Katherine Turman of The Village Voice recently conducted an interview with former METALLICA, VOIVOD and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist and current NEWSTED frontman Jason Newsted. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On NEWSTED's debut EP, "Metal":
Jason: "This was created because of the fans. I went to play the 30th reunion with METALLICA in December 2011, at the Fillmore (in San Francisco), and I got completely lit up by the fans. It was a fan-club operation, about 30 or 35 countries represented, all kinds of languages screaming at me. It made me want to come back to this. I'm doing it for them."
"I've played many different styles. With ECHOBRAIN (the side project that caused a schism within METALLICA), VOIVOD, GOV'T MULE, DJ SHADOW, all those different styles. There'd been mixed reactions as I reached out into those places, so when I come back with what I do best, the old-school metal, that's why it's getting the [positive] reaction it is."
On playing with Ozzy Osbourne in the bass slot once occupied by Robert Trujillo, who replaced Newsted in METALLICA:
Jason: "He called out a song that I hadn't rehearsed ever before, and I'm in front of 22,000 people. Ozzy screams out 'The Wizard'. He looks over at me. . . . But because I learned from BLACK SABBATH when there was only vinyl — needle back, needle back, needle back — it was all the way from my toes. I go: 'OK, how old am I? 16?' And there I was. I have posters still adhered to my bedroom wall in my room at my dad's house in Michigan — BLACK SABBATH. I saw them this Christmas. When the guy that taught you to play metal asks you to be in his band, it's a surreal experience."
On his relationship with the fans while he was in METALLICA:
Jason: "Everybody assumed their roles in METALLICA. James [Hetfield] was the songwriter, Lars was the business guy, Kirk [Hammett] was the artist, and I was the people person. I always was pushed out front — because no one else wanted to do it at the time — with fans and also the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the cancer kids. That was my bag: traveling across the country, across the world, to do some of these things on METALLICA's behalf. Little did [METALLICA] know that they were the ones missing out. But because I was the ambassador for the band, I became [spiritually] rich from it."
On the NEWSTED song "Godsnake", in which he writes about remaining humble and nonjudgmental:
Jason: "In our society now, at least in North America, the encouragement in reality TV is to be judgmental. The biggest loser, the addict, the pregnant teen, judge, judge, judge. It's the exact opposite of what's supposed to happen to make this world go round."
Read the entire interview from The Village Voice.