In a recent interview with The Kansas City Star, METALLICA's former "performance coach" Phil Towle spoke about being present when former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted told the band he was leaving, though that scene isn't in the METALLICA documentary "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster". Asked how that went down, Towle said, "We'd been sitting around talking for about a half-hour when Jason says to me, 'I want to talk to the guys. Will you excuse me?' So I went into the other room in the suite. I could hear all this pain resonating from the room they were in, and after about 10 minutes, I went back in. Jason says, 'I don't want you in here.' I said, 'I was hired to be here, to work with you guys and your issues, and I can't in good faith stay in the other room.' There was silence. Then Lars says, 'Let him stay.'
"They were all jarred so much that a family member for 14 years was leaving for various reasons. They said, 'We gotta do something about this.' Here's what I offered: Rather than invest energy in being pissed at Jason, use this thing to explore the underlying issues of discomfort and conflict that led to his leaving.
"In a very dysfunctional family, Jason had the courage to stand up. He was the one who set in motion this process of calling everyone out. I'd read an old interview with METALLICA in Playboy in which the band members separately trashed each other. So now the conflict had come to a head."
Towle also spoke about the scene toward the end of "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" documentary where he and James and Lars get into it over Phil's continued role with the band. Asked what happened there, Towle said, "The band was going through a moment of indecision about whether to continue with me and on what terms. I needed an answer. I said I gotta know because I'm thinking about moving out here. Off camera we had talks about continuing. So I really felt a little ambushed. I felt I'd had one understanding where I'd do it part time to resolve some issues.
"But it was also difficult for me to think about leaving. … I was with this one client every day for almost 2 1/2 years. We started with 2- and 3-hour sessions, and then when things heated up as they made the album, I was in the studio every day. I just didn't want to leave the process, the intimacy. And I thought we had a deal in place. But, you know, the thing to come out of that was Lars coming to James' support. That really cemented things between them."
Read Phil Towle's entire interview with The Kansas City Star at this location.