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Metallica’s Robert Trujillo: ‘If People Want to Nominate Us for a Grammy, Then We’ll Take It’

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Metallica‘s Robert Trujillo spoke with Loudwire Nights host Toni Gonzalez about the band’s worldwide success with the new album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, their Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song for the track “Hardwired” and the album’s closing song “Spit Out the Bone,” as well as growing as a musician within Metallica. Check out the interview below:

Hardwired… To Self Destruct debuted at No. 1 in 57 countries, Top 3 in 75 nations and Top 5 in 105 countries. Staggering! Can you share what that achievement means to you?

Well, you’re telling me all about it now so I’m experiencing it — wow, that’s awesome. Well, I mean it’s really, really great, it’s special when people embrace your music. I don’t think you ever predict what’s going to happen as a band. We just have fun doing what we do and we love that it’s being embraced this way. It’s great, it means that we are doing something right. Thank you. I didn’t know, you gave me some details that I really didn’t know. I mean a little bit, but, that’s pretty cool. New stuff in there.

The track “Hardwired” has been nominated for the Best Rock Song Grammy against tracks from David Bowie, Radiohead, Twenty One Pilots and Highly Suspect. Were you surprised when you were nominated in the rock category, but not the Best Metal Performance category?

I’m just happy to be nominated. I’m proud of what we have done with this album, that song is super great — the song itself was probably one of the quickest songs written by Metallica, I mean literally, and that in itself, if you know Metallica’s music it takes a long time to create and record these songs. So, just the fact that there was that detail I think is great that it can be embraced that way and celebrated. We’re not a band that kind of is always about being recognized by awards. We just like to make great songs and have fun, and if people want to nominate us for a Grammy and celebrate it, then we’ll take it. Thank you!

How long did it actually take for the song “Hardwired” to come together?

Well I think it took a couple of days, which in Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield‘s world is pretty incredible because there is a lot of detail in this incredible journey that goes with songwriting in the world of Metallica. I’ve been in situations where literally songs on an album were written in five days and recorded in a couple of weeks or whatever — everything is different and Metallica does the nurturing process and that’s what I feel makes the songs great and is like a work of art doing all the detail work and shading and doing all this and this painting comes to life, that’s kind of how each Metallica song is hardwired.

I thought we were done recording all the songs and we were finished and then I get a call from the producers saying that you gotta come in and we gotta record a new song, I’m like, “What? I thought we were done.” They were like, “No, no we needed the three minutes of kinda the intro tune,” and it ends up being the one that’s nominated for a Grammy, so what more can you ask?

“Spit Out the Bone” seems to have emerged as a fan favorite and I know it’s a personal favorite for you. Why is that the perfect track to have as the last song on the album?

For me, and this is my personal opinion, it was the song that kind of — I felt like I was taking the journey with. I had a certain relationship with it. At times I didn’t understand it and of course it ends up being one of my favorite songs on the album. That’s not just because there’s a bass break in there, I know Hetfield had said, “Oh, you like that song because you get a little bass jam in there.” I love the energy in there, it’s like a roller-coaster ride. I like that there was a certain point in time where it was confusing the hell out of me.

I know even for our producer, he was — I don’t want to say I had a doubt but it just was a song that grew into something special and Lars always really believed in that song. He had a vision. If there was any song that he had a vision for on this album it was definitely “Spit Out the Bone.” It just has really grown into a special music journey. It kind of incorporates the best of Metallica, I think. Really aggressive and in your face with a lot of transitions and I think the vocal production is awesome, amazing. And I like the video, what more can you ask for? It’s a great closing statement.

You’ve talked about how you’ve grown since being in Metallica for 13 years plus and how important it is to you to continue growing. What is the No. 1 thing being in the world’s most popular metal band has taught you so far?

Well, one of the things about being in Metallica is you gotta work, you know, nothing comes easy in our world, so we work hard at what we do and you know it basically is a strong work ethic and even the people in the crew and all the production our producer and the assistants and everybody that gets involved in a part of the family is really, really working hard in making Metallica as good as Metallica could be.

But I think that strong work ethic is something that makes this a special situation. When I first joined the band, that’s what amazed me, was like wow, these guys, you imagine the press load with any other situation and you can times that by 100 with this band. I remember doing three gigs in one day in France, in Paris actually, and it was in the middle of summer and half of those places didn’t have air conditioning and you go on and play full sets and I thought I have never done this in my life — it’s just part of the journey. You just go out and do the best that you can. I think people feel that and they embrace it and it’s a part of what makes Metallica special.

Thanks to Robert Trujillo for the interview. Grab your copy of Metallica’s ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’ at the band’s webstore and find out where you can hear Loudwire Nights right here.

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