Rob Trujillo Reveals What Metallica Members Think of Him Working Outside of the Band

Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo discussed his work with Infectious Grooves and explained what his main band’s colleagues think of his side projects.

If you were to tell metal fans in the 1990s that, someday, a Metallica member would be allowed to do stuff on the side and have other bands or solo albums, they’d all be shocked. While Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield are still 100% loyal to the band that they started in the early 1980s, Rob Trujillo and Kirk Hammett do some stuff on the side — something that Jason Newsted wasn’t allowed to do back in the day.

However, as Robert mentioned during his visit to the Everblack Podcast, his Metallica bandmates are perfectly fine with it. When asked how the funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves decided to do something again this year, the bassist replied (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“So, what’s happened over the last 20 years — we’ve done three shows in 20 years, that’s crazy — is [that] every once in a while, I get a call from [Mike Muir, the frontman].”

Robert Trujillo talks Infectious Grooves, Surfing Down Under and Metallica

“And he’ll see… Maybe he’s checking out my schedule, as it appears with Metallica, and then if he notices, ‘Okay, Suicidal [Tendencies] is not doing anything during this two-month period, Metallica is not doing…’ — which is very rare, not doing anything during that time period as well — ‘Let’s see if we can throw a couple shows together.'”

“Usually, it doesn’t work out, the timing is bad, and one of us is busy with our bands,” Robert added. That’s not much of a surprise, knowing how busy Metallica is, and also how important Mike Muir’s work with Suicidal Tendencies is. However, this time around, it somehow panned out. He continued:

“It just so happened that these five months, this whole sort of break from the Metallica tour allowed us to… you know, Mike was like, ‘Let’s do some shows. Are you available?’ And I looked at my schedule. I said, ‘Actually, I am.'”

Robert Trujillo, Solo Bass (Infectius Grooves).

Despite having free time, the first thing Rob does in such a case is to check with his main band. Despite what some metal fans may think these days, it turns out that Metallica is perfectly fine with his side projects. He added:

“And of course, as I always do, whenever I’m doing something away from Metallica, I always let my guys know — Lars, James, and Kirk.”

“I had the opportunity to work with Ozzy on his new record, or this one-off with Infectious [Grooves], or whatever it is. We just try to stay connected on that. And they were actually very supportive. You know, ‘Have fun!'”

Elsewhere in the interview, Trujillo also discussed his current life and how it all works perfectly well with his profession. Living on the West Coast, he and his family are surrounded by other successful metal musicians. He explained:

“It’s a great area where we live because we’re not far from the beach. So we can surf, we’ve got great hiking, and we got a lot of cool musicians here.”

“Like I told you, [Anthrax guitarist] Scott Ian ends up here with his family. So we see him a lot — in fact, my daughter was jamming in a band with his son.”

“And it’s just kind of like… I don’t know. I mean, you got Ty Segall up here, you got the guitar player from Roger Waters around the corner, and all these studios, so it’s a pretty creative place.”

Metallica: Robert Trujillo Bass solo in Budapest, Hungary on April 5, 2018

“Everybody stays out of each other’s way, but when there’s a song to be recorded or written or whatever, you got a good buddy down the street. Everybody is within an hour from everybody around where I live, so there’s a lot of great musicians and a lot of collaborative spirit.”

What’s more, living in such a place also comes with other musician-related perks that make his life simpler. After all, being surrounded by musicians of all kinds can only help his work. He added:

“If I need to borrow a particular bass or something, I literally go around the corner and borrow it. It’s like, ‘I need a Gibson Thunderbird bass. I just need that sound’, and okay, within 10 minutes, you’re going to find somebody that has a vintage Thunderbird bass. It’s crazy.”

Robert Trujillo play on acoustic guitar

As of this moment, Infectious Grooves is working on their first new music in well over two decades. Joining them this time around is the former Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg.

Photo: Raph_PH (Metallica – The O2 – Sunday 22nd October 2017 MetallicaO2221017-80 (37897471331))

  • 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 and brands like Sam Ash.