Jason Newsted Praises Muse, Kings of Leon and Lady Gaga as 'Great Songwriters'

Bassist also not thrilled about re-recording classic albums.

Ultimate Guitar

Newsted frontman Jason Newsted recently discussed his all-time favorite songwriters, revealing a few less obvious picks. Chatting with Songfacts, the singer/bassist firstly shared his affection of such rock greats as Black Sabbath, Rush, Slayer and Gov't Mule. Switching to more current acts, Jason added: "And as I've gone through time I have a lot of respect for the guys of Muse, who have fantastic songwriting abilities. Kings of Leon, great songwriting abilities. Lady Gaga, great songwriting ability as far as melody and lyric go. I'm not so much about her band's boom-boom computerized stuff, but as far as lyrical melody, fantastic." Jason continued, "There's quite a few. I like Mastodon - I like the honesty of their songwriting, the rawness, the ugliness, but still with a little bit of sense of humor in the vibe within the lyric and within the songwriting. I like that a lot: when they don't take it too serious. That's very important." Asked on whether he'd like to see Metallica re-releasing "...And Justice for All" and turn the bass up in the mix, Newsted didn't seem too excited. "Going back and changing things and doing 'the Sharon Osbourne thing' [replacing previous musicians' recordings with newer ones, as evidenced a few years ago with reissues of Ozzy's "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman"], going back and re-recording albums that were already classics, I'm just not sure about all that stuff." Newsted have unveiled their debut full-length effort "Heavy Metal Music" on August 6 via Chophouse Records.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Always good to see metalheads giving credit to pop artists for what they actually do well, instead of mindlessly jumping on the "all pop is shit" bandwagon.
    I respect Jason for this. A true musician doesn't just dis new music and say its bad because it's new music without actually looking into it. Lady Gaga for example, I completely agree with him on with that her lyrics and songwriting ability is great, its just the computerised stuff thats kind of annoying, songs like Speechless and Dope are fantastic.
    I hope Jason realizes that there isn't a need to re-record AJFA. The bass master-tracks are there, they are just buried in the mix.
    Jason Newsted talking sense since 1986! Personally I don't like any of those acts but I fully respect their musicianship
    kudos to jason, expressing his opinion, which I here completely agree with, while remaining objective and not bandwagoning
    Not a big fan of Kings of Leon, but still I do love a great pop tune. Lady Gaga's older stuff is pretty damn catchy.
    I think that Justice is actually perfect without (or at least, a few) bass in the mix. It gives to the guitars an awesome "sharp/punch in your face" tone.
    Yeah, I think the album should be completely remixed if they wanted to have the bass louder. AJFA is what it is, no need to touch it. And yeah, I have heard some versions where the bass is louder and the guitars lose that sound. It just doesn't sound as good as the original version. The bass could be just a bit louder so that you could hear it a bit clearer. But just a tiny bit louder. But really, it wouldn't change anything. I think it's better to leave it as it is.
    I think Kings Of Leon's newest album is amazing, and I never liked the band prior that except maybe literally two songs. Lady GaGa actually is a musical genius (literally...like one of those kids that could play complex piano as an infant). She just kinda had all that buried by her theatrics and lyrics that a 12 year old girl would write, but she writes good "music" for damn sure. Catchy as hell without sounding like she just paid somebody to shit out a generic backing track. Still think Just Dance is one of the best pop songs I ever heard.