Jason Newsted Shares The Only Way For His Return To Metallica
During a recent interview with Metal Hammer, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted revealed his only condition to rejoin the band is related to the drummer Lars Ulrich. Also, the rocker said he never listened to Metallica albums after he departed from the group.
In the early part of his music career, Jason Newsted performed bass for Flotsam and Jetsam on their 1986 debut album, ‘Doomsday for the Deceiver.’ He was given credit for writing most of the album and stood out as the band’s primary songwriter, besides his bass duties. At the same time, Metallica was dealing with the tragic loss of their bassist Cliff Burton. Then, they began auditioning for a new member to fill his shoes.
Although a promising future was waiting for him in Flotsam and Jetsam, Newsted decided to give it a shot with Metallica. He later won the position as the new bassist of the band. The group’s first studio album featuring Jason Newsted was the 1988 record, ‘…And Justice for All,’ which was subject to criticism due to the barely audible bass parts.
The bassist also appeared in Metallica’s ‘The Black’ album, which launched the band to their highest fame. His tenure within the band continued until his sudden departure came in 2001. The exact reasons for his exit were never fully explained, though. He was unhappy with his lack of creative input. He also wanted to take time from Metallica to focus on his side project, and other band members rejected this situation, eventually leading him to quit the group.
During a new interview, Jason Newsted reflected on whether he listens to Metallica albums that came out after his departure. The bassist said he never listens to the songs from the band anymore. The rocker just ran into a piece from the band’s ‘St. Anger’ album, but he didn’t like it much since he moved away from that kind of aggressive style. The bassist still likes heavy songs, but not as much as he used to.
In addition, Newsted revealed that he is still in touch with Lars Ulrich, and the drummer is supportive of his works. Moreover, the former bass player said he would play with Metallica under one condition. Should Lars Ulrich ask him to rejoin, Newsted would happily play with Metallica. However, he doesn’t think he’d say yes to anyone else from the band.
When asked whether he listens to Metallica albums, Jason Newsted replied:
“Never. I heard the one where they made the video in prison. I heard one song with my dad while we were riding in the car in Michigan because the radio is still pretty wed to Metallica, and it went on for f*cking ever. It was eight minutes on the radio, and I went, ‘What the f*ck are they doing?’ No disrespect, but I didn’t get it.
It was maybe harking back to the longer songs, aggression, and tempo. And that stuff takes a lot of energy to play, and with James going up and down the fretboard like that, no one can touch it. I have a lot of respect for that thing, but I am quite a distance away from that type of music now. I still like my heavy songs, but I sing for real now.
I play the bass right up high and sing those backing vocals way up high. I still love Sepultura and stuff, but it isn’t the way I used to. I’d be happy to join them to do that stuff if they wanted me to. I still talk to Lars a fair bit, send him my stuff, and he’s always super-supportive. I appreciate it, and I respect his opinion. If he called me and asked if I wanted to throw down, I’d say yes, but I’m not sure if I’d say yes to anyone else.”
Jason Newsted’s surprise departure left Metallica in a tight spot, yet the bassist didn’t cut his ties with the band entirely. He later joined the band on stage during their 30th anniversary shows in San Fransisco in 2011. Now, he admitted to considering reuniting with them if Ulrich asked.