On September 27, 1986, Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident with the band in Sweden. After trying out several different bassists, including Les Claypool of Primus and Joey Vera of Fates Warning, Metallica recruited Flotsam And Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted. Newsted would go on to play with Metallica from 1986 to 2001.
In an interview with Real Radio 94.3, Newsted discusses the time right after joining the band. He says he's the one who helped stabilize the band after Cliff's death and essentially righted the ship after such a loss.
"The stabilization of the band I would like to take some credit for. Yes, it was hard work; yes, it's not for everyone; but, holy crap, what we were able to accomplish. Because we had the right combination of people at the right time and the right amount of people to go play for in the world. It was all demographics and politics and all those things that got us to where we were.
"The hard work that went into that and the foundation and stability that it created after such a fracturing because of Cliff's passing… They would have just as soon not done anything else once that happened. But they didn't, and they kept going, and I had to come in and be that propulsion, be the new engine that helped this fractured being. 'Cause it's a thing that's bigger than all of [us]. It's an entity unto itself. So those years that I did it was just stabilizing the whole thing. Fifteen years later, it was stabilization. So that's what I was able to be. I showed up — first one in, last one out. I always went with that kind of mentality. That's why it got to where it got. That's how heavy metal of that sharp tooth was able to get on the radio."