Jason Newsted Shares Why He Thinks Metallica Was “Best Garage Duo Ever”
via ThatRemasterGuy / Youtube
In his time, Jason Newsted, the former bassist of Metallica, characterized the band as the finest two-piece ensemble in a garage, emphasizing the significance of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich’s musical contributions.
Newsted’s association with the “Justice for Jason” controversy will always endure. This stems from his debut album as a member of Metallica in 1988, titled …And Justice for All, where his bass contributions were significantly diminished during the mixing process.
In a recent episode of Let There Be Talk, he mentioned that Metallica’s albums lacked prominent bass until the release of the Black Album. He acknowledged that bassist Cliff Burton’s presence was evident during bass solos and other leading sections, but he argued that in terms of overall richness and depth in the bass frequencies, it was absent in Metallica’s previous albums except for the bass drum.
Newsted remembered recording bass parts with a pulsating rhythm for Justice and handing them over to the mixing team, allowing him to be absent during the process. He had not anticipated the outcome, though.
Nevertheless, he pondered on the familiar pattern within Metallica where two individuals would enter a room—an expansive space measuring approximately 70 or 80 feet—with a drum set, Marshall stacks, and the old Tascam recorder eight-track.
He acknowledged their proficiency in this approach, as the demos they created using this modest setup were remarkable. According to Newsted, this has always been the band’s distinctive sound, with the addition of two other members who contributed to complement and enhance the music in their ways.
Reflecting on the concept of justice, Newsted compared Metallica’s musical intention and popular duos like the White Stripes and the Black Keys. He acknowledged the talent of those groups but expressed his belief that Metallica excelled in this regard.
From his current standpoint as a fan and his experience both within and outside the band, he described Metallica as the finest garage duo ever, with the best garage duo album ever.
Watch his full interview below.