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METALLICA’s Robert Trujillo talks childhood heroes, having Zakk Wylde on tour, and STL’s food game!

Robert Trujillo from METALLICA takes a few minutes to catch up with LERN before their weekend of shows in St. Louis on the M72 World Tour. Trujillo discusses Metallica’s regimen before they take the stage, how growing up in LA skating & snowboarding and playing in Suicidal Tendencies helped shape his stage presence, what it is like seeing his son Tye Trujillo play in Suicidal Tendencies, having Zakk Wylde and Pantera on tour with Metallica, sharing the stage with his childhood heroes at PowerTrip Festival, and more!

Read the full interview transcript:

Lern: Hey, everybody, it’s Lern from 105.7 The Point, sitting with Robert mother effing Trujillo of Metallica. welcome to St. Louis again, Robert.

Robert Trujillo: Thank you for having me in your beautiful city.

Lern: We’re so happy that you guys have, like, seriously taken over since this tour was announced that it was coming to St. Louis. The days leading up to this date, we are jacked. We are ready for you guys to just be the mayors of St. Louis at this point.

Robert Trujillo: Well, thank you for having us and welcoming us into your beautiful city. It’s kind of a trip for me because I feel like I haven’t spent time here in a while. I’ve been able to hang here for the last three days and kind of get reacquainted and, man, the barbecue food is really good here.

Lern: We do have some good spots.

Robert Trujillo: The food is good. You even have great tacos here.

Lern: Yeah.

Robert Trujillo: Like pulled pork tacos.

Lern: Yeah.

Robert Trujillo: So I don’t want to leave anyway.

Lern: Good. We want you to stay. Robert Trujillo is now living in St. Louis. You know, that’s so interesting that you talk about food, because one of my biggest curiosities with musicians, I mean, you’re on a world tour right now. What do you do? Is the food the go to the minute you get off the plane or bus?

Robert Trujillo: It is one of the go to, because usually in each city, they specialize in something. And, the, other day here, I was looking at the menu, and this was at the hotel, and I was like, oh, man, hotel menus usually aren’t happening. And, being from Southern California and Mexican food kind of being a very special form, of cuisine, I thought, well, I don’t know, this looks interesting. I’m going to try this. And I ordered pulled pork tacos, St. Louis style. And they were amazing. I was like, wait a minute, that’s not right. And then they had, like, a mahi mahi sandwich the next day. And usually I only eat those in Hawaii. So I tell you, you’re doing great things here with food.

Lern: We got this admit stamp of approval. I like that.

Robert Trujillo: That’s it.

Lern: Last time you guys were here was 2017. It was a hardwired tour, and you were playing Bush Stadium, and it rained its ass off that night.

Robert Trujillo: That’s right.

Lern: I was at that show. Killed it. and when I found out I was interviewing you, I was really excited because, the first time I saw Metallica was the Death Magnetic Tour in 2008. And that was my first taste of Robert Trujillo on stage. And, man, you were maybe one of the most aerobic bassists to ever exist. And so I know you recently were interviewed and you were talking about how Ozzy is the reason that you do the crab walk and that with your time with Ozzy, that. That just organically came about.

Lern: But I want to know, are you stretching before you are hitting the stage? What is like your whole regimen?

Robert Trujillo: So, before we take the stage, we all have our regimen. And, it does definitely include stretching. Kirk is an avid yoga know, that’s what he does every day. James gets the PT work done. I do a bit of PT, but I also like to go to the gym even before I come, to the venue and do some, well, kind of light training. A lot of it’s more, kind of geared towards, movement. Kind, of rolling around on the floor doing various drills and stuff like that. Sounds pretty weird and strange, but it actually works really well for the type of performance we do. Lars has a whole deal that takes literally like 75 minutes or something, and he has to stick to that. He’s kind of wired that way where it’s certain things. A bit of a creature of habit and that’s the way it is. So we all have our routines that we do and, it just works for us to be in this business this long and to perform for 2 hours doing what we do, especially on this stage. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s crazy. It’s a beast. it’s involved, there’s a lot of cardio involved, all this kind of stuff. You get to navigate the terrain after a while. It’s one of those things that just comes with time, especially on this stage. So, you basically cater to the needs of the performance, and where you’re at with yourself and the transitions and how you eat and life things like Jack Daniels and tequila shots and all that kind of stuff. Till five in the morning, maybe not so much.

