Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo was a guest on The Ex-Man With Doc Coyle podcast and he offered great advice for young musicians as well as the advice he gave his son, Tye, when the kid was 12 years old touring with Korn.
A lot of the podcast’s focus is placed on Trujillo’s early career, fitting the “ex-man” theme as a former member of Ozzy Osbourne, Suicidal Tendencies and Jerry Cantrell. Chatter also surfaced around Mass Mental and Infectious Grooves, two funk metal bands Trujillo played in during his youth, both of which reformed in the mid-2010s.
With experience comes wisdom, and the bassist had a strong message for young musicians who are just starting out.
“When you’re in a band, it’s about the relationship. Creative people can be very complicated as people in life as individuals. It’s one thing to be able to play. You’ve got to be able to play… that gets you through the door. But then you’ve got to be able to be a solid individual with these guys that are going to become your new family. A lot of times you’ll have sort of a role in that band that you may not have in other situations. That is imperative that you sustain your responsibility, not just as a player, which goes without saying, as a friend, as support,” Trujillo advised (transcribed by Loudwire).
These situations may be difficult at times as well, to which Trujillo attested, “Any band I’ve ever been in — Ozzy, Jerry Cantrell — I’ve had everybody at, no disrespect, their worst in their lives [in regards to drugs and partying]. At that time, it’s like, ‘Okay, how do I make this work? How do I prevent the volcano from erupting?'”
He chalked it about to being able to properly read the room and have a sense of where someone is at emotionally, identifying it and using that information to best maintain a positive vibe in that room.
Since a band is often regarded as a family of its own, the rocker urged to take what you learn by interacting with friends and family and apply it to the band.
“I try to stress that to Tye, my son, because he’s in a couple of bands and he’s having the time of his life,” Trujillo told Coyle, who is the guitarist in Bad Wolves, “And I said, ‘Just remember, when you go on the road, you want to be balanced and you want to balance the people that are around you. You want to be responsible and take care of your end of the deal.”
Tye has bounced around between a couple bands of his own in recent years, on top of playing a gig with Suicidal Tendencies last year, and is currently amid a small run of tour dates with OTTO and tourmates Bastardane, which features Castor Hetfield, son of Metallica’s James Hetfield, on drums.
Citing examples from his own life which he has passed down to Tye, Trujillo recalled, “For instance, lobby calls — when he was out with Korn when he was 12, I was his tour personal tour manager. I made sure he was up for his lobby calls because he didn’t like to be up early (of course, nobody does), but I said, ‘You don’t want to be the guy showing up late.'”
“I told him a story about me when I was that guy who was holding everybody up,” he carried on, “and it was actually [guitarist] Rocky [George] who had to pull me to the back of the bus when I first joined Suicidal [Tendencies] and he’s like, ‘Dude, you’re showing up 20 minutes late to lobby calls. Everyone is waiting for you. We have to get to the next city.’ And I said, ‘Man, I’m sorry.’ There was clarity there. I didn’t say, ‘Oh, screw you, man. I do what I want.’ No, I realized you can’t be that guy — it’s about the team.”
Listen to the full interview below.
Robert Trujillo on The Ex-Man With Doc Coyle Podcast
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