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Jason Newsted


Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted
Newsted at Rock am Ring 2013.
Background information
Birth name Jason Curtis Newsted
Also known as Jasonic, Jason "Newkid"
Born (1963-03-04) March 4, 1963
Battle Creek, Michigan
Genres Heavy metal, thrash metal, speed metal, progressive metal, hard rock, alternative metal, stoner rock, punk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass, guitar, drums, vocals
Years active 1981–2014
Labels Metal Blade, Elektra, Chophouse, The End, Surfdog
Associated acts Metallica, Flotsam and Jetsam, Papa Wheelie, Voivod, Echobrain, Rock Star Supernova, Ozzy Osbourne, Spastik Children, WhoCares, Govt Mule, Newsted, Megadeth, Unkle
Website .comnewstedheavymetal
Notable instruments
Sadowsky Vintage Custom Bass
Alembic Basses
Rickenbacker 4003

Jason Curtis Newsted (born March 4, 1963) is an American metal musician, known for playing bass guitar with the bands Metallica (in which he did occasional lead vocals), Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam. Joining Metallica in 1986 after Cliff Burton's death, Newsted remained a member until 2001, making him the band's longest-serving bassist. After he left Metallica, he continued with his project Echobrain, played with Ozzy Osbourne and joined heavy metal band Voivod. Newsted uses the pseudonym Jasonic, which serves as both his alias in Voivod and the name of his music publishing company. He is also the founder of the Chophouse Records studio and label based in California. From 2012 to 2014 he played in his self-titled band Newsted, in which he provided lead vocals as well as bass.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Flotsam and Jetsam 1.2
    • Metallica 1.3
    • Departure from Metallica 1.4
    • Ozzy Osbourne Band 1.5
    • Voivod 1.6
    • Rock Star Supernova 1.7
    • Shoulder injury 1.8
    • Art career 1.9
    • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction 1.10
    • WhoCares 1.11
    • Newsted 1.12
  • Philanthropy 2
  • Equipment 3
    • Bass guitars 3.1
    • Effects 3.2
    • Amplifiers 3.3
  • Discography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Early life

Jason Curtis Newsted was born into a family of musicians: his mother taught piano and one of his brothers plays trumpet. He was exposed to music as a child, listening to the record collections of his older brothers. His first instrument was a guitar, which started to play at 9 years old, but he moved to bass at 14,[1] after listening to Gene Simmons of Kiss.[2] Newsted cites Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath as his major influence.[3] He lists Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, Peter Baltes of Accept, Geddy Lee of Rush, Rob Grange of Ted Nugent and Bill Church of Montrose as other significant influences.[1][3]

Flotsam and Jetsam

The early part of Newsted's music career had him performing bass for Flotsam and Jetsam and their 1986 album Doomsday for the Deceiver. Newsted wrote the majority of lyrics for the album.


Jason Newsted with Metallica in the early '90s

Following the death of Metallica's bassist Cliff Burton in September 1986 on the Europe leg of the Damage Inc. Tour, the group began a search for a new bassist. Newsted auditioned along with roughly 39 other musicians and in winning the role, his first live performance with Metallica was at the Country Club in Reseda, California.

His debut with Metallica was on The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited in 1987. This was followed by his first studio album with the band, ...And Justice for All (1988), which was subject to controversy and criticism for its production, among other issues, for its murky bass sound. Newsted claims this was further hazing on the part of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, although both Ulrich and Hetfield claim they were also disappointed with the production of the album.[4] In addition, they claim that most/all of Newsted's bass lines closely followed the rhythm guitar lines to the point of being indiscernible from each other.[5] Nonetheless, the album peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and projected the band to higher success.

Newsted also performed on the self-titled Metallica (1991), which is the best-selling Metallica album to date and made the group a world-known band, Load (1996) and ReLoad (1997). The live concerts Live Shit: Binge & Purge and Cunning Stunts were produced in 1993 and 1997 respectively, and S&M in 1999. Newsted also played bass on the song "I Disappear" in 2000.

During his time in Metallica, Newsted also sang backing vocals on a number of Metallica songs. During the tours after 1991, he would often sing parts of "Creeping Death", "Whiplash" and "Seek and Destroy", and he performed lead in most songs for three shows at the Summer Sanitarium Tour where Hetfield was recovering from injury.[6][7]

He is known for his bass solo which included parts of "My Friend of Misery" (which Newsted had originally written as an instrumental)[8] and bass parts from his former band, Flotsam and Jetsam.

