“My forte, my strength in Metallica in my time, was the live show… Everything else came second”: Jason Newsted on what he brought to the Metallica table

In a new interview, the bassist shares what he thinks was his biggest strength in the metal outfit.

Jason Newsted

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James Newsted has reflected on what he brought to the table during his time with Metallica, saying live shows were his “forte”.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Metallica Report podcast, Newsted – who joined the band in 1986 after Cliff Burton’s tragic death – explains: “My forte, my strength in Metallica in my time, was the live show. That is all that mattered to me, everything else came second.”

“So whatever I could do to go all the way and leave every fucking ounce on the stage, that was part of the programme for that particular stage set. Any time that I had to do anything extra, that’s what I could give, that’s where I felt the most confident, that’s where I got the most pats on the back from the guys, is when I was doing my live thing, sweating my nuts off, background vocals, spinning fucking windmills. All that shit.”

The bassist adds that even he gets surprised sometimes looking back at footage of his old shows, saying “If you look back, I don’t spend a lot of time looking back, but every once in a while, somebody will send me a video of this, ‘Jason, how’s you head?’, or these kinda things. ‘Doesn’t your neck hurt?’ ‘You got headaches?’… I look at the footage and I’m like, ‘What the fuck?!’”

“If you count the actual times that I spun that shit, or that I… I never fucking stopped! You got two hours and twenty minutes, and there had to be tens of thousands of gestures of me pushing my vertebrae out, per night! Thousands and thousands!”

“You look back, like, ‘Dude, what the fuck,’” Newsted continues. “No wonder your shoulder is [screwed], no wonder your fucking C6 is all jolting off the back of your back. Now these days it’s a little better, but goddamn occupational hazards and all that kind of thing. That’s what I could give, bro. That’s what I could give so people remembered and came back the next time.”

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