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Jason Newsted thought Metallica's Enter Sandman was "kinda corny", was "scared" by Nothing Else Matters

Musician/artist Jason Newsted poses for a photos front of his artwork at VIP Preview for Art New York
(Image credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Last year, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted discussed the legacy of the band's history-making, self-titled 1991 opus - AKA The Black Album - confirming he had mixed feelings over some of the record's most famous tracks.

Newsted was speaking in an interview conducted late last summer by Metal Hammer, published in the magazine this coming Thursday, April 28 (parts of the interview were also published in an exclusive Metal Hammer podcast last August). 

When asked about his experience of working with Bob Rock for The Black Album, Jason notes: "I don't think I ever earned his respect like he had for James and Lars - because of what they had achieved, and they were writing the cheques - but I think he was firing on all cylinders. I wanted to get his respect, to show him that I knew what I was doing."

On whether any of Metallica realised they were sitting on something special with the Black Album material, he points to one track in particular that stood out to him, before admitting that other, more famous songs from the record left him a little unsure.

"I'm going to go back to Sad But True, because that's my highlight of the whole project, because of the weight," he muses. "I struggled with Nothing Else Matters; I knew it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up - it was undeniable - but I was kinda scared of it, to be honest, because I still wanted 'CRUNCH!'. Sandman I thought was kinda corny, honestly. The beautiful thing was that we all sat in the room together and played it out; 70 takes of Nothing Else Matters. After a while, you're too close to it. 'How much more delicate can I make it?'

"It's crazy I've just realised this," he adds. "Our softest song ever took down the biggest walls to allow our hardest songs ever to penetrate the world. When it was No. 1 in 35 countries in one week, and seven of those countries we hadn't even been to yet? Dude, that doesn't happen to a band who go 'Die! Die!' most of the time."

Newsted left Metallica in 2001. Read more from his interview in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, out Thursday.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.