Metallica’s Robert Trujillo On Motown – That Was 100% In My Wheelhouse
I’m not one of these interviewers who looks to steer artists into giving props to Detroit. I think it sounds cheesy. I’m not a fan of *Name The City* loves you and blah, blah blah. But I will tell you in all candidness, bands LOVE playing in Detroit, and a lot of Detroit music has influenced many of them. These are just the facts, and many times it comes up organically in conversation, like it did with Robert Trujillo.
During my recent conversation with Robert of Metallica, I asked him about this. I had been to the Motown Museum for the first time earlier that day and I just thought I’d ask him if that music played a part in his musical life. I did not expect the answer I got. “That was 100% in my wheelhouse.” He went on “I grew up listening to nothing but Motown. And I listened to a lot of James Brown and of course…that was kind of my early years.”
He told me about discovering rock with Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath but it went back to Motown. He talked about how the metal/hard rock bass players before him were inspired by Motown bass lagend, James Jamerson. “There isn’t a bass player in rock, in metal, in sort of modern music that’s serious about their instrument, that doesn’t respect those bass lines coming out of Detroit and Motown”
“Yeah, it was really a true artistic statement that was brand new and fresh that came out of here, came out of this city” He said Jamerson put the bass much more upfront, saying so many other musicians would follow his lead as, what he called him, the forefather of the electric bass.
You can watch parts one and two of my interviews with Robert below.