Metallica producer offers a theory for Jason Newsted’s inaudible bass on …And Justice For All

metallica producer offers a theory for jason newsted’s inaudible bass on …and justice for all

Metallica producer offers a theory for Jason Newsted’s inaudible bass on …And Justice For All

Metallica’s 1988 album …And Justice For All may be a well-respected part of the metal titan’s expansive back catalog, but it's especially notable for its inaudible bass guitar.

In an interview with Metal Injection, the record’s producer, Flemming Rasmussen, theorizes why the band minimized Jason Newsted’s presence on his maiden Metallica record, believing it was a purposeful decision.

“I think – but this is purely speculation – they did it to get some kind of reaction from Jason,” says Rasmussen, who was also behind the desk for Ride The Lightning and Master of Puppets.

“What they hated the most about Jason was that he was a fan. He was never disagreeing or anything, or stating his own opinion. I think they were waiting for him to kind of state his place in the band… they probably did it to get a reaction, and when it didn’t come, that was the way the album turned out.”

It’s certainly an interesting theory. At the time, the band were still adjusting to life after Cliff Burton’s untimely passing in 1986.

Primus’ bass wizard Les Claypool auditioned for Metallica as the band sought a suitable replacement who could become a strong creative force in the band, but it was clear he “didn’t fit in”.

Eventually, Newsted was given the job, but it would prove to be a tricky transition for a band still in mourning.

“For him [Newsted] and for us, it was difficult,” James Hetfield reflected in a 2018 interview with Blabbermouth.

“Psychology 101 will tell you that all our grief and sadness got directed at him, and quite a bit of it was that he was an easy target.

“He was goofy enough to take it, which was a positive for him, and he was such a fan, and we hated that. We wanted to ‘unfan’ him.”

Since the record’s release, there have been multiple fan remixes – like ...And Justice for Jason – and cover versions, which show what the record could have sounded like had (if we are to go off Rasmussen’s theory) Newsted showed some bite.

Three years after the album dropped, Newsted discussed his new role in Metallica, and claimed his playing style brought a tightness to the band that his predecessor's did not.

Newsted left Metallica in 2001 and would go on to play in Ozzy Osbourne’s band among other projects. His replacement in 'Tallica, Robert Trujillo, joined having already played with the Black Sabbath singer.

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