Jason Newsted opens up on acoustic inspiration

Jason Newsted
Jason Newsted (Image credit: Getty)

Jason Newsted has opened up on why his focus is now on playing acoustic material.

He previously stated he changed direction as he’d achieved everything he could with heavy music during his time in Metallica.

And he now reports he picked up the acoustic guitar when he was with his ill mother, who passed away in March this year.

The bassist tells Eddie Trunk (via Blabbermouth): “I had to keep playing, and she knows I had to keep playing. So I picked up the acoustic and started doing what I was able to do when I was just hanging around her, and started learning my cowboy chords and started collecting my songs.

“This was about the beginning of summer of 2014. So I would play certain songs for her, kind of choking through them – a bass player playing heavy-handed on the acoustic guitar and just banging these cowboy chords out and learning Johnny Cash, Neil Young and George Jones and more popular things like that.

“A couple of years later, I’ve dug in a lot deeper than that, but it was originally inspired by where I’d play mom songs. She wouldn’t necessarily remember which ones I’d played for her, and so she would react to certain songs the same way each time she heard them as if she was hearing them the first time.”

Newsted says that guided him as to what songs to follow up, and also showed him what tracks “had the groove.”

He continues: “That’s how I started collecting my songs. I had to keep playing music but the way and the form that it had to take was me with an acoustic, one voice, working through those songs as I had to put everything else on hold.”

Earlier this week, Newsted reported he was in talks with Metallica about a potential collaboration – but stopped short of what form it would take.

Jason Newsted: Life Beyond Metallica

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.