Although there’s been some buzz generated about the band, fans are only now getting to discover what the hype is all about. Their eponymous debut album dropped March 5, with the tour starting a few weeks later. Prior to that, EchoBrain had played only one live show and it was last August.

While EchoBrain have just recently taken to doing normal band things (i.e. touring and recording), their origins actually date back to 1995, when Newsted and drummer Sagrafena met. The story goes that Newsted heard the then 16-year-old Sagrafena pounding out some beats during a Super Bowl party and knew he had to get the kid over to his studio.

“I had this drum kit there and people would come on and do their one drum beat,” said Newsted. “All of a sudden, I hear this funky beat with properly used high hat and it’s this kid about five feet tall pulling the stuff out. It was obvious that for a young person, his chops were beyond developed.”

Sagrafena invited his pal Donkin to join him at Newsted’s Chophouse (his home studio) and the trio soon began jamming. In early 2001, Newsted left Metallica and the trio formed a full-time EchoBrain.