Metallica's Robert Trujillo on His 12-Year-Old's Metal Odyssey

Metallica will play Hard Rock Stadium July 7.EXPAND
Metallica will play Hard Rock Stadium July 7.
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Fans know that Metallica’s Robert Trujillo can tear up a bass guitar like few others. But not many are aware his 12-year-old son Tye is similarly awesome. When Korn bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu had to bail on the South American leg of that band's April tour, they hit up Tye to fill in.

“It’s incredible, and obviously it was amazing for a band like Korn to believe in him as a player and performer... and to take that chance,” Trujillo says. “[My son] did learn the set all on his own too. He plays four-string bass, so he’s not a five-string performer usually. So he would learn five or so songs at a time, all while I was out on tour... and I was just so impressed with his work ethic. It ended up being an emotional thing for a lot of fans, witnessing something that had never been done in rock 'n' roll.”

If that proud-dad story doesn’t make your soul happy, perhaps seeing Metallica in person will.

The band will hit Hard Rock Stadium Friday, July 7, at 6 p.m. The gig marks Metallica’s first South Florida performance in nearly eight years. The last stop in this neck of the woods was October 1, 2009, at what is now the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

“This sort of feels like a brand-new start for us,” Trujillo says. “We have this new album out and haven’t done the stadiums in the U.S. for quite some time. It’s a new challenge in realizing we have a lot of new fans out there, some of whom didn’t know what Metallica was ten or 12 years ago. Things feel good right now.”

You can count on a healthy mix of classics like “Nothing Else Matters,” “One,” and “Master of Puppets.” The band will also perform a variety of tunes from its latest album, the critically acclaimed double-LP Hardwired... to Self Destruct, such as “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Atlas! Rise,” and “Moth Into Flame.”

Visually, the performance will offer what you’d expect from one of the best metal bands to grace God’s green Earth. Get ready for a catwalk, balls of flames, fireworks, grungy videos, and big-ass lights flashing to the beat of your exploding heart.

And the guys are always up for whatever natural elements might be thrown their way. For example, in June, the band rocked through a wild thunderstorm in Denver. “It rolled through, and we finished a song, and my tech was basically trying to escort me off the stage,” says Trujillo, reflecting on the show at Mile High Stadium. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ And he told me there was lightning, and I finally looked up and the sky was going nuts. It was a packed house and everyone had to evacuate... but we did finish the show.” He laughs and says, “We’re always looking for that challenge — ya know, trying to battle the elements, get in there with Mother Nature and save on production costs.”

After the Miami show — thunderstorm or shine — is over, maybe you’ll see Trujillo or guitarist Kirk Hammett cruising your hood.

“Florida has always been a hot spot for Metallica... In fact, I’ll be bringing the whole family out from California,” Trujillo says. “For me, I love the ocean. I’m a surfer, and so is Kirk. Back in the day, we would hub out of Melbourne or Cocoa Beach, flying to Atlanta and all of our Southern cities for gigs. Hopefully, we’ll be doing the same this go-round... maybe we’ll find a home base and go in and out of that spot. Any time there’s a beach and a wave to surf or body of water to swim, that’s where we’ll be.”

Metallica, you’re more than welcome to become Sunshine State residents because you love us so much. In fact, you might be just what the entire U.S. of A. needs during these really weird times.

“We’re all about camaraderie and unity these days, man,” Trujillo says. “We see a lot of different types of people... with different points of view, of different religions, with different political views, and they all eat different foods and have different lifestyles. But we all come together and get along even when things seem crazy.”

Metallica: WorldWired Tour 2017
6 p.m. Friday, July 7, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; 888-346-7849; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $55 to $160 via ticketmaster.com.

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