Rob Trujillo: Ennio Morricone Created The Opening Dialogue To The Metallica Experience
Classical composer Ennio Morricone passed away today at the age of 91. He was an icon of film, scoring such classics as The Thing, A Fistful Of Dollars and Once Upon A Time In America, but it’s perhaps his 1966 composition The Ecstasy Of Gold for which he’ll be most remembered by metal fans. Not just the soundtrack to pivotal scene in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, the song has opened Metallica shows since the mid-’80s and is as synonymous with their live performances as the One bulletfire.
Here, Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo shares his thoughts on the late composer.
“[He’s] one of the ultimate most incredible composers ever, especially in the history of film and what his music has represented – not just for Metallica, but in general. All that he has done for film score was incredible.
“Ecstasy Of Gold… hearing that back on the Black Album tour when I was in Suicidal Tendencies and we were opening the show it was like, ‘Who does this?! This is so cool!’ It becomes a part of the experience, it’s part of the ride. You get ready and you’re on this rollercoaster, or you’re back with Star Trek at the beginning – where no man has gone before! To me it relates to that, the opening dialogue to the experience of Metallica. The journey you’re about to embark on at that concert on that night, that’s what it represented to me. It was the precursor to the adventure.
“His music, the Clint Eastwood connection… outlaws! All of it, in some way or another, contributes to the spirit of Metallica. You can go down the history from where and how they began to where it’s gone, and to me Ennio’s music has that connection to Metallica. The outlaw element; it’s dangerous but it’s cool. And that was his music – dangerous but very, very cool. With so many beautiful layers.
“I believe a lot of Metallica’s music is built on layers and chance and taking risks. The compositions of layered guitars; the dynamic of that ingredient is really, really cool and that’s the same thing with classical music. Ennio did it incredibly well and he’s a genius at that. I know Orion is a Metallica piece, but to me it has the beauty of an Ennio Morricone composition – the layers and the journey it takes you on, the highs and the lows.”
Earlier today, Metallica paid a tribute to Ennio Morricone. “Your career was legendary, your compositions were timeless,” they tweeted. “Thank you for setting the mood for so many of our shows since 1983.”
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