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Some Kind of Monster

Metallica's Robert Trujillo in an elevator

By Austin Powell, 4:21PM, Thu. Mar. 26, 2009

Trujillo (left) and Hetfield doing cardio
Trujillo (left) and Hetfield doing cardio
photo by Gary Miller

Mere hours before Metallica made South by Southwest history by crushing Stubb’s on Friday, OTR got to spend a few minutes with bassist Robert Trujillo at the Four Seasons, sharing an elevator with Perez Hilton and Perry Farrell. Here are a few of the more interesting excerpts from exchange. Fear not if you missed the show. Metallica has added another leg to its world tour that includes a stop at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, September 28.

On the creation of Guitar Hero: Metallica: “It was almost like a sci-fi experience. You’re in this hot wet suit and you’ve got these little tassels that trigger your motion and your movements. Playing in that suit for a couple of hours, you really start feeling it. The next day our necks and bodies were actually sore. It was an intense workout. You sweat off the excess and get in gig shape. It was very interesting and physical. It’s great to see something like this become what it is and flourish from the ground up.”

On his character in the game: “It’s a lot of fun building your character and fine tuning it. The body type that they had given us, especially the first round, was like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I was like, ‘You guys got to tone it down a bit.’ Lars will be like, ‘Can you give me a bit more pecs. Everyone looks buff but me.’ Stylistically, we wanted to convey our personalities. In terms of my movements, it’s all pretty random and spontaneous, but in watching myself it’s almost like I’ve got this slouchy Neanderthalic personality that I never really quite noticed. I really wanted them to capture more of that. I told them to make me look even more primate then I already am.”

On getting in shape for tour: "In a band like Metallica, the work ethic is strong so physically you have to be in pretty good shape to go up there and do what we do, not just in terms of your core and your legs, but even just your chops and being out there and to run around the stage and execute your parts and act like you’re not in a lot of pain. We have a chiropractor that actually travels with us. It’s not like we’re 25 anymore. Everybody’s got their thing. Lars likes to go running for about a half-hour a day. Kirk does a lot of yoga. James and I have a cardio kick class in San Francisco. His wife and him go and I sometimes go with my wife. That gives us an opportunity to interact in a cardio kick manner, which is really good. It’s an hour of intense, almost martial arts oriented regime along with an aerobic style of a workout."

On the leftovers from Death Magnetic: "We had to decide out of 14 tracks to narrow it down to 10. One of the tracks we didn’t get a chance to finish was quite possibly the heaviest track on the album. You don’t have all of the time in the world. There’s a scheduling process. We’re writing a lot actually. We have a jam room before every show. Someone like Hetfield is a riff machine. He plugs in a guitar cable or turns a knob and five seconds into it he comes up with this massive riff. We have no shortage of ideas. In the world of rock bands that have been around for awhile, it can be difficult sometimes to become inspired. You’ve found situations where bands have hired outside writers to keep the machine going. If anything we have too many ideas and we try to force them all into one song. I think that’s a great thing for Metallica."

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