By Amanda Wicks

Metallica has one long-lasting fan even though he’s no longer with the band. Former bassist Jason Newsted heard their new song “Hardwired” and he’s hooked.

“I can’t believe how wicked it is,” he said. “I heard it a couple of times. Somebody played it for me in a car, and I brought it home and listened to it a little bit. I like its nature. I like its teeth, man. It’s great” (via Loudwire).

Related: Metallica’s James Hetfield Reflects on ‘Master of Puppets’

Newsted also shared that he’s been in regular contact with Metallica, especially Lars Ulrich. “I’ve been talking to him every couple of weeks,” he explained. “As they’re coming out with their new record, there’s a lot of stuff going on within the underpinnings of it all, or whatever you wanna call it, so we always are in touch. And now we’ve actually been doing voice-to-voice, which is nice, and I’m hoping to be able to get person-to-person before long. But they do have quite a bit to do here with this new record. So I’m excited for ’em, man. I’m proud of ’em.”

As to what their communication is about–whether Jason was just being friendly or whether he was talking about a potential reunion–he seemed to hint that it was a little bit of everything, though he wouldn’t talk specifics. Newsted quit the band back in 2001.

After debuting their new song, “Hardwired,” during their Minnesota show on August 20, Metallica is gearing up to release their tenth studio album Hardwire…to Self-Destruct on November 18. At the same show where they debuted “Hardwired,” Ulrich promised fans a massive tour would follow in 2017.

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