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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robert Trujillo

Robert Trujillo is an Indigenous man (Native American heritage), born on October 23, 1964 and grew up in Culver City, California. His mother is from León, Guanajuato, México. 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.
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.
Robert is married and has two children; a 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter. His wife Chloe did a pyrography (woodburning) design of the Aztec Calendar for him on his bass. Years later when Rob heard Chloe had moved to Los Angeles, he called her from a pay phone while on a surfing trip in Tahiti in a determined effort to reconnect. They have been together for the past seven years and are now married. His wife has her own site called "Chloe in art".
Trujillo is primarily a fingerstyle player, but has been known to play with a pick in some recordings and while playing live 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 an 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 a part of "One" and on softer songs or ones that required a fretless bass, such as Nothing Else Matters), while Cliff Burton, Newsted's predecessor and bassist on Metallica's first three albums, played fingerstyle exclusively.
Trujillo is also a very skilled slap bass player, as demonstrated in his work for Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves, where he used the technique extensively. At many of the shows during Metallica's 2004 Madly in Anger with the World Tour, Trujillo would often play an extended bass solo (dubbed "Jungle Essence") in which he utilized many of his different playing techniques and 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 playing 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 playing Tobias, ESP and MusicMan basses (all 5-strings), as well as a Fender Precision Bass with Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne. Trujillo has also recently been seen in concert playing a Yamaha TRB5-P2 5-string bass, a customized green Rickenbacker 4001/4003 4-string bass fitted with EMG pickups, and a classic Fender Precision Bass as well as a black Warwick Streamer Bass, most probably customized. 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). Trujillo uses a Morley Mark Tremonti Wah pedal on songs such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
Trujillo's pedal board consists of an Electro Harmonix Q-Tron, SansAmp Bass Driver DI, SansAmp XXL, Boss OC-2 Octave Pedal, all powered by the Voodoo Lab Pedal Power.

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