METALLICA Bassist On 'Big Four' Shows: 'I Didn't Expect It To Be This Cool'

METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo was recently interviewed for the Sonisphere festival web site. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Q: What kind of metal are you listening to at the moment?

Robert Trujillo: Oh, man, you know, it varies. My musical taste right now ranges from bands like MESHUGGAH and a little bit of newer metal, not "nu-metal," but just new metal. I like GOJIRA. I think they're a really cool band. SKINDRED is a great band. I think Benji is an amazing frontman. And getting back into SLAYER and stuff is always cool because I think they are timeless in a way they're so good.

Q: And, what about outside of metal?

Robert Trujillo: Outside of metal, I mean, I love listening to everything from acoustic world music, like this band called SHAKTI from the '70s which I really like. They played with a guitarist named John McLaughlin and their music to me is very aggressive. It's all tablas and East Indian percussion and it's as aggressive as any heavy metal out there. But it's all on acoustic instruments. I really like that a lot. I love surf music because I love surfing so I always kind of get fired up with that. I listen to a lot of old R&B like James Brown and anything that gets your head bopping with that formula.

Q: You spend a lot of time working on you technique. How are you experimenting at the moment?

Robert Trujillo: You know, I'm always experimenting. It's crazy. Late at night I'm coming up with new techniques and I've kind of gone back to the basics with my fingering. One of the things about being in this band is it can be pretty challenging, especially when we play live. With the new music and also the old music it gets pretty physical so I have actually kind of gone back to square one and really focused on my right-hand attack and also conditioning my fingers in different ways to cater to each particular song, so really working on technique going back to the basics. And I actually have a desire to read again and maybe kind of get into some jazz. But that's pretty much a hobby. I really enjoy trying to expand my horizons and become in my mind a more well-rounded player. Often times I get together with guys like flamenco guitar players or whatever and try and learn some new technique off them and hopefully apply it to my bass playing.

Q: What guitarists and bassists inspire you at the most?

Robert Trujillo: Well, obviously I love Jaco Pastorius. I was fortunate to see him play about four times back when I was a lot younger before his death. Of course, I haven't seen him since because it would only be his ghost. Who else? I remember seeing a band called RETURN TO FOREVER, which is very cool. I didn't get a chance to see Jimi Hendrix as I was too young, but he's my favorite. You know what, I'll tell you what band I saw that were very cool; MUSE. I saw them about three years ago in L.A.

Q: Finally, how exciting has it been playing these Sonisphere festivals with the "Big Four?"

Robert Trujillo: It's intense. It's special. It's surreal. I don't know what more to say… it's the "Big Four," you know. When ANTHRAX played [the first set of the tour] they sounded amazing and I haven't seen them with Joey [Belladonna] since I don't when it's been about 15 years. The vibe is great and it's pretty cool. I didn't expect it to be this cool. I expected it to be fun and exciting, but everybody is in good spirits healthy and at the top of their game.

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