During an interview with Metal Hammer, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was asked about the controversy surrounding the bass mix on …And Justice for All. Upon initially hearing the record, Newsted says, “I was fucking livid, are you kidding me?”
At one point during his interview, Jason Newsted is asked how he felt upon first hearing …And Justice for All and how he feels about it now. In case you do not know, the bass mix on the album is nearly inaudible (which has made for some big controversy). Newsted was also asked how he feels about the fan remixes people have been making, titled …And Justice For Jason.
This is what Jason Newsted shared in response:
“I love people’s enthusiasm, their determination, their love and their appreciation. 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.
“I don’t even think they realised, in their drunken stupor, what they were doing, but they made the best garage band album ever. 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.
“They always made the records that way, from [1983 demo cassette] No Life ’Til Leather, it was Lars and James, guitar and drums. 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… 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…?
“Back then, I was fucking livid, are you kidding me? I was ready for throats, man. Because I thought I did a good job. But, up until it got to Metallica, I had only ever played one take on the bass. In Flotsam I wrote the song on bass and the guitar player covered the part I wrote. I never knew any other way, until I met Bob Rock, and then I could see how he made the bass its own thing. I didn’t know what the bass player did until about 15 years ago!”
What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding …And Justice for All, as well as Jason Newsted’s thoughts on the album?
In that same interview, Jason Newsted also brings up his thoughts on the band’s St. Anger album. Upon first hearing music off that record, he said, “What the fuck are they doing?”