Jason is now 58-years old, he left Metallica about 20 years ago now and played with them for about 15 years. In a recent interview with Florida Daily Post Jason discussed his exit from the band, the interview has only recently been upload to YouTube.
A setback from surgeries
On speaking why he can’t play Metallica songs anymore Jason said “The surgeries kind of set me back. I kept playing music the best that I could, and I haven’t ever been able to come all the way back; I’m, like, 90-something percent full. I can’t play the full Metallica stuff; I couldn’t do the show anymore like that.
He continued “As the times went by in the earlier years, [I kept asking myself] ‘What if? What it you had stayed? What if? etc — that kind of thing. And everybody — except for maybe my sister, my wife and my dad and my brothers and my mom; they [told me], ‘You do you.’ They were in it close enough with me. They went to enough shows, they saw enough of the backstage stuff, they saw what took place. And they were, like, ‘We get it. You do you. ‘How in the hell could you do that? You’re throwing away tens of millions of dollars? Why would you do that? Why would you step out of the biggest and best band of all time? What are you thinking?'”
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I was always with the fans
“You don’t know where I’ve been. But it took me a while to convince them. So, as I think about that ‘What if? etc, it worked out exactly like it was supposed to. I’m not saying I could have planned it or anything like that. So it took for the years to subside, which is really nice, and now I’ve got 19 years. I’ve had a whole other two or three lifetimes since I was in that big thing that provided all of this for me.
“I’ll never talk a bad word about anything like that or the guys; they gave me my chance and my life, and I worked as hard as I could. I was always with the fans. Something back here told me I have to spend every minute I can with the people ’cause it’s not always gonna be like this. And so I did; that was my thing. They made fun of me for how much time I spent with the fans. Really — they ridiculed me for how much time I spent with the fans. And now I wouldn’t change one thing. I had my doubts at a certain time, but now I know.
Music with The Chophouse Band
“The music I’m playing with The Chophouse Band is what I’m able to play. And sometimes it gets vicious, and sometimes it gets nice and ugly, and all that stuff, but I know I can play this forever. This music and the Johnny Cash I can play sitting right here or laying right there or dancing around over there, I can still play music. I know for a fact I cannot play the way that I would want to play in Voivod, Metallica — any of those bands. I don’t have the physicality to do that anymore.” Newsted concluded “I only do six shows a year, and I do them right.”
It was back in 2003 that Robert Trujillo replaced Jason Newsted, Trujillo remains in the band as of this day. The induction of Metallica in the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame was the final time Newsted and Metallica appeared on stage together.