STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok says that there are no plans for the NEWSTED band to regroup for any further touring or recording, explaining that former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted "shut down" the project nearly a year ago.Jason in February canceled an appearance at Australia's Soundwave festival with NEWSTED, citing "private and personal circumstances." The cancelation followed more than a year of intense touring and promotional activity surrounding the release of NEWSTED's "Metal" EP and follow-up album, "Heavy Metal Music", both of which were positively received by the critics and fans alike. Mushok, who joined NEWSTED in March 2013 and played on "Heavy Metal Music", told New Jersey's WDHA-FM 105.5 FM radio station in a November 7 interview: "The [NEWSTED] thing really kind of… [Jason] kind of shut it down after we did that run [and] we did that record. So he's kind of just taking a little break now." He continued: "I think it was… You know, we went out, we did the record, and we did, like, 75 dates around the world in, like… I don't even know… in a really, really quick time, that whole thing did. And it was really just kind of such a whirlwind. And, you know, things have changed since… from back in the day, and I think [Jason] was just… he was happy to get that record out. I know he's still writing music and we still talk, but there's not really any plans as far as that goes today." According to a posting on NewstedHeavyMetal.com, Newsted is "not on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social networking website as of September 15, 2014 & and has no affiliation with any such impostor sites using his name or likeness unlawfully." In an early 2013 interview with RockRevolt Magazine, Newsted expressed a very positive attitude towards social networking web sites, explaining that they made its possible for him to connect to with a huge number of supporters very easily, and facilitiated the marketing and promotion of NEWSTED after more than a decade away from METALLICA. "My thing and the way that I have always conducted myself in my career has been to be very accessible and approachable to all fans," he said. "I've spent many, many tired hours taking the time to look at people's eyes and shake their hands and hear their stories. My mantra through all that time was to always give everyone 60 seconds. If I could give everyone one minute to hear why they came to the show or what their favorite song was, then I was doing what I was supposed to be doing as an ambassador of music. Now, all of that time and effort and friendships and acquaintances that were created are now coming back to me about a thousand fold." He added: "It's so important to me to remember what that feels like — to be a fan myself and understand that there are people out there that may feel that way about me as a fan. So being 'interactive' just comes naturally to me, no matter what the setting. Sites like Facebook and Twitter make it so easy and fun to connect to people and share what's going on. I love being able to actually 'talk' to fans (and I do look at it that way) and have gotten a lot of encouragement and inspiration from them. Hopefully I've given some back." "Heavy Metal Music" sold nearly 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 40 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was made available on August 6, 2013 in North America via Chophouse Records/Collective Sounds and August 5, 2013 in Europe through Spinefarm Records. NEWSTED took part in last year's edition of Gigantour, the critically acclaimed package festival founded in 2005 by MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. Also appearing on the bill were headliners MEGADETH, along with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, DEVICE, HELLYEAH and DEATH DIVISION.
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