Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted spoke to Guitar World about his decision to quit social media after shelving NEWSTED, the heavy metal project he operated between 2012 and 2014.
"Originally, I said to myself that I was coming up on 50 years old and had to prove something to myself," Jason said. "So I assembled a bunch of bad motherfuckers for NEWSTED and wrote songs. I immersed myself in it and had a great time and learned so much. Once I got done, I was a bit disheartened with the whole social media vibe and the falseness of it all. I was always more of private guy when it comes down to it. But I did 30 shows last year with THE CHOPHOUSE BAND with my acoustic bass and a handful of shows this year in Florida with the same outfit and some people from different musical circles. It's the same vibe and intensity, just a different feel. Collecting songs and playing guitar is still very important to me."
Newsted told Ultimate-Guitar.com earlier this year that running his own band cost him "an awful lot of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars to take the NEWSTED band around to the 22 countries we played. But it was worth it for the lessons I learned and the respect that was shown to us and the camaraderie of the band. But I couldn't continue because the business is such a harsh thing now and so different than what I had known."
In addition to Jason, NEWSTED's lineup included Mushok on guitar, Jesus Mendez Jr. (THE NAPOLEON BLOWNAPARTS) on drums and Jessie Farnsworth on guitar.
Jason in February 2014 canceled an appearance at Australia's Soundwave festival with NEWSTED, citing "private and personal circumstances." The cancelation followed more than a year of intense touring and promotional activity surrounding the release of NEWSTED's "Metal" EP and follow-up album, "Heavy Metal Music", both of which were positively received by the critics and fans alike.
After staying mostly out of the public eye for a couple of years, Newsted rejoined Canadian metal innovators VOIVOD on stage during June 2016 concert at Slim's in San Francisco, California. He has since formed a couple of new acoustic projects, one of which completed a short West Coast tour last September.
Jason left METALLICA back in 2001 but was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett, and the man who replaced him, bassist Robert Trujillo, in 2009.
Newsted will debut his first major international exhibition of his contemporary art, titled "Rawk", at the third edition of Art New York at Pier 94, opening Wednesday, May 3, and continuing through Sunday, May 7, to kick off New York Art Week.