Given the way former bassists in other bands have been treated by — and talk about — their former bandmates, it’s always nice to see someone speak so highly of their former compatriots. Such is the case with former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, who was seemingly overflowing with pride and happiness for his friends during a recent interview on a recent episode of SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” (transcribed by Blabbermouth).
“I’ve texted back and forth with Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] the last couple of days. We try to stay in touch — he and I do — and talk about whatever. He’s interested in [my] art a lot; he’s always been very supportive of that, so I’m grateful. But also with the music stuff… And I know that his sons [who have their own band called Taipei Houston] — I’m a fan of them and they’re fans of my stuff, and that’s a cool thing. It’s an incredible thing, actually. And I’ve got nothing but mad respect. That’s it. That’s what I’ve got. And I’m so frickin’ proud of those guys. Still cutting it like that, man? C’mon now. And taking this big of a bite and going for shows all the way up through — what? — fall of ’24 or something? Frickin’ huge balls, dude. Incredible. How can’t you applaud that? … I’m always surprised. It was obviously meant to be. Who has this kind of staying power? I mean, it’s such a unique thing — such a unique thing.”
If anyone ever wanted to shit on Metallica, Jason would absolutely be able to do it. In the past, Newsted’s said he felt like the odd man out ever since he joined the band in 1986 following the death of Cliff Burton until he quit in 2001. These days, even the band will acknowledge that Jason was regularly treated as the whipping boy after taking up Cliff’s spot — and that’s not even getting into the butchery they did to his bass parts in …And Justice For All.
Still, he seems to be in good spirits about his former bandmates. Even though he departed, they opted to bring Jason in to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them back in 2009, along with his replacement Rob Trujillo.
Speaking of Trujillo, Newsted was asked if he’d had any discussions with him about how to approach Metallica songs on bass. Rather than trash the question for being kinda dumb considering how good Trujillo is in his own right, Newsted was candid with his answer, saying those chats never happened.
“We haven’t really had conversations with that kind of detail before. No. They sound killer right now. They have for a while live. They’ve got a great thing going, man, for real. It sounds killer.”
Newsted was recently in the headlines for announcing that he was bringing back his solo project Newsted for one show later this year. We don’t know if he’s going to keep that band going moving forward, but it’s great to see the guy playing heavy music yet again.