ROBERT TRUJILLO Says Other Metal Bands Have Followed METALLICA's Path By Seeking Therapeutic Intervention

June 16, 2018

Robert Trujillo says that other bands have followed METALLICA's path by request therapeutic intervention when faced with personal turmoil.

The San Francisco heavy metal giants' 2004 documentary, "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster", followed the band through the three most turbulent years of their long career, during which they battled through addiction, lineup changes, fan backlash and the near-disintegration of the group while making their "St. Anger" album.

While initially helping METALLICA towards restoring band harmony, the film showed "performance coach" Phil Towle, who was brought into the picture in January 2001 to help frontman James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett and drummer Lars Ulrich repair their relationship with bassist Jason Newsted, attempting to increasingly insert himself into the band's creative process, submitting lyrics for the album and even attempting to join them on the road.

In a brand new interview with Sweden's SVT, Trujillo — who joined METALLICA in 2003 as Newsted's replacement — said that working with Towle helped keep the group from an eventual meltdown and provided the bandmembers with the necessary tools to be able to communicate with each other.

"When we have an issue or a problem, we get together, we talk about it," he said. "And as long as there's that communication, it gets resolved."

Although METALLICA isn't the first high-profile arena-rock band to seek out therapy — Towle (who is not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist) also worked with RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — "METALLICA might have been the first band in the metal universe to take that on and be open to it," Robert told SVT. "And I found that other bands have kind of followed the same path. A lot of my friends [have told me], 'Oh, we had a bit of a therapy session. We had some problems.'"

As is the case with guitarist Kirk Hammett, Trujillo says that his role in METALLICA is to serve as a real-life mediator between Hetfield and Ulrich, who have a solid friendship but sometimes butt heads.

"My position in every band that I've ever been with — working with Ozzy Osbourne at the height of his addictions; and working with Jerry Cantrell from ALICE IN CHAINS when he was battling his demons; SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and what was going on in that camp; and then, of course, joining METALLICA — [my approach has always been], 'Okay, 'I'm here. There's a storm around me. How do I navigate this?' And I think the balance of my role even has to do with when I was growing up around my father and some of those challenges there, and trying to be the glue and understand, 'We have a situation here. How can I help?' And that, to me, is, I guess, my role in this band."

METALLICA released a tenth-anniversary two-disc Blu-ray edition of "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster" in November 2014.

According to Ulrich, METALLICA had no idea how fans would respond to seeing footage of the band's touchy-feeling therapy sessions that ultimately healed the group and kept METALLICA from splitting up.

"As much as you want to control how people react, there are always things that throw you for a loop," Ulrich explained. "The fact that the music world was a little bewildered by it and the fact that the movie world sort of embraced the film was not something we would've predicted."

Find more on Metallica
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).