Newsted Ready to Rock Concert Audiences With New Material and a Sprinkle of Metallica Tunes
Newsted will play their first official gigs tonight (April 19) and tomorrow (April 20) at the Red House in Walnut Creek, Calif., and many fans are wondering what to expect from Jason Newsted’s new band. The former Metallica bassist re-emerged on the music scene late last fall, revealing his new self-titled group with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth. Then, just recently, the band added longtime Staind guitarist Mike Mushok, whose group is currently in the midst of a hiatus.
With only their four-song ‘Metal’ EP released so far, there’s a lot left to the imagination at this point, and Loudwire spoke with Newsted, who gave us some details of what the band’s first trek would entail. Our chat about the tour can be read below:
With Mike Mushok on board and the tour coming up immediately, how are things coming together as a live band?
We just started our rehearsals for the focus of the sets. We have different set times for when we’re doing all these shows in the next couple of weeks with some 35 minutes, 45 minutes, 55 minutes and then there’s some headlining sets. We’re doing the West Coast first and then we come to the Midwest and East for a little bit in May and those are really to get out there and give back to the people and see everyone’s eyes and get the building all sweaty.
It’s very much a punk rock ethic and no production thing. We’re just going to come out and talk and kick some ass and get together with the people. That’s what we’ll do for these first ones as we warm up for the European festivals. We’ll do 13 countries in June and then there’s a bunch of stuff happening this summer that I can’t quite tell you yet, but there’s some really great offers out there that we’ve got our hat in the ring on, so I’m really looking forward to those opportunities.
But I really want to keep it as positive as possible. That’s what my whole trip is on this one. We’ll come out and be heavy and metal and scary, but I want to make sure that everyone knows exactly how happy I am to be there.
By now, most people have had a chance to hear the ‘Metal’ EP, but can you talk about how you plan to fill-out the full live sets?
We’ve got a bunch of our songs, like 20-some odd songs to choose from and then I want to make sure to pepper it with some things that people know me for. I only feel righteous about doing a few Metallica things and I don’t feel right riding on coattails. I don’t plan on doing that and I don’t plan on starting now. So I have the right to sing the middle of ‘Creeping Death’ — die mother—-er. I do, so I’m gonna. And ‘Whiplash,’ people know me for singing that, ‘Seek and Destroy,’ I’ve sung that before. There’s only two people to have sung in Metallica and I’m one of them. So the ones that I did sing, I’ll do a little snippet here and there for people, but I don’t think I’ll do full versions of any of those songs, but I’ll do a piece here, a piece there and remind everybody that didn’t know where this is coming from. You’ve got ‘Misery’ and ‘Blackened’ and ‘Wild Thing’ so those are the ones I have a right to share with people and will share as we go, but once again, talking length of sets, if I can creep a few things in then I will, but I always makes sure to put in a familiar thing in between the unfamiliar songs.
It’s going to be a challenge since people only know four of our songs, so I’m looking forward to turning them on with the new stuff. I think it’s very exciting in that way actually.
Newsted’s inaugural North American trek will run through mid-May. The itinerary can be seen here. Stay tuned for our full interview with Jason Newsted on his upcoming album, the ‘Metal’ EP (available at iTunes) and the addition of Mike Mushok to the lineup.