Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted spoke to the 98.7 The Gater radio station about the April 23 show he will perform with his THE CHOPHOUSE BAND at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida. It is a benefit event for the Goldner Conservatory, a professional conservatory that offers the highest caliber of artistic education to students of all ages.
“During my COVID downtime, I was in upstate New York. I wrote about 35 new songs during that,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “I brought it back to my boys. I was sending them the tapes, the demos, sending it up to them to learn them… And that’s what we’re going to do at the Maltz. We’re playing a couple of songs that people are familiar with, inspired by Johnny Cash and stuff, but most of it is all new original music from THE CHOPHOUSE BAND. I’m not playing any acoustic guitar anymore — it’s just Les Pauls and SGs and stuff now. Some of it’s a little quieter but most of it’s not.”
Elaborating on the musical direction of the new THE CHOPHOUSE BAND material, Jason said: “THE CHOPHOUSE BAND started out as almost a bluegrass-tinged thing, and now it gets to some places that are as heavy as anything else that I’d been involved with — VOIVOD, Ozzy [Osbourne], METALLICA, NEWSTED band; any of that stuff — it gets to those places now.”
Adding that he “loves” singing, Newsted said: “Now since the last time anybody saw THE CHOPHOUSE BAND, we have a vocal group within the band. Now there are four singers in the band. I have two singers from New York — a female and male singer — that are coming down to join us. And so I’m singing eight or 10 songs, and they’re singing the rest, but I do background vocals and stuff now. So I can actually really concentrate on playing the guitar and then singing that background stuff. And there’s screaming and some [growling] also. So I still haven’t lost that. And it lets people know that there’s still one foot in that place. You can take the boy out of the metal [but] you can’t take the metal out of the boy; it’s just the way it’s always gonna be. So I’m excited for people to be able to witness what we have been working so hard at. I put a lot — a lot — of energy into these new songs.”
Newsted also revealed that THE CHOPHOUSE BAND will enter the studio on May 5 to begin recording its debut album. Asked if he will release the LP himself, Jason replied “yes” before clarifying, “Actually, it’s possible — very possible — that I’ll be back into the Q Prime fold [METALLICA‘s longtime management company] with that kind of backing, like a real-deal thing.”
Named after Jason‘s four recording studio facilities around the U.S. and featuring a fluid roster of players, THE CHOPHOUSE BAND began in 1992 when Newsted founded The Chophouse Records Studio in San Francisco.
THE CHOPHOUSE BAND is led by Newsted, playing guitar and performing lead vocal, accompanied by close friends/musicians of all walks and styles.
Jason previously told the Palm Beach Florida Weekly about THE CHOPHOUSE BAND: “We all get along great because there’s not money involved. They’ve got their own bands, their own families, their own gigs. We do benefit gigs, six a year, and that’s it. I record and write and play songs the whole rest of the time. They could all run circles around me musical theory-wise. They could tell you everything they’re playing, and all the relating chords. I surround myself with the badasses, and they make me look really good. I’m playing cowboy chords the whole time, and they’re doing their fancy shit to make me look good. I just concentrate on singing, and getting across the things I want people to hear.”
Jason left METALLICA back in 2001, but was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, along with Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and the man who replaced him, bassist Robert Trujillo, in 2009.
Eight years ago, Jason shelved NEWSTED, the heavy metal project he operated between 2012 and 2014, saying that it cost him “an awful lot of money — hundreds of thousands of dollars.” He added: “I couldn’t continue because the business is such a harsh thing now and so different than what I had known.”