Metallica’s Rob Trujillo Recalls Hearing Pantera for First Time, Explains Band Members Were Really Like in Early ’90s

In a recent appearance on Ozzy’s Boneyard, Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo looked back on his days in Suicidal Tendencies and the band touring with Exodus and Pantera back in 1990. Three bands went back on a run of dates back in August and September of 1990, at least according to the official records on Pantera’s website. Looking back at it, Trujillo said (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“Back in, I wanna say 1990 or ’91 — it’s been so long. It might have been ’89. I don’t know. It was a long time ago. Phil [Anselmo] at the time was 22. So let’s figure. But [Pantera’s major-label debut] ‘Cowboys From Hell’ had just come out. And it was Suicidal Tendencies, Exodus, and Pantera [touring together].”

And, as the Metallica bassist recalls, he felt like the band name Pantera was a bit odd. He continued:

“Originally, when I heard the name Pantera, I automatically was, like, ‘Wait. What’s up with this band?’, having no idea how heavy and badass they were and energized on stage. It was an important moment for me, because it was one of my earlier tours with Suicidal Tendencies.”

What he loved about those days, however, is how all the bands took their time to socialize, despite the busy touring schedule. He added:

“And also [that was] back in the day when you would connect and bond with other bands. If there were ever days off, you were hanging together. And we would share music and listen to different cassettes and kind of vibe with…”

Pantera - The Art Of Shredding (Live 1990 HQ)

And what he also remembers is how Phil Anselmo had some pretty rare tapes back in the day, showing him and everyone else bands like Mr. Bungle and Exhorder. Trujillo said:

“I remember Phil had the first demo tapes that I ever heard of… I think it was Exhorder; then you had the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers demo; and then you had Mr. Bungle — all these eccentric, kind of crazy alternative bands, ranging from super heavy to alternative kind of funk metal and all that. So it was an exciting time to be on that tour with Pantera.”

Speaking of Pantera and Metallica, the two bands actually share a long history. Of course, this was way before Rob Trujillo (and Metallica for that matter) would ever dream of playing with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammett. In fact, it goes back to the time when not even Phil Anselmo was the singer in the band.

Pantera @ Savvys - Fort Worth, TX 1984 [with Terry Glaze]

Terry Glaze, who’s technically the original co-guitarist and eventual vocalist of Pantera, appeared in an interview published early this year. Promoting his book, Glaze recalled the time when he was in band, saying:

“About that time, when bands like Metallica and Megadeth and Anthrax and Slayer were starting to bubble up, you would see independent magazines, heavy metal magazines, like in Europe, and they didn’t know about us.

“You know, some bands were in New Jersey living in with their parents; we were in Texas living with our parents, Metallica is living in a basement here, you know?

“So we were all kind of happening across the United States. And we would try and, and get copies of what everybody else was doing. We just felt like ‘Somebody’s got to be the next one; why not us?‘”

Pantera - All Over Tonight (Official Video) (1984) Remastered HQ Audio

And, what’s more, it turns out that Metallica jammed with Dimebag Darrell but, eventually, nothing came out of it since Vinnie Paul and his little brother Dime were an indivisible package. He added:

“James [Hetfield] and Lars [Ulrich] came to Arlington to hang out a couple of times. They would come over and hang out with Darrell and they would jam and everything. But nothing was ever going to happen with them and Darrell, because Darrell and Vince [Vinnie Paul] are a package. Same thing with Megadeth there; it wasn’t going to happen. So, you know, thank goodness.”

Asked about the current reunion tour, that’s not legitimately a reunion but a tribute of sorts, he said:

“I just feel kind of the same way I feel about Van Halen; I love Van Halen. I love Eddie. I love Darrell. You know, that’s how I feel about it. It would be difficult for me to think that that was Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen, and Alex is still alive. Imagine if Eddie and Alex are gone, and then it was Van Halen; it’s just hard for us old people.

Pantera - Savy's Ft. Worth, Texas - 1986.01.05

“But you know, man, more power to everybody to get to celebrate the music, and get together and have fellowship, I especially think about all the young people who never got to see them; now they get to finally go out and celebrate those songs.

“That means so much to them, and that music means so much to a lot of people around the whole planet. So more power to them to celebrate music. Anything that gets people out, live together for rock and roll, that’s a good thing.”

Photo: Raph_PH (Metallica – The O2 – Sunday 22nd October 2017 MetallicaO2221017-12 (37187900124)), Tilly Antoine (Phil Anselmo Hellfest 2022)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.