Robert Trujillo says he learned early in his career how to maintain inter-band harmony – mainly by not pissing off Zakk Wylde.
The bassist has worked with a lot of big personalities in his musical career– none more so than in his current post with Metallica. He has also worked with Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves and Ozzy Osbourne, where he met Wylde.
Trujillo says he was careful as a child not to cross his father, and he took those lessons into his musical career.
He tells IndiePower: “In my band situations, I was always very careful how not to cross certain members. Because band members can fly off the handle, especially in the situation that some of them were in, whether it was drug issues, drinking, whatever it was.
“There was a lot of stuff going down, and you had to be cool. Because, I mean, someone like Zakk, he would snap. He would kind of switch right in front of your eyes. So you always had to be careful with these people.
“And that’s part of the journey, and I think with that, I adopted patience and respect. I learned how to deal with people and their personalities the best way that I could in these different situations.”
It probably helps that Trujillo has steered clear of many of the vices that take a grip on many rock stars’ lives.
He adds: “I was fortunate to not get wrapped up too hard in anything that was too dangerous. Because it was all out there. In the late 80s and in the 90s, it was all happening. And, for some reason — maybe it was my mom or something — but I was able to kind of power my way through it, but still enjoy the music and the positive side of being creative with a lot of these wonderful musicians.”
Metallica are working on the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic. They released a new song, Lords Of Summer, last year.
Read our world exclusive interview with Trujillo in the new issue of Metal Hammer and find out the latest on the new Metallica album.