Metallica’s Robert Trujillo: You Need Edge and Attitude to Play in This Band

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

If anyone knows how to hang in a successful heavy music band, it’s Robert Trujillo. After all, Trujillo has served as the bass player for legendary metal band Metallica since 2003, which is anything but an easy task. So, what does it take to make it in Metallica?

“In order to play in this band, you’ve gotta have that (the edge and the attitude); that’s one of the most important things,” he said in an interview with Polar Music Prize. “You can be an incredible player, but when you get onstage, you’ve gotta be yourself and you’ve gotta bring it, as we say, and that just means give 120 percent.”

He continued, “‘Cause it is a gig that requires a lot of energy, and there’s an intensity in the music that sort of carries you through the show and turns you into maybe somebody that you aren’t normally in your day-to-day casual existence.”

“So that’s a lot of fun. But at the same time, there’s a groove factor,” Trujilo said. “And I also go back to (his major bass playing influence) Jaco Pastorius, because it was always about the groove. So no matter what he was playing, whether it was a ballad or a bebop song or something really funky, there was always the groove. And it’s the same thing in Metallica.”

Metallica was recently announced as the recipient of the 2018 Polar Music Prize, which is basically the musical equivalent to the Nobel Prize. They’ll be honored this spring with a cash prize of one million Swedish kronor, which is about $126,000.

The band will donate the funds to its All Within My Hands organization, which aids communities in need with workforce education, food-bank donations and other local services.

In other news, Metallica recently announced a list of new North American tour dates. The fresh dates, which are part of the band’s popular WorldWired Tour, will kick off in September and run through March of 2019. Find the upcoming tour roster here.

Publication date: March 2, 2018



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