22 Years Ago: Jason Newsted Leaves Metallica


“It wasn’t simple to stroll away from them,” ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted advised me nearly 9 months after he left one of many greatest band in steel on Jan. 17, 2001. “The primary couple months have been actual fucked, after which I slowly got here out of my melancholy and acquired again on the horse with my new band Echobrain.”

On the time of his departure, Newsted mentioned he left Metallica as a result of it was unattainable for him to play a extra artistic function within the band and that Metallica was spending an excessive amount of time combating Napster and never sufficient time engaged on new music. However most importantly, he mentioned he wanted time to get better from neck and again accidents he sustained from headbanging.

“Watch a pair movies from 1990 and it’s not arduous to determine how I broken myself,” he mentioned. “I imply, 200 days a 12 months I’d give myself full-on whiplash. In 1990, the physician advised me to cease doing that. Nicely, I did 10 extra years of it after that and now I’m type of on this spot. I can’t carry out because the performer individuals know me as, like an entire psycho. Doing that type of touring will not be within the playing cards for me proper now.”

Metallica — Dwell in 1990

In a 2013 interview with Scuzz TV, Newsted revised his place, stating that his departure from Metallica stemmed largely from his dedication to Echobrain and the band’s administration’s curiosity within the aspect mission — an curiosity that wasn’t shared by Metallica frontman James Hetfield.

“Administration wished me to do Echobrain additionally, with Metallica,” Newsted mentioned. “They felt Echobrain was that good. The singer was that good, and it didn’t have an effect on Metallica as a result of it was a very totally different type of factor, and I used to be in Metallica; that will give it its pedigree already.”

Newsted mentioned Hetfield turned defensive and territorial when he discovered that administration was fascinated by Echobrain. For Hetfield, Metallica was the be all and finish all for any of its members. Nobody was to step outdoors of the circle and tour with any main aspect initiatives.

Echobrain — Dwell (2002)

“He was, I feel, just about out to place the kibosh on the entire thing as a result of it will someway have an effect on Metallica in his eyes,” Newsted advised Scuzz TV. “…I don’t know what [Hetfield] was considering, different than simply defending what he valued, similar to he does; that’s his factor. He protects what he loves, squeezes it too arduous, like he mentioned himself. Squeeze it too arduous, defending it an excessive amount of. That’s the place I used to be coming from. The those that I had counted on for 15 years to assist me with my profession, assist Metallica, maintain my cash, do all of these issues, advised me, ‘Your new mission is improbable, we’d like that can assist you with it.’ James heard about it, the supervisor calls me again a few days later — ‘Sorry we’re not going to have the ability to aid you with that Echobrain factor.’”

In an announcement issued after his departure, Newsted, exhibiting the high quality artwork of diplomacy, mentioned, “That is essentially the most troublesome determination of my life, made in the perfect curiosity of my household, myself, and the continued development of Metallica. I lengthen my love, thanks, and finest needs to my brothers: James, [drummer] Lars [Ulrich], and [guitarist] Kirk [Hammett] and the remainder of the Metallica household, associates, and followers whom have made these years so unforgettable.”

Behind the scenes, Newsted was extra defensive. “It was like having two of my kids taken away from me,” he mentioned. “They went about all of it mistaken. It simply wasn’t proper.”

In response to Newsted’s determination to give up, Metallica issued their very own statements. “James, Kirk and I look ahead to embracing the following chapter of Metallica with each an enormous quantity of appreciation for the final 14 years with Jason and the thrill of rising to the challenges that lay forward to make Metallica shine brighter than ever,” mentioned Ulrich. “We half methods with Jason with extra love, extra mutual respect, and extra understanding of one another than at every other level prior to now.”

“Jason is our brother,” added Hammett. “He can be missed.”

Newsted joined Metallica within the fall of 1986 after the tragic dying of bassist Cliff Burton. He got here from the Steel Blade band Flotsam And Jetsam and was beneficial to Metallica by Steel Blade president and CEO Brian Slagel. Metallica additionally wished Joey Vera to audition, however he determined to stay in Armored Saint, the band he grew up enjoying with. Metallica’s A&R man instructed Phil Caivano, who went on to play with Monster Magnet, and likewise plugged Newsted.

Metallica — Dwell in 1986 With Jason Newsted

“It bothered me for a second as a result of I knew it was going to upset the apple cart with the boys in Flotsam,” Alago advised Louder Than Hell: the Definitive Oral Historical past of Steel. “However Jason had the identical type of appeal and integrity [as Burton did]. And his bass enjoying was wild and animated. I knew he can be the proper match for the fellows.”

In fact, Newsted helped save Metallica in a second of nice disaster. They have been shaken by the dying of Burton and wanted a good, skilled participant that will assist them soar proper again into the driving force’s seat. Problematically, Metallica by no means took any day off the highway to grieve for the lack of their good friend they usually remained indignant and hurting whereas they have been on the highway. They didn’t blame Newsted for Burton’s dying, however he was a straightforward goal to gang up on, they usually hazed him mercilessly. Newsted was resilient and thick-skinned, and he performed nice onstage; he was quickly embraced by followers and critics who by no means imagined anybody might exchange Burton. Newsted performed on six Metallica albums, …And Justice For All, Metallica, Load, Re-Load, Storage Inc. and S&M. Throughout his 14 years within the band, he carried out over 1,000 gigs and toured around the globe a number of instances.

Jason Newsted Displays on Metallica’s …And Justice for All

“Taking part in with somebody who has such unbridled ardour for music will perpetually be an enormous inspiration,” mentioned Hetfield in Metallica’s assertion. “On stage each evening, he was a driving power to us all, followers and band alike. His connection won’t ever be damaged.”

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the writer of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, in addition to the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Entrance guide My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

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