He has co-written three Metallica songs:

  • "Blackened" (...And Justice for All)
  • "My Friend of Misery" (Metallica)
  • "Where the Wild Things Are" (ReLoad)

Departure from Metallica

During a meeting between the members of Metallica in January 2001, Newsted proposed that the band should take a year-long hiatus, and he would use that time to focus on his side-project Echobrain. When the other band members rejected Newsted's proposals, he decided to quit the band.[9] On January 17, as plans were being made for the band to enter the recording studio to record its eighth studio album, 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."[10] During a Playboy interview with Metallica, Newsted revealed that he wanted to release an album with Echobrain. Hetfield was against the idea and said, "When someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica." Newsted countered his statement by citing Hetfield's contributions to other musical outlets. Hetfield replied, "My name isn't on those records, and I'm not out trying to sell them," and pondered questions such as Where would it end? Does he start touring with it? Does he sell shirts? Is it his band?[11] Newsted's departure from Metallica, along with Hetfield's decision to go to rehab a few months later, nearly led to a breakup of the band. After Hetfield rejoined Metallica, the band finished recording St. Anger, with record producer Bob Rock filling in the bass slot. Robert Trujillo became the band's new bassist in 2003.

Newsted has stated that he has never regretted leaving the band. "I tell you very honestly, one billion percent, I have never regretted leaving Metallica. It was the right thing for everyone. It was the right thing to do for the camp. That's it. I've never told anyone that I wanted to go back or anything like that—not once. I made up my mind. It was not an easy thing to do, but it was something I had to do. I thought about it very much before I pulled the trigger and because of that, I have never looked back. The past is where it's supposed to be."[12] It was mentioned in the film Some Kind of Monster that there was a rumor that Newsted would possibly rejoin the band, but it was proven false.

Despite his departure from Metallica, Newsted remains close with the other band members.[13] On April 4, 2009, Newsted joined Metallica for its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.[14][15] He also performed three songs at the event—"Master of Puppets", "Enter Sandman", and "Train Kept A-Rollin'"—with Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, and Robert Trujillo, and Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Ron Wood, and Flea. On December 5, 7, 9 and 10, 2011, Newsted reunited with Metallica during all four of their 30th anniversary shows and performed several songs with the band, Trujillo and, in some cases, other guest musicians. Hetfield noted how the fans "lit up" as Newsted walked on stage, smiling and waving to the crowd.[16]

On December 16, 2013,[17] Newsted expanded upon previous statements regarding his departure from Metallica and cited that his project with Echobrain was being discouraged by James Hetfield because Metallica's management at Q Prime wanted to go ahead with promoting Echobrain but was forced to drop it by Hetfield's demands with the quote "other arrangements can be made". Jason was sure that Echobrain would not affect Metallica as it was the pedigree that it already needed. Newsted continues, “And so 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 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.”The bassist sums up the situation as follows: “I have no idea what [Hetfield] was thinking, other than just protecting what he valued, just like he does; that's his thing. He protects what he loves, squeezes it too hard, like he said himself. Squeeze it too hard, protecting it too much. That's where I was coming from. 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.'”

Ozzy Osbourne Band

Newsted joined Canadian thrash metal band Voivod in 2002. Coincidentally, he was also Trujillo's replacement in Osbourne's band (having switched sides) during Ozzfest 2003, which included Voivod as a Second Stage act. During an MTV interview, both Osbourne and Newsted showed extreme enthusiasm in writing a new album together, with Osbourne comparing Newsted to "a young Geezer Butler." However, this would not come to fruition as Newsted left Osbourne upon finishing tour duties in late 2003.[18][19] He would soon be replaced by Rob Zombie bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson.[20]

Newsted then focused solely on Voivod, in which, much like Echobrain, the group was funded entirely through him. They recorded two albums before Newsted's participation in Rock Star Supernova, a supergroup created through reality television series Rock Star: Supernova in 2006.


The fourth incarnation of Voivod featured three of the four founding members: Denis Bélanger (a.k.a. Snake, vocals), Denis D'Amour (a.k.a. Piggy, guitars), and Michel Langevin (a.k.a. Away, drums), with Jason Newsted (a.k.a. Jasonic) on bass guitar. Guitarist D'Amour died at the age of 45 on August 26, 2005 due to complications from colon cancer.[21] The record Katorz (a phonetic spelling of quatorze, the French word for fourteen), released in July 2006, was based around riffs found on D'Amour's laptop. A December 2008 update on Voivod's website noted that Newsted played "all the bass tracks" on their latest album Infini, which was released on June 23, 2009.[22][23] Voivod have since reunited with original bass player Jean-Yves Thériault (Blacky).

Rock Star Supernova

Supernova formed the basis of the second season of the CBS television program Rock Star in the quest to find a lead singer. The show began online on the Rock Star web site on MSN on Monday, July 3, 2006 with an Internet exclusive weekly episode, and premiered on CBS on that Wednesday, July 5. Votes were cast via the website. On September 13, 2006, Lukas Rossi was crowned the winner.

