Metallica Bassist Says Jason Newsted Was ‘More Simple’

Robert Trujillo, who’s been with Metallica for the past 23 years since replacing Jason Newsted, recently revealed in an interview with Bass Player the immense challenges he faced upon joining the legendary band. Trujillo talked about how the greatest challenge was not just adjusting to the band’s dynamics or living up to the legacy of his predecessors, but the bass playing itself.

Joining Metallica during a pretty difficult period when the band was already considered living legends added to the pressure. Despite these daunting circumstances, Trujillo has proven his mettle, solidifying his place in the band to the extent that fans now find it hard to imagine anyone else in his position. His claim about the difficulty of his role is backed by his longevity and the respect he has garnered over the years.

“I feel like I’ve had so many challenges. You know, I live in Los Angeles, but since I joined the band I’ve been spending more time in the Bay Area, and I actually really like it. Los Angeles has become so overpopulated and blown out. San Francisco has such a nice balance, almost like a funky ’70s flavor to it. The way LA used to be back in the Cheech & Chong days!”

Robert Trujillo discusses Jason Newsted

“But the biggest challenge has been with my bass playing. I’m not being disrespectful to all the bass players out there, but there aren’t many bassists that could do this job. Playing with Metallica is the most demanding gig there is.”

“The biggest challenge has been with my bass playing,” Trujillo stated, talking about the demanding nature of playing with Metallica. He expressed respect for bassists everywhere but pointed out the unique difficulty of his role in the band. This challenge is more even more daunting by the legacy of his predecessors, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted, both of whom left indelible marks on Metallica’s sound and style.

Trujillo praised Cliff Burton’s innovative approach and his physicality on stage, noting Burton’s unique ability to translate guitar solos into bass lines, which was groundbreaking at the time. He admired Burton’s fearless attitude and his contribution to both Metallica and the broader metal genre.

“Cliff was amazing for Metallica. His ideas, his presence, and where he was taking the bass and taking metal, were so special. And his stage presence – he was such a physical player. He played what he felt, and that was the bottom line. His approach was, ‘I’m gonna play what I feel, and if you don’t like it, screw you!’”

“He used to ask Kirk to show him Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar solos so he could play them on bass, and not many bass guitar players were doing that back then. I thought that was so cool. Cliff was a force on a lot of different levels.”

“I really appreciate Jason Newsted. Considering he’s a pick player, and the speed and dexterity involved in this music, I think it’s a tall order. But he was really keeping it and holding it down, keeping it solid – more simple than Cliff, but in a good way.”

“I love the fact that we’re all different. We all have our thing that we’ve brought to the band, but I also have my own style and I like to express that.”

In related news, Jason Momoa also covered Black Sabbath and Metallica.

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