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JASON NEWSTED - 1989


You are the latest member of the band. How did you get in the band? Did you audition or had they heard of your reputation? 

Both. 

When you came in, were there any expectations that you had to meet? 

Well naturally somebody had to be able to be strong enough to take on what was about to happen. Not just somebody that could play but somebody that also was able to take it mentally as far as taking Cliff's place, living up to all the people in the family and all the crew people and all. There was forty or forty-five people tried out and they wanted to find someone that could take it in all aspects, ya know. They had a million people that could go veroumarrarr and all that shit, but that's only part of it, actually. 

How do you like what's coming out of the band now? 

It's great. 

How long ago did you start playing bass? 

About 8 years ago. I was eighteen, and I'm twenty-six now, so... 

So you're sort of a late bloomer then. 

More less, I got a bass when I was thirteen but I never played it. 

Who are some of your influences? 

Geezer Butler, Geddy Lee, Chris Flawyer, well Gene Simmons had a lot to do with it in the early days. Now days it's James Jameson, and Philmo Johnstub. 

What kind of training did you get? 

No training. 

When you're on tour, they say that you don't get enough time to practice and be innovative because all the time you're either warming up or you're on stage or doing something. 

No, What I usually like to do when ever I fuck around with stuff is like do it in the hotel room or do it before the show. There's never any after the show. You're pretty much dead anyway. So that wouldn't make a difference, but before hand there's always time to mess around as far as the writing is concerned, but we're just out to do a live show right now. We're out to perform live and do our very best at that. When the writing comes around then we'll concentrate on writing and that's all we're goina do. We're going to be writing while we're doing shows, you know it's one day at a time and put your hundred and twenty billion percent in to what your doing. So that what it's all about. 

What was your worst on-stage experience? 

We were playing in this high school gym in Vermont and it was easily a hundred and ten degrees on stage, and all the sudden, somehow, the radio transmitters got fucked up. We let the Cult borrow one of 'em or something like that and they left it turned on the same channel as mine, and so none of my basses would work. So I started throwing my basses and shit and I was starting to get really pissed off. It was like during "Fade To Black," and that's a very huge thing for bass. You know, for "Fade To Black" if the bass isn't there it's kinda weak. So nothing would work. I tried every bass I had and I was just totally frustrated, beside not being able to breath, and a lot of people being pissed off. So you know, it wasn't too good of a gig. 
Then about two weeks ago, we played an outdoor show somewhere around here, Tippet, New Hampshire or something, and there were these mayflies. It was up state New York now that I think about it. Mayflies. I don't know if you know what they are; little gold clear bugs that look like mosquitoes, but they don't bite. All the sudden, when we started playing, it was totally dark out and all the huge lights came on, and these bug came out and they were just easily, like, fifty-thousand, maybe seventy-five thousand of these bugs within the stage area, just in the stage area where we where playing. Like, I swallowed about six of 'em. It was like total thick black bugs, and it was totally covered in thick black bugs from the bus to the car, and when we're trying to play and shit right, and then they're all crawling in your hair and just fucking everywhere. It's really fucked. You can't play. The whole, all the ground was covered with them we're like slippen' all over the stage. 

You said, you were playing in a gym??? 

More less, it was like a gym. It was, like, were the high school played there games and stuff. 

What was Metallica doing playing a gym? 

It was Vermont and it was one of the places. We got this little thing going; that we want to play all fifty states on this tour. On "...Justice For All" so we played this place in Vermont because it was the only place we could play there. We're playing some club somewhere pretty soon too, because it's the only place we can play in that state. It's about a thousand people fast in there seats. 

I guess they'll be fighting for tickets there. 

They're probably not going to even announce it 'till an hour before the show. 

What kind of furniture do you have in your living room? 

Umm, cool TV. Cool stereo TV, big couch, bunch of basses that's about it. Don't even have any cool chairs we have a lazy boy one. I haven't even been home for two years, so... 

What inspired the song on the latest album "Dyers Eve?" 

That has to do with James, a lot. It's all about his inner feelings and stuff, you'd have to ask him about it, ya know. I can really comment. It has to do a lot with he's personal life. 

What gave you the idea to do the cover song album (Garage Days)? 

It was just some silly thing. We all been off the road, and we were all like dead and shit. We wanted to get back in to it. You know the story about the garage and everything, you know it was some place to practice, and so to get warmed up again, to get, well you know, hang out again and play loud we just started messing with a bunch of cover songs, and they were pretty cool, and we hadn't had a produced out for a while, so we just said, ya know, fuck, this sounds pretty cool, why don't we just do it and put it out. In one day, I did all tracks in four hours or something. I just blew 'em out. Just for silliness, and that's pretty much how it came out too and you could tell it was done just to be silly. 

Aren't there parts on that album that you guys just left wrong? 

Ohh, I'm sure. There's pieces all over that thing that people are just playing wrong. I sure there's a few that I played totally wrong, I just said fuck it, cause you know. 

On the "Doomsday For The Deceiver" album you had pretty much a hand in writing everything, but on "...And Justice For All" you were only mentioned as putting work in on "Blackened." Do you plan on do more of the writing with Metallica? 

Absolutely. A lot of the songs that were written for "...Justice For All" were written on the "Master Of Puppets" tour when Cliff was still in the band and stuff. We get all our tapes together and who ever comes up with the coolest shit, that's obviously the stuff we're going to use, what ever is the most appealing stuff, and James comes up with some pretty sick shit ya know, and so does Kirk, so it's just a matter, it's just up to me to write cooler stuff then them. It comes down to, we just use what ever is the very best, 'cause we have ideas for days, but just, you have to, ya know, sift through them or what ever and figure out what's best. 

How are you dealing with the success that you have and with people coming up to you on the street? 

It's alright. I mean, I'm trying to handle it. It's not the easiest thing sometimes, because sometimes you get in moods you know like playing every fucking day, and after a while meeting hundreds of people and stuff like that, you get kinda freaked out about it, and sometimes you're in a mood that you just don't want to talk to anybody, you know. You just want to be yourself, and just hangout if you want to hang out, and sometimes that can't happen, and so it's a matter of just getting yourself to give people the time of day, even if you feel totally shitty inside. No matter what has happened to you that day, or anything, but you gotta still be nice because that's part of you're job too. I just kinda try to look at it like that. I try to keep my wits about me and try not to get too cool. 

What are the plans for the band after you finish this tour? 

We're going to hibernate for a while. Because this thing ends up being sixteen or seventeen months total and it's continuous. So, we're gonna go home and do the little things that we need to do like drive our trucks and shit like that. You know, things you guys take for granite like going to the grocery store or riding your bike or doing whatever, man, playing with the cats, playing with the dogs, roving in your truck, you know, cool shit like that. I'm goina shoot some guns, ya know, what ever. We're goina hibernate for a bit and than get back to writing. After a couple months, then all depending on how the writing goes, that's when is going to determine when you're going to see another record. Nobody can really figure anything. The writing could happen in two weeks, or the writing could happen in two years. 

What's your favorite Metallica song? 

Orion. 

Why is that? Is it because it has a very powerful bass line? 

Yea. 

Is it your favorite to play too? 

I can't play it worth shit. The lead bass line in that, and I heard it seven-hundred thousand times, every time I hear it, it still gives me huge goose bumps. In the [imitates the high bass solo] part I just go "oh fuck."

 

 

 

 

 

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