Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has left ECHOBRAIN and has been replaced by DE'BRIAH four-stringer Adam Donkin, brother of ECHOBRAIN guitarist/vocalist Dylan Donkin."The ball is now pretty much in their court," Newsted told Mercury News. "I've pretty much paved the way. Now, it's up to them to earn their way back up to that. All the money I put into it, I'll never see again, but it felt so good,'' Newsted said of the trio, which will continue to release albums through Jason's Chophouse Records. Newsted also commented on the possibility of his returning to METALLICA, as has been constantly rumored since his departure back in January 2001. "Six months ago, I might have told you that things are looking OK [about me returning to the group],'' he said. "Now I'm not really interested.'' If METALLICA mainman James Hetfield called, "and said, 'I really want you to help me make that music' and addressed it that way — no lawyers, attorneys, managers — I would consider it,'' Newsted said. "But it would have to be him calling me. I don't ever want to say it could never happen.'" According to Jason, he has returned to listening to METALLICA as a fan again. His favorite album is 1984's Ride the Lightning, recorded before his tenure with the group. "They made the biggest jump in the least amount of time. It was when they finally discovered they were something to be reckoned with. It was all so incredibly epic sounding. [Former METALLICA bassist] Cliff [Burton]'s writing is still timeless, monstrous." With regards to METALLICA's heavily-publicized fight against Napster, Newsted stated the following: "I don't mind sharing my music. I gave away the first 2,000 ECHOBRAIN CDs. But with METALLICA, that was their art. Would anybody, a painter, a photographer, would they give you a painting free and let you copy it and sell the lithographs for $2,000 apiece?' "We were in a position, unlike almost every other contemporary artist, where we had an exclusive contract since 1990. We didn't need to use the record company as a bank and METALLICA has funded everything it's done, every album, every video. That's why we were so vigilant. No one else has their own music to protect. "Most kids are just stealing from a record company, which gets 85 percent of the dollar. Not many people make money on music to the point where you can eat. Not even the people you see on MTV who look like they are doing so well… "You may think we have too much money for your taste, but we worked really hard to get to where we are, harder than 97 percent of the bands that ever existed,'' Newsted said. "Do you think it's special enough to pay for? Then it's only fair to pay for it.''
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