Metallica frontman James Hetfield emphasized their feelings and thoughts about the band’s two former bassists, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted, during his recent appearance on Apple Music.
As you probably know, Metallica’s original bassist was Ron McGovney, but he had to leave the band due to the growing tension between him and the other band members in 1982. He was replaced by Cliff Burton from Trauma when Hetfield and Ulrich watched his performance in a nightclub.
Even though he declined their offer, in the beginning, Burton eventually joined Metallica and was their bassist until he passed away in a bus accident on September 27, 1986. After his death, Metallica members knew that Burton wanted them to move on, and they recruited Jason Newsted, but he announced his departure due to personal reasons in 2001.
Moreover, James Hetfield admitted that there are unresolved issues between them and their former bassists. It was hard to accept Newsted as their bassist because of Burton’s unexpected death. However, Hetfield stated that they realized that it was a pleasure to create music with both of them.
In Hetfield’s words, he said:
“It’s a life story and set in a setting of extremes. Where you’re going really farther than other people would normally go or even shallower. We were in such denial at times because of all ‘Everything else is fine. I’m not going to pay attention to this.’ I was talking about relationships like ‘We don’t have to work on a relationship. We’re good.’
We’re not good. Obviously Jason and all the unresolved stuff from Cliff that Jason had to be kind of the target for. We see that now, and I love that we’ve created music together, but we’ve also grown up together. We’re still growing up. We’re still teachable and learning from each other.”
You can check out the interview below.