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Korn Guitarist Talks 12-Year-Old Bassist: ‘He’s Having a Great Time’

"It’s not just some replacement – this is the DNA of Robert Trujillo."

By Hayden Wright

Korn fans raised eyebrows when the band announced that Tye Trujillo, the 12-year-old son of Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, would join the band for South American tour dates. The preteen bassist is talented by all accounts, but it still raises the question: “Is this really necessary?” There are plenty of grown-up bassists who don’t need school permission to join Korn on a nu-metal tour of Latin America, but then again…

Related: Watch Korn’s 12-Year-Old Bassist Tye Trujillo Shred Like a Pro

“We’re having fun! He’s having a great time,” Korn guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer told NME. “His dad’s out here with us, just hanging out, shootin’ the s— and catching up. [Tye] knows like 17, 18 Korn songs, and he knows them really well—it’s crazy. All the stops, and the breaks… it’s crazy to see somebody that young so talented. He’s gonna be a professional musician, and to know that at that early of an age is just inspiring.”

You might wonder if a 12-year-old would feel a bit out-of-place on the road with guys in their mid- and late 40s. Tye, who was born in 2005, seems to be adjusting to his newfound fame like a pro.

“When we go to the shows, he’s got people wanting his picture and his autograph – he’s a little overwhelmed, but he’s handling himself just like his dad, which is cool, collected and modest,” Shaffer said.

Korn connected with Tye on a cellular level—insofar as his father is very famous.

“It’s not just some replacement—this is the DNA of Robert Trujillo, one of the greatest bass players on the planet!” Shaffer added. “You can see it—it’s crazy how much you see his dad in him.”

There’s no question that Tye is a gifted player. His own band The Helmets are mixing original music they’ve recorded. NME asked Schaffer if Korn might support Tye’s band on some future tour: “That would be really sweet, actually!”

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