Ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted says that he continues to admire his former bandmates for their risk-taking ways, including their decision to finance their 3D film, "Metallica Through the Never", to the tune of more than $20 million.
"I'm very impressed by that," Newsted — who currently fronts his own band called NEWSTED — tells Noisecreep in a new interview. "I'm a big fan of them. They keep taking these chances. They keep investing in themselves and that's a big fucking deal, man.
"There's no one else you can invest in that will work harder for your own money than yourself. That's the way to go about it. I've always believed in that from the very beginning even for myself, and my band. I re-invest every penny we make with [NEWSTED] — every penny from every t-shirt I invest it back into making new t-shirts and designs. Always believed in that so I support METALLICA in whatever they do."
He continued: "They've worked so hard and there's no way that you get to be as big of a band, or the biggest band without working so fucking hard. And don't let anyone ever believe anything other than that. The shiny side is nice but the shiny side takes a lot more gristle side. They work very hard and I'm proud of them for it."
Asked how he felt about METALLICA's decision to release the 2004 documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster", which offered a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the legendary band as they confronted personal demons and their relationships with each other while recording the 2003 album "St. Anger", Newsted told "The Classic Metal Show" back in July: "I, obviously, was out of the band at that point and I had no more say in the decision making or anything, and since I do keep things pretty personal private, to do that like that and expose yourself in those ways, I did not agree with that. But like I said, that wasn't my decision; I was long gone by then. I think there were some pretty unsavory moments in there."
He continued: "I've always tried to maintain the high road in this whole thing, and I will still. I'll never forget that METALLICA gave me my chance to be what I am and to have my career and to be talking to you now about my new music — all that stuff.
"But yeah, some of those decisions that were made about exposing your inner workings like that, I think it was detrimental. It doesn't make a lot of sense considering what kind of band we were. We were always able to solve all of the issues within our own camp; we were a pretty tough gang for a long, long time… And so, doing those kinds of things and showing those weaknesses like that, it's not necessary — it really isn't necessary for people to know that kind of stuff. The disrespect they showed to me and those things and all that, that's so long ago, and yeah, it got under my skin a little bit when I first saw it. [I thought], 'Why are you guys doing that?' I don't understand what I've done to [deserve that].
"I was always the first guy in, last guy out, I worked very hard for the band, I never — never — put anything before the band. It was always my first priority. I mean, I missed some pretty important things — things like laying very close friends and family members to rest and different important things where I really should have been a part of it, but instead, I would go and do an interview or go and do a photo session, or carry a master tape across the country, 'cause nobody else wanted to do it — 'just get Jason to do it' — these kinds of things, I always put the band first. And them guys forgetting about that that fast… I don't know if they were just trying to lash out to get back at me or whatever in the collective. There is that thing within a group or a band or people like that, whenever one person isn't there to defend themselves, everybody else gangs up on that. I think it's a very common thing within teams and all that stuff."
He added: "The one thing that, I think, people maybe don't realize, unless they are in groups or they have a good company that they're working with, or something like that, there has to be a pressure valve in something that's successful. And especially when there's so much male-ego stuff going on, there has to be a diffuser, there has to be a pressure valve. I was that pressure valve, and I don't know if they have one anymore.
"So that was really part of the thing that made me what I was, as far as the role that I assumed in that band. When they did push me out there in front to do some of those things that maybe everybody else didn't wanna do, little did they know that it would build the great character in me that I have now — the people-person skills and the emotional capacity and all that stuff. I didn't like it then, but as I look back it now, I wouldn't change a thing, because it built me to where I am now."