In the final segment of the in-depth conversation on the Talk Toomey Podcast, Newsted lays out the roadmap Metallica took to climb to the pinnacle of rock music and explains how every accomplishment was earned.
The fourth and final segment of the comprehensive discussion with Jason Newsted, formerly of Metallica, on the Talk Toomey Podcast appropriately begins with an overall assessment of how unique not just the band was, but how a phenomenon like The Black Album will likely never happen again.
As for the elements of the equation that amounted to such a cultural sea change, the bassist drills down the factors that ensured Metallica’s greatness was not a coincidence. He explains that Metallica had put in the work from the very beginning – going back to 1983, cultivating a cult-like base with Kill ‘Em All and generating momentum in Europe by grinding it out with less than glamorous touring routes.
Newsted also roped in the entirety of the Metallica team in having the same kind of work ethic. He shared that everyone had the same vision of being victorious and had no issue with putting in the exhausting hours to do so. In fact, Newsted detailed that by the Justice-era, Metallica had already touched down in 35 countries.
The bassist also shared that the arrangements that management put together was integral to Metallica’s success. It was there job to find the resources to better increase the reach of the band and they did so in a way that never compromised the integrity of Metallica. They needed to find the people globally that would be receptive to guitar music and find a means to connect the dots – they set ’em up, Metallica knocked ’em down.
Then Newsted explained how important it was to understand that Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” was their softest song. “The softest song broke down the tallest, strongest barriers for ‘Battery’ and ‘Fight Fire with Fire’ to get through.” Explaining how Metallica emerged into the consciousness of the mainstream broader the audience, Newsted said it worked because now you had an audience that discovered the band through the radio, only adding to the audience that still followed the band based on their underground notoriety. The touring went from 35 countries to 50 countries.
Newsted would also credit their predecessors like AC/DC and Iron Maiden for blazing a trail in spreading the experience of heavy music in countries that had allowed Western rock music. He said that it was their ability to create an audience that allowed a Metallica to have the kind of reach they did.
Lastly, and chiefly, Newsted said the attitude among the individuals that comprised Metallica was always that of never wanting to be the weak one onstage. The band had a commitment not only to the collective but to themselves as well that ensured their was never any lag in their progress. Everyone pulled their weight and then some – that was the standard. He punctuates all those factors by framing it simply, “that is why we are talking about this 30 years later.”
To close out the conversation, host Josh Toomey had to discuss Newsted’s connection to Arizona thrash veterans Flotsam and Jetsam, specifically the Michael Gilbert and the premium quality of album like The End of Chaos and Blood In the Water. Newsted talked about revisiting music with the Flotsam guys for a reunion gig and confided that the excitement to play heavy music again, really resonated with him. Using the descriptor of “snap” Newsted explain that element was what he brought to the table – “Snap”. It was something implemented in Flotsam and Jetsam and something he says confidently that Metallica lost when he left the band.
Stream the fourth and final segment of the Talk Toomey Podcast with special guest, Jason Newsted below.
The 30th anniversary edition of Metallica’s Black Album along with their Blacklist compilation album are currently available – HERE
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