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Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted On Whether Or Not He Could Live Off The Black Album’s Royalty Checks


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Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was a guest on a recent episode of the Metal Injection Livecast and was asked if he could live without working another day based on the royalties from Metallica‘s self-titled “black album” alone. That effort has sold over 16 million copies in the U.S. alone and routinely sells 1,000’s of copies each week. Newsted replied:

“…As far as the sales of the record is something that’s never been seen before, it’s this thing that won’t go away, and everything we couldn’t ever have predicted, so that’s plain and simple, that’s information for anybody to know or find. But early on, when I joined the band in ’86 and they were already headed up by some very together people. Some very together team of management and other people that handled their business.

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From day one, even when I was just a hired gun before I started getting a cut — it took five and a half months before I started getting a full cut. So the first five and a half months, I was just a session guy. So by April of ’87, which was… yeah, check THAT shit out. Thirty years ago this month, I joined as a full member taking a full cut.

So, from that time, the persons that handled them and guided them, also took me under their wing and guided me. OK? And the people that know what goes on with investments. So, when we did what we did and were able to hit what we hit, and hit that stride, and we were able to take it to the people when there were that many 12- to 16-year old male individuals on the planet that we played our metal to and they came and checked out the stuff and we made some bucks and CDs still sold and T-shirts still sold, and we really invested money. That’s all.

It’s cool that the record’s selling and that’s great, but I mostly do things for other people with that money. So […] The Black Album really didn’t have to sell anymore either, because somebody helped me early on in my career.”

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