Robert Trujillo says Metallica haven't given up on slow songs: "At some point there will be a ballad"

Metallica 2023
(Image credit: Tim Saccenti/Jonathan Weiner)

When it comes to the last two Metallica records, the band have embraced an approach that can best be summed up by Lux Æterna lyrics of "full speed or nothin'", both 2016's Hardwired... To Self Destruct and 2023's 72 Seasons returning to the band's thrash roots with nary a ballad in sight. 

Which makes it all the more interesting that bassist Robert Trujillo revealed earlier this year that - for him at least - the creative process for 72 Seasons began when he was tasked by Lars Ulrich with coming up with an acoustic version of Death Magnetic track The Day That Never Comes. 

"I don’t know if I disappointed him or if I didn’t come through, but basically, that day never came because I threw together an original piece that had nothing to do with an acoustic version of The Day That Never Comes," Trujillo admitted in an interview published on the official Metallica website. "By the way, that original piece is not on the album, so don’t look for it... More than anything, it was intended to make a point, which was, 'Fuck it, let’s be creative, let’s concentrate on new ideas, new music, a new record.'”

Speaking to Metal Hammer six months on from the record's release, Trujillo was asked whether The Day That Never Comes is effectively Metallica's last ballad - and if we'll ever hear the acoustic version.

“That’s a good point! So far as The Day That Never Comes goes, it’s such a classic song and has a lot of potential as an acoustic song so I think it’s something we’ll do at some point, maybe even as part of an acoustic show or maybe as part of All Within My Hands [Metallica’s non-profit charity]," he explains, before going on to address the lack of ballads on 72 Seasons

"There were a lot of ideas that weren’t included in the final batch of songs for 72 Seasons," Robert admits. "In the back of mind I’m sure there was an idea we should have a slower song or ballad, but it felt like we were ready to go. There were definitely ideas for songs that fit into the ballad category though. 

“For me, I was more interested in the metal though, which is basically what we’ve pursued as a team, so that eventually it was like ‘we’ve got all these songs, but not one is a ballad’. But the dynamic range of what we’ve got on this album is a statement in itself, but at some point there will be a ballad.”

With a seven year gap between Hardwired... and 72 Seasons, it seems unlikely that the band will be rushing into the studio any time soon, especially with the massive M72 tour continuing into 2024 with dates already lined up in Europe and the US from early next summer. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.