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Robert Trujillo

Robert Trujillo
Robert Trujillo at the 2013 Fantastic Fest held in Austin, September 25, 2013
Background information
Birth name Roberto Agustin Trujillo
Born (1964-10-23) October 23, 1964
Santa Monica, California, USA
Genres Heavy metal, thrash metal, funk metal, crossover thrash, hardcore punk, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals, double bass
Years active 1978–present
Labels Warner Bros., Elektra, Megaforce
Associated acts Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Mass Mental, Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne, Medication, Jerry Cantrell, Glenn Tipton
Notable instruments
Fernandes Gravity 5-string
Music Man Stingray 5-string
Warwick Basses
Fender Precision Bass
Rickenbacker 4001
Warwick Robert Trujillo Signature Bass

Roberto Agustin Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: ; born October 23, 1964)[1] better known as Robert Trujillo, is an American musician known for his role as the current bassist of American heavy metal band Metallica. He also was a member of crossover thrash metal band Suicidal Tendencies, funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves, heavy metal band Black Label Society, and he has worked with Jerry Cantrell from the grunge band Alice in Chains, and Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. He is currently touring intermittently with experimental metal group Mass Mental.


  • Life and career 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Career 1.2
    • Acting 1.3
    • Personal life 1.4
    • Other projects 1.5
  • Technique 2
  • Equipment 3
    • Effects 3.1
  • Discography 4
    • Jerry Cantrell 4.1
    • Black Label Society 4.2
    • Infectious Grooves 4.3
    • Suicidal Tendencies 4.4
    • Glenn Tipton 4.5
    • Mass Mental? 4.6
    • Ozzy Osbourne 4.7
    • Metallica 4.8
    • Various artists 4.9
  • Videography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Life and career

Early life

Trujillo was born in 1964, in Santa Monica, California. He is of Mexican descent.[2] Trujillo stated that "Jaco [Pastorius] was my hero growing up," and that "Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Halen doing 'Eruption' for the first time: You thought, ‘What instrument is that?’ I loved jazz fusion and branched out from there. But Jaco had an edge that far exceeded his jazz persona. He was funk, he was rock, he was soul. And his whole attitude was punk."[3]

He grew up in Culver City, California.[4] He was exposed to a lot of music during his childhood. His mother was a huge fan of Motown, people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Sly And The Family Stone.[4] He began playing in "a lot of backyard party bands", which meant he played music by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rush, and Led Zeppelin.[4] He went to jazz school when he was 19 with the intention of becoming a studio musician but, he was still passionate about rock and metal.[4]


Trujillo first gained prominence as the bassist for California crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. Initially billed as "Stymee" on the 1989 album Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit...Déjà Vu, Trujillo remained in the band until the mid-1990s. Concurrent to his work with Suicidal Tendencies, Trujillo was also a member of the band's side project, Infectious Grooves, along with vocalist Mike Muir.

Trujillo was a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band for a number of years starting in the late 1990s. He was the subject of controversy for re-recording Bob Daisley's bass tracks for reissued versions of Osbourne's albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman because of Daisley's claim of not receiving proper royalties. During this time, Trujillo formed an experimental supergroup, Mass Mental, with then Dub War singer Benji Webbe, whose "ragga-punk-metal" outfit had just disbanded. The band released one studio album (exclusively in Japan) and one live album of their performance in Tokyo before disbanding.[5] Zakk Wylde, a personal friend and bandmate from the Ozzy days, also recruited him to play with Black Label Society for a few shows.

Trujillo began playing electric bass for Metallica on February 24, 2003. The rest of the band consists of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Lars Ulrich. He had previously met and befriended his future bandmates when Suicidal Tendencies supported Metallica during the Nowhere Else to Roam tour in 1993, and again during the Shit Hits the Sheds tour one year later. Trujillo received one million dollars from the band as an advance for joining Metallica. His audition and hiring as well as his million dollar payment offer appear in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster. As the current bassist for Metallica, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside all current members of the band, as well as Jason Newsted (who left the band in 2001) and the late Cliff Burton, of whom Jason Newsted was the replacement, in the 1980s.

