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Robert Trujillo Reveals How Metallica Arrived at ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’ Album Title, Songwriting Credits ‘Not a Big Deal’

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Metallica finally ended the eight year drought between albums, following up 2008’s Death Magnetic with the double album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which was released on Friday, Nov. 18. Fans will surely begin to dissect every nuance of the album, reading into the lyrics and song title. Bassist Robert Trujillo revealed how the band arrived at the new album’s title in a recent interview and also explained he cares more about the final product in the songwriting process rather than worrying about writing credits.

When asked if humanity is on a path of self-destruction, Trujillo expressed he hopes not and then delved into the story behind the Hardwired… To Self-Destruct title. “James [Hetfield] came up with the title,” the bassist began telling Rock Antenne (transcription via Blabbermouth). “He was in a conversation with a friend of his and they were talking about how as men just making mistakes and the wives, as we say, ‘get on your case’ about making mistakes.” Elaborating, Trujillo continued, “It could be anything; it could be losing your keys, or whatever, just doing something stupid.”

Explaining more, Trujillo offered, “The idea was, ‘Man, maybe as men, maybe we’re hardwired to self-destruct.’ That grew into ‘hardwired for anything.’ ‘Hardwired to eat cheese pizza.’ ‘Hardwired’ preceding any other word you want. It made great sense and it stuck. Usually for an album title we’ll sit around and we’ll throw a bunch of ideas together, but this one was pretty immediate. It turned into the title of the record.”

Speaking about his personal input on the album, Trujillo said he contributed a lot even though the writing credits may not reflect it as much. “The truth is that we jam,” said the bass player. “Even though the original riff, or the idea comes from Hetfield on this album, these are all great Hetfield riffs. You don’t see the riffs from Kirk [Hammett] or myself as much as you would have on the previous record. I’m there everyday jamming and I’m writing my bass parts. I’m playing my parts as bass parts. What determines a songwriter’s [credit], you have to ask Lars [Ulrich]. [Laughs] That’s okay.”

Adding that his role in the band is to support the song and his team, he said, “Songwriting credits… it’s not a big deal. I think what the bigger deal is like how the songs develop and my role in supporting Lars and James with a song, whether the idea comes from Kirk or James or me, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. What matters is does the song sound great when it’s finished?”

Hammett recently expressed his dissatisfaction with not having any involvement in the writing process this time around, telling Metal Hammer that it was a a “very bitter pill to swallow.” “For me, being in this band, I always want to contribute,” the guitarist said. “Obviously, that was not meant to be this time and I had to accept that fact … Hopefully I can bring my ideas to the next Metallica album. I just hope it’s not another eight years.”

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