Trujillo: Forget about the money, kids

Metallica’s Robert Trujillo says aspiring musicians should focus their efforts entirely on having fun and forget about fame and fortune.

The bass player believes the music industry has changed so much in recent years that chasing the big bucks is the wrong way to set about a career in rock.

Trujillo tells the Huffington Post: “The most important thing that I tell young people is to have fun. Back in the day in the music business, bands would get these multi-million dollar record deals and that was the big thing, ‘We got a record deal! We got a record deal!’

“That’s not the way it is anymore, it’s about making music and having fun. Don’t make music to make money, because that’s not why you should be doing it. Have fun, be creative, and embrace the past.

“I would start from there, have fun, soak it all in and take a journey with this music in the past because a lot of that stuff doesn’t exist anymore. People aren’t writing stuff like that anymore.”

Trujillo points to his own son, 11-year-old Tye, as an example of a kid with his head in the right place. Tye plays in his own band, The Helmets.

The proud dad says: “My son is an amazing bass player and a really great writer. The bass lines that he’s writing and the riffs, I’m like, ‘Man, I wish I had written that.’

“He’s coming up with stuff on his own, but he’s also been influenced by players like Jaco Pastorius, but also Miles Davis or Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. We even listen to bands like Queens Of The Stone Age and Tool.

“He’s like a sponge. He loves funk. He loves James Brown, he’s this little 11-year-old who’s soaking up and embracing all this different music and I can tell that it’s helping him creatively in what he’s writing with his band.”

Metallica are currently working on their 10th album and the bassist is excited about the direction they are taking.

“We’ve been working very hard and that’s been the focus of what we’ve been doing as a band,” he says. “I’m very excited about it, I’m loving the tones, I’m loving the grooves, I’m loving the riffs.”

Trujillo was behind last year’s Jaco Pastorius movie and he says his bass hero’s style may well find its way onto the Metallica record. He adds: “If there’s a way and it works for the song, always. I’m always channeling that energy, so it’s possible.

“I’ve also got to cater to my band. We work as a team, I’m not force feeding anybody anything. What works, works and what doesn’t, doesn’t, but it’s possible. With Lars and James we really try to do things collectively as a team and embrace the song as the song. If it works for the song, that’s great. If it doesn’t, then that’s great, too, it’s not a problem.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.