In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit’s WRIF radio station, METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo reflected on the time he was hit in the head with a bottle prior to his performance with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES on July 1, 1989 at the Giants Of Rock festival in Finland. Also appearing on the bill were ANTHRAX (whose guitarist Scott Ian joined SUICIDAL on stage to play “War Inside My Head”),D-A-D, STONE, AIRDASH and STRATOVARIUS.
Trujillo said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “That’s when our relationship with ANTHRAX, for me, officially became real, because those guys stood up for me and went out there and went toe to toe.
“Now, look, at the time, it wasn’t like the fans were pissed off. They were angry at a technical issue,” Robert clarified. “They couldn’t even see us ’cause we were behind the amps warming up. So they chucked some — back then you could have glass beer bottles — and they chucked a bottle and it went over the bass amp and I had been kind of hunkered down practicing, getting ready. And there was a problem with the PA system. So they were getting impatient. But that bottle hit me in the head. And, of course, I just kind of saw red and I went out to the front of the stage. My face was bleeding and I’m, like, calling people out. And there’s, like, fricking 15, 20,000 people out there, of course, and everybody’s drunk, so they’re, like, ‘Yeah, cool. Let’s fight.’ And I literally was gonna try and go out there and fight 10,000 people. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was young and dumb. So I was pulled off to the side by the tour manager and [he] said, ‘You’ve gotta play in a couple minutes here.’ So they bandaged me up like I had a toothache, and then they put the hat on and then we went out there and played. [Editor’s note: Video of the performance can be seen below.] During the time that I was getting bandaged up, apparently my SUICIDAL bandmembers and some of the ANTHRAX team went out there and started socking people up — that good old fashioned sock-up — and I remember, I think it was the drummer, [he] said, ‘Hey man, just so you know, we took care of this. It’s all good.’ And I was, like, ‘What does that mean?’ And then, of course, I found out. Basically, a couple of knuckleheads got beat down.”
Trujillo went on to say that the situation would likely have been handled much differently today. “Look, that was the way it was back then,” he explained. “I don’t condone violence or anything, but back at that time and probably even before that, that’s kind of what happened at hardcore shows and in thrash shows, punk shows, metal. There was a bit of edge, and a lot of people would start stuff. You’d have to finish it. And you look back on it as kind of, like, ‘Yeah, I guess it was fun.’ But that was kind of my initiation into the world of touring and being in an opening band. It was a lot of fun. ANTHRAX [and] SUICIDAL, that was the first official tour that I went on and that was in Europe and it was a new experience for me that I always remember and cherish.”
Trujillo was first invited to join SUICIDAL TENDENCIES for the aforementioned European tour supporting ANTHRAX. While with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, Robert appeared on some of the band’s most successful albums: “Lights…Camera…Revolution!” (1990),“The Art Of Rebellion” (1992) and “Still Cyco After All These Years” (1993). During Trujillo‘s years with SUICIDAL, vocalist Mike Muir heard some of Robert‘s homemade demos and they collaborated on a funkier, more progressive sound under the name INFECTIOUS GROOVES. They produced a number of albums such as “The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…” (1991),“Sarsippius’ Ark” (1993) and “Groove Family Cyco” (1994).
Back in 2021, Trujillo humorously revealed in an interview that before he signed on as the bass player for METALLICA, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES would gobble up METALLICA‘s leftover dinners whenever they could during a joint 1993 tour. And even though the METALLICA members respected Trujillo‘s playing with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield admitted that when Robert‘s name came up during bassist auditions, he thought, “there’s no way he’s going to join us. He’s too amazing, he’s too spectacular.”