Below is the Encyclopedia Metallica newsletter issue #023, sent out 21-Dec-1998.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA METALLICA NEWSLETTER
ISSUE #23, 21. Dec 1998
EDITORIAL. Just a short story before X-mas. I will be away for some days,
so please keep the mails to a minimum. Thank you
Sem Hadland (Editor)
==== FEATURE: Metallica sweats it out in 'Garage' ================
By Gary Graff
DETROIT (Reuters) - Metallica bassist Jason Newsted acknowledges that Bob
Seger isn't exactly a
huge'' influence on the San Francisco-based heavy
metal group. That's no surprise; the pummeling ferocity of the band's
attack has little in common with Seger's gentler, heartland sensibility.
But when Metallica began assembling a list of cover songs for its new
Garage Inc.'' album -- including selections from more obvious sources
such as Black Sabbath, Motorhead and the Misfits -- Seger's 1973 touring
Turn the Page'' struck a chord.
The lyrics were so appropriate to Metallica, the road dog vibe,'' says
Newsted, 35, who -- as a fellow native of Michigan -- has
to 'Turn the Page' for 25 years.''
We were really working hard on the road, harder than ever. That was the
reason for this one, completely.''
The group's dark, six-minute take on
Turn the Page,'' with its
accompanying video of an aging prostitute trying to get her life on track,
is the first single from
Garage Inc.,'' a two-CD, 27-song collection
that gathers all the covers the band has ever recorded (two EPs and a
number of B-sides), including 11 new choices, and pays homage to
It comes at the end of a prolific period for Metallica, which includes two
multimillion-selling albums -- 1996's ''Load'' and 1997's
and two world tours. But the fans are hardly burned out; in its first week
of release, ''Garage Inc.'' was No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart with
426,428 copies sold.
Garage Inc.,'' according to Newsted, was designed as a respite from the
arduous task of putting together an album of original Metallica material.
It's refreshing,'' explains the bassist, who joined the band in November
1986 to replace Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus accident two months
earlier. Newsted's first recording with Metallica was
The $5.98 EP --
Garage Days Re-Revisited,'' the 1987 release featuring five covers that
all appear on ''Garage Inc.''
When you go into the studio to make a Metallica album of Metallica
songs, it's no sleep, and the stress level is high, and we turn into
Meticula. When you're playing (covers), it's like you're back in the
garage again, when you're first starting to play. You learn other people's
songs before you develop your own songwriting.
So this is like taking you back to this refreshing thing, where you had
a lot more freedom. It's the whole thing of going back to being a kid
again and playing your heroes' songs and that stuff.''
Newsted says Metallica picked the 11 new songs for the project by first
picking bands whose influence should be acknowledged -- including Blue
Oyster Cult, Discharge, Mercyful Fate and Lynyrd Skynyrd -- and then
running through everything, and whichever ones stuck out and lent
themselves more to the Metallica crunch, the more riff-like Metallica
thing, those were the things we decided to do.''
The group also took pains to avoid obviously popular songs. For instance,
it recorded Black Sabbath's
Sabbra Cadabra'' rather than
Iron Man,'' and Blue Oyster Cult's ''Astronomy'' instead of the more
Don't Fear the Reaper'' or
Turn the Page,'' another surprise is Nick Cave's brooding
Loverman,'' which Newsted says was done at the insistence of
singer-guitarist James Hetfield.
James was really adamant about having the Nick Cave thing happen,'' he
In the past five years or so, and since he's become more of a
singer, kind of, instead of just shouting and all that, he's got into guys
like Tom Waits and Nick Cave and even Willie Nelson and some of the
country crooner type of cats. Those are front guys, voice guys, that still
retain a dark side of the lyrics and stuff like that. So he wanted to give
a shout out to somebody new besides the obvious ones.''
The new songs also were recorded quickly, with little in the way of
We tried to keep it on the raw side and forced ourselves into a deadline
to make sure to keep the imperfections and all that kind of thing,
It had to have the garage feel. Everybody just had to
go, 'Look, man -- here's the songs we're gonna get. Let's play it and move
on.' That's it.''
That's a philosophy he says the band hopes to adopt for its next album.
God, I hope so, man,'' Newsted says.
Everybody talked about it, and
(producer) Bob Rock said, 'OK guys, we proved we could do it' and stuff
like that. If we can maybe take a little bit of it there, keep that
rawness, that might be real nice. I know that we'd be happy with that.''
That album is a good year away, however. After playing five special club
and theater dates to promote
Garage Inc.'s'' release, Metallica is
taking some time off, mostly to allow Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich to
spend time with children that were born this year and for guitarist Kirk
Hammett to recover from an appendectomy he suffered while in Europe to
Metallica plans to reconvene during the spring, with another world tour
slated to kick off in April following an orchestral concert in San
The group also plans an explosive welcome for the millennium, which is
rumored to be a stadium show in suburban Detroit co-billed with Ted
Nugent. Newsted can't confirm the circumstances, but he does confirm the
show will take place in his home state.
Yeah, there'll be a big show on New Year's Eve, with big pyrotechnics
and stuff,'' he says.
We're gonna blow a hole right out of the center of
(Gary Graff is a nationally syndicated journalist who covers the music
scene from Detroit. He also is the supervising editor of the award-winning
MusicHound'' album guide series.)
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