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Jason Curtis Newsted (born March 4, 1963 in Battle Creek, Michiganmarker) is an American bassist best known as the former bassist of Metallica. To this day, with more than fourteen years, he has the longest tenure as Metallica's bassist. After he left Metallica, he continued with his project Echobrain, played with Ozzy Osbourne and joined heavy metal band Voivod. Newsted uses the pseudonym Jasonic, which serves as both his alias in Voivod and the name of his music publishing company. He is also the founder of the Chophouse Records studio and label based in California.

Career

Flotsam & Jetsam

The early part of Newsted's music career had him performing bass for Flotsam and Jetsam and their 1986 album Doomsday for the Deceiver. Newsted wrote the majority of lyrics for the album as well.

Joining Metallica

Following the death of Metallica's bassist Cliff Burton on September 1986 on the Damage Inc. tour, Metallica began a search for a new bassist. Newsted auditioned for the part along with roughly 30 other musicians and in winning the role, his first live performance with Metallica was at the Country Club in Reseda, Californiamarker. However, initiation into the grieving band did not come easy, as Newsted was often subject to pranks and ridicule which increased as time went on. The fans also had a hard time accepting that Cliff Burton had been replaced. He debuted on the group's album "Garage Days Re-Revisited, the $5.98 EP". This was followed by his first full-length album with Metallica …And Justice for All, which was subject to controversy and criticism for its poor production - among other issues, for its lack of identifiable bass. Newsted claims this was further hazing on the part of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, although both Ulrich and Hetfield claim they were also disappointed with the production of the album. In addition, they claim that most/all of Newsted's bass lines closely followed the rhythm guitar lines to the point of being indiscernible from each other. The album nevertheless reached No. 8 on the Billboard Charts and projected the group to higher success.

In 1991, Metallica released their self-titled album, better known as The Black Album, which would launch Metallica into their greatest level of stardom. After much touring, the group took a long-needed vacation and, when they returned, surprised fans with a new sound on 1996's Load. This was followed by ReLoad, Garage Inc., S&M and the popular single "I Disappear". In 1998 Jason contributed to the album Psyence Fiction by the UK dance outift UNKLE. During his time with Metallica, Newsted received writing credit for only three songs: "Blackened", "My Friend of Misery" and "Where the Wild Things Are" (none of which were released as singles).

In 2000, Newsted co-founded a side project known as Echobrain. They entered a studio in May to rerecord their demos with help from several musicians including Newsted's then-colleague and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett and former Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin. The project was funded by Newsted which he later claimed he lost a great deal of money in. The fact that Newsted began to focus his efforts on a side project created tension within Metallica.

Departure from Metallica

As plans were being made to enter the recording studio, Newsted left Metallica on January 17, 2001. His statement revealed his departure was based on "private and personal reasons and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love." During a Playboy interview with Metallica, Newsted revealed intentions he wanted to release an album with Echobrain. Hetfield was against the idea and said, "When someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica." Newsted countered his statement by citing Hetfield's contributions to other musical outlets. Hetfield replied, "My name isn't on those records. And I'm not out trying to sell them" and pondered questions such as "Where would it end? Does he start touring with it? Does he sell shirts? Is it his band?".

Newsted says he has never regretted leaving the band, "I tell you very honestly, 1 billion percent, I have never regretted leaving Metallica. It was the right thing for everyone. It was the right thing to do for the camp, that’s it. I’ve never told anyone that I wanted to go back or anything like that, not once. I made up my mind. It was not an easy thing to do, but it was something I had to do. I thought about it very much before I pulled the trigger and because of that, I have never looked back. The past is where its supposed to be.”

On April 4 2009, Newsted joined Metallica for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Famemarker in Clevelandmarker, Ohiomarker. He also performed two songs at the event, "Master Of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman" with Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett, and Trujillo.

Ozzy Osbourne Band

Newsted joined Canadian thrash metal band Voivod in 2002. Coincidentally, he was also Robert Trujillo's replacement in Osbourne's band (having switched sides) during Ozzfest 2003, which included Voivod as a Second Stage act. During an MTV interview, both Osbourne and Newsted showed extreme enthusiasm in writing a new album together, with Osbourne comparing Newsted to "a young Geezer Butler." However, this would not come to fruition as Newsted left Osbourne upon finishing tour duties in late 2003. He would soon be replaced by Rob Zombie bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson.

Newsted then focused solely on Voivod where, much like Echobrain, the group was funded entirely through him. They recorded two albums before Newsted's participation in Rock Star Supernova, a supergroup created through the reality television series, Rock Star: Supernova, in 2006.