In 2003, Trujillo was seen playing an upright bass in the Nickel Creek music video, "Smoothie Song". However, he did not play bass for the band during the song's recording.


Trujillo has also had some small roles in television and film. He had a non-speaking role in the 1978 Walter Matthau film House Calls, and had a minor role in the 1980 Gary Coleman made-for-TV film Scout's Honor. He also played a character named "Flippy" in a 1982 episode of the television drama series CHiPs. In 1989 he appeared in a Pacific Bell Smart Yellow Pages TV spot; he was interviewed while out jogging and expressed an interest in having a custom kilt made for his upcoming tour. The interviewer produced a copy of the phone book and they found a heading under "Kilts" thus proving that anything anyone wanted could be found in the Yellow Pages. He also appeared playing the double bass in the music video for 'Smoothie Song' by American bluegrass band Nickel Creek.

In 1992 he appeared as himself along with his Infectious Grooves' bandmates in the hit Brendan Fraser comedy film Encino Man.

Personal life

Trujillo is married and has a son and daughter, Tye and Lulah.[1][6] His girlfriend at the time (now his wife), Chloé did a pyrography (woodburning) design of the Aztec calendar for him on his bass guitar.[7][8][9] Years later when Trujillo heard Chloé had moved to Los Angeles, he called her from a pay phone while on a surfing trip in Tahiti in a determined effort to reconnect.[6] They have been together for the past seven years and are now married. His wife has her own website called "Chloe Trujillo".[10]

Other projects

In 2012, Trujillo began producing a documentary about Jaco Pastorius entitled Jaco, directed by Stephen Kijak and Paul Marchand. The film was named Official Film of Record Store Day 2014 and is slated for release in November 2014.[11][12][13]


Trujillo at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego.

Trujillo is primarily a finger-style player, but has been known to play with a pick in some recordings and while playing live. Trujillo's predecessor in Metallica, Jason Newsted, was almost exclusively a pick-style player, while Cliff Burton, Newsted's predecessor and bassist on Metallica's first three albums, played finger-style exclusively. Trujillo is known for playing "massive chords"[14] and "chord-based harmonics"[15] on the bass.

Trujillo also uses the slap bass technique, seen mostly in his work with Suicidal Tendencies and especially Infectious Grooves. At many of the shows during Metallica's 2004 Madly in Anger with the World Tour, Trujillo would often play an extended bass solo (dubbed "Jungle Essence" on recordings), which made extensive use of slap bass and other techniques and effects.

For recording purposes, Trujillo uses his own code for writing down bass arrangements. Inspired by an article by Pino Palladino, he developed this during the recording sessions for Jerry Cantrell's Degradation Trip, which, according to Trujillo, had him working from "little hoodrat demos" with nearly inaudible bass.[16]


With Metallica, he is most often seen playing Fernandes Gravity 5-string basses, particularly a model with a silver finish, blue flame decals, and EMG pickups.[17] He has a Warwick Signature Streamer bass that was released in March 2010.[18] He also has a signature bass model, the Sonus RT, manufactured by Zon Guitars.[19] Prior to Metallica, he was most often seen playing Tobias, ESP and MusicMan basses (all 5-strings), as well as a Fender Precision Bass with Black Label Society[20] and Ozzy Osbourne. Trujillo has been seen in concert playing a Yamaha TRB5-P2 5-string bass, a customized green Rickenbacker 4001/4003 4-string bass fitted with EMG pickups, various Nash P-Bass Copy guitars,[21][22] and both a classic Fender Precision Bass[23] and Fender Jazz Bass.[24] For amplification, he uses Ampeg amplifiers and cabinets.[25] Trujillo recently collaborated with Jim Dunlop to create his new Icon signature bass strings – these strings are taper-core stainless steel, with a non-tapered B string in gauges 45–130 (5-string).[26]

Trujillo also owns the "Bass of Doom" – a defretted mid-1960s Fender Jazz Bass that was formerly owned by the late Jaco Pastorius and that was extensively used on his recorded works. The bass had been seriously damaged, but has subsequently been restored and refinished. Trujillo acquired it from its previous owner, with the intention of having the bass remain with him, in trust for the Pastorius family. He has, however, been seen playing it onstage with Metallica.


