Jeb Wright of Classic Rock Revisited 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.
Classic Rock Revisited: Are there any feelings, even with a half grin to METALLICA, that you can do this on your own without them? Is there any middle finger to them?
Jason: There is nothing vindictive or anything like that. There really isn’t any negativity at all between us anymore. It’s all water under the bridge and it has been 12 years now. That kind of sour and silly stuff was quite a while ago. It was mostly reactionary, I think. Now, it’s really strong and pretty awesome. They’ve got their band kicking butt, like always, and I’ve got my new band and I feel like I’m 19 again. I really do feel that way. We got this fricking EP, only four songs, to number one on iTunes for two weeks out of my garage with me and three other dudes. We are competing with big companies and bands that have full albums out; that’s pretty cool. That’s saying something. My answer to your question is to let the music do the talking. There are no digs to anyone and there is nothing negative. Let’s just fucking rock.
Classic Rock Revisited: Can you give me any hint on what we will hear on the other seven songs that have not come out?
Jason: I want you to think about what the words on my logo say. There is NEWSTED with Jason in the middle. Then there are three words: “heavy metal music.” Those three words stand together. This EP is “Metal”, but we’ve still got “heavy” and we’ve still got “music” to come. There will be some that are an uglier cousin to “Godsnake”. There is a nice kick-ass eight-minute song with acoustic guitars and violins on it that gets really heavy at the end. We’ve got heavy and music to come, but the metal will always be there.
Classic Rock Revisited: When you heard [METALLICA‘s] “Enter Sandman”, did you think that song would change your life?
Jason: No, I certainly didn’t. When I first heard the riff, before it was honed, I found it very stock. Then James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] got hold of it and did what he did to it. It was Kirk‘s [Hammett, METALLICA guitarist] idea to give it to James. He grew the tree and then we all ate the fruits. I was pretty stoked when the song came together, because the bass was shaking the room.
Classic Rock Revisited: You are also a painter. Are you still active with that as a medium?
Jason: Yes. I’m in my art studio right now. I still paint, but I have not had enough time these last couple of months. I go into painting just like I go into anything. It is all or nothing and it goes on for days on end. I have three different studios across the country, but this is main one. I am looking at 600 pieces here and the other studios have a couple of hundred each. I am looking at everything from little tiny drawings to six-foot and eight-foot canvases that weigh over one hundred pounds. I just do acrylic and inks. I don’t do oils. I do sculptures. When my shoulder surgery occurred I was one armed from about 2004 through 2008. I had two surgeries on the right shoulder and one on the left. I learned how to paint one-handed each time, so now all paintings are done with both hands. The text is done with my left hand and all of the painting is done with the right. I use both sides of my brain. It has developed over time. I do have some collectors that have eight, or ten, of my pieces each. They pay a lot of money for them and it is just crazy. I’m proud of it. It is definitely another purpose that I feel appropriate about. I have been called to this and it came to fruition to me through my hard work and diligence. I think I will always do this. All of the designs from the band are my designs. I do all of the sketches and Mark DeVito, a longtime METALLICA artist, cleans it up for me, but it is all my stuff. I will continue with that. When we do the vinyl for the full album, I plan on putting my artwork in some type of lithograph.
Read the entire interview from Classic Rock Revisited.