In 2012, Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album, better known as the “Black Album,” was certified 16x platinum in the US. Although we can’t give you exact data for 2022, it’s no secret that this is one of the best-selling albums of all time. With that said, the record also marks a great change in metal music, bringing the genre to wider audiences worldwide. Sure, there were obligatory “sellout” critiques from metal fans, but Metallica kept growing its fanbase, achieving legendary status in the process.
Of course, “Enter Sandman” is one of the songs that stands out. Although it’s mostly a “gateway” piece for metal music, old school fans still headbang when the main riff comes in. However, in a recently revealed interview conducted by Metal Hammer last year, Jason Newsted shared his thoughts on the song. And it seems that he wasn’t very fond of it back in the day.
When asked whether he realized that Metallica “were sitting on something special with the ‘Black Album’ material,” he pointed out that one song in particular stood out to him. As Jason explained:
“I’m going to go back to ‘Sad but True,’ because that’s my highlight of the whole project, because of the weight. I struggled with Nothing Else Matters – I knew it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – it was undeniable – but I was kinda scared of it, to be honest, because I still wanted ‘CRUNCH!’.”
However, when it comes to “Enter Sandman,” he had this to say:
“‘Sandman’ I thought was kinda corny, honestly. The beautiful thing was that we all sat in the room together and played it out; 70 takes of ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ After a while, you’re too close to it. ‘How much more delicate can I make it?'”
Concerning “Nothing Else Matters,” he added:
“It’s crazy I’ve just realized this. Our softest song ever took down the biggest walls to allow our hardest songs ever to penetrate the world. When it was No. 1 in 35 countries in one week, and seven of those countries we hadn’t even been to yet? Dude, that doesn’t happen to a band who go ‘Die! Die!’ most of the time.”
Elsewhere during the interview, Jason also discussed working with producer Bob Rock on the album, revealing that he failed to earn his respect, despite giving it his best. He explained:
“I don’t think I ever earned his respect like he had for James and Lars – because of what they had achieved, and they were writing the cheques – but I think he was firing on all cylinders. I wanted to get his respect, to show him that I knew what I was doing.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons