Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Metallica muted the bass guitar on one of their albums

The first album was released in the late 1980s Metallica after the death of the current bassist, Cliff Burton. The artist has co-written all the band's albums since 1982. He died in a bus accident while on tour in Sweden.

That's why the bass for “And… Justice For All” was recorded by a new member of the band, Jason Newsted. The problem appeared after the recordings, because the guitar was almost completely muted in post-production.

Flemming Rasmussen, producer of the band's three successful albums (“Ride The Lightning, “Master Of Puppets” and “…And Justice For All”), explained that Jason Newsted was not as important to Metallica as Burton. He also theorizes that the group was annoyed by the bassist's approval of all the band's decisions because he had previously been a huge fan of them.

“Jason wasn't as important to the band as Cliff. It's no secret that it was Lars and James who silenced him. The biggest problem was that Jason was a Metallica fan. That irritated the others the most. (…) And he was so big fan that he agreed to everything. I think they muted the bass because while mixing the album they realized how much they missed Cliff, and they might have wanted to provoke Jason: 'Okay, if we mute his bass, he'll have to react.' And he didn't react,” says Rasmussen in an interview for Teraz Rock.

Additionally, he reveals that it had nothing to do with Jason's skills.

In an interview with the foreign Metal Hammer, Newsted admits that he was furious when he learned about this decision:

“They always recorded it this way (…) On the original 'No Life 'Til Leather' cassette it is written in Lars's own handwriting 'mute the bass'. They mixed it properly, with bass and guitar, but Lars didn't like it because it somehow drowned it out his drums, so when he sent the demo to the label he said 'mute the bass before you even listen to it'. That's what he's been doing his whole damn life, so why should it be any different on 'Justice'?”

In 2008, the band's guitarist commented on this: Kirk Hammet. He stated that the tone of the bass interfered with what James Hetfield wanted the guitars to sound like. Therefore, the only solution was to mute the bass almost completely.

The album “…And Justice For All” reached sixth place on the Billboard charts. Then Metallica went on a world tour, during which they gave spectacular concerts. The composition “One” became a big hit, thanks to which the band received a Grammy Award.

The album includes a song dedicated to Cliff Burton, “To Live Is To Die”.