Former-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted revealed that Alex Van Halen contacted him late last year in hopes of reforming Van Halen. Newsted chatted with The Palm Beach Post and explained that Alex had already enlisted guitar legend Joe Satriani to replace the late-Eddie Van Halen and was hoping that Newsted would fill out the core instrumental lineup.
Newsted said that although he had his doubts about the validity of a new lineup of Van Halen without Eddie, he was open to traveling to California to jam with the pair. He admitted he couldn't imagine how the proposed lineup could live up to the Van Halen legacy: "How could you? There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled." Newsted didn't mention whether David Lee Roth or another vocalist would have been used for the Alex-led lineup.
After years of repeating that he quit Metallica after being forced to choose between the band or a side solo project, Newsted also revealed that he left the band when, according to him, they wouldn't give him time off to ween himself from a dangerous painkiller addiction. Newsted, who became addicted after suffering a neck injury, told the band he needed a six-to eight-month break to sort himself out: "For some reason they weren’t willing to do that."
He spoke about 21 years he been a working musician away from Metallica: "It’s like a crazy-ass, hollow void that will probably not ever really be filled. It was a really horrible, lonely feeling. I was like, why did you screw yourself so hard? Why did you? But I had to think, also, you wouldn’t be breathing right now if you hadn’t done it."
Newsted revealed that back in 2004, he overdosed on opioids after undergoing shoulder surgery: "That was kind of the day it turned around. From then on, I just worked on getting out of it. They build (the drug) so it gets right into your fiber, and it won’t let its hooks loose. . . Everything that I’d known was gone, everybody that had taught me about life and the world, all of the crew guys. . . everybody that was my family on the road. I divorced three people in the band . . . and then 85-105 family members just evaporated out of my life."