Robert Trujillo Names His Favorite Metallica Album
Though he's Metallica's newest member, at 20 years into the gig on bass Robert Trujillo has had plenty of time to sit with the band's full catalog and form an opinion on their work. And during a recent chat with Rocket Beans TV (as seen below), the bassist weighed in on which Metallica album is his favorite.
"Well, I'm gonna take 72 Seasons out of the equation right now because that's not fair, because that would be the album I would choose right now," noted Trujillo, nodding to their recently released album, one that he took a more active role in creating with the group.
"I'm gonna go for Master of Puppets," said the bassist. "I feel Master of Puppets has a lot of everything. It's got instrumentals, it's got great segues, great riffs. It's got one of my favorite songs ever by Metallica, and that song is 'Disposable Heroes.' So any time I can hear that particular song, count me in. 'Battery' is an amazing song. So it's just got everything that I love about Metallica."
Master of Puppets was also the last album to feature late bassist Cliff Burton, and Trujillo has often shown his reverence for the musician's work in Metallica. Back in February, Trujillo relayed a story of finding a connection to Burton in the midst of preparing to audition to join the band.
“When I auditioned for Metallica in 2002, I was playing in Ozzy Osbourne’s band with one of Cliff’s best friends, Mike Bordin of Faith No More," he recalled. It was there that Trujillo attempted to connect with the late musician, revealing, “I was staying at Mike’s house in San Francisco and in the guest room at Mike’s house, where I would be practicing Metallica’s music, there is a big photo of Cliff - and at a random moment at two in the morning, I looked up and saw that photo. I actually spoke to the photo. I said, ‘Cliff, I won’t let you down, I promise. I’ll give it my best shot.’ So in a weird way I feel connected to Cliff. I feel like I know him."
READ MORE: Metallica Members Reveal the First Albums They Ever Owned
Robert Trujillo's More Active Role in Metallica's 72 Seasons
It's easy to see why Trujillo would be keen to name 72 Seasons as his favorite album, even though he quickly disqualified it due to the newness. There's a lot to love for Trujillo, who made his backing vocal debut on the new record.
"When I joined Metallica, I'd never sung in my whole life, so the fact that I can now support a backup vocal is pretty cool," said the bassist, noting that he lent backing vocals to the track "You Must Burn" in an interview with Metallica's So What! blog.
It should also be noted that a bold move by Trujillo appears to have jump started the 72 Seasons album.
"We got this text with an acoustic interpretation of our song 'Blackened' [from James], completely different from the original," recalled Trujillo. "He said, 'Hey, I put this together. I hope you guys like it, and if you do, please, please jam on it.'" That began a period where the band members got their home studios together and started to rework some of their classic tracks.
But rather than continue down that path, Trujillo started thinking about their future and while he was initially tasked with creating something for an acoustic version of "The Day That Never Comes," he instead served up an original idea, sending it to drummer Lars Ulrich.
“I told Lars, ‘Let's work on original stuff. Let's start working on a new album,’" recalls Trujillo, who is now in his 20th year with the group. "The cool thing was that idea that I had sent him, he actually played drums on it. I’d sent it, and a few hours later, I get this call FaceTime call from him. It's like 11 at night, he's all sweaty, and he's like, ‘Hey, man, check it out!’”
The bassist shared his excitement over Ulrich's quick response, stating that it was “an important step personally, because, number one, he was motivated enough to play on the idea that initially he was confused by. He’s like, ‘This is not acoustic, what is this? What did you send me?’ That was my personal experience."
Trujillo says he doesn't recall Kirk Hammett or James Hetfield being involved in the interaction, but that's when he felt a corner had been turned. "That to me, was sort of like, ‘Okay, we're going to embark on this journey,’" said the bassist.
So while Master of Puppets is Trujillo's favorite Metallica album, once there's been enough time to sit with and promote 72 Seasons, it's possible that the band's newest record could eventually take that title for Trujillo.
You can see Trujillo and Metallica performing songs from both Master of Puppets and 72 Seasons, as well as the rest of their catalog, on dates spanning into 2024. Get your tickets here.