Jason Newsted: Robert Trujillo Is a ‘Great F—in’ Bass Player’ + Metallica’s ‘Hardwired’ Has ‘Substance’
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Metallica have a storied history that’s had some turnover in the bass position. With Metallica thriving once again with their Hardwired … To Self-Destruct album, Ultimate-Guitar recently chatted with former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted to get his thoughts on how he views what the band is doing these days.
“[The album] is a bit different than the other efforts that led up to it,” started Newsted before turning his attention to Robert Trujillo, the man who eventually took over for him on bass. “Robert’s a great f—in’ bass player and he’s always been a great bass player. I’ve known him for 25 years at least. He’s always been good and I owned all the Infectious [Grooves] records and I wore Infectious t-shirts. I’m down. That guy has always got my respect. He got in there and he can hang with those guys and make it sound like it does? Peace, peace, power to you.”
Returning to his thoughts on the Hardwired … To Self-Destruct album, Newsted continued, “This last [album], I feel they’ve kinda come back into stride and there’s something of substance here.”
When asked if he would change anything about the Metallica albums that came after he exited, Newsted spoke more about the approach in which he and Trujillo play.
He recalled, “When I saw Sam Dunn interview Robert, he pulled up a part from a song [‘Spit Out the Bone’]. He pulled up a part from the song – it’s like four or seven seconds of just bass playing a transition. It’s kind of like a distorted thing and trying to get to that Lemmy sound and almost trying to get to – oh I’ll say it, the Jason sound with Marshalls for bass amps and s–t. But if you don’t play with a pick — this is where I’m gonna swing heavy, and I’ve always got crazy pushback because of not playing with my fingers as a bass player – look at the scoreboard. When it comes to playing with a pick and the aggression and tone that can come from the attack, you can’t get that with fingers. There are a lot of places you can do with fingers that you can’t do with a pick as well and I appreciate that.”
Newsted continued, “To get that sound right there — chang chang chang gunka gunka — with the attack and the f—in’ teeth and shredding paint, that has to come from a certain effect on a bass string through a certain amplifier with a certain drive and you can’t fake it with Fenders. It sounds fine but it could be rawk and rollll.”
The bassist concluded that he doesn’t few his critique as a dis, but that is one section he would change simply by his own approach. “I would have said, ‘Dude, try a pick for a minute. For 10 seconds, play it with a pick so you can get the teeth you want.’ That’s it. Otherwise, I don’t spend too much time on it,” explained Newsted.
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