Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted spoke to Florida's InJupiter magazine about his THE CHOPHOUSE BAND. Named after his four recording studio facilities around the U.S. and featuring a fluid roster of players, the group began in 1992 when Newsted founded The Chophouse Records Studio in San Francisco.
Following the success of METALLICA's 1991 Black Album, The Chophouse Records Studio was conceived by Newsted to assemble friends and comrades from other established acts and groups, to have a special place to enjoy chasing ideas and sounds, having fun playing pure and wild music on breaks and downtime, mixing up wicked musical soup away from rigorous touring schedules and agendas.
THE CHOPHOUSE BAND's repertoire includes folk cover songs from legendary acts of the likes of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Jason Isbell.
"The primal nature of these songs that we play [with THE CHOPHOUSE BAND] is what makes it all so attractive to me," Newsted told InJupiter. "After being in these loud, earth-shifting bands to stripping back from all the hundreds of thousands of watts of amplifiers and effects, I realized that there's ways to get to the purity of the music quicker. I went to the other end of the spectrum to rediscover myself and learned a new style of playing with the acoustic guitar, and it just feels right to play these songs live. It's a fun, joyful vehicle to get our ya-ya's out."
THE CHOPHOUSE BAND is led by Newsted, playing acoustic guitars and performing lead vocal, accompanied by close friends/musicians of all walks and styles, sharing some great American songs from familiar and unfamiliar heroes.
The members of THE CHOPHOUSE BAND reside from coast to coast, including Chris Barnett, Mike Hughes, Tom Jordan, Joe Ledesma, David Lopez, Jesus Mendez, G.E. Perez, Mike Ramos, Brian Sagrafena, Angeline Saris, Chris Scianni, Amir Tal and Rob Tucker.
According to InJupiter, Newsted has begun writing his own original songs to not only add to the set list of THE CHOPHOUSE BAND, but to possibly record an album in the near future.
Jason left METALLICA back in 2001, but was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett, and the man who replaced him, bassist Robert Trujillo, in 2009.