In a new interview with the METALLICA fan magazine So What!, Robert Trujillo revealed that he contributes some vocals to a song called "You Must Burn!" on the band's upcoming studio album, "72 Seasons".
"When I joined METALLICA, I'd never sung in my whole life, so the fact that I can now support a backup vocal is pretty cool," Robert said. "For the first time in my life, I get to sing on a METALLICA record and support James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman]. I'm very proud of that… It's the first time that James and [co-producer] Greg [Fidelman] had probably ever really trusted me with that position on a recording of this stature.'
He added: "I was surprised when I got the call from Greg because I was coming up to play a little bass, but then he said, 'I'm going to have you sing on a couple things, too.' And I was, like, 'Really?' I got a little nervous. At the same time, I was very motivated. Fortunately for me, the part really does suit my comfort zone, so to speak. The vibe and the interesting — I don't know, I wouldn't say the 'quality' in what I had to offer, but the part lends itself to my personality, to my voice, and it sits and slots in really well with the moment and bass breakdown. So it's cool that it's this breakdown that James and I were able to jam on and create, and then I get to sing on it too."
Regarding how "You Must Burn!" came together musically, Trujillo said: "One of the things that I was excited about in joining METALLICA was the idea that I'm going to learn how this band creates and develops songs, taking the seed and [seeing] how that grows into a beautiful composition or a powerful, heavy song. Watching the rhythmic approach to vocals, conceptual vocals, and melodic elements with rhythmic elements. Lars [Ulrich, drums] infusing the tribal percussive ingredients that he does on a lot of these songs. Kirk's [Hammett, guitar] feel, he's got a lot of soul. So for me, it's just a really, really incredible learning experience, and one that I can be a part of creatively but also just support.
"But to address 'You Must Burn!' We're taking an idea that birthed itself in the tuning room, and we start to cultivate it. How do we cultivate it? We jam. It starts to take shape, it kind of builds itself, and then at some point, it finds its way. With this particular middle section that came to be, that was really centered around a jam and was very moody, and there's a danger to it; I like how the bass is walking. It's got a feel to it where it's 'walking through a forest,' like a scene from a Tim Burton movie or something. That's the feel I get. And James and I just started kind of grooving on it. It was just the two of us. That was a special moment for me because whenever I can find that magic carpet with James, it's really a lot of fun. You know, we just sync in; it's like we're riding this wave together. With 'Suicide & Redemption' [from 2008's 'Death Magnetic' album], it was the same kind of thing. We were in — I wanna say it might've been South Africa, and I started playing the pulsating bass line. Then he started to hit these power chords, kind of counterpoint and tension chords, stuff like that. So it's always fun when you find that moment where something starts to work."
Trujillo, who was born on October 23, 1964 in Santa Monica, California, tasted success as the bassist in punk-funk pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and Ozzy Osbourne's band. But in 2003, he successfully auditioned to replace Jason Newsted in METALLICA, a process chronicled in the warts-and-all documentary "Some Kind of Monster".
"72 Seasons" will be released April 14 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Fidelman with Hetfield and Ulrich, and clocking in at over 77 minutes, the 12-track "72 Seasons" is METALLICA's first full-length collection of new material since 2016's "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct". The album will be released in formats, including 2LP 140g black vinyl and limited-edition variants, CD and digital.
METALLICA and Trafalgar Releasing will hold a worldwide "72 Seasons" listening party. For one night only on Thursday, April 13, "72 Seasons" will be played in full in surround sound, exclusively for cinema audiences worldwide — with every one of the new songs featuring its own music video and exclusive commentary from the band.
The "72 Seasons" global premiere sees METALLICA and Trafalgar joining forces once more, having previously worked together on the October 2019 worldwide cinematic release of "S&M²", which documented METALLICA and San Francisco Symphony reuniting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their original "S&M" (Symphony & Metallica) concerts and releases.
In the six years since the arrival of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", METALLICA has reissued some of its classic albums, released a second live album with the San Francisco Symphony, commissioned a covers album featuring the likes of GHOST, VOLBEAT, WEEZER, Corey Taylor and THE HU, and landed on the Billboard songs chart with "Master Of Puppets" after a prominent placement in the hit Netflix show "Stranger Things".