Newsted back from Metallica wilderness
Former Metallica member Jason Newsted admits it’s taken him 12 years to “come back to earth” after he left the band.
Newsted joined in 1986 following the death of Cliff Burton, then quit in 2001 after falling out with frontman James Hetfield over the bassist’s interest in side-project Echobrain.
After years of acrimony he appeared with Metallica in 2009 to celebrate their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, then again in 2011 to mark their 30th anniversary.
And he says those most recent guest appearances persuaded him it was time to reconnect with his fans.
Newsted tells Eddie Trunk, via Blabbermouth: “In my time with Metallica I went to every singe pre-show and every single after-show. There was eleven hundred people every week that I would look into their eyes, shake their hands and give them one minute.
“After I got out of Metallica there was all kinds of crazy, heavy emotions that nobody knows about. I did a very serious, reclusive deal: I built a ranch in Montana in the centre of a million acres of nothing. I just said, ‘Screw it, man, I’m outta here.’
“It took me 12 years to come back to earth – and here I am. My boots are on the ground and I’m ready to go.”
The bassist recalls his passion for interacting with people at all levels is what landed him the job with Metallica, because it had done so much for previous band Flotsam and Jetsam.
“I had to put one tape at a time in an envelope, and figure out how much it was to Ireland, Spain or whatever,” he says. “I did it very diligently. That’s why Flotsam got to be where they were – and that’s actually the very reason I got the gig with Metallica.
“When Lars Ulrich called out to all his contacts my name came out of everyone’s mouth: ‘This kid is organised.’ I got the gig because I tape-traded and I was so committed to sharing the music.”
After leaving the thrash giants, Newsted continued with Echobrain, worked with Ozzy Osbourne and spent six years with Voivod. Now he’s ready to launch a project under his own name: Newsted Heavy Metal.
He explains: “I have so much music from over the years. I’m just trying to figure out exactly what I want to unleash on everybody first.
“Anybody that cares about what I’m doing, I want to share with them. Everybody else, peace, man! There’s room for everybody. But the people that go for it, let’s go get it, you know?”