Watch ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted unbox the deluxe Black Album

Publish Date
Friday, 20 August 2021, 11:41AM

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted is on good terms with his former bandmates, but he's not involved much in band business these days.

That's probably why Metallica asked Newsted to shoot the official unboxing video for its forthcoming Black Album reissue deluxe box set. Newsted was deeply involved with the creation and execution of the Black Album, yet he has no idea what's in the box.

Watch him check out all the goodies and trip down memory lane via the player above!

Newsted gingerly opens the packaging on the back porch of his Florida home with a switchblade. He notes that he didn't offer any input to the band on the packaging or what to include, and he didn't look at any of the mockups.

"I'm seeing it for the first time, all of it," he said. "I haven't even listened to the record for years."

One particularly interesting recollection comes about four minutes in when Newsted comes across the lyric folder. He explains that as James Hetfield wrote lyrics, he would keep the various drafts in a folder that he would doodle on, and finally present to the band when he was finished.

"James would protect the lyrics a lot, and he'd make all these little sketches on there and stuff and then finally as he got past ... [just having] the melody, he would emulate what was to come [in the album packaging]," Newsted recalled. "We would all get to see the lyrics for the first time, just like fans. All of us — everybody in the band, [producer] Bob Rock, we would just get to see the stuff for the first time completed. It was always for me personally a great thrill to see his little sketches and the way he built stuff was a really big deal. It was wonderful for him to protect it like that and then share it with us. Like such a reward to be able to look at that for the first time."

Newsted joined Metallica in 1986 and earned writing credits on the band's most commercially-successful albums. Since leaving the band in the early-2000's, Newsted has gigged occasionally, but mostly focused on visual art and living a quieter life.

Newsted last performed with Metallica during its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2009. After a short-lived solo project circa 2012, Newsted retired from performing heavy metal, citing a series of injuries that have limited his stamina.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission

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