Metallica's new bass player owes his dream gig to his surfing skills - because he's convinced beach trips with drummer Lars Ulrich helped him win the role.

Bassist Robert Trujillo was performing with Ozzy Osbourne when JASON NEWSTED quit the group in 2001, and he never dreamed he'd be considered for the vacancy.

He says, "Lars and I have surfed with each other about three times and the first couple of times we didn't really talk business and then he called me out of the blue.

"He was like, 'We're looking into bass players and we want you to come out.'

Trujillo sailed through that audition and he was rewarded with a standing ovation from his new bandmates. He admits the toughest part about landing his new gig came when he had to tell Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne he was leaving.

He recalls, "They were very supportive. I spoke first with Sharon, and it was very emotional.

"I didn't speak to Ozzy for a couple of days, and then Ozzy did call me. He said, 'Rob, listen, I wish you the best of luck, and you've got to do this.'"

Ironically, Trujillo's place in Ozzy's line up was filled by Newsted.

01/05/2003 09:29