Former Metallica Bassist Rethinks Interviews After Van Halen Comments

A reunion tour that wasn't prompts regrets

Jason Newsted
Jason Newsted in his Metallica days.
Mick Hutson/Redferns

Jason Newsted’s career in music spans decades, and while he’s most strongly associated with Metallica — the group for which he played bass from 1986 to 2001 — that’s only a part of his impressive discography. He’s played with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Voivod; he also contributed to UNKLE’s 1998 debut Psyence Fiction.

More recently, though, Newsted’s drawn attention for a musical venture he opted not to take part in — and it’s led him to publicly rethink his approach to the media.

Earlier this month, Newsted told The Palm Beach Post that Alex Van Halen had approached him last year about joining an iteration of the band on tour. The lineup would have also included Joe Satriani on guitar. But in the end, Newsted opted not to participate.

Now, according to a new report from Ultimate Classic Rock, those comments sparked something of a controversy, with Satriani expressing surprise that Newsted had spoken about the project. For his part, Newsted seemed frustrated that the article had focused on that, as opposed to a benefit his band was playing for a local arts organization that works with children.

“I talked about two seconds about that, and that’s what they chose to go for,” Newsted said in an interview with radio station 98.7. “They didn’t talk about the conservatory, the kids’ classes, the things that we’re doing.”

“I don’t know what interviews I’ll do again,” he added. “I’m not sure if I’ll say yes to anything.”

Given his hopes of promoting a good cause with the interview, Newsted’s frustration is understandable. At the same time, he’s also someone who’s been making music in high-profile bands for decades; it seems odd that he wouldn’t have any awareness that his comments about a proposed Van Halen reunion/tribute tour might overshadow anything else he brought up in that conversation.

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