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ROBERT TRUJILLO Says METALLICA Was "Actually Very Supportive" Towards His Other Musical Endeavors

Seems that Father Time has given Metallica a newfound ethos regarding side-projects.

metallica robert trujillo 2

In the annals of Metallica lore, the tumultuous departure of bassist Jason Newsted in the '90s cast a long shadow over the band's stance on side projects. The fallout from Newsted's endeavors with Echobrain seemed to solidify the notion that Metallica and extracurricular musical ventures simply didn't mesh. Fast forward to the present day, and the landscape looks remarkably different.

Kirk Hammett's debut solo EP Portals, released in 2022, marked a newfound openness within the band, challenging the previously held belief that Metallica and side projects are incompatible. Arguably James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, having weathered the storm of past conflicts and matured over the years, appear to have adopted a more accepting stance.

Meanwhile, bassist Robert Trujillo has maintained a sporadic involvement with the supergroup Infectious Grooves, though he admits that such endeavors have been more "off" than "on." However, 2024 brings a welcome change as Trujillo and former Suicidal Tendencies bandmate Mike Muir gear up for a tour, with Jay Weinberg of Slipknot fame sitting on the drums.

In a recent interview on the Everblack Podcast, Trujillo shed light on the rarity of their collaborations: "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. 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.'"

However, this year presents a departure from the norm, with schedules aligning to facilitate a reunion tour.

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

Trujillo also said he let James, Kirk, and Lars know about his extracurricular activities, and they had zero issues with it.

"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!'"

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