Former Bassist Calls Metallica ‘The Best Garage Duo Ever’

Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has taken aim at his former band, saying it was all about frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich – while the other members were treated like second-class citizens.

“This is what always happened in Metallica: There’s two people, they go into a room — it literally is 70 or 80 feet square with a drum set and Marshall stacks and the old Tascam recorder eight-track,” Newsted says. “It was them – that’s always been the sound of the band, with two other guys over here to complement, embellish, whatever you want to call it. The best garage duo ever.”

As proof, Newsted points to his first effort with the group, 1998’s …And Justice For All. He says he recorded “throbbing” bass tracks for the album; however, when the production was complete, his contributions were buried in the mix. “As far as the body and the depth and the girth of the bass frequencies, they didn’t exist in Metallica albums other than the bass drum,” he says.