Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says he loves what he's heard of the group's new album — and he might even be talking to his old bandmates about some sort of collaboration.

Newsted seemed to hint at the possibility during a recent visit to Eddie Trunk Live (via Team Rock), dodging the question a bit and responding "all three" when asked whether his current contact with the members of Metallica was on a friendly level, business-related or connected with some new music. He was more than willing, however, to offer an opinion on the band's upcoming Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct.

"I can’t believe how wicked it is," said Newsted of the title track. "I heard it a couple of times. I like its nature, I like its teeth. It’s great. ... I’m excited for them, man. I’m proud of them."

As for any potential reunion between Metallica and Newsted, who left the lineup in 2001, fans will just have to settle for conjecture, at least for now. But he did make it clear that he's "always" in contact with the group.

"I’ve got a call with Lars coming up on Thursday here. I’ve been talking to him every couple of weeks," he explained. "As they’re coming out with a new record, there’s a lot of stuff going on within the underpinnings of it all, or whatever you wanna call it. We always are in touch. Now we’re actually doing voice-to-voice, which is nice. I’m hoping to be able to get person-to-person before long."

Newsted recently announced a new project, Would and Steal, which he described as "mostly acoustic." As he told fans, he feels he's taken the loud and fast approach as far as he can. "I’ve already climbed that mountain," said Newsted. "We got Grammy awards, the Hall of Fame and all those different things. That’s as far as you can go in that kind of music. It’s someone else’s turn to have fun in that music now."

Metallica Albums Ranked Worst to Best