Rocker Jason Newsted and his eponymous band have pulled out of Australia's touring Soundwave festival and cancelled all live gigs until the end of March (14). The former Metallica bassist broke the news to Newsted fans with a post online this week (ends21Feb14), blaming "private and personal circumstances" for the axe, although he stopped short of detailing the specific reasons behind the cancellation. The statement reads: "Due to private and personal circumstances, we sincerely regret to inform you that the NEWSTED band is unable to perform in February and March as scheduled. "Our deepest apologies for any inconvenience to you. We are all gutted by this turn of events. Our hope is that we will have another opportunity to share our heavy music with you all again sometime in the near future. "I'm sorry, sisters and brothers, We were really looking forward to these shows too." Newsted's withdrawal from the Soundwave festival, which is due to kick off in Brisbane on Saturday (22Feb14), comes just days after Megadeth were forced to dismiss rumours suggesting Dave Mustaine's group had demanded Newsted be booted from the event's Sidewaves shows amid rumours of a feud. Megadeth subsequently scrapped their Soundwave appearances due to "circumstances beyond its control". Mustaine was fired from Metallica in 1983, three years before Newsted joined the band.