Music and fighting have long found ways to be intertwined. Now, Triller is doing its best to elevate that alliance to the next level.
Triller has placed musical acts side-by-side with combat sports since its first show more than a year ago, That won’t change Saturday at Triller Triad Combat, as Metallica is set to perform live throughout the event, which takes place Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, and airs on pay-per-view via Fite.tv.
Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo is a longtime fight fan, and he thinks the two worlds are a righteous pairing. In particular, he thinks Metallica’s music is one that resonates strongly with the audience that relishes prize fighting.
“It’s pretty exciting because I almost feel like the type of music that we do, that Metallica does, kind of warrants itself into the combat sports world,” Trujillo told MMA Junkie. “I’m a big fan of MMA and actually boxing because I grew up watching a lot of the classic matches through the 70s and the 80s and I actually watched early MMA. I could always relate the two universes between edgy music and just edgy sporting events. I think it’s a perfect fit.”
Trujillo joined Metallica as a bassist in February 2003. During nearly two decades with the band, he’s seen and experienced about everything a musician could. From traveling the world to performing under unique circumstances, there are few new leafs to be turned over at this stage.
Triad Combat is something fresh, though, and that’s what captured Metallica’s attention.
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“This is the first time something like this specifically has landed on our plate,” Trujillos said. “One of the things about Metallica is that we like a challenge, we like something new. This is something that hasn’t really been done, at least in our universe. We’re pretty excited. It’s a unique experience. Everything about it is pretty unique. The way the set is set up – in terms of the set list and how it’s sort of sprawled out over the course of the evening – is pretty special and unique. I think all and all, between the fights and the performance, it’s going to balance out into a pretty exciting experience.”
Triller is attempting to create a new stream of fighting with Triad Combat, where athletes compete in a triangular ring with two-minute rounds. It’s similar to boxing – with only hand strikes allowed – but additional freedom to fight in the clinch is meant to create more action and damage.
Trujillo, who boasts UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas as his favorite current athlete to watch compete, said he’s captivated by the concept.
“To me, it opens all the doors on combat sports,” Trujillo said. “I think it’s really cool. It’s new and different, and if you think about it it’s really bringing professional fighters together from different genres of the fight game. That, to me, is very interesting. We’ll have to see how it pans out.”
Triller co-founder and principal Ryan Kavanaugh previously told MMA Junkie that he takes pride in allowing the musical acts associated with his events to have creative freedom. There are certain guidelines that must be followed for a live production in terms of timing and flow, but outside of that, the artists are given the keys to the car.
Trujillo said Triller’s flexibility fell right in line with how Metallica conducts business. He’s eager to put on a stellar show for both a live and pay-per-view audience, and the goal is turn anyone being exposed to Metallica for the first time into a permanent fan.
“Metallica always – we always end up doing things our way,” Trujillo said. “The choice of songs will definitely come from us. We want to keep things interesting. There’s going to be people who aren’t as familiar with us and there’s going to be fans who know the music of Metallica. It’s an opportunity to connect with new fans and have people experience our music, maybe for people who are only familiar with the hip-hop universe and those performers.”
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