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Trujillo Looks Back At 'Surreal' Metallica Audition

01/04/2016
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Metallica bass player Robert Trujillo provided a detailed account of his audition to replace Jason Newsted in a recent episode of the WTF With Marc Maron podcast.

Trujillo recalls the event as "a very surreal day for me. But when you get a gig like that, it's so… strange. Really, strange is the word. Because I remember going up there. I was late. I was always late back then."

He then went into detail (via Blabbermouth) about the audition : "I'll tell you a quick story about the audition. Basically, it was a two-day audition. The first day of the audition, I was kind of just there to be a fly on the wall. [Producer] Bob Rock's there. The bass [for Metallica's 'St. Anger' album] had already been recorded; Bob Rock recorded the bass. So I'm just hanging around. And Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] and James [Hetfield, Metallica frontman] and Kirk [Hammett, Metallica guitarist] kind of live in this bubble. They were just, like, 'Yeah, make yourself at home. Just hang out.' And I was just kind of hanging out in this big complex up north [in the Bay Area]. And I'm kind of lost, because no one's really completely communicating with me, and I'm just there. And, okay. So [they tell me], 'Come on in the control room,' and I'm just there. They're cutting tracks. And that's it; hanging around. Eleven o'clock rolls around at night, and Lars... We're in the parking lot. We're the last ones leaving. And Lars says, 'Hey, man, let's go get a drink. Let's go get a nightcap.' So I'm, like, 'All right.' And we go to the first bar, have a couple of cocktails, we go to the second bar, have a few more, go to the third bar. Then we end up at his house for more cocktails. By this time, it's five in the morning. I can't even drive to where I'm staying; it's impossible. And he even says, 'Here, crash out in my guest room.' So, at nine in the morning, four hours later, he's on the treadmill, this guy, and it's like he doesn't know me anymore. He's already sobered up. And he's on the treadmill. And I've got this crazy headache. And then he's, like, 'All right. Let's go. Let's go to the studio.' And I'm driving behind him. I couldn't even keep my eyes open. I get to the studio.

He continues: "This is when [the members of METALLICA] were going through this sort of therapy thing, [with] this guy Phil Towle, who was… what do they call it? Kind of a life coach, kind of a motivator, which was, at the time, I guess, good for the band, but I wasn't used to that. Here I am with a pounding headache. James has just gone through this whole thing where, of course, he's sober, and the last person he wants to see anywhere near his band is a drunk Mexican. That would be me. So I'm sitting at the table, and I've got the worst headache, [I'm] completely hung over. And I'm thinking, 'Lars did this to me, 'cause he was checking me out, to see if I could hang with him.' It was [a test]; it had to have been. He's a Viking, really. I'd go into the bathroom. I was throwing water on my face, slapping it, going, 'Oh, man, you've gotta… Hang in there. Hang in there.' 'Cause I really wanted to say, 'I can't do this right now, guys. I don't feel good. I really can't do this.'"

Trujillo concluded: "I stuck it out. I knew the tech, the bass tech, from back when Suicidial Tendencies was touring with Metallica, which would have been in 1993 on the 'Black Album.' So, Zach Harmon, who is now still my bass tech. I didn't have a bass, so [I went], 'Let's go grab a bass. Let's choose the amp setup.' So I kind of used that as my way to get out of this hangover situation." Read more and listen to the full podcast here.

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