TopGuitar magazine asked legendary bass player Jason Newsted (formerly of Metallica, Voivod, Flotsam and Jetsam, currently fronting his own band called Newsted) for some advice he would like to give to other musicians.
Jason Newsted: I have a different advice to give nowadays that I wouldn’t give at other times, for example if you had asked me ten or twelve years ago, I’d give you different outlook on something. I would give an advice to younger players or people that try to come up in bands and chase the dream and all that s**t: don’t take things personally, be very careful about how you do that, because it can be dangerous. Grow a thick skin.
Be careful when you choose to get high or get your drink on, don’t get high when you play or you practice. BB King always said “you play how you practice”. So if you practice focused, disciplined and motivated, then you will perform focused, disciplined and motivated. If you practice high, play sloppy and fuzzy on the edges, that’s how your performance is gonna be. So avoid that s**t. If you all like to get a buzz on, choose your time to do it that is not the time to perform the music. So be very careful about that too.
And find your diffuser. Usually in bands we’re all male with egos popping out chests and trying to be the alfa and all this kind of posturing that takes place. In that kind of organization you need to find a valve, you need to find a diffuser, you need to find something to do together that either shows each other a different face than you usually show when you’re serious, or that you have someone like a female in the organization: a manager, a wardrobe person, somebody with female energy that can diffuse your s**t. If you don’t have that someone, it needs to be a thing you find. Go out together and be a little different than you would while getting serious about the music; go out to some opera or get really drunk together, or stay really straight together and show each other those faces, and show that other side that’s not so serious about the f***ing music all the time! Allow yourself to have a little diffuse. Those are the three things that I would say.