Jason Newsted Says ‘Nothing Else Matters’ Broke Walls Down for Metallica
Prior to The Black Album, Metallica were known primarily as a hard-hitting thrash band. Sure, they had some slower songs in their catalog up until that point, but former bassist Jason Newsted says that it was "Nothing Else Matters" that really broke down walls for the band in terms of success.
"I had no problem with coming back to the mid-tempo crushing as opposed to the fast stuff, 'cause we've still got plenty of stuff fast to play live," Newsted told Rock Antenne. "And live was all that mattered to me anyway. So we still had the repertoire to be able to do all that all the time — with 'Battery' and 'Fight Fire [With Fire]' and anything you wanted — along with the softer songs."
However, he pointed out how personal of a song "Nothing Else Matters" was to James Hetfield, so much so that he questioned whether or not the frontman actually wanted to release it at all. But considering how much their camp liked the track, they had a feeling a lot of the world would share their sentiments toward it.
The bassist recalled that one time while they were out on tour, they were given the news that "Nothing Else Matters" — which was the second single after "Enter Sandman" — had reached No. 1 in 30 different countries.
"And we were looking around, like, 'What the fuck? What?' So there were people that were calling, representatives from promoters and radio stations and all this stuff from countries we haven't played yet, that we haven't been in live," Newsted remembered.
"But all of a sudden, there's this nice song. 'These guys are great. Have them come over and play for our kids.' So, all of a sudden, all these people come out of the woodwork, 'Can you come and play 'Nothing Else Matters' for us?'," he continued. "And that's six minutes out of two and a half hours. Guess what's gonna happen for the other two hours and 20 minutes, man. It's gonna be 'Fight Fire' and 'Battery.'"
"My point being, the softest song that Metallica ever made — ever — broke down the most serious walls ever to be able to take 'Creeping Death' and everything else through to the people. It couldn't have happened the other way," the rocker stated. "'Nothing Else Matters' is delicate. It's a love song. It's a fucking song."
Watch the full discussion below.