Robert Trujillo Joins Metallica
On February 24, 2003, bassist Robert Trujillo officially joined the band "Metallica".
The announcement of his acceptance was made by Lars Ulrich, noting that Metallica is interested in him as a full member and not just as an "employee", while adding that in order to show how serious the band is they are offering him a million dollars as an entry grant.
As a reminder, bassist Jason Newsted left the band on January 17, 2001 due to the abuse and bad treatment of the band members towards him for many years. Newstead said in one of the interviews that he never felt part of the band and was always treated with contempt and abusive behavior by Hetfield and Lars and this affected him substantially and caused him deep mental damage that drove him out of the band.
After Newsted left, the band went into a turmoil that threatened its existence. James Hetfield suffered from a severe alcohol addiction and some say even drugs. Lars also suffered from tremendous stress which eventually led him to hospitalization and so the problems and intrigues that existed even before among the band members only intensified.
After a cooling-off period of about a year, "Metallica" entered the studio in May 2002 to work on the album "St. Anger". In order to deal with all that was happening, "Metallica" took a mental therapist who accompanied them throughout the process. He pressured the band members to be honest, to get everything out, without a masks or filters. At that time they did not have a bassist and the one who played all the bass tracks on the album was producer Bob Rock.
At the end of the recordings, the band began auditioning for Newsted's replacement. For a period of three months, a significant number of musicians were auditioned in a series of filmed and documented auditions. At the end Robert Trujillo, who had previously played in "Suicidal Tendencies", in Ozzy Osbourne's band and more was chosen. It is interesting to note that Newstead and Robert made a kind of initiation ceremony when Newstead temporarily played bass in Ozzy's lineup at the 2003 "Ozzfest" Tour.
The audition of Robert started with a kind of "job interview" and Trujillo was asked, among other things, what he thought he could bring as added value to the band. He later played the song "Battery" with the band. Trujillo later said that during the audition he suffered a hangover after a night of drinking with Lars - a kind of initiation ceremony designed to test Trujillo outside the music space. He was so out of place that he almost wanted to tell the band members he couldn't play. But he went into the bathroom, washed his face with water, said to himself "you can do this" and went to perform the audition. He was later asked a few questions by Hetfield and remembered answering dumb answers because he really wasn’t focused.
But despite this, the band found his playing convincing and he was invited to another audition, at the end of which he was offered the role. This audition is documented in the film "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster", which tells the story of the recording of the album "St. Anger", there you can see that Hetfield flatters Trujillo and tells him that he makes them play and sound much better, while Hammett adds "you are the chosen one", all before Ulrich offered him the $ 1 million down payment.
Trujillo will become Metallica's third but also long lasted bassist, who as of 2021 has been in "duty" for 18 years!