Metallica producer: And Justice For All bassist was brilliant

Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen has praised former bassist Jason Newsted’s work on …And Justice For All.

The 1988 release is known for its low bass mix, but Rasumussen says what he heard of Newsted in the recording sessions was “fucking brilliant.”

The producer tells Rolling Stone: “Jason is one hell of a bass player. I’m probably one of the only people in the world, including Jason and Toby Wright, the assistant engineer, who heard the bass tracks on …And Justice for All, and they are fucking brilliant.

“It was Lars and James who said to turn the bass down. I know that for a fact because I asked them.”

Newsted was hired to replace Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident in 1986. He’d previously played with thrash outfit Flotsam and Jetsam on their record, Doomsday For The Deceiver.

Rasmussen admits that, on hindsight, the band feel they did not give the bassist the respect he deserved.

He says: “He always more or less was the new kid. I actually had him practice bass when me and Lars would be doing drums. And I’d ask Toby to do some bass sounds with Jason to run it through a few times, and we’d go, ‘This is great. This is not great. Do this, do that.’ And we’d let them bang it out after we’d left for the night.

“While we went to sleep, he was actually doing some of his bass tracks. We’d listen to them the next day.I feel and I think the general feeling in the band is that he was never treated with the respect that he deserved.”

The bassist stayed with the band for more than a decade, playing on the self-titled ‘Black Album’, Load, Reload and Garage Inc.

Metallica are working on their 10th album. They’ve also launched a garage sale on their webstore in the lead-up to Record Store Day.

The band also announced they’ll play a one-off show with Avenged Sevenfold for the opening weekend of the Minneapolis US Bank Stadium on August 20. More details available on the venue website.

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.