In a candid interview, Metallica’s bassist, Rob Trujillo, delves into the intriguing legacy of the band’s controversial eighth studio album, St. Anger. Released on June 5, 2003, the album garnered decent sales and achieved chart-topping success globally, yet faced substantial criticism from fans who found fault in its raw production and the absence of guitar solos. Trujillo, who joined the band during the St. Anger era but did not contribute to the album’s writing, recently opened up about the album’s peculiar standing in Metallica’s extensive discography.
“Most people that I talk to have found a place in their heart for St. Anger,” Trujillo reveals in an interview with Metal Hammer. Despite the divisive reception, he notes a positive sentiment among many fans when discussing the record. “What’s cool is pulling out [St. Anger track] ‘Dirty Window’ in the set. The way we play it now, I’ve found my place in the songs we play and found a groove for those songs from St. Anger, almost like we’ve given it a facelift.”
As reported by Louder Sound, Trujillo also sheds light on the challenges Metallica faces when curating setlists for their live performances. Addressing the intricacies of their current world tour, which features two unique sets in each city, he acknowledges the difficulty in striking a balance between energy and memorable moments. “Definitely one of the biggest challenges for this tour has been figuring out what that setlist is gonna look like,” he discloses. “You want a sense of throttle, but also to have plenty of highlight moments – like, when are we gonna do the ball drop? Where are we gonna have the moment for Kirk and I to jam? It’s all about pacing and it’s not something you can figure out on the first show; it takes time.”
Trujillo elaborates on the ongoing process of refining setlists as the tour progresses, taking into consideration the varied preferences of global audiences. “Especially when certain songs might not resonate in Europe as well as they do back home,” he adds. Anticipating future tours, he emphasizes the importance of flexibility and the need to keep the experience fresh for fans attending multiple shows.
In the intricate dance of constructing setlists, Trujillo provides insight into the band’s collaborative efforts and forward-thinking approach, highlighting the delicate art of maintaining a dynamic, engaging, and unpredictable live performance for Metallica enthusiasts worldwide.