October 23, 2021

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Jason Newsted No Longer Has the ‘Physicality’ for Metallica Songs


Whether you’re an active Metallica member or not, time marches on. And for former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, one of aging’s outcomes is that the musician can no longer play Metallica songs like he used to.

It’s a physical limitation the rocker openly discussed with the Florida Daily Post in an interview originally published in February 2020, but to which additional video footage has recently emerged.

Watch the clip down toward the bottom of this post.

Newsted fans staying up on the onetime Metallica member’s activities know that he currently fronts Jason Newsted and the Chophouse Band for several benefit shows per year, the combo doling out covers of Johnny Cash and other classics. Last year, two decades removed from his Metallica tenure, the musician admitted that his new group’s style and repertoire more closely match his current capability level.

“The music I’m playing with the Chophouse Band is what I’m able to play,” Newsted explained. “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.” [via Blabbermouth]

He continued, “I know for a fact I cannot play the way that I would want to play in [another Newsted-associated metal act] 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.”

Part of the reason for Newsted’s now limited agility is the past surgeries he’s undergone. So, what would have happened if the rocker had stayed in Metallica? In hindsight, it might seem like his split with the group in 2001 was probably the correct choice.

“The surgeries kind of set me back,” Newsted said. “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.”

Still, “as the times went by in the earlier years,” the musician admitted, “[I kept asking myself], ‘What if, what if, what if, what if? What if you had stayed?’ … 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.’ But everybody else, whether they knew me [or not] … they all had something to say about it. ‘How in the hell could you do that? You’re throwing away tens of millions of dollars? Why would you do that?'”

Listeners can keep tabs on Newsted’s Chophouse Band over at the musician’s YouTube channel.

Jason Newsted Talks to the Florida Daily Post – February 2020

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