Metallica Olympiastadion 2024

Robert Trujillo says that “Playing with Metallica is the most demanding gig there is”

Author Benedetta Baldin - 3.7.2024

When Robert Trujillo joined Metallica, he faced the enormous challenge of not only integrating into one of the most legendary bands in metal history, but also mastering a role that many bassists would find difficult. Trujillo, who has played with Metallica for nearly 20 years, recently spoke with Bass Player about the particular challenges he faced. 

I feel like I’ve had so many challenges. You know, I live in Los Angeles, but since I joined the band I’ve been spending more time in the Bay Area, and I actually really like it. Los Angeles has become so overpopulated and blown out. San Francisco has such a nice balance, almost like a funky ’70s flavor to it. The way LA used to be back in the Cheech & Chong days! The biggest challenge has been with my bass playing. I’m not being disrespectful to all the bass players out there, but there aren’t many bassists that could do this job. Playing with Metallica is the most demanding gig there is.

He then praises his predecessors in the band.

Cliff was amazing for Metallica. His ideas, his presence, and where he was taking the bass and taking metal, were so special. And his stage presence – he was such a physical player. He played what he felt, and that was the bottom line. His approach was, ‘I’m gonna play what I feel, and if you don’t like it, screw you!’ He used to ask Kirk to show him Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar solos so he could play them on bass, and not many bass guitar players were doing that back then. I thought that was so cool. Cliff was a force on a lot of different levels. I really appreciate Jason Newsted. Considering he’s a pick player, and the speed and dexterity involved in this music, I think it’s a tall order. But he was really keeping it and holding it down, keeping it solid – more simple than Cliff, but in a good way. I love the fact that we’re all different. We all have our thing that we’ve brought to the band, but I also have my own style and I like to express that.