Established in December of 2005, Red House Studios, located in Walnut Creek CA, has been an successful music/studio/performance education center hosting students of all ages and skill level. On the evening of Nov. 29th 2011, facility owner Raja Singh and Guitars Not Guns founder Barbara Gorin organized a fantastic Q&A seminar with former Metallica bassist, Jason Newsted….
Guitars Not Guns Contra Costa County Chapter is an established organization fueled by 100% volunteered time and financial donations. They provide free lessons in an 8-week session, 1 hour a week to foster kids and at risk youth ages 8 to 18. With the combined efforts of all involved this evening, Guitars Not Guns was able to raise $725.00, which allowed the purchase of 20 new guitars for gifts to their graduates. For more information, please visit their site: guitarsnotguns.org
Newsted started off his seminar with a very personal introduction, front and center stage speaking at levels of directness, confidence and in terminology only a musician that has made a successful career in this business would be capable of doing. Describing a colorful background of projects past, present and future and a crowning achievement to his sizeable resume: being a major puzzle piece to the biggest heavy metal band of all time for 15yrs. This evening’s room was filled with eager musicians and fans of all ages, focused on every word their host had to offer. Newsted’s personal introduction included content ranging from the days of picking up his first bass guitar, his approach and dedication to his craft, achievements and bands he has dedicated his time to through out his illustrious career (Flotsam and Jetsam, Metallica, Voivod, Ozzy Osbourne, Echo Brain, Gov’t Mule, Sepultura, IR8, Unkle and his newest endeavor Papa Wheelie).
Most memorable answers of the evening were sparked by a question of favorite tour destinations and these two: What do you think of Metallica’s latest releases post his departure in 2001 and what his thoughts were when Metallica fans couldn’t hear his bass tracks on the 1988 Metallica release ”…And Justice for All”. Answers to these questions were very interesting and, judging by his passionate responses, obviously very important for Jason to address.
“…And Justice for All” (asked about by yours truly, which I’ve been dyin’ to ask for YEARS) was especially important because it pointed out the emotional rollercoaster of stepping into the shoes of the mighty Cliff Burton after his death in 1986, the abrupt and accelerated learning curve of working with his new Metallica family, the understanding of WHY the bass tracks were hidden in the mix and what could be done in the future to not make that same mistake twice…and if you want to hear the rewards of treading the never ending path of honing his vigorous sonic approach, check out the 1991 self titled release of “Metallica”, also known as “The Black Album”, and you will hear his lesson learned. When addressing the questions of his career with Metallica and their latest releases post his departure in 2001, Jason spoke respectfully, professionally, honestly and directly…and I expected no less from this artist that has remained true to his art.
Once Q&A was completed, Newsted chose to bring up four young students of Red House Studios. On stage, the students performed alongside Jason to demonstrate the unique importance of instrument voicing in a live setting and the awareness of how players should musically feed off one another.
Final Note. One statement that has always stuck with me, been voiced in different Newsted interviews, was repeated once more this night and should be a staple to all inspiring musicians: “Always keep your teachers fresh…”, because that path is never ending to those that are great.
Categories: Music News