Former METALLICA bassist and current NEWSTED frontman Jason Newsted spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA, the reality television-formed supergroup he launched seven years ago with former GUNS N' ROSES and ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA guitarist Gilby Clarke, Tommy Lee (MÖTLEY CRÜE) and Canadian vocalist Lukas Rossi.
"It was a great experience, I made good money and I think I played some good five-string bass on the recording, so those three things were successful for me," he said.
"The whole Hollywood vibe is really, really the opposite of what I am: pretty much the direct opposite. I'm in first, last one out and play like I'll never play again and work as hard as possible all the time.
"When I came into SUPERNOVA, I had all my shit together and sat down with these guys and said, 'This is what we need to do if we want to get this record done.' And they went, 'Who made you boss?' So I was like, okay, fine: let's see how this goes…"
Newsted continued: "We ended up rehearsing about seven hours total. Total. Ever.
"I tried to be a leader. None of those guys have been in as big or as successful bands as I've been in. I wasn't trying to be arrogant, but that's the deal and they should have shown some respect for my opinion and my interest in the leadership role. They had their irons in many other fires at the time and I didn't. I moved out to Los Angeles to focus on that show and they spent more time walking around than anything else. Fortunately for me, at that time I discovered my painting. So if they hadn't been jacking off, it would have given me a chance to paint. So everything for a reason. The record got done, I put a big check in the bank, and now I'm selling my paintings. I make some wicked lemonade if you give me lemons, you know?"
In a 2012 interview with Metal Sickness, Gilby Clarke stated about ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA: "When we did the TV show ['Rock Star: Supernova'], for us, it was really about the band. Myself, Tommy and Jason, we were really excited about getting the band together. The TV show was just a way for us to look around and find a singer. Even for guys like us, you can't just go, 'Oh, let's find a singer.' All the good singers are in bands and they're busy. So we thought that we would try and look throughout the world to find [a singer] and the TV show came along. So we were happy. I thought Lukas did a great job on the record, when we picked him from the show. After the show, we did do a tour — we did a full U.S. tour, went down to Australia and everything — but it was really clear that it wasn't good enough. It happened so fast that I don't think that we really had time to develop a band sound — like, play together. It's really hard when you have three guys that are successful to get together and just start a new band like it's in the garage — it's impossible. And I think that, because of that, it was something that wasn't going to last. Because, after doing the shows, I didn't wanna do it anymore. I didn't like Lukas' commitment, and Tommy was still in MÖTLEY CRÜE, he was still DJing and everything. To me, I gave up everything to do that band, and I wanted to see the same from everybody else."
ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA lost Newsted in October 2006 after an accident that resulted in a torn anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and bicep tear in the right (bassist Johnny Colt of BLACK CROWES/TRAIN filled in during the aforementioned trek). Newsted suffered the injuries while trying to catch a 90-pound bass head that had fallen from atop his amp. The combination of surgery and a lengthy rehab assignment left him sidelined for up to nine months.
ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA's seflt-titled album failed to break into the Top 100 of the Billboard album chart after its November 2006 release. The CD was certified gold in January 2007 for Canadian sales in excess of 50,000 copies.
The video for the ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA song "Headspin" — about Rossi's rocky relationship with his mother — can be seen below. The track is an original RISE ELECTRIC (Lukas' pre-SUPERNOVA band) song that Rossi wrote with guitarist Dominic Cifarelli and performed on the "Rock Star: Supernova" TV show when the contestants were asked to sing one of their originals.
ROCK STAR SUPERNOVA - "Headspin" video: