I’m giving this one good strong shot. I want to do the very best that I possibly can at this time in our calendar. After all the experiences I’ve had, I’ve been very privileged to play with some pretty wicked players. This is the culmination of all those different bands that I’ve played with and projects that I’ve done. Now it’s serious: the first time I’ve written songs from top to bottom, all my lyrics and my vocal, and the first time my name’s on something, so there’s a lot of new ground here, but a lot of reasons for it.
Did you ever consider naming the band anything other than Newsted?
I did. I’ve never had a problem coming up with band names. A lot of my pals do, but I’ve never had an issues with that. Over time, with Papa Wheelie and Echobrain, I’ve had a slew of cool project names. But my associate producer Frank Munoz, he’s always pushing me for this. He was like “ you’ve just got to use ‘Newsted.’” This is a global thing. I’ve worked 30 years going around the globe with some big bands and some other bands, making a name for myself and being an ambassador of metal. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, if you’ve been in those circles over the last 30 years, you know what Newsted means, you know what metal means no matter what your dialect is. You put those two together, and there’s no mystery of what they’re going to get this time. I’ve played so many different styles, from Govt. Mule to Echobrain and DJ Shadow. But they know this is my forte, and metal’s coming at them.
Had you entertained partnering with labels to put this out, or was it always going to be something you did by yourself?
It’s a grass roots thing, a three or four man team out of my garage, basically. We got it to debut at #1 on iTunes metal charts versus a bunch of big organization bands. So just out of our grass roots thing with a few of my bros, we’ve been able to make that happen. So I’ve got that in my corner. At about the turn of the year, when everyone came back to work, the phone started ringing, and it hasn’t stopped since. There’s a lot of different offers, live shows and labels and agents. We have made some decisions over the last couple of days. I will get a proper distributor to put the record out, but it will be on the Chophouse label. And we have taken on Chief Music Management out of Vancouver and added them to our team. They brought Nickelback to fame from out of nowhere, and some cool country bands, like Florida Georgia Line and a few other pretty good acts.
So you’re building your team, which has got to be pretty exciting.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about this stuff. I realized that the Metallica mentality still stays true in so many ways. As long as you have the right people, you only need a few people. As long as they’re doing what they do right, and they assume their role and do is as good as they can do it, that’s how I know it can work. Through all of time, Metallica toured as an eight man entity. Our own immediate party was four band members, and four other people, and that was the entire entourage. At that level, that’s amazing. When we went out with Guns [‘N Roses], they had 38. We had eight. That’s some perspective right there, and that’s how I learned. You have a few people that really kick ass, and that’s what I’m assembling now.