Metal vets Metallica finally filled the hole at the bottom of their lineup yesterday, welcoming bassist Rob Trujillo into the fold as they prepare for their upcoming Summer Sanitarium tour. The group had been without a full-time bassist since Jason Newsted -- who replaced founding bassist Cliff Burton, killed when the band's tour bus crashed in Sweden in 1986 -- quit in January 2001.
Trujillo played with California hardcore pioneers Suicidal Tendencies in the early Nineties. Metallica met Trujillo when the two bands toured together in 1993 and 1994.
"My visions of Rob are when we did Summer Shit '94 tour with Suicidal," writes frontman James Hetfield in a post on the band's Web site. "I remember being blown away by the fierceness and seeing Rob . . . this monster on bass. He brings an awesome new strength to the band, and makes us step up."
When Suicidal folded in 1994, Trujillo played with a spinoff combo, Infectious Grooves, then joined Ozzy Osbourne's band in 1996.
Producer Bob Rock played the bass parts on Metallica's forthcoming album, St. Anger. He also filled in at a surprise club gig in San Francisco last summer, but he never wanted the touring job.
"I am so fucking excited to be a full unit again," drummer Lars Ulrich writes on the band's site. "The last two years of just being the three of us have taught me so much about myself, about James and Kirk and about Metallica. And 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 fucking awesome."