Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo revealed the ceremony he puts every new vinyl record through, and said he couldn’t wait to do it with bandmate Kirk Hammett’s solo EP.
Portals was just released in association with Record Store Day. To mark the event’s 15th anniversary, Trujillo and Hammett shared their passion for the format in a panel talk moderated by Variety.
“The fantasy world that was created through vinyl and through the images of the album art and then the music itself was just all-encompassing,” Trujillo said. “And to this day, when I [get] a vinyl record, I go to my tour assistant, Jeff Bass, who is a vinyl enthusiast that loves audio gear, and I actually christen a new album on great gear.”
He continued: “I’m going to do this with Kirk’s record – I am going to sit there and I’m gonna play that record and I’m gonna close my eyes and it takes me on a journey. And I love that that can happen again now. It faded for a while, but it feels like it’s back, and…vinyl is strong again.”
The bassist went on to recall visiting record stores with his parents as a kid. “It was just this fantasy world, driven by the music itself, but also seeing the album covers,” Trujillo explained. “They become part of that chapter in your life. Abraxas by Santana was the first album I ever bought, and if you look at that album cover, it’s insane. What does it mean? You’ve got these beautiful naked people on there and you’re a little kid going, ‘Wow.’ At the same time you’ve got this table of fruit and these conga drums and these indigenous characters, and it was just really fascinating to me.
“But then my friend’s older brother had the first couple of Black Sabbath records, so if you look at that cover and you hear the song ‘Black Sabbath’ and you look at that cover… do it tonight and you will get scared, I promise.”
For his part, Hammett enthused about visiting an independent store’s import section when he was young, because he couldn’t find the music he wanted in mainstream shops. “‘Wow, this great Tygers of Pan Tang album! Oh wow, Motorhead – these guys look scary; this must be good,’” he recalled thinking.
“That’s how I discovered the type of music that went on to influence me the most and shape my artistic career. And I have very unique memories of putting records on turntables and just picking up the needle and putting it down again, trying to learn a song on guitar. I got pretty good at knowing where in that little inch that part of the song was that I needed to work on!”
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