Ex-Metallica Bassist Shares How Tension In Band Sprung From Collab With Devin Townsend

Metallica bassist
Jason Newsted: Achim Raschka / CC-BY-SA-4.0 (//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13-06-09_RaR_Newsted_15.jpg)/ Lars Ulrich: Metallica Facebook
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In an exclusive interview with Metal Hammer, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was asked about his career and work on the Metallica Black Album. At one point, the ex-Metallica bassist brought up a story involving that of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, in which the latter got heated with him when he learned that Newsted was creating music outside of Metallica.

The ex-Metallica bassist starts with sharing how he was working with a friend (none other than Devin Townsend) and creating tracks that would end up forming a demo under the banner of IR8 (as in, ‘irate’). At this time, Newsted was in Metallica – this would have been 1994, so it would have been sometime after the release of The Black Album.

Newsted talks about the excitement he felt about this project with Devin Townsend – that is until his fellow Metallica bandmates found out about said project. As the ex-Metallica bassist puts it in the interview:

“The guys got wind of it,” Newsted explains, “and Lars said, ‘You gotta come up to the house.’ 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!’

“I didn’t realise 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.”

It’s wild to hear an artist get so upset when another artist just wants to create art and have fun with friends. Granted, it seems like things have changed in the band now, given that Kirk Hammett just released some solo material.

Recently, the ex-Metallica bassist also shared how he found “Enter Sandman” on The Black Album to be “kinda corny.” You can read more of that story via the link below.

Ex-Metallica Bassist Feels Metallica Song “Enter Sandman” Is “Kinda Corny”


Words by: Michael Pementel