Jason Curtis Newsted is an American singer/bass-player most famous for his 14-year tenure in Metallica, along with his work in Flotsam and Jetsam, Voivod, Echobrain, and short-lived tenure in Ozzy Osbourne's band. Newsted started his professional career in Flotsam and Jetsam, playing on their album Doomsday for the Deceiver. He went to join Metallica, replacing Cliff Burton of the classic line-up after auditioning and beating out 39 other players. He would go on to play with them as a part of their Long Runner Lineup, but would spend all his time in the band as the "Newkid," having never enjoyed the songwriting influence of the others, with his efforts to play in side projects constantly being shot down by James Hetfield. Newsted suffered through endless hazing by the other members and was only given three writing credits on four albums ("Blackened," "My Friend of Misery" and "Where the Wild Things Are").
In 2001, he attempted to convince the band to go on hiatus and let him focus his attention on Echobrain, which was refused by the band, and according to him, Hetfield had demanded that promotion for the band be dropped by Metallica's management for fear of the project affecting Metallica. He finally had enough of the abuse and quit, kicking off the chain reaction that nearly destroyed the band.
His only stated reason for leaving was that he'd sustained a neck injury from headbanging, though it's believed he made more of this than there really was in order to avoid airing his grievances in public. He appeared on That Metal Show in 2013, where he talked again about his surgeries and rehab, and also shed some light on the controversy over the bass on Justice.
After his departure from Metallica, he would bounce between multiple projects, ironically including his replacement of Rob Trujillo in the Ozzy Osbourne band. He would record two albums with Voivod, participate in Rock Star Supernova, sustain a shoulder injury then begin a career in art while recovering, and play in WhoCares, a charity Super Group built by Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan.
In 2012, he since formed his own band simply called Newsted, featuring himself on bass and lead vocals, Jesus Mendez Jr. on drums, along with Jesse Farnsworth and Staind guitarist Mike Mushok on guitars. Their debut E.P called Metal was released in January 2013, and debut album called Heavy Metal Music released in August 2013, breaking into the #40th spot on the Billboard 200. They would release several videos, including King of the Underdogs, Soldierhead and ...As The Crow Flies. The band has played on Megadeth's Gigantour 2013 note . Unfortunately, according to Mushok, Newsted shut the band down in early 2014.
In an interview with Eddie Trunk on August 29th 2016, Jason explains what happened to his band and why he went off the grid for two years afterwards. Basically, he got screwed over by an incompetent concert promoter/bookernote , and very shortly thereafter, his mother got sick, causing him to shut his band down and focus his efforts on taking care of her.
Newsted and his music provide examples of the following:
- Badass Boast: From Soldierhead:With dirt between my teethI made the devil sell his soulI know that he can bleedMoon goes dark, sun! grows! cold!
- Butt Monkey: Let's just say that, for a famous rockstar, he's not a very lucky person...
- Cover Version: Playing live, Newsted has been known to cover "(We Are) The Road Crew" and "Love Me Like a Reptile" along with (ironically) "Whiplash" as the set-ender.
- Determinator: For all the crap that's happened to him, he does not give up.
- This also counts for the lyrical content of "...As The Crow Flies" and "Soldierhead."
- Double Meaning: Heavy Metal Music has a few.
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: "No war is good / no war is holy" can either mean there isn't such a thing as a good war, or that having no war is beneficial.
- Fun T-Shirt: His "Listen To Metal" shirt that appears in most of the Newsted videos.
- Grief Song: His final song recorded with Metallica, "I Disappear" from the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, mirrored his eventual falling out and departure from the band.
- Guttural Growler: The best description for Jason's "clean" voice. He's a clear Lemmy-fan.
- Harsh Vocals: He combines this with clean singing. He also does the occasional Death Grunt in his songs.
- "I Am" Song: "King of the Underdogs."
- Large Ham: He's a very animated fellow.
- Laughing Mad: The ending up "King of the Underdogs."
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually in the high 7 to low 8 range
- Nice Guy
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Perhaps one of the most unfortunate examples in rock. Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica producer 84-88) claims that only himself, Jason and the engineer who recorded ...And Justice For All are "probably the only people who know what the bass parts actually sounded like on that album" (James and Lars tried to defend themselves saying the bass-lines sound too close to the rhythm guitar, but some videos try to fix it anyway).
- Lead Bassist: Since leaving Metallica, this has been notably reversed, with metalheads all around praising Heavy Metal Music, and him being seen by the general populace as one of the better bass-players in the metal genre.
- Portmanteau: Kindevillusion is about seeking out the "kind of illusion" that must be seen to be believed. "Futureality" as well.
- Replacement Goldfish: Arguably, for Cliff. The rest of Metallica had never really got over their grief, though, and never let him forget that he was the New Guy.
- Start My Own: After a few side projects and some years of silence, we have Newsted, started in late 2012.
- Step Up to the Microphone:
- On the "Wherever We May Rome" tour and the tour for Load, Jason would sing "Seek and Destroy" and "Whiplash."
- Jason sung most songs for three concerts in 2000 where James was recovering from a back injury.
- Traditional Heavy Metal: A more modern take on the style. While often called Thrash Metal, this is mostly just due to his association with Metallica, his solo work falls more under this category
- Word Salad Lyrics
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: "Kindevillusion" and "The Differents"