The band Newsted's inclusion on this year's Gigantour brings the specter of Metallica into play for the heavy metal package.
The tour is the brainchild of Dave Mustaine, who founded tour headliner Megadeth in 1983, after being ousted from Metallica. Jason Newsted, meanwhile, served as Metallica's bassist from 1985-2001. He's publicly broached the idea about possibly teaming with Mustaine to "bust out" a Metallica song together, which Mustaine has said he's open to.
And the Battle Creek-born Newsted says he may give fans even more of his old band during his sets.
"I have no problem throwing in some old Metallica stuff, things I feel righteous about playing," says Newsted, 50, whose musical resume also includes Ozzy Osbourne, Voivod, Flotsam & Jetsam and Gov't Mule. "There have been two singers in Metallica in 31 years, and I'm one of them. So being the guy that brought a couple of those songs back to life -- 'Creeping Death,' 'Whiplash' and so forth -- and I have songwriting credits on a few things.
"So I feel like I have the right to do those and may try to throw a few things in, depending on how people are reacting."
Mostly, however, Newsted wants to focus on Newsted music. He formed the band in 2012 after a six-year hiatus from music during which he painted and let himself heal from a neck injury. "It was mostly a getting your ya-ya's out kind of deal," with some friends, Newsted explains. Adding Staind guitarist Mike Mushok earlier this year, it grow into a four-song EP, "Metal," that hit No. 1 on the iTunes metal chart and a full-length album, "Heavy Metal Music," that's due out Aug. 6.
It's also put Newsted front and center as the leader of his own band, a prospect he says makes him "nervously excited."
"I've got a lot of optimism, but I've got to be careful about my expectations," Newsted acknowledges. "That's the thing I've learned so far. I'm assuming many new roles here being the frontman, the lead vocalist, representing my own songs with my name on it. There's a lot of, I'm not going to say pressure but challenges to myself that are very important to follow through on.
"But I don't think I have anything to prove to anybody. What I have to do is reaffirm to everyone what they already know and bring the music to the people. I'm coming out the same fighting weight I was on the (Metallica) black album, so when they see me they should know what they're gonna get."
Gigantour 2013 featuring Megadeth, Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted and Death Division, starts at 4 p.m. Monday, July 8, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $20-$75 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $44 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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