SoundWorks Collection Interview Series - Producer and Bassist Robert Trujillo - JACO Music Documentary

December 07, 2014 3:04pm
Source: JACO the film

This this week we spoke with Robert Trujillo, who you might know as the bassist of Metallica and has been producing a music documentary called JACO about legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.

We discuss how Robert first became interested in profiling such an iconic player and what it was like producing this film which includes interviews with Herbie Hancock, Flea, Wayne Shorter, Jerry Jemmott, Joni Mitchell, Bootsy Collins and Sting. I hope you enjoy.


There are few musicians who fundamentally change their instrument, and even fewer still who transcend their instrument altogether. Jaco Pastorius did both.

In 1976, Jaco’s melodic “singing” bass style redefined the role of the bass in modern music. Almost overnight, critics hailed Jaco Pastorius as “the future of modern music,” alongside popular visionaries like David Bowie, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, and Herbie Hancock.

Driven only by his own desire to create the music he wanted to hear, Jaco transformed himself from a poor and unknown, scrappy Florida boy, into an international sensation — all without any formal musical training. Instead of chasing popular music, Jaco led his fans towards the music inside him. Defiantly jumping off amplifiers, heaving his bass through the air, and refusing to be just a “sideman,” Jaco broke down the barriers between audiences and genres.

Unfortunately, for many of our most sensitive artists, great genius comes at great cost… and Jaco Pastorius was no exception.

Now over 25 years since his violent and untimely death, his story will teach the world about true musicianship, family, and the indestructible power of the human spirit.



Robert Trujillo, bass guitarist for the band Metallica, was born in Santa Monica, California and grew up in the surf and skate culture in and around the streets of Venice Beach. He attended Dick Groves School of Music in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Max Bennett.

Trujillo directed a handful of Infectious Grooves videos in the mid-nineties, while he was a member of the bands Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves. He recently collaborated with Titmouse Animation to create “‘Tallica Parking Lot” – a four-minute animated short, which includes cameo appearances by characters from South Park, Beavis and Butthead, and Metalocalypse. He was also a creative contributor to Metallica’s latest 3D, feature film, “Metallica: Through the Never,” and has several film projects in development.

Trujillo has always felt that Jaco broke down the walls and barriers that often confine styles of music, and that he brought a punk attitude to his performance and composition, which inspired so many musicians of every style and genre.

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