Robert Trujillo

Roberto Agustín Trujillo (born on October 23, 1964) is a bassist who played with Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Black Label Society, Jerry Cantrell, and Ozzy Osbourne's band before joining Metallica in 2003.

Early life

He was born on October 23, 1964 as Roberto Agustín Miguel Santiago Samuel Trujillo Veracruz and grew up in Culver City, California. His mother is from Durango, Mexico. Trujillo attended Culver City High School.


He played in a few local bands before joining Suicidal Tendencies (in 1989) and fellow Culver City native, Rocky George, the guitarist for the band at the time. Trujillo replaced the band's second bassist Bob Heathcote. He is responsible for adding in funk influences to the band seen prominently on albums Lights...Camera...Revolution! and especially on The Art of Rebellion. He eventually turned bandmate Mike Muir on to funk music, and the two formed Infectious Grooves to play more funk oriented music.

He was a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band for a number of years starting in the late 90s. Trujillo was the subject of controversy for re-recording Bob Daisley's bass tracks for reissued versions of Osbourne's albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman due to Daisley's claim of not receiving proper royalties. (Similarly, Osbourne's drummer Mike Bordin re-recorded drum parts originally done by Lee Kerslake, who was also involved in the royalty dispute.) This achieved additional notoriety for giving no notice to the buying public on the outside of the CD that they were not purchasing an original recording.

Robert Trujillo became Metallica's bassist on February 24, 2003 after auditioning for the band and fitting in with fellow band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett. Trujillo received one million dollars from the band as an advance on the percentage he would earn by being in Metallica. His audition and hiring appear in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster. His debut studio album with Metallica, Death Magnetic, was released on September 12, 2008.

Also in 2003, Trujillo was seen playing an upright bass in the Nickel Creek music video, Smoothie Song. However, he did not play bass for the band during the song's recording.


Trujillo is primarily, but not exclusively, a fingerstyle player. He has been known to play with a pick for some of his work, primarily recordings and live playing with Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society. In order to achieve the attack and speed of pickstyle playing with his fingers, he has developed a fingerstyle technique which involves using both plucking fingers in a down-and-up motion, or sometimes using three fingers to attack the strings instead of the more usual two. It should be noted that Trujillo's predecessor in Metallica, Jason Newsted, was almost exclusively a pickstyle player (he used his fingers for parts of songs such as "One"), while Cliff Burton, Newsted's predecessor and bassist on Metallica's first three albums, played fingerstyle exclusively. Metallica's first bassist, Ron McGovney, does not appear as an important part of the dispute between fingerstyle and pickstyle playing in the band, most likely because he never wrote any part of a Metallica song and never appeared on a Metallica album.

Trujillo is also a very skilled slap bass player, as ably demonstrated in his work for Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves, where he used the technique extensively. He usually takes an extended solo in Metallica's live shows where he utilizes many of his different playing techniques, as well as using various effects.

In a Mission: Metallica video. It is shown that Trujillo has experience in Flamenco guitar playing.


With Metallica, he is most often seen to play Fernandes Guitars Gravity 5-string basses, particularly a model with a silver finish, blue flame decals, and EMG pickups. He also has a signature bass model, the Sonus RT, manufactured by Zon Guitars. Prior to Metallica, he was most often seen to play Tobias, ESP and Musicman basses (all 5-strings), as well as a Fender Precision Bass with Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne. As of May 2008, Trujillo has also been seen sporting a Yamaha TRB5-P2 5-string bass for live work, although there is no official word on whether he is now a Yamaha endorser. For amplification, he uses Ampeg amplifiers and cabinets. Also, Trujillo recently collaborated with Jim Dunlop to create his new Icon signature bass strings - these strings are taper-core stainless steel, in gauges 45-130 (5-string). In a recent picture on the Mission Metallica website Trujillo is seen playing a Rickenbacker 4001 similar to Cliff Burton Trujillo uses a Morley Mark Tremonti Wah pedal on songs such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls"


With Black Label Society

With Jerry Cantrell

With Infectious Grooves

With Suicidal Tendencies

With Glenn Tipton

With Anthrax

With Mass Mental

  • How to Write Love Songs - 1999
  • Live in Tokyo - 2001

With Ozzy Osbourne

With Metallica


External links

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