Voivod

The last incarnation of Voivod featured three of the four founding members: Denis Bélanger (aka Snake, vocals), Denis D'Amour (aka Piggy, guitars), and Michel Langevin (aka Away, drums) along with Jason Newsted (aka Jasonic) on bass guitar. Guitarist Denis D'Amour died at the age of 45 on August 26, 2005 due to complications from colon cancer. Their most recent record is Katorz (which is an "alternative" way of writing "quatorze", fourteen in French), released in July 2006. The album is based around riffs found on the laptop of guitarist Denis D'Amour. Just prior to his death, he left instructions for his fellow bandmates on how to use them.

A December 2008 update on Voivod's website noted that Newsted played "all the bass tracks" on their latest album Infini, which was released on June 23, 2009.

Rock Star Supernova

Supernova formed the basis of the second season of the Rock Star television program on CBS in the quest to find a lead singer. The show began online on the Rock Star web site on MSN on Monday, July 3, 2006 with an Internet exclusive weekly episode and premiered on CBS on that Wednesday, July 5. Votes were cast via the Rock Star website. On September 13, 2006, Lukas Rossi was crowned the winner.

Shoulder injury

On October 23 2006, Newsted was injured while attempting to catch a falling bass amp head. The accident resulted in a torn anterior labrum in his left shoulder and a rotator cuff and biceps tear in the right. He was scheduled for immediate surgery, and underwent a lengthy rehab process. On January 4, 2007, he was back playing his bass again.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

On April 4, 2009, Newsted was present with Metallica and played with the band alongside current bassist Robert Trujillo at the Rock and Roll Hall of Famemarker induction ceremony in Cleveland. It was his first performance with the band in nearly 9 years, their last performance together taking place at the 2000 VH1 Music Awards. Both Newsted and Trujillo performed onstage at the same time, which was a first for the band. He also gave an emotional speech and was met with enormous applause.

Equipment

Bass guitars

  • Aria Pro II SB1000 (originally owned by Cliff Burton, used on the "Master Of Puppets" tour)
  • Fender 1958 Precision Bass (recording/studio bass)
  • Sadowsky - Black Vintage with Ash body
  • Sadowsky - Black Vintage (x2)
  • Sadowsky - PJ - Cherry Sunburst and Caramel Sunburst
  • Sadowsky - Vintage - Lake Placid Blue (4 string and 5 strings)
  • Sadowsky - Vintage - Cherry Sunburst
  • Sadowsky - Black Vintage - 24 Fret (x2)
  • Alembic - Elan - JPJ pickups - in '91 converted to Series II electronics - Black (5 strings)
  • Alembic - Europa - Series II electronics - Black (4, 5, 6 and 10 strings)
  • Alembic - Spoiler - Series II electronics - Black (4 strings) (x2)
  • Alembic - Persuader - JJ pickups - Natural colored
  • ESP Bass - Red
  • ESP B-1 - Black
  • Spector/Stuart Spector Designs (1981 NS-2 studio/recording bass, NS and SD model 4, 5 and 6 strings, rare JN-4 & JN-5 Signature Model - modified SD body shape, black oil finish, piezo pickup option, fiber optic side markers)
  • Guild acoustic bass
  • Wal MKII - Black w. Gold hardware (4 & 5 strings)
  • Warwick 12-string bass (used on Wherever I May Roam)
  • Zon Legacy Elite fretless 5-string & Sonus Special 5-String
  • Rickenbacker 4003 - White and Chrome


Effects

  • Boss Flanger BF-2
  • MXR Phase 100
  • Mu-Tron III Bass Pedal
  • Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI
  • Tech 21 XXL overdrive
  • Korg G-5 Bass Synth Processor
  • Electro Harmonix Big Muff
  • Alesis Midiverb II
  • BBE Sonic Maximizer
  • Morley Power Wah Boost


Amplifiers



Philanthropy

In 2004, Newsted signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools throughout the U.S.A. Newsted sits on LKR's Honorary Board of Directors.

Discography

With Echobrain
  • Echobrain (2002)
  • Glean (2004)


With Flotsam and Jetsam


With Gov't Mule


With IR8/Sexoturica


With Metallica


With Moss Brothers
  • Electricitation (2001)


With Papa Wheelie


With Rock Star Supernova


With Sepultura
  • Against (1998) (featuring artist)


With Voivod


References

  1. http://www.oocities.com/hetfieldinter/metplayboy.html
  2. Korn, Mike Interview Voi Vod's Jason Newsted Music Street Journal (2003). Retrieved March 9, 2007.
  3. Downey, Ryan J. Ozzy, Newsted Lovin' Each Other MTV.com (March 18, 2003). Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  4. Downey, Ryan J. Jason Newsted Leaves Ozzy Osbourne, Is Replaced By Rob Zombie Bassist MTV.com (December 4, 2003). Retriever March 9, 2008.
  5. http://www.theendrecords.com - Voivod (Canada)
  6. http://www.voivod.net/
  7. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=118349
  8. It will mark Jason's first performance with the band in nine years - their last performance together taking place at the 2000 VH1 Music Awards.


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