Jason Newsted Reflects On ‘Egotistical’ Sides Of James Hetfield And Lars Ulrich
Jason Newsted joined Metallica’s YouTube channel for an interview and talked about working with his former band members on the making of their 1991 album, ‘Metallica.’
Jason Newsted joined Metallica after the tragic death of their bassist Cliff Burton in 1986. Following the incident, the band members’ grief was so intense that they couldn’t get over it for a very long time. Therefore, they reflected this in their actions towards the newly recruited Newsted by channeling their anger towards him or dismissing his ideas. As a result, Newsted couldn’t tolerate the way he was treated and eventually left in 2001.
Although the fans thought there was still bad blood between Newsted and the band, the remastered release of ‘The Black Album’ seems to have brought them back together in a healthy relationship. His fans are now used to seeing Newsted on Metallica’s YouTube channel as he did an unboxing video of ‘The Black Album-Remastered Deluxe Box Set’ and talked about their time together.
Recently, Newsted made an appearance on the channel again for an interview. In the interview, he talked about working with the band for their 1991 album. The bassist then stated that James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich had the self-confidence that he needed to adapt to produce something better than Metallica’s previous works. He continued to say that he was a hard worker, but he needed to have that ‘posture’ to really merge with the band.
Here is what Newsted said in the interview about his hard work in the band:
“You have to do the things you got to do to prove yourself in that kind of a club. And I did, and so going into that, I felt better, I felt more confident, I was feeling way better about the positioning of my bass in the orchestra, that type of thing. And I was ready for Bob to show me what it really took. I was ready for it, he was right there to tell me.
I had hit that point as my comprehension of bass, I never let my chops go, I always kept playing. I always practiced, I always tried, I never wanted to be off. When those guys asked me to play something, I’m right there, we’re not messing around, no questions, just, ‘Yeah, I got it.’“
He then talked about Hetfield and Ulrich’s ego, saying:
“So that was super important, so I knew that going in that’s how I was going to do it. The only thing I would say was most noticeable, that you of course noticed by now, was the posturing. There had to be that certain posturing, you got these egos of this already accomplished unit as Metallica, you had the individual posturing of Lars and James inside that.
The first album says ‘co-produced by Hatfield or Ulrich,’ something like that. They started getting into that place because Bob’s coming in posturing with his ego and his accomplishments. So we got the inner workings of the big workings, posturing, everybody knows the potential – ‘Master of Puppets’ did this, what it did to the real authentic people that want to hear that shit!
That set everybody on fire that knew better. That posture for the ‘Justice’ they had and because of the thing with Cliff, there was so much focus on what was going to happen with this incredibly promising band.
And then they knew that so ‘Justice’ did really good and toured it even better, then the record sold like holy crap, even though it was going so fast and sounded like that, it had one on it, and then the video came, and so it blew up. And so what’s going to happen next? They could only go forward. They can only go up.
So let’s invest all this money in this producer, give them a point or two on the record, and then pull any of these other guys. And this dude, this professional thing, and rent out the most expensive studio you can in Los Angeles for nine months, and whatever the hell all went down. Posture, posture, posture, posture. And then it had to work itself out inside the walls, inside the four-foot thick walls.”
You can watch the full interview below.