March 19, 2024

In a new interview with Marko Syrjala of Metal Rules, BULLETBOYS frontman Marq Torien said that he has been collaborating with METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo on a new project. "We cut a track… and I'm going to go start finishing it up and stuff," he said.

Torien went on to say that it was "quite an honor" getting a call from Trujillo asking him to sing in his new project.

"Robert is like my number one favorite bass player ever," Marq said. "He's an amazing man, just such a sweetheart. I love him so dearly. But I was very emotional when he called me because I don't get those calls very often. I get people talking about my musical skills and that I'm at this really high level, but I never get people like to call me, and it was hard for him to find my number. He couldn't find anybody to get my number. He goes, 'I couldn't find anybody. Can I get Marq's number? I need him to see. Come on. Let's go.' So, it's been fun with him, and we didn't really know each other too well, but through certain… His best friend and Ira [Black, current BULLETBOYS guitarist] helped get my phone number to people. And I just love chatting with him because he's one of the most down-to-earth, loving souls that I've ever been around. He just has a big heart, and he's all about music. And I think that's why we click; I'm the same way."

Asked if they have a name for that project, Marq said: "No, not yet. I'm really excited about that. And his writing partner, Armand [Sabal-Lecco], who has worked with him and they've had the stuff for now a couple of years, but they had a couple of singers, he told me, but the guy's just kind of fell out and didn't really want to do it. And I was, like, 'Well, how is that possible with what I'm listening to?' He goes, 'I know. See, because you know what's up.' I said, 'Yeah, dude, gimme that mic. Let's go.' I mean, the first time he played me the song, we're listening to the studio, and I go, 'You mind if I start singing some, you know, some stuff?' He goes, 'Oh, please,' so I start singing melodies and stuff. He's going, 'Oh shit.' You know, he is just going, 'Yeah. Yeah.' So, it's just one of those things."

Torien clarified: "It's a side project for him. A labor of love. And I'm just really excited about it. It's very, very funky. It's very funk orientated. A little bit of punk rock. A little bit of R&B but very funky."

Back in August 2022, Torien recalled hanging out with members of METALLICA in the 1980s while both BULLETBOYS and METALLICA were on the rise on the California hard rock and metal scene.

"I love [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield," Marq told Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire". "He was a big champion for the BULLETBOYS when we first started playing and would come to all of our shows when we played up north. He would come walking in, and he would hang with us, love on us, drink some whisky and beer with us and stay there through the whole show."

He continued: "When we started playing up in 'Frisco, we played at a place called The Stone, and he was always there to come and see us. He said that [the first BULLETBOYS] record [blew] his mind because he didn't think a band could come out and have that sound. He goes, 'The sound that you have and Ted Templeman.' And he said, 'This record is gonna last forever.' We laughed, 'cause he goes, 'No, no. no. Listen to me.' And that's young James — with his moustache, handlebar moustache, full of piss and vinegar. He's looking at us with that look in his eyes, and it was kind of scary. He goes, 'Dudes, I'm telling you right now. Don't eff this off. This will be for the rest of time, this album. I know you idiots don't know it right now, but I'm telling you, this is one of the greatest rock records that I've ever heard.'

"I love METALLICA," Marq added. "Back in the day, my place to go was The Troubadour because at the front bar you'd get the hottest chicks. We were all young, and all the big stars would hang out there. And when METALLICA was first starting, that's where they would hang out… They used to hang out with all of our friends. And everybody at one point used to hang out with them, and they were really good people. They were a full thrash band, though, when they first came out. It was like something that you'd never heard before. It was very, very dangerous. They didn't care. Cliff Burton [bass] was in the band, and Cliff, for all intents and purposes, he was the guy writing the songs with James."

In June 2022, the new BULLETBOYS lineup, featuring Torien, guitarist Ira Black (OF GODS & MONSTERS, LIZZY BORDEN, METAL CHURCH), bassist Brad Lang (Y&T, BURNING RAIN) and drummer Fred Aching (POWERFLO, BILLYBIO), released the official music video for its first single, "Holy F*ck". The track, which was written by Black and Torien, produced and mixed by Black, and mastered by multi-Grammy Award-winning mastering engineer Howie Weinberg, was made available via Rock Avenue Records USA. The clip was co-produced and co-directed by Black and Arron Kinser from Studio Vista.

BULLETBOYS' latest lineup made its live debut in January 2022 at RokIsland Fest in Key West, Florida. Torien launched the new version of BULLETBOYS after the band's original lineup fell apart following a two-year reunion. Original bassist Lonnie Vencent failed to show up for a scheduled BULLETBOYS performance at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California in December 2021, forcing the gig to be canceled. Torien instead delivered an acoustic set with Black. It was later announced by guitarist Mick Sweda and drummer Jimmy D'Anda that they would not be returning to the band.

The original BULLETBOYS lineup made its live return in December 2019 with a sold-out performance at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

Aside from one show in 2011, original BULLETBOYS members D'Anda, Sweda, bassist Lonnie Vencent and Torien had not performed together since 1993.

BULLETBOYS formed in 1988 at the very peak of the Los Angeles glam metal movement. As a collection of talented musicians, BULLETBOYS were able to quickly capture the attention of music fans around the world. Unlike other rockers of the day, the BULLETBOYS possessed more hard rock-blues fusion than pure hair metal. Thanks to comparisons to the likes of AEROSMITH and VAN HALEN, talent scouts came running and the band quickly received their first major label contract.

BULLETBOYS' self-titled debut was released in 1988 via Warner Bros. and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two hit singles, a cover of the O'JAYS classic "For The Love Of Money" and "Smooth Up in Ya", both of which charted on the Mainstream Rock chart and saw regular airplay on MTV. BULLETBOYS went on to release two more albums, 1991's "Freakshow" and 1993's "Za-Za", before splitting up.

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