Bass legend, Robert Trujillo is regarded as ‘metal royalty’! He has played with Metallica for thirteen years, and before that with crossover metal group Suicidal Tendencies, funk-metal outfit Infectious Groves, the legendary Ozzy Osbourne and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains’ solo band.
Rob is a passionate music fan and an advocate for music education so we couldn’t have wished for a better Masterclass guest! When he visited BIMM London on March 10th, the room was packed. Bass tutor, Andrew McKinney hosted the masterclass, as Rob shared his experience in music education:
“I went to a music school in 1984 and studied Jazz for a year. There’s a guitar player I met there that I’m still friends with now. Those are the people you connect with…you take that journey with them beyond education. They are really important people in your life.”
Rob discussed his many projects, including his documentary on bass pioneer, Jaco Pastorius:
“A lot of great documentaries have come out in recent years on Amy, Kurt Cobain, Nina Simone…but a lot of people don’t know who Jaco Pastorius is. They think the bass is boring, but when they watch the film, they realise how important this guy is. The project took me eight years to create. I’m proud of it and it’s something that’s exceeded everything I ever dreamed of. Jaco brought a lot of people together. I managed to interview Joni Mitchell for the film – she was unreachable for years and I went to a party and bumped into her! Even Jerry Jemmott – Jaco’s favourite bass player – came on board.”
Rob explained how Pastorius and other sounds influence his playing:
“As the main writer in Infectious Grooves, I really channelled Jaco. We all have our influences, and with Metallica songs like ‘The Day That Never Comes’, it has moments of Metallica meets Deep Purple and I’m really channelling it. It definitely comes across in what I do.”
Then it was time for something extra special – a live performance by our Third Year Rock and Metal LPW Group, critiqued by the bass legend himself. The band was made up of students: Thomas Cox (BMus Bass), Oliver Dixon (BMus Drums), Hugh Lawrence (BMus Guitar), Andreas Johansson (BMus Guitar) and Marta Moretto (BMus Vocals).
The band played two challenging metal tracks for Rob: ’Divinations’ by Mastodon and Metallica’s ‘Battery’. Rob clearly enjoyed the performances and praised the band for their fantastic playing. After the show, Rob hung out for photos and chats with the students, who we were thrilled to see him post this on his Facebook page the next day:
“Amazing visit with the students at BIMM London! How great is it to have a school that celebrates all styles of music, teaches students to be themselves as performers, songwriters, even learning the business side, as well as recording and engineering. Thanks for a great afternoon, BIMM!”