METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo’s MASS MENTAL project will play a one-off concert in London, England at The Underworld on March 13. Joining Trujillo in the MASS MENTAL lineup will be Armand Sabal-Lecco (PAUL SIMON) on bass, Benji Webbe (SKINDRED) and Whitfield Crane (UGLY KID JOE) on vocals and Brant Bjork (KYUSS, FU MANCHU) on drums.
MASS MENTAL was founded in 1998 by Trujillo, formerly of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, along with SKINDRED singer Clive “Benji” Webbe, formerly of DUB WAR. In 1999, the band released “How To Write Love Songs”, along with the live album “Live In Tokyo”. Both CDs were made available exclusively in Japan. Shortly thereafter, MASS MENTAL broke up, allowing the bandmembers to return to their main projects. In 2002, MASS MENTAL reunited briefly with Roy Mayorga (STONE SOUR, SOULFLY) playing drums, although no new material resulted.
In a 2014 interview with Rock Cellar Magazine, Trujillo stated about MASS MENTAL: “MASS MENTAL is a collective. It’s a group of musicians who really connect with the funk — old-school, in-your-face funk. A lot of it is pulled from the ’70s, believe it or not — Jaco, PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC, and so on. Armand Sabal-Lecco I’ve known since 1994.
“We’ve been doing MASS MENTAL since 1994, on and off. We’ve probably done about five gigs in over 20 years, so… it’s always a party. We did a show at the Whisky A Go Go a few months back. It’s always a trip. You’ve got Ozzy Osbourne just hanging out, Stewart Copeland of THE POLICE, CYPRESS HILL is there, members of WEEZER… It’s super-cool. It takes the weight off of anything high-profile. The pressure’s off. It’s all just about having fun, playing some kickass bass lines and movin’ and groovin’.”
He continued: “What people don’t know about MASS MENTAL is… tracks have been recorded in the nineties, out in the countryside of England, out in Wales, even GENESIS’s studio in the countryside, places where LED ZEPPELIN recorded. There’s a lot of history to that collective.
“Benji Webbe, the singer of the band SKINDRED (who is in MASS MENTAL), he was a part of one of my favorite groups out of England, DUB WAR. They’re now somewhat defunct, but man, they were good.”