The Day Lars Ulrich Could Not Ease His Anger After Jason Newsted Left Metallica
Metallica has an infamous past considering its bass players but there was one instance that drove drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich crazy; Jason Newsted’s decision to quit the band. Even though fans knew that the increasing tensions within the band would come to an end with a big decision, this is not what anyone had expected.
As you know, Jason Newsted was hired as Metallica’s bassist in October 1986, following the passing of Cliff Burton on September 27, 1986, who lost his life in a bus crash in Sweden while they were touring with the Master of Puppets. Cliff’s family had approved of Newsted and were glad that Metallica would continue making music, but Newsted decided to quit in 2001.
Why Did Jason Newsted Quit Metallica?
The reason why Newsted quit Metallica has been a matter of discussion. Initially, the bassist had said that he decided to quit the band because of ‘private and personal reasons and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love.’ However, it was recently revealed by Metallica’s former therapist Phil Towlethat the reasons were different.
Apparently, the band grieved very unhealthily following Cliff’s passing and they channeled their anger to Jason Newsted who soon became the ‘whipping boy‘ of the band. Tensions started increasing when Newsted expressed his wish to record an album with another band and in 2001, Newsted was done with Metallica and wasn’t even willing to sit down and calmly talk it through because he had had enough.
How Did Lars Ulrich React To Jason Newsted’s Decision To Quit Metallica?
One thing is for sure, that the band members were not happy to hear about Newsted’s departure right before they were about to start recording a new album. Jason was very firm on his decision and according to the ‘Metallica: Some Kind of Monster’ documentary, he made it clear to the rest of the members that he was ‘wounded.’
After hearing this, Kirk Hammett said that it’s up to Jason to ‘mend himself’ and find his way back into the band but he was interrupted by Lars Ulrich who started a huge rant. He said that it was Newsted who left the band and that there’s no way they are the bad guys. His mental breakdown was included as an extra to the DVD of the documentary and it has attracted a lot of attention on YouTube.
This is what Kirk Hammett said after they were told that Newsted is wounded:
“Yeah, but you know, it’s up to him to mend himself and we’re giving him every opportunity…”
Lars Ulrich interrupted him and started shouting:
“He fucking left the band. Which part of this… Hello? Do you know what I mean? He fucking left the band. Which part of that is forgotten? Which part of that got left out in the equation? When the fuck did we turn into the bad guys? I don’t understand that part. He fucking left the fucking band. Jesus Christ.”
You can watch Lars Ulrich’s rant below.