Lern: Not so much. Well, and your hardcore and your punk background, I think plays a huge hand in your energy on stage. I mean, you are my favorite person to watch when I go to Metallica shows because, I don’t know, man, it’s like animalistic in a way, but also just like so freaking cool. And I think it’s all those, years of suicidal that you, maybe bring that element of hardcore to what’s going on.

Robert Trujillo: Right. So basically, growing up, in Los Angeles, I was active with skateboarding and then I got really into snowboarding I still surf. When I joined Metallica in 2003, I kind of stopped snowboarding. just because of the injury factor in skateboarding, I stopped doing probably around literally 19. my son actually still skates. he’s really good, but, I kind of vicariously lived through him. As far as skating goes. I think ultimately I always wanted to be a really great skateboarder and I just never was great at it. So in a weird way, I’ve sort of had to take that board sport approach to performance. And, some of those movements maybe are more geared towards skating and snowboarding and surfing, stuff like that. And, my years with suicidal tendencies were definitely wild and, exciting. It was new terrain for me. I had come from mostly kind of a more funk oriented style of bass playing and, ah, a jazz background, but I always listened to, of course, black Sabbath and even suicidal tendencies and, ah, motorhead, and all that. So I was experiencing that music through listening to it. And then when it physically became a part of my life, it was like this awakening where I was like, oh my God, this is incredible that I can experience this on stage in front of these crowds. And, there’s nothing like playing hard, aggressive, grooving music in front of these types of crowds. I mean, it’s so much fun. And still till this day, I’m having the best time of My life. I feel very fortunate and also fortunate to be able to play with my heroes, whether it’s Ozzy or of course, Metallica, but also Mike Meir, suicidal tendencies, even, you know, being able to work with him. So I feel blessed.

Lern: You bring up Tye, your son. I noticed you’re wearing an auto shirt here for this. even I don’t have kids. And Tye, I saw him at Sonic Temple Festival over the summer. With suicidal, I just. It has to be the thrill of your life to watch your son follow in your footsteps in his own way and make it his own. But the fact that he is out playing with suicidal tendencies, what does that feel like for you? Do you feel like something has come completely full circle?

Robert Trujillo: Yeah, it’s interesting because I’ve, been watching them play and perform and it’s so physical. Like when I see them play and I’m just like, whoa. I mean, these dudes are like jumping off the stacks like 12ft in the air and, the energy level is off the hook. Mike Muir doesn’t age. It’s like he’s like a pit bull up there. Still till this day. I can’t believe it. So it actually motivates me when I go to see them play. It helps inspire me to do better with Metallica and just in life because, you see a band like that still doing it at the highest level, in terms of the physical performance and the love for that, whether it’s a small punk club or, ah, larger venue or a festival, you just see that energy and it just kind of compels me to bring it. And one of the things I can say about Metallica is as long as I’ve been in Metallica, we don’t phone it in. We really do take a lot of pride and, focus into the performances and absolutely do our best. And that’s one of the things I learned. Joining Metallica is the work ethic is very important to, this band.

Lern: And congratulations. This is your 20th anniversary in Metallica, 2023.

Robert Trujillo: Yeah.

Lern: when you think about, and you mentioned it, playing with your heroes and meeting your heroes, how crazy is it that Zakk Wylde is on this tour with you as he is in the new version of Pantera? Ah, I mean, that has to be the most fun experience ever. given your history with Black Label society and now being able to have in 2023, just a new wave of touring with Zakk.

