Despite the fact that it's already been two years since bassist Jason Newsted announced he was leaving METALLICA, the legal aspects of the separation have just now been fully resolved.

"We're just now actually coming to a resolution on all of our agreements for our business things and stuff," Newsted told Launch. "It took awhile to pull all that together. Man, they sound strong, and I've heard, you know, reports from my little spies and stuff that everybody's kicking ass and they're doing some hours in the studio, so I hope that they can do it. I hope they can do what they say they can do, man. If [James] Hetfield's determined, it will happen."

METALLICA's as-yet-untitled new album is tentatively due in June. Newsted, meanwhile, has joined Canada's VOIVOD, which will release a self-titled album in March. To promote the CD, VOIVOD will begin a tour of approximately 30 U.S. cities on April 10. Then the band will head to Europe, where they'll play summer festivals. They may even wind up doing Denmark's Roskilde Festival, which is being headlined by METALLICA.

"That would sure be cool if that could happen," Newsted told MTV.com. "I think it would be fantastic to play some shows together. Those guys are actually into what we're doing. A sampler of our album is playing as the hold music on one of the message machines over there at their headquarters. I thought that was really cool."


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