Robert Trujillo (born October 23, 1964) is an American bassist known for his role as the current bassist of American heavy metal band Metallica. He also was a member of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves, heavy metal band Black Label Society (formed by Zakk Wylde), and he has worked with Jerry Cantrell from the rock band Alice in Chains, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Trujillo was born in Santa Monica, California. He is of Mexican descent. Trujillo stated that “Jaco was my hero growing up," and that "Hearing him was like hearing Eddie Van Halen doing ‘Eruption’ for the first time: You thought, ‘What instrument is that?’ I loved jazz fusion and branched out from there. But Jaco had an edge that far exceeded his jazz persona. He was funk, he was rock, he was soul. And his whole attitude was punk."
He "...grew up in Culver City, California." His childhood was "... all about the music at home. My mother was a huge fan of Motown, people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and Sly And The Family Stone." He began playing in "a lot of backyard party bands", which meant he played music by Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Rush, and Led Zeppelin. He went to jazz school when he was 19 with the intention of becoming a "studio musician but [he] was still passionate about rock and metal."
Trujillo first gained prominence as the bassist for California crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. Initially billed as "Stymee" on the 1989 album Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit...Déjà Vu, Trujillo remained in the band until the mid-1990s. Concurrent to his work with Suicidal Tendencies, Trujillo was also a member of the band's side project, Infectious Grooves, along with vocalist Mike Muir.
Trujillo was a member of Ozzy Osbourne's band for a number of years starting in the late 1990s. He was the subject of controversy for re-recording Bob Daisley's bass tracks for reissued versions of Osbourne's albums Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman because of Daisley's claim of not receiving proper royalties. During this time, Trujillo formed an experimental supergroup, Mass Mental, with then Dub War singer Benji Webbe, whose "ragga-punk-metal" outfit had just disbanded. The band released one studio album (exclusively in Japan) and one live album of their performance in Tokyo before disbanding. Zakk Wylde, a personal friend and bandmate from the Ozzy days, also recruited him to play with Black Label Society for a few shows.
Robert Trujillo began playing electric bass for Metallica on February 24, 2003. The band consists of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Lars Ulrich. He had previously met and befriended his future bandmates when Suicidal Tendencies supported Metallica during the Nowhere Else to Roam tour in 1993, and again during the Shit Hits the Sheds tour one year later. Trujillo received one million dollars from the band as an advance for joining Metallica. His audition and hiring as well as his million dollar payment offer appear in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster. As the current bassist for Metallica, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside all current members of the band, as well as Jason Newsted(who left the band in 2001) and the late Cliff Burton on April 4, 2009.
In 2003, Trujillo was seen playing an upright bass in the Nickel Creek music video, "Smoothie Song". However, he did not play bass for the band during the song's recording.
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.
Robert is married and has a son and daughter, Ty and Lula. His girlfriend at the time, (now his wife) Chloé did a pyrography (woodburning) design of the Aztec Calendar for him on his bass guitar. Years later when Rob heard Chloé had moved to Los Angeles, he called her from a pay phone while on a surfing trip in Tahiti in a determined effort to reconnect. They have been together for the past seven years and are now married. His wife has her own website called "Chloe in art".