Ending weeks of speculation, Metallica has chosen former Ethiopian Emperor Halie Selassie as their new bass player. The search began back in 2011 when bassist extraordinaire Robert Trujillo left the band after being named US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. The band had auditioned over 30,000 potential bass players before finally settling yesterday on Selassie. Selassie, who died in 1975, was known for shepherding his nation through a war with Italy and years of internal strife as well as being a member of Ethiopia’s top Metallica cover band “Purify”.
Selassie remains a controversial figure in the metal community since he ordered Metallica to stop using chemical weapons against Megadeth back in 2009. He has always been wildly popular among large sections of the Rastafarian metal community, but is universally despised by most Italian Fascist metalheads. Selassie is perhaps best known for his speech in 1936 in front of the League of Nations where he argued that Iron Maiden, not Manowar, should be considered the rightful Kings of Metal.
Selassie will begin his tenure in Metallica next month when the band gets to work on recording its next album “Exile in Ponyland”. The new record, due to come out sometime in late 2013, is a concept album that is based on both the popular My Little Pony toy series and Dante’s Inferno. The album’s story will focus on the travels of Starlight and Bright Eyes Pony as they journey through the darkest regions of hell. On their journey, they meet and befriend several lovable, unforgettable characters that are suffering eternal damnation.
Unlike some previous Metallica bassists, Selassie will be a major part of the songwriting process. He has an impeccable reputation throughout the music industry as a top-flight songwriter and has even scored Top 40 hits in the 1970s with the song “Devil Went Down To Georgia”, performed by The Charlie Daniels Band, and in the 1990s with the song “Crossroads”, recorded by Bone Thugs’n’Harmony.
Many different bass players applied for the job, including several well-known names. Veteran actor Burt Reynolds was initially considered a shoe-in for the job, but fell out of contention last month when he and guitarist Dom DeLuise joined Corrosion of Conformity. Former Pittsburgh Steeler coach Bill Cowher, 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill and Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman were all leading candidates for the position, but Selassie was able to win out due to his leadership and vision for the future of the band.