“The five-string bass was a brand new invention really. A lot of people in pop and R&B world were using it, but it really wasn’t being used in heavy metal and hard rock.
“A couple of guys like me and [Metallica‘s] Jason Newsted were early adopters of it. For me, necessity was the mother of invention. As I recorded ‘Hangar 18’ [off 1990’s ‘Rust in Peace’], I needed the bass to go a full step lower, so I tuned the bass differently to record it.
“In the studio, you can sort of cheat your way around it, but when it came to performing live, I was like, ‘Oh no, I need a bass.’ And I called the company which made my instruments, Jackson Guitars, and I was like, ‘I need a bass.’
“And pretty quickly, we pulled one together. They got one for me that I was able to use on tour, which started a few months later – it was actually the first Clash of the Titans tour in Europe [which kicked off in September 1990]. And that was my signature bass, the Jackson five-string, for almost 30 years.”