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Jason Newsted Describes the ‘Epiphany’ That Revitalized His Solo Career

Jason Newsted
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Jason Newsted didn’t exactly rush into a full-time solo career after leaving Metallica. In fact, as he revealed during a recent interview with Classic Rock Revisited, it took the group’s 30th anniversary — and his brief reunion with his former bandmates during their all-star celebration shows — to remind him what music really meant to him.

“I went down and we started rocking and the people went crazy. It was unexpected,” Newsted explained. “I knew it was going to be fun, but I had no idea I would get that kind of response; they really missed me. I didn’t have a perspective on it and I could not fathom it. I got bit big time. I had an epiphany on stage. About the third night of that week, I knew I had to give it one more good shot, as the people wanted to hear from me. I went home and started thinking about my options.”

After his interviewer noted that it seems like Newsted found himself again, he responded, “Oh, for sure. I discovered something I knew was always there, as playing old school metal is my forte. I came back to that for sure. I re-discovered that part of me.”

But Newsted’s artistic rebirth represented an evolution as well as a rediscovery; not only is he putting a new emphasis on songwriting, he’s also been working to improve as a singer — to do something more than what he referred to as “the Cookie Monster type vocals.” “I work on it quite a bit,” he added. “We have captured a lot of great performances on these songs and I want to make sure I do them proud. I take a lot better care of my voice than I ever have before. It is a new voice in this old school body. I found my voice, but it really took a while to get there.” You can read the rest of the interview with Newsted here.

Next: 10 Best Metallica Songs

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