Ozzy Osbourne bassist Robert Trujillo has left the crazy train and checked into the sanitarium. Following almost three months of auditions, Metallica have finally found their replacement for Jason Newsted.
"We were impressed by Rob's roaring bass style and his very cool and unique vibe onstage," drummer Lars Ulrich said in a statement Monday (February 24).
Ex-Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder and former Marilyn Manson sidekick Twiggy Ramirez were among the other musicians who tried out for the slot. Before Metallica announced their decision, Ramirez joined A Perfect Circle (see "Ex-Manson Bassist Twiggy Ramirez Joins A Perfect Circle").
Metallica met Trujillo in the early '90s when he was a member of Suicidal Tendencies, and they got to know him when the two bands played together in Europe in 1993. When they invited him to audition they knew their personalities were compatible, and when they plugged in and started jamming the circle was complete.
"We all felt this incredible magic between the four of us," frontman James Hetfield said in the statement. "It was something that we could not describe. We all just knew it. Bob Rock told us right after the jam that it sounded like a 747 jet taking off."
Trujillo fills the slot vacated by Newsted, who joined Metallica at the end of 1986 and played with them through January 2001, when he quit because of "private and personal reasons" and "physical damage" inflicted through years of touring (see "Bassist Jason Newsted Leaves Metallica").
"I am very stoked, excited and look forward to my new journey with my Metallica brothers," said Trujillo, who is rehearsing with Metallica and will join them onstage for this year's Summer Sanitarium tour, which kicks off July 4 in Pontiac, Michigan, with Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Deftones and Mudvayne onboard (see "Metallica/ Limp Bizkit/ Linkin Park Tour Itinerary Takes Shape").
The bassist will not appear on Metallica's St. Anger, due June 10 — Hetfield and producer Bob Rock played bass on the disc. But Trujillo is now a full-time member and will play on future releases.
"I am so excited to be a full unit again", Ulrich said. "To welcome Rob into Metallica in 2003 after all the growth and soul searching we've been through for the last two years feels so awesome. Being at full strength again is at this moment indescribable. We're bristling with new energy, new respect, new vibes and a huge appetite for everything Metallica is. Having Rob here, and him choosing to become a part of our family, will enable us to get to yet another level."
Most recently, Trujillo played on Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell's Degradation Trip (2002). He also performed on Ozzy's last studio album, 2001's Down to Earth, and re-recorded Bob Daisley's basslines on last year's reissue of 1981's Blizzard of Ozz. He started touring with Ozzy in 1999.
Before that, Trujillo was a member of Suicidal Tendencies spinoff Infectious Grooves, producing and playing on The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move (1991) and Sarsippius' Ark (1993) as well as playing on Groove Family Cyco (1994) and Mas Borracho (2000).
Last week Osbourne's camp announced that Trujillo would play with Ozzy's band at this year's Ozzfest, which launches June 28 in San Antonio, Texas (see "Ozzy, Korn, Marilyn Manson Tapped For Ozzfest"). Ozzy will have a new bassist in place in time for the beginning of Ozzfest, his publicist said.