METALLICA's ROBERT TRUJILLO On His Household: 'Everybody Plays Instruments, Everybody Does Art'

March 12, 2024

In a new interview with the "Everblack" podcast, Robert Trujillo spoke about what it has been like to see his 19-year-old son Tye play with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, given that the longtime METALLICA bassist recorded and toured with the Mike Muir-fronted act at the start of his career. Asked if he gave Tye any tips or showed him any tricks when the younger Trujillo first got the ST gig, Robert said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was funny because there was a couple songs from the 'Lights...Camera...Revolution!' album where he asked me a couple of questions. He generally doesn't ask too many questions. He's his own player. He plays guitar. He writes his own songs. He's really strong with a pick as well as his fingers. I play with a pick sometimes, but I'm not nearly as strong as he is. So he's really grounded in his own way as a writer and as a performer now. He's got two or three bands that he's in and, obviously, actively touring with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES."

Regarding how Tye landed the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES gig, Robert said: "How that happened, going back, for him — when he was, I feel like he was 16 or something, and [Roberto] 'Ra' Díaz, who was playing bass [for SUICIDAL TENDENCIES] at the time, had a visa situation that he was taking care of in Chile, and this gig that they were doing in L.A. happened to fall in around the same time. So Mike reached out to Tye, knowing what he was capable of. And also before that, years before that, Tye had done a full-on tour with KORN; he filled in for Fieldy in South America, and he was 12 years old at the time. So he knew he could trust Tye. And that was Tye's first experience with ST, and it was like Dave Lombardo on drums and all this pedigree, Dean [Pleasants] on guitar and Mike. And I remember, Tye went up on the drum riser to play, to get up there with Dave, and then when he jumped off, right when his feet hit the ground, Mike Muir had just turned around and bowled him over, accidental, but it was like a rugby scenario. And Mike gets into that kind of crazy headspace and he knocked him over, but I was, like, 'Welcome to ST.' He's been — how do you say? — christened, so to speak. And he's been with 'em pretty much ever since. At the same time, he has his band OTTTO and FEED THE BEAST. So he's always playing music."

Robert went on to say that he and Tye are not the only musicians in their family. "In our household, it's always a creative environment," he explained. "My wife, she does her music actively, and she's got more projects than I even know. She's doing a variety of original music-oriented projects, but she's also doing art and fashion. My daughter plays drums. She's practicing three to five hours a day. And it's just how it is in our household. Everybody plays instruments, everybody does art, music and plays piano, whatever. So I guess when you're driving by our place in [Topanga] Canyon and you hear all this going on, you probably think it's a crazy house."

Robert Trujillo played bass for SUICIDAL TENDENCIES at the Mike Muir-fronted outfit's October 26, 2023 concert at House Of Vans in Mexico City.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES recruited Robert to play the gig after Tye was unable to make the show due to scheduling commitments with his other band OTTTO.

Robert previously rejoined his former bandmates on stage on September 9 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona to perform the song "I Saw Your Mommy...". SUICIDAL TENDENCIES played at State Farm Stadium as the support act for METALLICA at the latter band's rescheduled second concert in Arizona.

Trujillo was first invited to join SUICIDAL TENDENCIES for a European tour in 1989 supporting East Coast thrashers ANTHRAX. While with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, Robert appeared on some of the band's most successful albums: "Lights...Camera...Revolution!" (1990),"The Art Of Rebellion" (1992) and "Still Cyco After All These Years" (1993). During Trujillo's years with SUICIDAL, Muir heard some of Robert's homemade demos and they collaborated on a funkier, more progressive sound under the name INFECTIOUS GROOVES. They produced a number of albums such as "The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move..." (1991),"Sarsippius' Ark" (1993) and "Groove Family Cyco" (1994).

Back in 2021, Trujillo humorously revealed in an interview that before he signed on as the bass player for METALLICA, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES would gobble up METALLICA's leftover dinners whenever they could during a joint 1993 tour. And even though the METALLICA members respected Trujillo's playing with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield admitted that when Robert's name came up during bassist auditions, he thought, "there's no way he's going to join us. He's too amazing, he's too spectacular."

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