Metallica's Rob Trujillo: “Most people that I talk to have found a place in their heart for St. Anger"

Metallica holding plaques in 2003
(Image credit: Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage via Getty Images)

Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo has discussed the awkward legacy of the band's divisive eighth studio album St. Anger in a new interview. Released on June 5, 2003, St. Anger was met with decent sales and topped charts around the world, but was heavily criticised by many fans for its raw production and lack of guitar solos. Speaking with Metal Hammer in their new issue, Trujillo, who joined the band during the St. Anger era, though didn't write on the album itself, claims that most people he speaks to personally have relatively fond things to say about the record.

“Most people that I talk to have found a place in their heart for St. Anger," he says. "What’s cool is pulling out [St. Anger track] Dirty Window in the set. The way we play it now, I’ve found my place in the songs we play and found a groove for those songs from St. Anger, almost like we’ve given it a facelift.”

When it comes to playing live, Trujillo also reveals that Metallica still find putting setlists together challenging, and that said setlists are very much fine-tuned as the band's tours roll on.

"Definitely one of the biggest challenges for this tour has been figuring out what that setlist is gonna look like," he says of the metal legends' latest world tour, which has seen them play two unique sets in each city they visit. "You want a sense of throttle, but also to have plenty of highlight moments – like, when are we gonna do the ball drop? Where are we gonna have the moment for Kirk and I to jam? It’s all about pacing and it’s not something you can figure out on the first show, it takes time. Especially when certain songs might not resonate in Europe as well as they
do back home.

“At the same time, we will be going back into these territories next year, so we want to give ourselves room to mix it up too, especially with the new songs where someone might go, ‘Yeah we’ve seen Too Far Gone?, what do you have for us now?’ But Lars is always thinking ahead too, making suggestions like, ‘We need to do this, pull this one out of the back catalogue’ or whatever, so we’ll see! Plus, some fans come to multiple shows and don’t really want repetition, so you’ve gotta cater as best you can. It’s balance.”

Read more from Rob in the blockbuster latest issue of Metal Hammer, out now. Order your copy here.

Metal Hammer end of year issue

(Image credit: Future)
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.