Can Jason Newsted live off of royalties from Metallica’s Black Album for the rest of his life?

Posted by on May 4, 2017

Earlier this week, Metal Injection spoke with former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted on their recent Livecast. They caught up with him while he was setting up for his art exhibit at Art New York happening now through Sunday (7) at Pier 94 in NYC. During this episode, Metal Injection asked a question many Metallica fans and haters have been waiting for, which was if he could live off of royalties from The Black Album for the rest of his life.

Essentially, his response was yes, but even before that album came out:

“Everything you said is correct, as far as the sales of the record is something that’s never been seen before, it’s this thing that won’t go away, and everything we couldn’t ever have predicted, so that’s plain and simple, that’s information for anybody to know or find. But early on, when I joined the band in ’86 and they were already headed up by some very together people. Some very together team of management and other people that handled their business. From day one, even when I was just a hired gun before I started getting a cut — it took five and a half months before I started getting a full cut. So the first five and a half months, I was just a session guy. So by April of ’87, which was… yeah, check THAT shit out. Thirty years ago this month, I joined as a full member taking a full cut.

So, from that time, the persons that handled them and guided them, also took me under their wing and guided me. OK? And the people that know what goes on with investments. So, when we did what we did and were able to hit what we hit, and hit that stride, and we were able to take it to the people when there were that many 12- to 16-year old male individuals on the planet that we played our metal to and they came and checked out the stuff and we made some bucks and CDs still sold and T-shirts still sold, and we really invested money. That’s all.

It’s cool that the record’s selling and that’s great, but I mostly do things for other people with that money. So […] The Black Album really didn’t have to sell anymore either, because somebody helped me early on in my career.”

It doesn’t look like Newsted gave a second bass lesson to Rob Trujillo, however, they did ask him about Metallica’s Grammys performance of “Moth Into Flame” with Lady Gaga:

“I think that doubting Metallica ever is not really that smart any time, for whatever reason. They keep getting up again and getting ready for another fight, you know. It’s pretty impressive. I’ve been out of it, in, back, inside of it and whatever, man! (laughs) I’ve seen it from all places. And it’s nothing but respectable. So, yes I did see the performance. Yes I watched them as their brother. I watched them as a supporting spectator person that’s in the camp, you know. So, it’s like, as a fan, and that thing, I was really pissed off at how… the disrespect because of the equipment. And the, you know, the best performers that night, James Hetfield, got the shit tech with that microphone, I could have killed a motherfucker. That’s not OK with me. That shit’s not OK with me.

But, for them taking a chance, just like they have with anything, whether we agreed with it or not, that’s not like for us to say. If they want to take that chance with somebody that’s as talented and powerful as Lady Gaga, then they should be doing it. They are the same caliber she is, on the same page. She was lucky to be there with them. You know? I mean, the ultimate thing, like — we could discuss this, and all, “bla bla bla bla”, but the victory — and that’s maybe our theme for today — the victory of that performance, was that, because the gear failed, James and [Lady Gaga], they were able to rise to a place as the experienced, superstar performers that they are. Feed off each other on that moment, forced in to that moment, and made it into a more powerful performance that they couldn’t have planned if they rehearsed it twenty fucking times. They rose to the occasion, they pushed each other to a further place than they would’ve ever [gone] on their own. It was fantastic.”

Check out the rest of the Livecast here.

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