Metallica Perform In Manchester, England 2017 / Photo: Jeff Yeager

Robert Trujillo Says His ‘Doodles’ With Kirk Hammett Are Some Of His Proudest Moments

If you’ve been lucky enough to see Metallica live (sadly for most Australians it’s been way too long), you’ll be familiar with Kirk Hammet and Robert Trujillo‘s ‘doodles’.

For the uninitiated, no – the pair haven’t been flashing their junk onstage in front of football stadiums full of metalheads.

Rather, said ‘doodles’ are a break in the set where the lead guitarist and bassist improv. some tunes together to bring in some space to the bands’ usual 2 hour+ shows of metal mayhem – with the results often resulting in riffs and quotes of songs written by artists hailing from whichever city the band finds themselves in that evening (check out Classic Rock’s excellent ‘Doodle Map’ here).

From Celtic Frost jams in Zurich to The Stone Roses snippets in Manchester, it’s a locally flavoured nod of appreciation from the band – and while they’ve polarized some, Trujillo has noted that they’ve been a highlight for him on tour.

Speaking with MMA Junkie, Trujillo recalled that “some of my proudest moments were with Kirk on the last European tour, playing in these massive soccer stadiums and playing songs that were sort of native to those cities or even those countries.

“So we would take a song and learn it by an artist from that country…. nobody knows what we’re gonna play — kind of like street musicians.

“We walk out there. He’s got his guitar; I’ve got my bass. It’s almost like, ‘Where’s the hat?’ Where do they put the money? Literally like that — stripped-down, naked. ”

Trujillo continued; “We would choose an artist, cover that artist and play that song — sometimes two and a half minutes to three minutes.

“I’m singing in the [native] language, so it gets really challenging.

“We’re talking about Romania, we’re talking Poland, we’re talking Spain and Portugal and Sweden — I sang in Swedish. That, to me, was one of the highlight moments of my entire existence as a musician, especially in Metallica, because I don’t even know if I could ever do that again.

“That happened just before the pandemic. We were doing that in these football stadiums. Those were called the duets — these were the duets. The duet moments overseas — huge for me personally.”

Trujillo went on to note that it was in Europe that the idea worked best – with the bassist learning a cluster lyrics of languages before heading back out on the road.

“I said, ‘I’m going deep.’ So I did a bunch of research, and I researched every single city, even Estonia, and I found out what cool either punk, alternative, country — it didn’t matter the style — and I learned the fucking language, and I did the phonetic with the lyric, and we went out and did full arrangements.

“I’m talking about if there was an accordion solo, Kirk was playing it. So we did our homework, and we really, really went into it.

“Every night was great, but there was a handful of grand slams where people were crying and it was this heavy… Like, you’re paying tribute to somebody in, like, Moscow, who is like the David Bowie of Moscow, and people are just, like, ‘Oh my god.’

“I was meeting with people, like, I would even sometimes do it by phone, and I’d be there for two hours getting the language pronunciation right. So it was a lot of work… And sometimes you’ll take some beatings.”

So there you have it. Will Sydney get a Hard-Ons cover, or Perth a snippet of an Eskimo Joe song the next time ‘Tallica grace our shores? Only time will tell.

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