METALLICA has released a demo version of Jason Newsted's original bass instrumental containing ideas which were later incorporated into the song "My Friend Of Misery" from the band's self-titled 1991 album, better known as "The Black Album." "My Friend of Misery (From Jason's Riff Tapes)" is taken from the "Riffs & Demos" 2CD included in the remastered deluxe box set of "Metallica", due on September 10 via the band's own Blackened Recordings.
"Metallica" producer Bob Rock told Music Radar about the recording of "My Friend Of Misery" in a 2011 interview: "The song is all about a mood, which is very cinematic in feel. METALLICA know how to play to their strengths, dishing out raw power, but on this song we went for more of an atmosphere. It's ominous, and it works. It started out with [Jason's] intro, so a big part of working on this track was spent developing a great riff into a song that would take flight and really go places. Which it does — it builds and builds quite nicely."
"My Friend Of Misery" is the sole track on "Metallica" on which Newsted gets a co-writing credit. During his time with the band, he was also credited on two other METALLICA songs: "Blackened" and "Where The Wild Things Are".
Newsted told Billboard magazine he was thrilled to finaly get a chance to make a substantial contribution to METALLICA's songwriting process. "That was a moment where those guys kind of bowed and said, 'Here you go, man, put your song on there,' being the guy who came up with that," he said. "As opposed to being part of the team, I got to be myself for a minute there, which was a real accomplishment."
The 58-year-old musician left METALLICA in 2001 after a 15-year run with the group. His exit was documented in the band's 2004 documentary, "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster", which followed the members of the group through the three most turbulent years of their long career, during which they battled through addiction, lineup changes, fan backlash, personal turmoil and the near-disintegration of the group while making their "St. Anger" album.
Newsted was METALLICA's third bassist, following Ron McGovney and the late Cliff Burton. Robert Trujillo took over in 2003 after Newsted's exit.