During an appearance on the 24th episode of “The Metallica Report”, the recently launched podcast offering weekly insider updates on all things METALLICA, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted was asked what he is up to these days in terms of any plans, projects, and just life in general. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “So this is the first time in my adult life, probably about 40 years or so, that I didn’t have something pending, such as a tour or recording session or art exhibit or something like that. And I’m just allowing myself finally to enjoy the day. I really like going out for lunch. I go have a drink with somebody, sure, and all that kind of thing, but actually getting in my psyche and all myself to calm the fuck down, this is the first time in my adult life. I know it sounds weird, but it’s these kinds of simple things that really I’m enjoying a lot. That type of thing, that’s it — just trying to be a little bit more normalish. I know that that won’t ever be able to be all the way, but I am enjoying getting that a little bit more simple type of things going on. So it’s very different now to repurpose — literally purpose — repurpose myself, because the most important thing, I think the single most important thing is purpose. So I’m trying to figure that out, and it’s gonna take a minute. But I have to fill some voids with some other things now — the void of not having a show or not having something to work up to I need to fill with another type of activity, but not necessarily any kind of serious project that has to have that kind of application. To give myself a break for a second and look at it through a different lens now that I’ve been away from [METALLICA] for 20-plus years and just a different perspective on things, to be able to see how I’m doing incredibly affecting it was on my little ball of clay, because I came into that as wet fucking clay, man — green and wide-eyed. Yeah, I had my chops, but I didn’t have much else, as far as comprehension of the world or anything like that, man, at all. And so now I look back at that, for better or worse, and there are some things that I’m not gonna be able to change because what I had to rise to, what I had to become so quickly to come from just really a nothing, really trying hard, kind of skidding fucking guy to, all of a sudden this, in a very short amount of time, a global star, as it were — not my terms; just that’s what they call it. So it’s definitely in the way of going back to college, because I didn’t go to college. So it’s like reverting to what that time would have been when I decided to play bass instead, at 18 years old, and my dad was certainly expecting me to go to Michigan State University. But I didn’t. Instead, I went out to California to play bass — or Arizona, anyway. So I would say, yes, it’s just like going back to start college, but I never did.”
Newsted went on to say taking stock of his life is an all-in affair for him.
“I find great value, great meaning in figuring these things out,” he said. “I think that there are just some really invaluable things that come along with allowing yourself to enjoy the simple things that you missed in the busy, busy years. And I try to do something visual — about four or five times a week, I’ll put a couple hours in a drawing or a painting, things that I have that are ongoing. I usually like to create on the day and whatever I make on that day in the many hours that I put in it just for that waking period. And that’s the piece, and just sign it and that’s that, but I do stay after it. It is a perishable skill — the same thing as guitar and stuff. So, I try to keep my chops up with that as well.”
He added: “There are always offers and proposals from people globally to do exhibits or collaborations. There’s still offers coming to play music collaborations. And so I’m open to those things, but I’m really very, very picky about those proposals these days.”
Last May, Jason performed with his NEWSTED project for the first time in nearly a decade at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Newsted, who plays bass and sings in the project, was joined at the gig by original NEWSTED members Jesus Mendez Jr. (UNDERLORD) on drums and Jessie Farnsworth (UNDERLORD) on guitar, along with new guitarist Humberto Perez.
NEWSTED‘s sole full-length effort, “Heavy Metal Music”, sold nearly 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 40 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was made available in August 2013 in North America via Chophouse Records/Collective Sounds and in Europe through Spinefarm Records.
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.