Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted spoke with Billboard.com about his decision to leave the band, which he says wasn’t without an offer to stay. “I gave them an offer first, and that is what people haven’t included in the story too much,” says Newsted. “I went in with a proposal saying, ‘I would like to take a year off and I’m going to pursue EchoBrain.’ James [Hetfield] had a kid that was four months old, and Lars [Ulrich] had a kid that was six months old. I’m like, ‘You guys go be with your babies. You’ve already been away from them for a tour, go be with them.’ I was trying to be compassionate, I thought. They didn’t hear it. I said, ‘Take one year off,’ and they said, ‘Nope,’ before it even entered their thought process. So, I said, ‘Okay, I’m walking away then.’ And they were pretty flabbergasted, actually. They didn’t think I would ever do it.”
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