City Slang: Metallica talks Detroit

June 5, 2013
By

Orion cover

Rob Trujillo, bassist with Metallica, spoke to City Slang this week on the subject of this coming weekend’s Orion Fest. It seems the former Suicidal Tendencies man is a big fan of our glorious region. This is what he said:

We’re so excited to have OrionFest in Detroit. What are your memories of playing in Detroit in the past?
Thanks! I have always considered Detroit THE Rock IN Roll Capital. So many Live Albums recorded in Detroit, such a rich history. From MC5 to Bob Seger, Iggy. Some of the BEST bass grooves ever written came out of Detroit, that’s right Motown, which inspired most of the heavy rock bands, and I mean classic bands like Led Zep! (to name one, because the list will be too massive). The Motown sound inspired me from about age 5. Hey, we all loved the ‘Jackson 5′! These are my listening memories.

I’ve had some of my favorite gigs in Detroit.I remember those Ozzy gigs at Pine Knob, crazy bon fires, really primal, Rock n Roll war dances etc… I actually had a pretty scary gig with Infectious Grooves out there in Detroit proper, back in 92′ the crowd was heavy (as they always are out there) and my bass amp went down. I had no sound, time was slippin’ away, and I could sense we needed to figure something out to entertain the crowd before the riot would erupt; as we had just lost a couple minutes without music. So I figured, let’s get the drums, and funky guitar to start kickin off a vicious groove. From this I had a cast of characters jump up on stage, and show off their best dance moves, which then evolved into each persons radical stage dive. Dudes and Ladies were up for the dance/dive off challenge, back flips were in full effect. My tech slowly replaced some old burnt out fuses in my rig, and we were off and thumping. I tell you, 15 minutes seems like an eternity in when your gear fails in those punk rock clubs! I was also fortunate to have been filmed for a concert dvd with Black Label Society at Harpos. The crowd that night set the record for the most beers ever consumed at a show in Harpos, Zach Wylde was a proud man.

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The city has obviously seen some tough times, and an event like this will help the profile. Outside of Detroit, does the area still hold some allure/mystique (the old “Detroit Rock City” thing)?
I think to the outside world, Detroit is still considered a rough place, but it seems that there is a grip of students, and young artists who are doing a great job in bringing that positive spirit to certain neighborhoods, by opening art galleries, cafes, shops, clubs. I believe that Orion will help build That Detroit Profile, I’m already thinking about creating a Motown Zone for next years Orion, anyway I have some fun ideas brewing. Hey, where I’m from, Venice California, it was rough, we actually had more of a problem with gangs, and now the vibe is great, creative energy is flowin’ it’s an awesome historic place as well. surf and skate helped build Venice CA, Rock N Roll and R&B helped build Detroit, and this will continue again.

What made you choose us for the festival?

Our promotors went out to scope out the zone, gave it the thumb’s up. It’s a great city, with great music, past and present. Huge creative spirit brewing, travel is easy. And, there’s a body of water next to the concert grounds – we just have to figure out how Kirk and I can get a wave machine out there, so we can surf. Maybe wake boarding?

What we have planned for our set?
Which set of music? I’m personally playing at least 4 shows, and there not all ‘Tallica’ (so, don’t get any strange ideas). All I know, is I’ll be tired, but a good tired though. That’s what Orion Festival brings, a day of lifestyle events, stuff that we enjoy as humans, like skate boarding for me, big airs on the vert ramp, okay I won’t be droppin’ in I’ll let the pros do that, besides I’ve got a bass to play this weekend.

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