Shoulder injury

On October 23, 2006, Newsted was injured while attempting to catch a falling bass amp head. The accident resulted in a torn anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and biceps tear in the right. He was scheduled for immediate surgery, and underwent a lengthy rehab process. During this time he was unable to play, and began to express himself through painting.[24] On January 4, 2007, he was back playing his bass again.

Art career

While recovering from his shoulder injury, Newsted found solace through painting. Newsted has turned out a number of large original works of art over the last half a decade.[25] Jason Newsted says that he went "from making crazy and colorful music to making crazy and colorful paintings."[26] His first gallery show opened on May 4, 2010 at Micaëla Gallery in San Francisco.[27]

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

On April 4, 2009, Newsted was present with his former Metallica bandmates James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett, as well as Ray Burton, the father of former Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. He performed with the band alongside current bassist Robert Trujillo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.[28] It was his first performance with the band in nearly a decade, their last performance together having taken place during the 2000 Summer Sanitarium tour. Both Newsted and Trujillo performed onstage at the same time, which was a first for the band.


In October 2010 it was announced that Newsted would be joining a supergroup with singer Ian Gillan and former keyboardist Jon Lord from Deep Purple, guitarist Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, second guitarist Mikko Lindström from HIM and drummer Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden. The band, called WhoCares, recorded a charity single titled "Out of My Mind".[29] The charity single also features a track titled "Holy Water" and is available as via digital download or CD format as of May 6, 2011.[30]


Jason Newsted playing live with his band Newsted in 2013.

In December 2012, Jason announced that he had formed his own band called Newsted with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth,[31][32] with Staind guitarist Mike Mushok joining later in March 2013.[33] The band released a four-song EP, titled Metal, on January 8, 2013.[34] Newsted released its debut album entitled Heavy Metal Music on August 6, 2013.[35] In September 2014, the band appeared inactive as its website contained only a brief message that as of September 15, 2014, Jason Newsted was no longer on any social networking sites.[36]


In 2004, Newsted signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools throughout the U.S.A. Newsted sits on LKR's Honorary board of directors.


Bass guitars

  • Aria Pro II SB Black & Gold I (originally owned by Cliff Burton, used on the Damage, Inc. Tour, and now resides in Metallica's current recording studio) – You can clearly see the Oval inlays in the Garage days pictures (SB1000 has dot inlays)
  • Fender 1958 Precision Bass (recording/studio bass) – Sunburst w/anodized gold pickguard (4-string)
  • Sadowsky – Black Vintage with Ash body
  • Sadowsky – Black Vintage (x2)
  • Sadowsky – PJ – Cherry Sunburst and Caramel Sunburst
  • Sadowsky – Vintage – Lake Placid Blue (4 string and 5 strings)
  • Sadowsky – Vintage – Cherry Sunburst
  • Sadowsky – Black Vintage – 24 Fret (x2)
  • Alembic – Elan – At least two, one is converted to Series II electronics – Formerly featured J/P/J pickup configuration (can be seen in this form during the ...And Justice For All tour) – Black (5-string)
  • Alembic – Europa – Series II electronics – Black (5-, 6- and 10-string)
  • Alembic – Spoiler – Converted to Series II electronics – Black (4-string)
  • Alembic – Persuader – Converted to Series II electronics – Black (4-string) – Formerly sporting a clear gloss natural finish and two J-Bass pickups, it was repainted black when Jason sent the bass back to Alembic to have Series II electronics installed; it is erroneously referred to as a Spoiler, though Jason DID have a black Spoiler made for him as well and both basses are nearly identical; the only telltale sign being the location of the bird-shaped bridge.
  • Alembic – Persuader P/P pickups
  • Alembic – 20th Anniversary bass (picture of the Anniversary, P/P Persuader and two Elans can be seen at the Alembic club)
  • ESP Horizon Bass – Red (5-string) – Jason added a Metallica logo decal and a decal of the Jump in the Fire demon.
  • ESP B-1 – Black (4-string)
  • 1981 Spector NS-2 – Black, used in studio only (4-string) – According to Jason, this bass once belonged to Phil Soussan.
  • Stuart Spector Design JN-4, JN-5, and JN-6 Signature Models – Transparent black satin (4-, 5-, and 6-string) – Extremely rare, modified SD body shape, quilted maple top, piezo pickup option, and red fiber optic side markers. Jason used these basses live from 1994–1995.
  • Guild acoustic bass
  • Wal MKII – Black w. Gold hardware (4- & 5-string, 5-string as seen in Metallica's video for "One")
  • Hamer 12-string bass (used on Wherever I May Roam "and other minor key pick-bass stuff," according to Jason)
  • Zon Legacy Elite fretless 5-string & Sonus Special 5-string
  • Rickenbacker 4003 – White (4-string)
  • Dingwall Voodoo Bass



