Robert Trujillo

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Robert Trujillo
Trujillo in September 2013
Background information
Birth nameRoberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Perez de la Santa Concepción Trujillo Veracruz Bautista[1]
Born (1964-10-23) October 23, 1964 (age 54)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsBass guitar, guitar, vocals
Years active1978–present
LabelsWarner Bros., Elektra, Megaforce, Blackened
Associated acts

Roberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Perez de la Santa Concepción Trujillo Veracruz Bautista (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈβeɾto tɾuˈxiʎo]; born October 23, 1964)[2] better known as Robert Trujillo, is an American musician and songwriter. He has been the bassist of the American heavy metal band Metallica since 2003. He was also a member of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves, heavy metal band Black Label Society, and has worked with Jerry Cantrell and Ozzy Osbourne.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Roberto Agustin Trujillo was born in Santa Monica, California. He is of Mexican descent.[3][4] He grew up in Culver City, California,[5] where his father was a teacher at Culver City High School.[1] Trujillo was exposed to a lot of music during his childhood. His mother was a huge fan of Motown, musicians like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Sly and the Family Stone.[5] Trujillo stated that "Jaco [Pastorius] was my hero growing up", and that the iconic jazz bassist changed his view of what the instrument could play: "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."[6] He began playing in "a lot of backyard party bands", playing music by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rush, and Led Zeppelin.[5] He went to jazz school when he was 19 with the intention of becoming a studio musician, however he maintained his passion for rock and metal.[5]


Trujillo first gained prominence when he replaced Bob Heathcote 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. In contrast to his earlier jazz and funk inspired playing, Osbourne's band was more straightforward hard rock and metal.[7] Trujillo also co-wrote several songs on the Down to Earth album.[8] He was the subject of controversy for re-recording Bob Daisley's bass tracks for reissued versions of Osbourne's first two solo albums Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary of a Madman (1981) after Daisley claimed he was not paid proper royalties.[9] 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.[10] 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 bass for Metallica on February 24, 2003. 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 previous bassists Jason Newsted and the late Cliff Burton.

Personal life[edit]

Trujillo is married and has a son, Tye, and daughter, Lulah.[2][11] In April 2017, Tye performed with Korn during their South American tour, filling in for longtime bassist Reginald Arvizu.[12] Trujillo's wife, Chloé, has also created a pyrography design of the Aztec calendar on one of his basses.[13][14][15]

Other projects[edit]

In 2012, Trujillo began producing a documentary about jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius entitled Jaco, directed by Stephen Kijak and Paul Marchand. The film was named Official Film of Record Store Day 2014 and was released in November 2014.[16][17][18]


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. 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"[19] and "chord-based harmonics"[20] 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.[21]


With Metallica, Trujillo is most often seen playing Fernandes Gravity 5-string bass guitars, particularly a model with a silver finish,blue flame decals, and EMG pickups.[22] He has a Warwick Signature Streamer bass guitar, both 5 and 4-strings, that was released in March 2010.[23] He also has a signature bass model, the Sonus RT, manufactured by Zon Guitars.[24] Prior to Metallica, he was most often seen playing Tobias, ESP and MusicMan bass guitars (all 5-strings), as well as a Fender Precision Bass with Black Label Society[25] 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 guitar fitted with EMG pickups, various Nash P-Bass Copy guitars,[26][27] and both a classic Fender Precision Bass[28] and Fender Jazz Bass.[29] For amplification, he uses Ampeg amplifiers and cabinets.[30] 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).[31]

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 guitar 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. He has since, though, returned the bass to the Pastorius family.


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.[32]


Jerry Cantrell[edit]

Black Label Society[edit]

Infectious Grooves[edit]

Suicidal Tendencies[edit]

Glenn Tipton[edit]

Mass Mental?[edit]

Ozzy Osbourne[edit]


Various artists[edit]

  • "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 6)


Video game appearances[edit]

Trujillo is a playable character in the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD via DLC.


  1. ^ a b "Trujillo Robert". Spirit of Metal.
  2. ^ a b "Robert Trujillo". Metallica. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ Lucas H. Gordon (2014). Discover Hetfield, Ulrich and Hammett's Personalities Thru the Eyes of Trujillo (Interview). Lucas H. Gordon. Event occurs at 4:00.
  5. ^ a b c d Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo Funding Jaco Pastorius Biopic Posted April 6, 2012 at 11:09am | by Damian Fanelli Accessed on June 24, 2013.
  7. ^ Jeff Ho, Juice interview.
  8. ^ Jeff Ho, Juice interview.
  9. ^ Begrand, Adrien (25 June 2002). "Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz / Diary of a Madman". PopMatters. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  10. ^ "ASK EARACHE: Rob Trujillo & Benji Webbe = Mass Mental". Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  11. ^ Wilson, Rebecca G. "Seeing Through the Heart – an afternoon interview with artist Chole Trujillo". Punk Globe. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  12. ^ Childers, Chad (April 18, 2017). "Watch 12-year-old Tye Trujillo Make His Korn Debut in Colombia". loudwire. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo5.jpg, (682 × 1023 px)". January 29, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo6.jpg, (768 × 1024 px)". February 9, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Image: ChloeTrujillo7.jpg, (1024 × 768 px)". October 5, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Trujillo swings from Metallica to jazz biopic –". Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  17. ^ "Metallica’s Robert Trujillo to Show Jaco Pastorius Film Clip at Bass Player Event". Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo's 'Jaco' Documentary Named Official Film Of 'Record Store Day' -". Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  19. ^ G.M. Jameson. "Robert Trujillo Demands Something Solid". Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  20. ^ Damian Fanelli (April 6, 2012). "Metallica Bassist Robert Trujillo Funding Jaco Pastorius Biopic". Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  21. ^ "Robert Trujillo – Metallica". Bass Guitar. September–October 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  22. ^ "Electric Guitar Pickups & Accessories – EMG Pickups | Robert Trujillo". February 24, 2003. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  23. ^ "Warwick Debuts Robert Trujillo Signature Streamer Bass". Premier Guitar. March 1, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  24. ^ "Robert Trujillo". Zon Guitars. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  25. ^ "Black Label Society – Born To Lose". YouTube. August 27, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  26. ^ "Robert-Trujillo-from-Metallica-getting-his-rock-on.jpg (image)". Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Image: Robert%2BTrujillo%2B1058734310587346large.jpg, (387 × 580 px)". Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  30. ^ "Artist Profile – Robert Trujillo". Ampeg. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  31. ^ "Robert Trujillo Icon Series Bass Strings Stainless Steel Taper Core". Dunlop. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  32. ^ Bass Player Magazine – November 2008
Preceded by
Bob Rock (Sessions)
Metallica bassist
Succeeded by

External links[edit]