Robert Trujillo: How Metallica learned to thrash again


Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo has credited Death Magnetic producer Rick Rubin and the band’s live performances of older albums with helping them return to their thrash metal roots.

And while he accepts they can’t please everyone, he argues that it’s important that they’re still taking chances late into their career.

Metallica release 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct on November 18. The follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic has been keyed up with the launch of well-received tracks Hardwired and Moth Into Flame.

Trujillo tells Punk Rock Politics: “My launch pad with Metallica was Death Magnetic – that was a collaborative experience for me with Lars and James. Then you get into the second phase of the journey. It is thrash, it is in your face.

“Our producer Greg Fidelman, who actually engineered Death Magnetic, I always thought would be great. No disrespect to Rick Rubin, because Rick was super-important in getting Lars and James to reconnect with the thrash roots.

“Having Rick guide them into that was super-important at the time. Then, over the years, learning the Black Album top to bottom and touring that, was really cool.

“Going through Ride The Lightning and even Kill ‘Em All – those challenges drive you crazy. They make you better.”

Trujillo believes those experiences have resulted in Hardwired… To Self-Destruct being a “frantic journey” and he adds: “I feel it’s tight – we’ve fallen into this groove as a rhythm section and as a band.”

However, the bassist is ready for a negative response from some quarters. “Fans will always have an opinion,” he says. “They’re always going to be like, ‘But I want this,’ or ‘I want that,’ or ‘Metallica sucks now.’ You get that all the time. You can’t win ‘em all.

“But the whole thing I find great about this band is, we take chances. We like to challenge ourselves. We’re doing the best we can, and hopefully still have relevant music in this day and age.

“There’s a lot of confusion out there. A lot of people are losing it to a certain degree. So I think this is appropriate – it’s therapeutic.

“Music is a release. It should be therapeutic. People can release whatever frustrations they have through listening to a Metallica song. That’s what it’s all about.”

The band have announced a number of live appearances in the coming months, with more to be added in due course.

Metallica album changed direction after Kill ‘Em All live show

Metallica tour dates

Oct 22: Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA
Oct 23: Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre, CA
Oct 26: San Juan Coliseo De Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
Oct 29: Quito Parque Bicentenario, Ecuador
Nov 01: Bogota Hipodromo De Los Andes, Columbia
Nov 03: Guatemala City Estadio Cementos Progreso, Guatemala
Nov 05: San Jose Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 25-26: Lollapalooza Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Lollapalooza Argentina
Apr 01-02: Lollapalooza Chile

Metallica don’t mind paying ‘extra dime’ to make album a double

The Hardwired... To Self-Destruct cover

The Hardwired... To Self-Destruct cover

Metallica Hardwired… To Self-Destruct tracklist


  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Am I Savage?
  6. Halo On Fire


  1. Confusion
  2. Dream No More
  3. ManUNkind
  4. Here Comes Revenge
  5. Murder One
  6. Spit Out The Bone
Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.