Robert Agustin Trujillo, best known as Robert Trujillo worldwide, is one of the most celebrated American bassists. Born on Oct 23, 1964 in Santa Monica, California, Trujillo is a big name in today’s music scenario. Coming of Mexican descent, his childhood was all about music & rhythms. He grew up following Jaco Pastorius, the renowned jazz bass maestro who instilled the passion of music in Trujillo. Trujillo went to jazz school at his early 20’s to become a studio-musician but was still amorous about rock & metal.
You may call Trujillo a “mad scientist” when it comes to jamming on the bass guitar. Best known for his role in American heavy metal band “Metallica” as their current bassist, he was also a member of crossover thrash metal band “Suicidal Tendancies”, “Infectious Grooves”, heavy metal band “Black Label Society”. Trujillo remained with the band “Suicidal Tendancies” until the mid 90’s. He has also worked with Jerry Cantrell from the rock band “Alice In Chains” & Ozzy Osbourne. He also played in a few local bands before joining “Suicidal Tendancies”.
The finger-playing bass monster, Trujillo, is outstanding in his own way & is responsible for adding in punk influences for the first time to the band “Suicidal Tendancies”. He joined the band Metallica in February, 2003.
Robert collaborated with Benji Webbe of ‘Skindred & Dub War’ on a project called “Mass Mental” & released an album in Japan named “How To Write Love Songs”. Robert appeared in the Nickel Creek music video “Smoothie Song” playing an upright bass.
It was announced that the famous punk guitarist, Robert, was custom Yamaha basses which are modelled after the TRB5PII & are “Rat rod” inspired. He is also often seen with a Tobias (5- strings Classics & Basics), ESP & Musicman Stringray basses (5-strings), as well as his Fender Precision Bass when he used to jam with the heavy metal band, Black Label Society & Ozzy Osbourne prior to Metallica. He is also famous for playing “massive chords” & “chord-based harmonics” on the bass.
Though primarily a finger style player, Trujillo is sometimes seen to be playing with picks like his predecessor in Metallica, J. Newsted. The technique used by Robert is mainly slap bass, which is seen mostly in his work with Suicidal Tendancies & especially Infectious Grooves. He is also often seen playing Fernandes Gravity 5-string basses, particularly a model with a silver finish, blue flame decals, & EMG pickups with Metallica. He has a Warwick Signature Streamer Bass that was released in March 2010. Zon Guitars has a signature model for him that goes by the name Sonus RT. In some concerts, he has been also seen playing a Yamaha TRB5-P2 5-string bass, a customized green Rickenbacker 4001/4003 4-string bass fitted with EMG pickups, various Nash P-Bass Copy guitars & both a classic Fender Precision Bass & Fender Jazz Bass.
Also recently he collaborated with Jim Dunlop to create his new Icon signature bass strings- these strings are taper-core stainless steel, with a non-tapered B string in gauges 45-130 (5-string). Robert is also the owner of “Bass of Doom”- a defretted mid-1960s Fender Jazz Bass that was formerly owned by his inspiration Jaco Pastorius & which was extensively used on his recorded works.
Amplification used by Trujillo includes Ampeg. With cabinets like SVT-410HLF, SVT-810AV and bass amps like SVT-3Pro, SVT-AV and SVT-AV, his musical output packs quite a punch. He also uses mesa boogie rectifier amps and 4×12 speaker cabinets for a more unique sound for his bass.
Among his bass rigs, his pedal board is pretty amazing. It pretty much consists of an Electro Harmonix Q-Tron, a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, a Dunlop MXR bass DI, a Tech 21 XXL, an MXR m-135 SmartGate, a Morley Mark Tremonti wah pedal, a Dunlop Crybaby wah pedal and a Boss OC-2 Octave Pedal, dbx 160X compressor, BBE 411 Sonic Maximizer, Furman PL-Pro Power Conditioners all powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power. He is very particular about his bass strings and predominantly uses Dean Markley Bass Strings – Magnum roundwounds with a heavy B.
Though Trujillo is synonymous with ‘heavy metal’ in today’s global music scenario, apart from music he has also ventured into producing a documentary on his childhood bass icon Jaco Pastorius. Trujillo has also had some small roles in television and film. He had a non-speaking role in the 1978 Walter Matthau film House Calls, and had a minor role in the 1980 Gary Coleman made-for-TV film Scout’s Honor. He also played a character named “Flippy” in a 1982 episode of the television drama series CHiPs. In 1992 he appeared as himself along with his Infectious Grooves‘ bandmates in the hit Brendan Fraser comedy film Encino Man.
Like his thundering bass solos, his stage acts are equally enthralling and overwhelming. He is quite a character both on and off the stage. For more than three decades he has provided tremendous entertainment for his fans and music lovers, all over the world and we certainly hope he continues to do the same for many more years to come.