Jason Newsted Calls James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich ‘The Original Garage Rock Duo’

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Jason Newsted Calls James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich 'The Original Garage Rock Duo'
(images: Matthew Baker/Mairo Cinquetti)

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted praised his old bandmates, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, naming both musicians “the original garage rock duo.”

Jason Newsted joined Metallica when the band’s late bassist Cliff Burton passed away in a bus accident in 1986. He played as a member of the band for over 15 years until he parted ways in 2001. Throughout his stint with Metallica, the bassist released eleven albums in total, four of which are studio albums.

When Newsted joined the band during the mid-1980s, Metallica had already released its first three studio albums Kill ‘Em AllRide The Lightning, and Master of Puppets. It means that his first album was going to be the band’s fourth album, …And Justice For All. As the bass lines had an important role in the album released in 1988, his works attracted huge attention from Metallica fans, and his contribution to the album was undeniable, as he received positive critics after the release of …And Justice For All.

However, during his interview with Metal Hammer, Jason sent praiseworthy comments for Metallica‘s founding members, Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. At first, the bassist reacted to people’s respect for him. He says that talking about the first album he recorded for the band still makes him feel great.

“I love people’s enthusiasm, their determination, their love and their appreciation,” the bassist comments. “If the Justice album had been mixed like a regular record, we wouldn’t be talking about it to this day. But because that isn’t the case – and I don’t necessarily think that’s that big a deal – we’re still talking about it all these years later.”

Jason Newsted’s Praising Words For James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich

Newsted is sure about that …And Justice For All is still a great album by Metallica. He named the album “the best garage album Metallica ever made.” He also names James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich rock duo and sends respects to his friends.

 

“I don’t even think they realised, in their drunken stupor, what they were doing, but they made the best garage band album ever,” Jason admits. “Black Keys, White Stripes, whatever power duo, garage rock stuff you wanna mention, James and Lars were the original garage rock duo, as far as that goes.”

He then reveals Lars Ulrich‘s hand-written sentence on the band’s 1983-released demo cassette, No Life ‘Til Leather, that reads, “turn bass down on stereo.”

“They always made the records that way, from No Life ’Til Leather, it was Lars and James, guitar and drums,” Newsted continues. “On the original cassette, in Lars’ handwriting, in ink pen, on the label [it reads] ‘Turn bass down on stereo.’ On Life ’Til Leather! It’s just been that way their entire lives. They made Kill ’Em All that way, Ride [The Lightning]… that way, Master Of Puppets that way… all those two guys in a room, over and over, and you’re gonna argue with the most successful of all time…?”

James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich’s Getting Mad At Jason Newsted

Elsewhere in the interview, Jason Newsted revealed the time James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich got mad at him after he recorded without his bandmates. At the time, Jason only wanted to play music with his friend Devin Townsend, but it was not okay for James and Lars because if you are in Metallica, you only have to play with Metallica. He also revealed that it was the time when he established The Chophouse for the first time.

 

“I had just established the Chophouse in ’92 and by ’94 we had all the gear,” he recalls. “Devin came down at the age of about 22 and was an absolute fucking maniac… dude, an hour-and-a-half of sleep a day for a whole week! And every time he would pick up a guitar you get, ‘Widdle widdle widdle’ and you’re like, ‘Dude, where in the hell did that come from?! Now play it backwards!’

“The guys got wind of it, and Lars said, ‘You gotta come up to the house,’” Newsted says. “I didn’t really know what it was for, so I take my bass and go up there: ‘What’s up, guys?’ ‘Dude, you know you’re in Metallica now, don’t you? You can’t just be making music and sending out tapes to whatever fucker with whichever fucker. You do understand that, right?’ ‘Oh!’

According to him, he was broke down after James and Lars‘ that behavior: “I didn’t realize at all! I didn’t know about the politics; I was just sharing some metal with my friends! I pretty much broke down on that day in front of Lars and James. I was like, ‘I’m sorry, it won’t happen again!’ And that was the first time.”

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