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Jason Newsted on Shutting Down Self-Titled Band: ‘It Was Just Too Much of a Load’

Jason Newsted - New York City
Chuck Armstrong, Loudwire

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted surprised many in 2012 when he took a more public stance, getting involved in social media and launching his new self-titled band. It was equally surprising when the group, which enjoyed some success and critical praise, shut it down suddenly. During a recent chat with Ultimate-Guitar, Newsted reflected on the band, offering some insight into the good and the bad of launching the band and what ultimately led to his shutting it down.

“There was a couple things that were very good and then a couple things were very bad,” explained Newsted. “When it came down to the money stuff and just having to wear all the hats and doing the writing, singing, playing and paying for everything, it was just too much of a load.”

He went on to state, “The good things that happened were the shows came off very well and was received very well. The European stuff was fantastic and I got a couple good opportunities opening for Iron Maiden at Sonisphere and the Download Festivals. Those were wonderful — the respect being shown that I couldn’t have maybe predicted. We got respect from the generations of bands that followed Metallica and Voivod and people we taught without knowing it.”

Speaking about his decision to launch the band, Newsted explained, “I did the Newsted band thing at my 50th birthday to prove that I still had the guts and I could still go and show those guys half my age and run ’em around the stage. I knew I could still take it to ’em and I had to prove that to myself. As we started going, we got people like [Mike] Mushok to play and having that kind of talent around you inspired you to do better and inspired me to want to take it around and show off to people.”

As for the bad side, Newsted revealed, “It cost me an awful lot of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars to take the Newsted band around to the 22 countries we played. But it was worth it for the lessons I learned and the respect that was shown to us and the camaraderie of the band. But I couldn’t continue because the business is such a harsh thing now and so different than what I had known.”

In an interview last fall, Newsted revealed that losing their manager, having a disheartening experience with the Soundwave Festival and his mother becoming ill also influenced his decision to shut down the band. After Newsted concluded in 2014, took some time off before resurfacing in 2016 with the Chophouse Band.

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