Ultimate Guitar recently caught up with former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted and of course, Metallica was part of the conversation, despite his departure from the group sixteen years ago. At first Newsted complimented the new album Hardwired….To Self-Destruct, expressing how the band are back in stride and there’s a lot of substance. As the conversation continued, they asked Jason him about current bassist Robert Trujillo. Newsted initially praised him confessing “he’s a great fucking bass player.” However, he developed a different tone when UG asked whether he’d change anything about Trujillo’s bass delivery on post-Newsted Metallica.
“When I saw Sam Dunn [Canadian film director] interview Robert, he pulled up a part from a song [it was the ‘Spit Out the Bone’ bass lead section].
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 shit. 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.
But to get that sound right there [makes aggressive noise] chang chang chang gunka gunka with the attack and the fuckin’ 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 [in announcer’s voice] rawk and rollll.
“It could be really crazy attacking if he had that moment to do it. It’s not a dis and don’t take it as that. If I heard one section I would have changed, it would have been that section in whatever song that is. 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.”
It seems there is a small part deep inside Newsted’s heart that he misses his time with Metallica.