Jason Newsted was one of 39 bassists who auditioned to replace Metallica's Cliff Burton, who was killed in a tour bus crash in September, '86.
Newsted was first heard on Metallica's "The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited," issued in '87. His first full-length effort, "Ö And Justice For All," came the following year.
Newsted left Metallica in '01for "private and personal reasons and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love." He had wanted to focus on his side-project Echobrain which did not sit well with Metallica's James Hetfield.
That, plus Hetfield's trip to rehab just about tanked Metallica. But the band got through their "St Anger" period with Robert Trujillo playing bass.
"I have never regretted leaving Metallica," said Newsted later. "It was the right thing for everyone."
Eight years later, Newsted did join Metallica for its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also performed three songs at the event - "Master Of Puppets," "Enter Sandman," and "Train Kept A-Rollin'." He also reunited with Metallica during all four of their 30th anniversary shows in '11.
In the meantime, Newsted joined Voivod but the death of guitarist Denis D'Amour in '05, due to complications from colon cancer, functionally put an end to the band. The last gasp was the '09 album, "Infini," that was based on D'Amour's riffs.
Newsted was also part of the Rock Star Supernova reality show competition where the winning singer would front a band of famous or at least established musicians. The '06 second season contest winner was Lukas Rossi.
Later that year, while attempting to catch a falling bass amp, Newsted tore the anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and biceps in the right. Throughout the rehab process he couldn't play bass. So he took up painting with his first gallery show in '10 at MicaŽla Gallery in San Francisco.
After contributing to the "Who Cares" charity single, the bassist formed Newsted with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth.
The group released a four-song EP titled "Metal," which sold over 6,000 copies in its first week of release to land at #62 on the Billboard 200 chart. Next they added guitarist Mike Mushok who had some downtime from Staind.
"It was obvious from the word go that Mike is one of us," Newsted said.
"All I could say was 'Hell yeah! I'm totally down for this," added Mushok.
2013 Heavy Metal Music