Jason Newsted recalls making Metallica's Black Album

A picture of former Metallica bass player Jason Newsted
Jason Newsted (Image credit: Getty)

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has recalled his favourite moments recording the band’s 1991 self-titled album.

Newsted says he was particularly pleased with the song My Friend Of Misery, which opens with his bass guitar and which he says was a “real accomplishment” in a band which had previously released …And Justice For All with the bass almost inaudible in the mix.

As the self-titled album, aka The Black Album, celebrates its 25th anniversary, Newsted tells Billboard: “It was the bass, by itself, introducing My Friend Of Misery, which was not the easiest thing to do at that time within that band.

“That was a moment where those guys kind of bowed and said, ‘Here you go, man, put your song on there,’ being the guy who came up with that. As opposed to being part of the team, I got to be myself for a minute there, which was a real accomplishment.”

The bassist – who was brought in to replace the late Cliff Burton in 1986 and quit in 2001 before being replaced by Robert Trujillo – says he is also proud of the way The Black Album opened the floodgates for heavy metal to reach an audience across the wider world.

He says: “We worked so hard on the record for so long, and to take that music around the world like we did was really, hugely powerful.

Nothing Else Matters was No.1 in 35 countries the same week or some shit and all of a sudden there’s countries calling that never would’ve entertained the thought of an American metal band playing in front of their kids, and they’re calling us up because they know they can make a bunch of money because it’s so freakin’ popular at the moment.

“So we got to do a bunch of pioneering and be the first heavy band to go to a bunch of those places. That’s what I remember the most.”

Newsted is currently working with two new projects, Chophouse Band and Would & Steal. Metallica are working on their 10th album and will this weekend live stream their performance from US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.