibility. Collaborating with Metallica is undeniably the most demanding position available.”

Despite the obstacles, Trujillo holds profound admiration for his predecessors, recognizing their profound influence on the band’s heritage. When discussing Cliff Burton, he stated, “Cliff was phenomenal for Metallica. His ingenuity, his aura, and his direction of bass and metal were truly exceptional. His stage presence was exceptional – he was a very dynamic player. He played from his heart, and that was his guiding principle. His philosophy was, ‘I will play what I feel, and if you object, tough luck!'”

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Trujillo also lauded Burton’s innovative nature, saying, “He would ask Kirk to demonstrate Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar solos so he could replicate them on bass, and during that era, not many bass guitarists were pursuing that path. I found that incredibly fascinating. Cliff embodied a force on various levels.”

Jason Newsted, Burton’s successor, also garnered Trujillo’s respect. “I deeply respect Jason Newsted. Considering his preference for using a pick and the high tempo and agility demanded by this music, it was quite a challenging task. Nevertheless, he remained steady and grounded – less complex than Cliff, yet in a positive manner.”

In conclusion, Trujillo embraces the uniqueness that each bassist has contributed to Metallica. “I appreciate the diversity within our group. Each of us brings our individual traits to the band, but I also possess my distinctive style which I enjoy expressing.”


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