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Roberto Agustin Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈβerto tɾuˈxiʎo]; born October 23, 1964) is an American musician and songwriter best known as the current bassist of the heavy metal band Metallica, a position he has held since 2003. He was also a member of crossover thrash metal band Suicidal Tendencies, funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves, and heavy metal band Black Label Society, and has worked with Jerry Cantrell and Ozzy Osbourne.
Roberto Agustin Trujillo was born in Santa Monica, California. He is of Mexican and Native American descent. He grew up in Culver City, California. Trujillo was exposed to a lot of music during his childhood. His mother was a huge fan of Motown, musicians like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Sly and the Family Stone. Trujillo stated that “Jaco [Pastorius] was my hero growing up”, and that “Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Halen doing “Eruption” for the first time: You thought, ‘What instrument is that?’ I loved jazz fusion and branched out from there. But Jaco had an edge that far exceeded his jazz persona. He was funk, he was rock, he was soul. And his whole attitude was punk.” He began playing in “a lot of backyard party bands”, playing music by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rush, and Led Zeppelin. He went to jazz school when he was 19 with the intention of becoming a studio musician, however he maintained his passion for rock and metal
Trujillo first gained prominence as the bassist for California crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. Initially billed as “Stymee” on the 1989 album Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit…Déjà Vu, Trujillo remained in the band until the mid-1990s. Concurrent to his work with Suicidal Tendencies, Trujillo was also a member of the band’s side project, Infectious Grooves, along with vocalist Mike Muir.
Trujillo was a member of Ozzy Osbourne’s band for a number of years starting in the late 1990s. He was the subject of controversy for re-recording Bob Daisley‘s bass tracks for reissued versions of Osbourne’s albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman because of Daisley’s claim of not receiving proper royalties. During this time, Trujillo formed an experimental supergroup, Mass Mental, with then Dub War singer Benji Webbe, whose “ragga-punk-metal” outfit had just disbanded. The band released one studio album (exclusively in Japan) and one live album of their performance in Tokyo before disbanding. Zakk Wylde, a personal friend and bandmate from the Ozzy days, also recruited him to play with Black Label Society for a few shows.
Trujillo began playing bass for Metallica on February 24, 2003. The rest of the band now consists of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Lars Ulrich. He had previously met and befriended his future bandmates when Suicidal Tendencies supported Metallica during the Nowhere Else to Roam tour in 1993, and again during the Shit Hits the Sheds tour one year later. Trujillo received one million dollars from the band as an advance for joining Metallica. His audition and hiring as well as his million dollar payment offer appear in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster. As the current bassist for Metallica, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside all current members of the band, as well as Jason Newsted (who left the band in 2001) and the late Cliff Burton, for whom Jason Newsted was the replacement, in the 1980s.
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