Jason Newsted Recalls Some Of METALLICA's Hazing Rituals When He Joined The Band
After Cliff Burton's death in 1986, Metallica ended up hiring then-Flotsam and Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted. Newsted would end up touring with the band for about two years until …And Justice for All came out in 1988, and Newsted tells Loudwire that his first few weeks in the band were rough.
Namely because Kirk Hammett tricked him into eating wasabi whilst extremely drunk in Japan, and then waking up to realize the band had totally bailed on him. Except they hadn't, but being drunk is difficult sometimes, you know?
"Not far from the truth. I was in the band for 11 days and we were touring Japan – Metallica touring Japan for the first time. We're having our drinks and partying, and Kirk's like, 'Jason, this mint ice cream is awesome!'
"I was so hammered; I'm like, if it was ice cream it would have melted, I was totally…. 'You should really try some of this, it's mint, it's really great.' And I'm like, 'OK.' So I got freaking spoonful, I couldn't use chop sticks yet. And I was like, 'Cool!'… 'FUUUUUUUUUCK!!!'
"When I finally come out of it, I look up, and I don't know anybody at the table. Everybody's gone, but this table is full – you know, people have kinda come and sit, and all of the sudden there are all these Asian girls and people down this freaking table!
"I'm looking around for somebody that I know, and dude brings the bill! Back then, Yen exchange, it was powerful, it was big back then! I was making $500 a week, which was a lot of fucking money for playing bass – you give me a sandwich and a beer, I'd be happy in that whole situation.
"The bill comes, and it's got zeroes like… I'm looking at this thing, there's nobody around, and this guy is just standing there. But they were fucking with me!
"They were watching from like up here somewhere. And Bobby comes down, the tour manager comes down, he takes the bill, takes care of it and pats me on the back. [Laughs] So that's the wasabi story."
So there. Next time you've got a new guy join your band, take him to Japan and pretend like you've ruined his life a little bit for a while. He'll probably appreciate it! Funny enough, Newsted would've never met the band if it wasn't for Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel, as Slagel recently revealed.
Jason Newsted departed Metallica in 2001, claiming he could "never get that fucking wasabi taste out of his mouth all those years later."