Rob Trujillo recently revealed that Black Sabbath legend Ozzy Osbourne loved the bass and would often encourage him to play louder.
Rob Trujillo recalls Ozzy Osbourne praising him
Before he ushered in a new period of stability for the thrash heavy-hitters, Rob’s illustrious career saw the bassist play with innovators like Infectious Grooves and Suicidal Tendencies – and, of course, become a part of the extended Osbourne family.
Having first joined as a touring member in 1996, Trujillo become an integral part of Ozzy’s band for the next 9 years, during which time he’d contribute to 2001’s “Down to Earth” LP, 2002’s “Blizzard of Ozz” & “Diary of a Madman” reissues as well as “Live at Budokan”, released in the same year.
Speaking to Revolver in a new interview, Trujillo admitted that he remembers his glory run with Ozzy fondly, not least due to the iconic singer’s fun-loving nature – but also his deep appreciation for bass players, something Trujillo says is somewhat of a rarity among singers:
“Well, I was fortunate to be able to work with Ozzy for many years, and, you know, Zakk [Wylde] and I played together in the Nineties in Ozzy’s band. I was always really inspired by the bass playing of Bob Daisley and the rhythm section. [Daisley played on and co-wrote Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman and continued to work with Ozzy until the early Nineties.]
“Ozzy used to tell me, [affects an Ozzy accent] ‘Rob, you know, I’m your best friend, man. I’m your best friend because I love the bass. I don’t want you to turn it down. I want you to turn it up!’ [Laughs] You know, singers never say that. [Laughs] I mean, the only other singer that’s ever said that to me was Lady Gaga when we jammed with her with Metallica — and James [Hetfield] kinda looked over and was like, What? [Laughs]”
Although Trujillo admits that Papa Het loves the bass, the Metallica frontman certainly doesn’t share Ozzy’s enthusiasm for its prominence in the overall mix – especially while singing:
“Yeah. [Laughs] James loves bass. He just doesn’t want to hear the bass when he’s trying to sing and have that kind of taking over his sonic bubble, you know. But yeah, so I was already in heaven [with Ozzy], because here is this singer saying, ‘Play louder … I want to hear more.'”
Speaking about the role of bass in the larger Ozzy Osbourne signature sonic equation, Trujillo continued:
“But you know, I would have to definitely say that the style of bass playing on Ozzy’s solo records is an important ingredient to the recipe. You hear songs like ‘No More Tears,’ where it’s a prominent melodic statement in the song, and even the powerful accents on songs like ‘Crazy Train’ or ‘S.A.T.O.’
“So bass was very important to both bands: Ozzy solo and Black Sabbath. And for me as a bass player, you’re a kid in a candy shop, you know what I mean? You can’t go wrong. It’s a very special place to be. A lot of times people say, ‘Oh, it’s about the guitar in Ozzy’s bands.’ But no, it’s also about the bass … it’s about everything. It’s like a power trio with a great, incredibly soulful singer.”
Rob is set to celebrate his 20th anniversary next year as the bassist of Metallica.