It's been over 10 years since Jason Newsted's been in Metallica, but since he was with the band during their peak popularity, his exit from the band (coincidentally right before Metallica made their undisputed worst album) is still a topic of interest to many metalheads.
Newsted was interviewed by Scuzz TV in the UK and was asked about his exit. I guess enough time has passed where he felt he could finally open up fully about it. We knew previously that he quit because the rest of Metallica wanted Newsted to focus on Metallica and did not want him doing side projects, namely Echobrain project that he was working on.
Now, Newsted elaborates that what actually happened was Metallica's management at Q-Prime heard the Echobrain demos and were very impressed. They wanted to represent the band and push it using Newsted's built-in credibility of being in Metallica. Newsted alleges that once James Hetfield heard about this, he supposedly got jealous of management's interest, and assumed Echobrain's success would hurt Metallica. So, James "put the kibosh" on the entire thing, and the next day the management company called Newsted and told him they were no longer interested.
The next time the entire band met up for a shoot, Newsted showed up and offered copies of the new Echobrain record to everybody in the band, friends and Bob Rock, who was also present. James then reprimanded Newsted. Newsted claims he invested a lot of money into the project and ultimately did not make a profit. But more importantly, he was so offended by James' power play that he decided it was time to move on.
Here is the interview, cued up to the part where Newsted talks about leaving:
Apparently, Newsted holds Echobrain in high regard, even though it barely moved the needle in the metal scene. Remember:
Arguing who was right is a moot point. Newsted isn't coming back, he's moved on, the band has moved on and everybody has ultimately made their peace.
Personally, I feel like Newsted comes off looking a bit bad here even discussing it. He should've just gave a quick response and moved on, but maybe he's still harboring some resentment and needed to get it out.