Metallica on How Their Kids Keep the Music Going: “They’re Very Much Doing Their Own Thing”

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The post Metallica on How Their Kids Keep the Music Going: “They’re Very Much Doing Their Own Thing” appeared first on Consequence.

Metallica have been making music for more than 40 years, but it’s likely each of the members will tell you their greatest productions are their children. And while the metal band is as vital as ever with the upcoming release of 72 Seasons, their kids have recently been making names for themselves in the music industry.

Bassist Robert Trujillo’s son Tye is already a seasoned musician at age 18, having filled in on bass with Korn when he was just 12 years old. The talented four-stringer has also been in a number of his own bands, including the up-and-coming OTTTO, who just released a new album. Meanwhile, Tye’s 16-year-old sister Lullah plays drums, piano, and bass, recently stepping behind a drum kit to rock the “Ultimate Jam Night” at the Whisky a Go Go with her dad and mom, Chloe.

The eldest sons of drummer Lars Ulrich — 24-year-old Myles and 21-year-old Layne — are earning praise as the duo Taipei Houston, with a garage-rock sound reminiscent of bands like The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Royal Blood. Frontman James Hetfield’s 22-year-old son Castor is a drummer who plays in the band Bastardane, while guitarist Kirk Hammett’s teenage sons Angel and Vincenzo are musical, as well, although in a less public manner as of now.

During a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, when the late-night host brought up the members’ musical kids and their bands, Lars pondered that maybe one day Metallica would “hand the keys to the hard-rock kingdom” to their offspring, to which the late-night show quipped, “What if there was a Metallica Jr.?”

In all seriousness, the Metallica members are quite proud of their musical offspring. When Consequence caught up with Ulrich and Trujillo for our recently published Metallica cover story, they each talked at length about their kids.

“They ask for advice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they follow it, as they shouldn’t have to, but they’re certainly curious,” Lars said of mentoring Myles and Lane. “And then there are other times where I’m wondering why they’re not asking for advice [laughs].”

He continued, “They’re obviously out there, finding their feet, and they should be out there finding their feet. I’m happy to help them when I can, but at the same time, they’ve got to figure some of this stuff out for themselves… The best thing about what they’re doing is that they’re very much doing their own thing, and musically, I feel that the journey they’re on is one that sits in a pretty different place than my own musical journey. So that’s really cool.”

Trujillo mentioned that Tye actually started out drumming before mastering the bass. “Chloe and I never forced music on him. But at a very young age, they had music all around him, obviously because of Metallica. But then, I remember when Tye was a baby in his room, we’d have that DVD, How the West Was Won by Led Zeppelin. That would be just going all day long, and he was just kind of focused on John Bonham. So he was actually a drummer.”

The Metallica bassist added, “In his first eight years, [Tye] was just hitting everything in sight. And then he had a plastic guitar, a couple of them, and he played that thing so much, he actually wore down an area with a pick technique. Imagine to wear down plastic to that degree? That was hardcore. So, we knew that he had a real connection to music.”

While both of Ulrich’s sons were also musical from a young age, the genesis of Taipei Houston didn’t happen until they moved back home in 2020 when the pandemic hit. “They were both at NYU, and they were doing separate things,” recalled Lars. “And then they came home from lockdown. And we were in the middle of March, and [we have a] studio downstairs… and they found themselves spending time in there.”

metallica 72 seasons cover story interview
metallica 72 seasons cover story interview

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He went on, “I would occasionally stand outside the door going, ‘What the hell are these guys thinking?’… but over the course of a year or whatever, it started kind of taking shape and becoming cohesive, to the point where it was like, ‘Wow, this is actually morphing into something that’s their own…’ One guy started singing, and his room is under the kitchen, and you could hear him every night, after dinner, singing along to Foo Fighters songs or Oasis songs. I was like, ‘Wow, this is really interesting.’ And then these songs of this band were kind of born out of the lockdown and the pandemic. And it was super cool.”

Trujillo also takes pride in Tye’s playing, remembering when the youngster filled in for Korn as a pre-teen. “When he got that Korn gig, at age 12, he did all his preliminary homework to play 90 minutes of music with them on his own, because I was on tour with Metallica. I come back from touring and he goes, “Papi, I learned six more songs. I learned eight more songs.”

Turning to the present day, Trujillo remarked, “[Tye is] doing all his own music with his bands. He has two bands, one’s called OTTTO and the other one’s called Feed the Beast. Feed the Beast is super heavy, but really groovin’. And then OTTTO has strong melodies and power grooves and great riffs. So he’s having fun.”

In general, Trujillo believes that if a child has a love for music, it’s worth pursuing. “It’s important for our youth, and I’m not just talking about my kids or James’ kids or Lars’ boys… if you have a passion for music, and you believe in yourself, do it and do it soon. Because, as you know, age, I know it’s just a number, but unfortunately, in this business, it’s a much more favorable number if you’re younger and you’re kicking ass and can take that journey.”

Fans can catch Metallica and their kids’ bands playing shows throughout the year. The metal legends will kick off a 2023-2024 world tour in support of 72 Seasons later this month, with tickets available here. Taipei Houston are currently in the midst of an extensive UK/European tour that extends into late June, and you can snag tickets to those dates here. Finally, both OTTTO and Bastardane are set to rock the Welcome to Rockville and Sonic Temple festivals in May (tickets here).

Read our Consequence cover story interview with Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo here, and see our recent video interview with Taipei Houston above.

Metallica on How Their Kids Keep the Music Going: “They’re Very Much Doing Their Own Thing”
Spencer Kaufman and Katherine Turman

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