Former METALLICA/VOIVOD Bassist Jason Newsted - "I’m One Of Those That Only Likes The First Three Albums And Doesn’t Like The Band As Much After Cliff (Burton) Died"
January 13, 2013, 3 years ago
In a recent interview with The Classic Metal Show, former METALLICA/VOIVOD bassist Jason Newsted offered some surprising frank discussion about the release of the DVD Some Kind Of Monster and the disrespect he felt from his former bandmates with it's release. Additionally, Newsted confronted the idea of hardcore fans that don't respect his era with the band. Check out the chat below:
Here's an excerpt from the chat:
The Classic Metal Show: There are two camps of Metallica fans, and they all are seemingly centered on the exact moment when you joined the band. There are those that will say that Jason Newsted absolutely was the 'metal' in Metallica for his 15 or 16 years. There’s also those that will say that Metallica went from being the best to sucking when Jason Newsted joined the band.
Jason Newsted: "Wow! I haven’t heard that! OK!
The Classic Metal Show: Dude, I’m telling you as someone that is a fan, loves everything, and is one of the few that will actually go out there and sing the praises of Load and Reload…the hardcores hate that stuff. How do you address the hardcore fans that only embrace Kill 'Em All and Ride The Lightning; basically just the first three albums.
Jason Newsted: "That’s pretty funny. Now that I hear you say that, I’m kind of calculating all this. I’m one of those that only likes the first three albums and doesn’t like the band as much after Cliff (Burton) died. I’m on that camp. I’m proud of the records that I made with those guys, and they’re cool for what they are. That’s not my main concern. I know that when I played live in front of people, I played like I was never going to get to play again and I crushed every fucker in front of me. I know that. That’s what’s important to me. It’s always been about taking that to the people. That is really the priority of it all. We know that one man’s fate is another man’s destiny. Cliff’s fate was my destiny. That’s just the way it worked out. It’s sad that people are so small minded about not just appreciating other history. Also, looking at the ebbs to the situation in a human manner, I rescued them and they rescued me; when I joined. When I left, I rescued them again and they rescued me again. I was addicted to painkillers. James was drunk as hell. It was all a mess with divorces and having first babies and all kinds of crazy, ugly things that brought on our separation...our divorce as it were. There’s so many factors that people don’t realize within the thing. Cliff died. Did you want Metallica to stop? Do you think that those people with that attitude and that talent were just going to stop? Everybody’s got their opinions, and I am proud of them for having them. If you stood there like a freakin’ doormat, then I’m not really with it. I want you to be you. Stick to you. Stick to your opinions. Be true to your opinions. If you dig, like I dig, the Kill ‘Em All/Ride The Lightning/Master Of Puppets stuff, then right on. But don’t disrespect people that kick ass, and that have given so many millions of people joy around the world; way more joy than sadness. This is a big, big deal in our world that we were ambassadors of this music and continue to be, and take around this American music to the world. We show a lot of people that don’t really think much of us as Americans, we show them that we can rock and we’re not so bad. People need to look in the depths of things and see what it’s all about. The “liking Metallica then/liking Metallica now”, whatever. Peace man. There’s great new bands that are our spawn. Mastodon, The Sword, all that kind of stuff. You know, go dig them, man. If you don’t dig the new Metallica, peace. Carry on. Go listen to Emperor. There’s so much water under the bridge. 30 year career. We’re all in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, and we’re all standing tall and fit and everything. C’mon man. Who else can say that? Everybody can have their opinion. Any negativity to me is basically bullshit and it’s not necessary."
The Classic Metal Show: Some Kind Of Monster. Outside looking in, it seemed unnecessary and it seemed to paint you in a bad light as the reason the band fell apart. It almost seemed like they took band business and they put it out there in a way...there was a lot of bad shit going on with all of you guys, and it just seems like that should have been left behind the scenes.
Jason Newsted: "I agree with that. I have always been quite a reclusive person. I’ve always been accessible to fans. My repoir with the fans; that’s what I live, die and feel. As I rekindle it now on the social media with all these people, it’s why I do this. It’s that wonderful part of it. Ask me again, will you please, so I can get my answer the way I want.
The Classic Metal Show: More or less my question is do you wish that period of time had not been turned into a public display of you guys’ disjointedness at the time which led to you leaving the band?
Jason Newsted: "Yeah. I obviously was out of the band at that point, and I had no more say in the decision making or anything. Since I do keep things pretty personal and private, to do that like that and expose yourself in that way, I did not agree with that. Like I say, that was not my decision. I was long gone by then. I think there were some unsavoury moments in there. I’ve always tried to maintain the high road in this whole thing, and I will still. I’ll never forget that Metallica gave me my chance to be what I am and to have my career and to be talking to you now about my new music. But yeah...some of those decisions that were made about exposing your inner workings like that, I think it was detrimental. It doesn’t make a lot of sense considering what kind of band we were. We were always able to solve all of the issues within our own camp, dude. We were a pretty tough gang for a long, long time. We dominated the world as just us four. Doing those kinds of things and showing those kinds of weaknesses like that, it’s just not necessary. It really isn’t necessary for people to know that kind of stuff. The disrespect they showed to me in those things, that’s so long ago. Yeah, it got under my skin a little when I first saw it. I was like, “why are you guys doing that? I don’t understand what I’ve done get that thing.' I was always the first guy in, last guy out. I worked very hard for the band. I never, never put anything in front of the band. It was always my first priority. I missed my...ooohhh...getting a little touchy here. Let’s just say I missed some pretty important things; things like laying very close friends and family members to rest and different important things where I really should have been a part of it but instead would go and do an interview or go and do a photo session or carry a master tape across the country because nobody else wanted to do it. “Just get Jason to do it.” I always put the band first, so those guys forgetting about that that fast, I don’t know if they were just trying to lash out or get back at me or whatever in the collective. There is a thing in a group or a band. Whenever one person isn’t there to defend themselves, everyone else gangs up on them. I think that’s a very common thing in teams, and all that stuff. The one thing that I think people maybe don’t realize unless they are in groups or they have a good company that they are working with, there has to be a pressure valve in something that’s successful. Especially when there is so much male ego stuff going on, there has to be a diffuser. There has to be a pressure valve. I was that pressure valve, and I don’t know if they have one anymore. That was really part of the thing that made me what I was as far as the role I assumed in that band. When they did push me out front to do some of those things that everybody else didn’t want to do, little did they know that would build the great character in me that I have now - the people person skills and emotional capacity. I didn’t like it then, but I wouldn’t change it now because it built me to where I am now."
The Classic Metal Show is heard Saturdays from 9pm to 3am EST at Theclassicmetalshow.com.