  • Mesa/Boogie 1x15 combo
  • Mesa/Boogie with SWR Heads
  • Gibson Skylark Guitar amp
  • Fender Folded Horn 1x18
  • Ampeg 1974 SVT head
  • Ampeg SVT cabinets
  • Ampeg SVT II (x4)
  • Ampeg 1980s SVTs
  • Ampeg SVT 8x10" pro speaker cabinets
  • Ampeg ISO Vent 10" 15" speaker cabinets
  • Ampeg B-15 combo amp


  • Echobrain (2002)
  • Strange Enjoyment (2002) (EP)
  • Glean (2004) (writing credit on one song, producer)
Flotsam and Jetsam
Gov't Mule
Moss Brothers
  • Electricitation (2001)
Papa Wheelie
  • Unipsycho (2002)
  • Live Lycanthropy (2003)
Rock Star Supernova


  1. ^ a b "Interview with Jason Newsted". Wikimetal. January 17, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Jason Newsted: The TVD Interview". Thevinyldistrict. August 6, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Hartke Brings Together Music's Finest For All-Star Tribute To Geezer Butler". Blabbermouth. November 14, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  4. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (April 2001). "Playboy Interview: Metallica".  
  5. ^ Bienstock, Richard (December 2008). "Metallica: Talkin' Thrash".  
  6. ^ Basham, David (July 10, 2000). "UPDATE: Metallica Frontman Forced to Sit Out Shows". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  7. ^ "Sparta, KY: Jul 8, 2000". Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  8. ^  
  9. ^ "Metallica – why jason newsted left". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  10. ^ Basham, David (January 17, 1996). "Bassist Jason Newsted Leaves Metallica". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  11. ^ "The Playboy Interview–Metallica". Playboy. Retrieved 2013-05-11. 
  12. ^ Harris, Chris (2001-01-17). """Jason Newsted on Leaving Metallica: "I Have Never Looked Back. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  13. ^ "Metallica Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ Lindsay, Andrew (March 28, 2009). "Newsted to reunite with Metallica at Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  15. ^ "Jason Newsted to rejoin Metallica".  
  16. ^ "Metallica reuniting with Jason Newsted at 30th anniversary concert – Pop2it – Zap2it". December 7, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Downey, Ryan J. Ozzy, Newsted Lovin' Each Other (March 18, 2003). Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "Metallica timeline January 3, 2002 – March 19, 2003". Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  20. ^ Downey, Ryan J. Jason Newsted Leaves Ozzy Osbourne, Is Replaced By Rob Zombie Bassist (December 4, 2003). Retriever March 9, 2008.
  21. ^ "VOIVOD Guitarist DENIS 'PIGGY' D'AMOUR Dead of Colon Cancer – Aug. 27, 2005". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  22. ^ "Voivod dot net". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  23. ^ "VOIVOD: Official 'Infini' Cover Unveiled". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 
  24. ^ "DunlopTV - Jason". YouTube. April 9, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  25. ^ "Ex-METALLICA Bassist JASON NEWSTED Schedules First Art Exhibition". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 
  26. ^ Port, Ian S. (April 12, 2010). "Ex-Metallica Bassist Jason Newsted's SF Art Exhibit". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  27. ^ "newsted". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  28. ^ (March 21, 2009). "HAMMETT Says JASON NEWSTED Will Perform With METALLICA at ROCK HALL Induction".  It will mark Jason's first performance with the band in nearly a decade. – their last performance together taking place during the 2001 Summer Santarium tour.
  29. ^ "Ian Gillan – Caramba!". Retrieved 2012-01-07. 
  30. ^ "Newest Update from WhoCares". Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  31. ^ Childers, Chad. "Jason Newsted Finishing First Record With New Self-Titled Band".  
  32. ^ Childers, Chad (December 22, 2012). "Jason Newsted Discusses Touring + Why He Won't Charge for Meet-and-Greets".  
  33. ^ "STAIND Guitarist Joins NEWSTED".  
  34. ^ Childers, Chad (December 15, 2012). "Jason Newsted Posts Letter Revealing His Self-Titled Band's 'Metal' EP".  
  35. ^ "Newsted plans to release Heavy Metal Music". Retrieved 2013-08-06. 
  36. ^ "Ex-METALLICA Bassist JASON NEWSTED Is No Longer On Facebook, Twitter Or Any Other Social Networking Site". Blabbermouth, September 24, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  37. ^ "New Flotsam And Jetsam Album To Feature Songwriting Contributions From Jason Newsted". July 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Jason Newsted at Twitter
  • Music Legends Interview with Jason Newsted
Preceded by
Cliff Burton
Metallica bassist
Succeeded by
Bob Rock (Sessions)
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