Metallica Producer Shares Theory On Jason Newsted’s ‘Non-Existent’ Bass Lines

A new theory about Jason Newsted emerged just recently.

The band’s producer Flemming Rasmussen worked with the band for three of their albums, including ‘…And Justice for All.’ While recording the album, the bass parts were lowered down so much that it was almost inaudible.

In a recent YouTube interview with Daniel Sarkissian, the producer shared a theory about why he believed James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich wanted the bass to be practically ‘non-existent.’ He said:

“I think — but this is purely speculation — I think that they did it to get some kind of reaction from Jason. Because what they hated the most about Jason was that he was a fan.”

He added:

“He was never disagreeing or anything, or stating his own opinion. I think they were waiting for him to kind of state his place in the band… I think they probably did it to get a reaction, and when it didn’t come, that was the way the album turned out.”

Rasmussen also remembered that Newsted simply accepted the album as it was because he was excited to be part of Metallica.

What Newsted Thinks About The Bass Parts

Metallica didn’t wait long to find a new bassist after Cliff Burton’s death. They played their first gig with Jason Newsted about six weeks later, on November 8, 1986, at the Country Club in California.

However, Newsted got pranked a lot, like being called ‘Master J. Newkid’ in the liner notes for his first recorded output with the band, 1987’s ‘The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited.’

But it got worse when ‘…And Justice for All,’ Newsted’s first full album with Metallica, had a mix that made his bass parts inaudible. Years later, he sat down to talk about his parts in the album and saw those sessions as part of his growth as a musician:

“There was nobody there to work parts out with or discuss how this or that was going to sound. It was just ‘record your bass’ and that’s that. I just knew about playing bass really fast, like guitar — basically everybody playing the same thing like a sonic wall. So, it ended up with everything being in the same frequency, my bass and James’ guitar battling for the same frequency.”

You can see the interview below.