Former-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted claims that due to various injuries over the years, he wouldn’t be able to play with Metallica today — even if he wanted to.
Blabbermouth transcribed Newsted’s recent video chat with The Florida Daily Post, where he explained, “The surgeries kind of set me back. I kept playing music the best that I could, and I haven’t ever been able to come all the way back; I’m, like, 90-something percent full. I can’t play the full Metallica stuff; I couldn’t do the show anymore like that.”
Newsted spoke about leaving Metallica in 2001 and second-guessing his decision to split: “As the times went by in the earlier years, (I kept asking myself) ‘What if? What if? What if? What if? What it you had stayed? What if? What if? — that kind of thing. And everybody — except for maybe my sister, my wife, and my dad and my brothers, and my mom; they (told me), ‘You do you.’ They were in it close enough with me. They went to enough shows. They saw enough of the backstage stuff. They saw what took place. And they were, like, ‘We get it. You do you. We’ll be around for you.’”
He went on to say, “It took for the years to subside, which is really nice, and now I’ve got 19 years (since leaving). I’ve had a whole other two or three lifetimes since I was in that big thing that provided all of this for me. I’ll never talk a bad word about anything like that or the guys; they gave me my chance and my life, and I worked as hard as I could.”
Newsted went on to explain that his latest, mainly acoustic-based, group is far more suited to where he’s at musically — and physically: “The music I’m playing with the Chophouse Band is what I’m able to play. And sometimes it gets vicious, and sometimes it gets nice and ugly, and all that stuff, but I know I can play this forever. This music and the Johnny Cash (stuff) I can play sitting right here or laying right there or dancing around over there, I can still play music. I know for a fact I cannot play the way that I would want to play in Voivod, Metallica — any of those bands. I don’t have the physicality to do that anymore. I only do six shows a year (with the Chophouse Band), and I do them right.”
Jason Newsted chose to split with Metallica after leader James Hetfield gave him an ultimatum between playing with Metallica or spending his downtime with his own solo project, Echobrain. 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.”