“Ozzy would be running down the hallway, completely out of his mind…” Robert Trujillo on the time he joined Ozzy Osborne's band

Ozzy Osbourne posing for the camera, and Rob Trujilo on stage
(Image credit: Getty)

When Suicidal Tendencies offshoot Infectious Grooves were making their debut album The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move… It’s The Infectious Grooves in the early 90s, they were often joined by an uninvited guest: Ozzy Osbourne. The Black Sabbath frontman was at the same studio, Devonshire in LA, to work on his No More Tears album but seemed to prefer gate-crashing the Infectious Grooves sessions instead. Years later, bassist Robert Trujillo told Metal Hammer all about the Ozzy invasion.

“We were basically roommates, or studiomates, for a while,” he said, reminiscing about how a crazed Ozzy took over the recording complex. “Ozzy would be running down the hallway, completely out of his mind doing a lot of stuff back then, I can’t tell you what but pretty much anything. He came into the studio one night and surprised us all and went ‘Uh, hullo’ and we were in the middle of a mix. Then suddenly he would never leave – he’d come in and go, ‘Let me hear the song, that’s what I want to play!’ and we’d dance and we’d do all this crazy stuff and he’d go, ‘Have you got any beer?’ No. ‘You got any wine?’ No. ‘You got any pills?’ No. ‘You got any cocaine?’ No, Ozzy! ‘You guys are boring!’”

Ozzy didn’t hold it against them though, inviting the band on to the Theatre Of Madness tour in 1991 and then, eight years later, asking Trujillo to join his band. The bassist said working with Ozzy made for a creatively topsy-turvy time. “I wrote some songs with Ozzy that were really cool but you’d never know, one day he likes the song, and the next day he doesn’t and he doesn’t remember that he liked it, and then six months later he loves it and goes ‘Why didn’t you show me the song before?’ You’re constantly battling with which Ozzy you’re going to get when you’re putting your ideas together, but it was a wonderful experience.” It would put Trujillo in good stead for his next job: a few years later, he’d rock up in Metallicaworld with the metal megaweights at the shakiest point in their history. Perhaps it was his time with Ozzy that made Trujillo the right guy to help them steady the ship.

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.