Robert Trujillo: Yeah, I mean, first things first. It’s so cool to see Zakk up there playing up there with, Phil and Charlie Rex. It’s exciting. They sound so good. And Zakk has just always been completely, how do you say, passionate about not just his instrument, but about music in general. he was fun to tour with, but man, he was a handful. Tell you, that dude was wild. I tell him to his face, he was out of his mind. And, we had good times. We had great times. yeah, it’s just amazing to see him up there playing songs that his brother, his guitar soulmate, played. had that sort of connection together back ozfests and all that stuff. Zakk’s really a great person and it’s just really fun to be around him. Know, we’re all so busy during these shows and everything, but every time we cross paths, we end up hanging out for like a half hour or whatever. We’re always late to the next thing interview we got to do because we’re catching know. And, it was also a joy to play on Ozzy’s recent, record with Zakk and, to kind of have that moment with Ozzy and to share that with him as well. So Zakk’s back in my life.

Lern: That’s cool.

Robert Trujillo: Thank God. A healthier version of Zakk, too, I might add. Yeah, it’s great.

Lern: Well, in all the fans minds, the debauchery is still happening, so don’t ruin it for us.

Robert Trujillo: Yeah. You know what? I got to tell you something. It still exists because, I would say spiritually, too, because there’s this thing that happens when you’ve grown up playing with these guys and these people. It doesn’t change the way you communicate, the approach that you have to your instrument, to the shows, to the spirit of what we do, it’s still full on. I, think that’s one of the most incredible things about who we are and what we do right now at our age, it’s still very important to us. I don’t just mean that for myself. I mean that for Pantera. I mean that for Iron Maiden and AC DC and all the bands that we’ve been able to share the stage with in the last, month or so.

Lern: You bring up all of the bands, that were on Power Trip Festival. That was the last show before this weekend in St. Louis. You guys were taking in AC DC, returning to the stage, and I just wonder, did their performances specifically give you new energy for the rest of the M 72 world tour?

Robert Trujillo: Yeah, we were there as fans. M and then Sunday rolls around and it’s like, oh, yeah, that’s right. We have to play a show, and we’ve got to follow that. Right. for me, it was, incredible to be with my heroes. at one point, I got to take a photo with, Ian Hill and Steve Harris.

Lern: Amazing.

Robert Trujillo: I just think back to being a kid and listening to those bands and never, thought I’d see the day that I’d be able to actually, share the stage with them, let alone get a photograph with just. It was just one of those weekends where everybody was cool, everybody was humble. Everybody was passionate about what they do and how they do, know, seeing Slash again. I haven’t seen him in years. And Duff, the nicest guys. Nobody’s heads have gotten exploded and gotten big or anything. Everybody’s grounded, humble, and they just love music and love, what they do. So it was a very powerful weekend. I was exhausted Monday. When I got home, I was just like, what just happened? Because there’s a certain kind of emotional dynamic to it, too, that it drains you in a good way. It’s just such a great experience. Like I said, we were there as fans. We saw every band. We couldn’t see tool because they were right before us. But we were out there for all the groups and just, loving it. Super cool.

Lern: You think Power Trip will do another festival?

Robert Trujillo: I hope so. Obviously you saw the response to the shows and the bands and the energy. It’s still relevant, it still means a lot. the fans are there and they’re going to show up, so hopefully, power trip will stay the course.

Lern: I hope that a lot of fans from St. Louis made the trek out to Indio because they just had to be there for the inaugural one. And yeah, metal definitely deserves its own festival on US soil from that level. And I think that’s incredible.

Robert Trujillo: I mean, if you think about it, in Europe, you have festivals that are just huge, massive, and we should have that here, in the US. There’s so many great bands in the US too. lot to choose from. People will show up. It’s a good time.

Lern: It is. Well, we are so happy that you came to St. Louis that you put us on the world tour for the new record. Kicks major ass. We’re spinning it at The Point. Spinning it on Monday Night Metal. and it has been a thrill of my life to get to meet you and sit here with you today and talk about your music history. Robert Trujillo of Metallica. The M 72 World Tour in town all weekend here in St. Louis. This is The Point.

Robert Trujillo: All right