Jason Newsted Feels ’19 Again’ in New Band, Compares First Concert Experience to the Movie ‘Dazed and Confused’ (INTERVIEW)
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted's latest project, his band Newsted, is gearing up for a summer album release, and is about to hit the road on an intimate club tour. The band recently announced that guitarist Mike Mushok of Staind fame had joined their ranks.
Newsted's recently released Metal EP got a lot of fan's tongues wagging with its '70s hard rock-inspired riffing and memorable vocal hooks. Noisecreep recently spoke with Jason Newsted to get a sense of what is awaiting for us once the debut album finally drops later this year.
Jason, what can you share about the upcoming album?
Well it's all heavy. Not all fast, but all heavy. Continuing in the vibe of the EP. By the way, Noisecreep really helped us bust out the EP, so thank you. I'd put together about 15 songs and had all the record company guys come in. It was the first time I'd ever had any record company people in my studio, the Chophouse, after 21 years. So this was a big deal for me. I had nine tunes queued up I'd wanted to crush them with, but in the end they ended up listening to all 15. And they said they were blown away. That made me feel incredible. They didn't think we could beat the EP - and we did - that was their review. These were seven or eight people that I really respect. That's what matters with this stuff - when the people you respect really like it. As a kid that still plays music and wants recognition, everybody loves applause. These guys are heavyweights and to have them like it is very cool for me.
What were some of the first records you listened to?
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was one of the first records I could steal from my brother's collection. The Jimi Hendrix records Are You Experienced and Smash Hits were huge for me. Then Nazareth, and of course KISS. I was 12 when they just really hit their peak. When you're that age, KISS is so appealing and that's what I got sucked into it. I loved that larger-than-life approach they took. In my instance, I was in a group playing in a band at 13 and I was sort of like Gene [Simmons] because I played bass. I was always thinking about him back then. And being from Detroit, you know, KISS was huge there. I've told him this before and likes hearing about he influenced so many of us.
You've told us before about your first concert - the Nugent show.
Absolutely! I was a farm kid when I went to that. I still had horse shit on my boots at that show. I remember getting a 7-Up and an ice cream cone at the concession stand while all these people were smoking dope! I couldn't believe what was happening. Nugent's got on the loincloth and he's swinging over the crowd and chicks are showing him their boobs. And I'm thinking, this guy's got something. So between the KISS records and that Ted Nugent concert, that was it. I was going to be in a rock band. The concert was like my own version of the movie Dazed and Confused. I came out of that place with a total buzz after inhaling everything in the air.
What can you tell us about the upcoming tour?
Rehearsals have been very powerful. This is old-school metal and I think people are going to like us live. People will love this band - I mean, I'm a fan of these guys! I watch Mike play and it is beyond description. This tour is to be done with a real punk rock ethic. This is just a chance to dust the rust off of the band and get into small places where I can see everyone's eyes. There's no grand production or pyro or anything - it's just us and the music. It's about the positive energy and reactions to music. We're just real happy to get close to the people. I feel like I'm 19 again and just ready to kill it. I've had the blessing of being with some pretty serious outfits and I really have always tried to pay attention when given those chances. In this case, I've never been able to do this - my lyrics - my songs top to bottom - I'm taking this very seriously and I think people will love these shows.
Newsted tour dates:
4/19 & 4/20 Walnut Creek, CA @ Red House
4/23 San Jose, CA @ San Jose Rock Shop
4/24 Fresno, CA @ The Starline
4/26 Sparks, NV @ The Alley
4/27 Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
5/1 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
5/3 Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl
5/4 Mesa, AZ @ KUPD Ufiesta / Quail Run Park
5/15 Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock
5/17 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
5/18 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
5/21 New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
5/22 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs
5/23 Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony