Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has revealed the real reason why he left the band in 2001 in a new interview with ScuzzTV. According to Loudwire, Newsted said that his eventual split with the group was over the way his side band, Echobrain, was handled. Newsted explained, “The management of Metallica was very, very excited about Echobrain, wanted to take it out for me, wanted me to do Echobrain also, with Metallica. They felt Echobrain was that good, the singer was that good, and it didn’t affect Metallica because it was a totally different kind of thing, and I was in Metallica; that would give it it’s pedigree already.”
Newsted continued, “They had told me, pretty convincingly, ‘This is a great record, we’ve been playing it around the office, that’s all I’ve been hearing, it’s fantastic, this kid has a great voice. Let’s do something with this.’ That’s what they told me, and then James (Hetfield, Metallica frontman) heard about it and was not happy. He was, I think, pretty much out to put the kibosh on the whole thing because it would somehow affect Metallica in his eyes, because now the managers were interested in something I was doing that had nothing to do with him.”
- Newsted told us a while back that he never saw how Echobrain could have interfered with Metallica: “I never felt that it was going to affect Metallica in any way. There was no way that it could. The monster and the integrity and the legend that Metallica’s built, it would take a lot more than that to ever affect it.”
- Newsted added, “The people that I had counted on for 15 years to help me with my career, help Metallica, take care of my money, do all of those things, told me, ‘Your new project is fantastic, we’d like to help you with it.’ James heard about it, the manager calls me back a couple of days later — ‘Sorry we’re not going to be able to help you with that Echobrain thing.’”
- Newsted’s original explanation for his departure from Metallica 13 years ago was due to neck and spine injuries he had suffered after years of headbanging onstage.
- Newsted was Metallica’s third bassist, following Ron McGovney and the late Cliff Burton. Robert Trujillo took over in 2003 after Newsted’s exit.
- The bassist currently fronts his own band, Newsted, which also features Staind guitarist Mike Mushok.
- Metallica is reportedly at work on its 10th studio album but will tour Europe this summer.