Per a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, prog-rocker Devin Townsend reflects on his relationship with that of ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. Back in the day, while Newsted was in Metallica, he and Devin jammed together in a side project called IR8; when Metallica caught wind of this project, Lars Ulrich ended up giving Jason an earful.
Via this new interview, Devin reflects on his time working with Newsted and mentions how the rock star life Jason was living was having an impact on the bassist. Speaking to the pressures Jason endured while in Metallica, Devin says, “I don’t wish that level of success on anybody.” Here is everything Townsend had to say regarding Jason Newsted and the struggles of stardom:
“I love Jason, man. He was a really kind guy to me. Didn’t take long for us to realize that we were very different, though. And I think that, at that point, we ran out of things that we needed to say together.
“But when we met at a crossroads in our life, we were the right people for each other for a couple of years there. And it was nice, he was a very kind guy, man. He was really a sweetheart. But he was going through all that rockstar shit too with Metallica and all that stuff. There was an era where that existed, and I struggle with it, because it seems like a weird, psychological affliction, to have that level of success.
“You’re ostracized by that success to the point where your personality becomes very much determined by all of that stuff. And I don’t wish that level of success on anybody, man. And the people that I’ve known that have had that level of success all sort of share a similar group of personality traits that, I think, make it difficult to be friends, like really close friends.”
What do you make of Townsend’s thoughts and perspective (regarding the pressures placed upon Jason while he was in Metallica)?