Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

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During 1963, Michigan saw the birth of who he would be for some time, the bassist of one of the most iconic rock bands in the world, Metallica.

From a very young age, Newsted showed interest in music, having bass as his favorite instrument, Geezer Butler (bassist of the legendary band Black Sabbath) as a figure and maximum idol. He too knew from a young age knew that his genre would be metal.

Soon the boy began his musical journey: he learned to play bass, and sing too. That lead him to perform with bands from his town, until he turned 18 years old. Finally, he decided to try his luck outside his city, taking advantage that by the time, rock had already gained a little more ground and bands emerged almost daily. He took all of his things and went to California, but in the end, he settled in Arizona for a while.

After the tragic death of Cliff Burton, Metallica started auditions to hire a new bassist, and Newsted, who was a fan of this band, put aside his projects, and auditioned, later Lars Ulrich contacted him to let him know that he would be in the band.

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica - The story behind - Jason Newsted 1

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

Many consider Jason Newsted a savior of Metallica for coming along just when the band most needed a genius bassist.

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Metallica and Jason Newsted

Starting in 1986, he was part of the mythical band, fulfilling a role as the bass player, functions that he held until 2001.

Jason arrived at a fairly brilliant time for the band, and participated in the recording of Metallica’s most iconic albums such as … And Justice for All (1988), Metallica (The Black Album) (1991), Load (1996), Reload (1997), and Garage Inc. (1999). For … And Justice for All album, some skills of the musician were not taken into account, and his participation was scarce, but for Metallica (The Black Album), his contributions were much more significant. For the following albums “Load” and “Reload”, he had a greater role, and also a long tour.

Time after the arrival of this extensive tour, the band took a break, however Newsted did not stop with their personal projects, so Echobrain (group created by Newsted), took bigger and better shape.

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica - The story behind - Metallica

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

From the moment of his arrival in 1986, Jason Newsted was part of several of Metallica’s projects, increasing his collaboration progressively. Some of them are the albums “…And Justice for all” and “The Black Album”.

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His departure from Metallica

During 2001, it was announced that Newsted would not be part of the band, but for many years there was much silence regarding the reasons that forced him to leave his colleagues.

The arrival of the bassist came at a difficult time for the band, pus could hardly believe that they lost their friend Cliff Burton in that horrible accident, in addition, it was known that Cliff Burton and James Hetfield, the leader of the band, were very close friends, for what was to be expected a certain suspicion before a new bassist for the band.

It took a long time for Newsted to talk about his departure from the band, that is, that there were many years of silence and doubts about why he made the decision to leave Metallica. It didn’t seem very logical after their participation became increasingly noticeable.

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Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

Jason Newsted had already begun to gain notoriety within the band, and when he was at the peak, mysteriously in 2001 the band announced his departure

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It was rumored that Newsted could no longer bear the behavior of his companions towards him

Barely three weeks had passed since Burton’s death, when the band decided to look for a replacement, but when he arrived, all the frustration and pain felt by the members of the band became evident and apparently channeled  to Jason Newsted.

Since the arrival of Newsted, the band members used to have quite a crazy behavior with him, they played pranks on him all the time, humiliation was one of the feelings that these pranks brought as a consequence.

At first, this was all done under the guise of “welcoming” the newest member of the band, but the jokes were extremely heavy, and discomfort was a constant in Jason’s new life.

But apparently it was not his initiation rite which bothered the musician so much, but since his arrival it was difficult for him to catch up musically, since his companions did not share information with him, he was quite ignored in this sense, and at the beginning this It seemed to be normal, because there would be a lot to learn in a very short time since they would soon record the songs from the album “… And Justice for All”, where James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich asked the sound engineer that the participation of the bass was barely audible.

It is believed that having appreciated his work for so long created a kind of disappointment in Newsted, who along with the band’s projects, carried out as many individual ones, where his music had greater value.

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica - The story behind - Metallica 2

Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

From the moment Newsted joined the band, he was forced to fill a difficult position to fill: Burton’s. That, coupled with the lack of support from the members for his personal project “Echobrain” ended up being key to his departure.

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Newsted did his best to get appreciation from his bandmates, so he made several contributions over the years, and although he could not show his full potential, he left his mark on the band. The musician never felt completely integrated by his peers, despite the fact that he delivered everything on stage.

For a moment, the band had a good rest, and this was the perfect moment for Jason Newsted to spend a lot of time on his promising new project “Echobrain“, which augured a very good destination, with a lot of potential. The musician managed to balance his participation in both projects, and everything seemed to be working well.

Jason was at a very bright moment in his career, he had 2 projects and “Echobrain” would be supported by Manager and publicists, he had already earned a place in the hearts of Metallica fans, and the jokes in the band had given up a bit, giving way to the reception of your ideas and your collaborations.

However, one day James Hetfield found out how the Newsted alternative project was doing and burned with anger, causing all the band members to completely reject any support for “Echobrain”, the bassist could not bear any more humiliation on the part of of his peers, he simply took his things and left to dedicate his full time to a project where they supported and took him seriously.

Years later, during an interview he gave to the “Scuzz Meets” program, for the first time he gave official statements of the reasons why he had left the band, so the great mystery was finally solved.

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Jason Newsted Leaving Metallica – The story behind

Years later in an interview for the show “Scuzz Meets” Jason gave his reasons for his departure from Metallica. Considering what was the right decision for his career as a musician

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“The ironic thing is that the model for what would have been the perfect Metallica in Jason’s mind is the one that exists now. That is kind of ironic. It’s also a little sad, because Jason’s a good guy and he put a lot of effort into the band for many years, and in retrospect he was never really fully accepted into the band. Then when he tried to go elsewhere to satisfy his creative needs, he was told — well, barked at — that he couldn’t. [Newsted] was the sacrificial lamb for our spiritual and mental growth as well as our creative growth, and it just sucks. It’s medieval.”

— Lars Ulrich (2003)

On January 17, 2001, as plans were being made for Metallica to enter their upcoming studio album, St.Anger, Newsted announced his departure. Newsted’s statement revealed his departure was based on “private and personal reasons and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love.”