Being in a band with other people isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Touring the world in tight quarters with other individuals will always inevitably lead to conflicts — even among the best of friends — and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo recently opened up about a time when he and James Hetfield had a brief clash with one another. Speaking on a new episode of Bad Wolves and God Forbid guitarist Doc Coyle's show "The Ex-Man With Doc Coyle," Trujillo opened up about a situation when he and his bandmates were at their wits ends for numerous personal reasons, and it resulted in a heated confrontation between he and Papa Het.
"Any situation, people that are coming up and doing bands, never get caught up in the idea that you're in your band and you're safe and nothing can touch you.m" Trujillo said, as transcribed by Blabbermouth. "Anybody can be replaced. And you wanna always try to be as respectful as possible. Because you're gonna have your ups and downs and you're gonna bump heads — that's a given — but it doesn't mean you quit or you hate the person or whatever.
"I've always been in situations in my groups where there were those moments where things get heated and you're bumping heads. It happens in Metallica. There's been a couple of times, even with James [Hetfield]. James is a little… Maybe something's bothering him… I remember one time a few years ago — about three years ago — in Italy. Poor guy, he got stung by a bee in his face, I think it was. I don't think he's allergic, but there was poison oak going on. So your face is hurtin', your body's itchin'. You're out there on the road.
"It's raining. We were in Italy or something. And one of the songs — like 'Memory Remains' or something… I had a lot in my head. Kirk [Hammett] and I were doing these duets and I'm singing in other languages. And Lars [Ulrich] threw, like, 'Do a bass solo,' kind of a day before. And I'm just, like, 'Aaaargh…' So I'm tense. And [James is] tense too, but we're tense about different things. And we're going on stage very soon and things are running late. And we're playing 'Memory Remains' [in the tuning room], and I'm just kind of jamming through it, but I'm not really jamming through it with full intensity; I'm just kind of ghosting it a little bit.
"And he's, like, 'You know the song?' And this is a song we've played thousands of times. And I was insulted, because this is one of the easiest songs we play, and you're asking me if I know the song. So I'm just kind of, like, 'Yeah, I know the fucking s…' I blew a fuse for a second. And then I felt horrible, and he felt horrible. And then we realized, I think, that I'm tripping on the load that I have on my shoulders over here; he's tripping on this and this and probably…
"I mean, I get it, man — I've had poison oak; I've had bee stings before, and it ain't fun. And you're out there and you're trying to be the best you can. So, rather than throwing your instruments down and coming to blows or anything like that, you work it out — you kind of calm yourself and you realize what's going on.
"So even in our situation things like that can happen," he continued. "And it's just the nature of the beast. We're all individuals and we all have our moments. So I always stress that — more now than ever.
"Word to the wise: always maintain your composure," Trujillo added. "You're in a band — that's cool — but it's about the relationship and being the best you can be, the best human you can be, the best brother, the best comrade. And that's very important to everything here."