Trujillo's pedal board consists of an Electro Harmonix Q-Tron, a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, a Tech 21 XXL, an MXR m-135 SmartGate, a Morley Mark Tremonti wah pedal, and a Boss OC-2 Octave Pedal; all powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power.[27]


Jerry Cantrell

Black Label Society

Infectious Grooves

Suicidal Tendencies

Glenn Tipton

Mass Mental?

Ozzy Osbourne


Various artists

  • "The Blackest Box – The Ultimate Metallica Tribute" (2002)
  • "A Song for Chi" (2009)
  • A.N.I.M.A.L. - "Poder Latino" (guest in song track 69



  1. ^ a b "Robert Trujillo". Metallica. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "METALLICA – ROBERT TRUJILLO interview by JEFF HO". Retrieved April 26, 2011. Growing up on the West Side (LA), where people kill each other for being from the wrong zip code, Robert has managed to stay focused on family and music. He is one of the world's leading bass guitarists. Hard playing kick ass is his style. Metallica is his main focus and number one priority. Surfing is one of his passions. He says music goes hand in hand with surfing. THIS IS ROBERT TRUJILLO .
  3. ^ Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo Funding Jaco Pastorius Biopic Posted April 6, 2012 at 11:09am | by Damian Fanelli Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "ASK EARACHE: Rob Trujillo & Benji Webbe = Mass Mental". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Rebecca G. "Seeing Through the Heart – an afternoon interview with artist Chole Trujillo". Punk Globe. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo5.jpg, (682 × 1023 px)". January 29, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo6.jpg, (768 × 1024 px)". February 9, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo7.jpg, (1024 × 768 px)". October 5, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Chloe Trujillo". Chloe Trujillo. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Trujillo swings from Metallica to jazz biopic –". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Metallica’s Robert Trujillo to Show Jaco Pastorius Film Clip at Bass Player Event". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo's 'Jaco' Documentary Named Official Film Of 'Record Store Day' -". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Warwick Robert Trujillo Signature Bass. February 19, 2012 in basses, = By G.M. Jameson. "Robert Trujillo Demands Something Solid" Available at: Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo Funding Jaco Pastorius Biopic Posted April 6, 2012 by Damian Fanelli Available online at: Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  16. ^ Robert Trujillo – Metallica Bass Guitar #32 (September/October 2007). Retrieved on 9-17-11.
  17. ^ "Electric Guitar Pickups & Accessories – EMG Pickups | Robert Trujillo". February 24, 2003. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Warwick Debuts Robert Trujillo Signature Streamer Bass".  
  19. ^ "Robert Trujillo". Zon Guitars. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Black Label Society – Born To Lose". YouTube. August 27, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Robert-Trujillo-from-Metallica-getting-his-rock-on.jpg (image)". Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Image: 8882116.jpg, (2338 × 1704 px) – Bass guitarist Robert Trujillo of the American heavy metal band Metallica performs during their Sonisphere festival concert in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, June 16, 2010.(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Image: Robert%2BTrujillo%2B1058734310587346large.jpg, (387 × 580 px)". Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Artist Profile – Robert Trujillo". Ampeg. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Robert Trujillo Icon Series Bass Strings Stainless Steel Taper Core". Dunlop. Retrieved May 17, 2010. 
  27. ^ Bass Player Magazine – November 2008
Preceded by
Bob Rock (Sessions)
Metallica bassist
Succeeded by

External links

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