No one’s going to really argue that Jason Newsted got a bit of a raw deal during his time with Metallica. Imagine having your dream come true getting to join your favorite band, and then the first record they put you on you’re edited out so that no one can hear what you’re doing on And Justice For All.
Though The Black Album may have raked in the big bucks eventually, Jason still at the time had some reservations about going in a more radio-friendly direction.
In a recent interview, Jason says he wasn’t in love with the more radio-friendly tracks like ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters,’ saying “I struggled with ‘Nothing Else Matters’; I knew it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – it was undeniable – but I was kinda scared of it, to be honest, because I still wanted ‘CRUNCH!’ ‘Sandman’ I thought was kinda corny, honestly.”
Any band can get over just playing the song in the studio, but it becomes a bit of a different story once you take to the road, with Jason mentioning how grueling it was doing these songs over and over:
“I liked playing the songs and I could raise myself up for the people to play the songs for them. But ‘Enter Sandman’ for the 1,000th time… it kinda wears on you.”
Outside of the sound change though, Jason was still pretty grateful to be a part of the project, praising some of the heavier stuff on the album, going so far as to say “I’m going to go back to ‘Sad But True,’ because that’s my highlight of the whole project, because of the weight.”
Jason was also fairly complimentary of what producer Bob Rock brought to the table, saying in the Black Album documentary (11:25) that “the other records were absolutely beautiful, but it was more of a wall of a sound…very low bass frequency. When Bob came into the picture, bass frequencies also came into the picture.”
For all of the rockstar perks that he got out of the The Black Album, it wasn’t enough to really save Jason’s spirit with the band, finally coming to a head in the St. Anger-era when he finally cut ties with the band for good.
Jason might not have been the most appreciated member of Metallica in his time, but being a part of one of the biggest metal albums of all time probably doesn’t hurt either.