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ROBERT TRUJILLO Recalls The Chaos Of His First Few METALLICA Shows

Metallica fans (and anyone who just likes bass in general) know Robert Trujillo absolutely shreds, but his journey to becoming a member of the band was wilder than you might think. In a recent interview with 107.7 The Bone’s Nikki Blakk, Trujillo revealed the chaotic and pressure-filled experience of his first gigs with Metallica back in 2003.

Imagine this: you’re the new guy in Metallica, tasked with replacing a beloved bassist. Not only do you have to prove yourself to the band, but you also have to deal with ever-changing setlists and the stress of learning complex songs on the fly. That was Trujillo‘s reality in those early days.

“What I remember most about that in 2003 was not knowing what the setlist was gonna be each night. It was like really sort of loose. And I don’t know if that was on purpose or we were so overwhelmed or Lars was so overwhelmed, he couldn’t tell me exactly what we were gonna play.

“So I was learning songs like ‘Phantom Lord’ on the spot. And they hadn’t played ‘Phantom Lord’ in a very long time. So there was just all this energy around me and my head was sort of swimming with the pressure of the show, the pressure of being the new bass player, but also the pressure of having to put together a song earlier in the afternoon the day that we would be playing it.

Metallica songs are challenging, but then, I believe around that same time we were playing at the legendary San Quentin prison. So there’s just a lot of stuff going on all at once. And it was kind of, like, ‘Welcome to your new existence.’ You’ve just gotta kind of learn, adapt, and do your best, and that’s how it was at that show at the Fillmore.

“I did hit the ground running, and when I got caught up a couple of years later, I said, ‘I am gonna go out of my way to learn songs that we’re not even playing that aren’t even on the radar. I’m gonna learn ‘Orion’. I’m gonna learn ‘Dyers Eve’.’ I just was, like, I don’t like being at the edge of my seat, having to learn songs day or anything like that. So I found a way to get caught up.”

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