MEGADETH has canceled its previously announced Australian tour dates after the promoter allegedly erroneously blamed the band for removing former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted‘s new project, simply called NEWSTED, from the billing of MEGADETH‘s “off” dates during this year’s Soundwave festival.

A number of news outlets reported last week that NEWSTED had been taken off MEGADETH‘s side shows in Sydney and Melbourne while touring Australia on the annual Soundwave trek. The festival organizers claimed via Twitter that Jason Newsted‘s band was removed from the dates “at the request of MEGADETH.” However, MEGADETH tour manager Jim Carroccio denied this, telling ABC New Radio: “[MEGADETH mainman] Dave Mustaine is not responsible for booting NEWSTED off [the Soundwave festival ‘off’ dates]. Dave did not put [Jason] on the bill and did not take him off the bill.”

He added: “Dave submitted a list of bands he was comfortable with and the promoter ignored the list.

Dave and Jason are friends [and] this has blown up into something silly.”

Earlier today (Sunday, February 9), Mustaine released the following statement via the official MEGADETH Facebook page:

“Due to circumstances beyond its control, unfortunately, MEGADETH has to cancel their Australian dates.

MEGADETH‘s decision is unrelated to the fact that Jason Newsted is performing at SoundwaveJason and I spoke recently and continue to be friends.”

Mustaine added in a separate posting an hour later: “All I asked for was an apology for blaming me for something I didn’t do. I am still willing to play, but the promoter would rather not apologize and prefers to say I asked him to lie, which I didn’t.

“Am I the only one that sees how easy it is to fix this?

“[Australian touring mogul and Soundwave promoter] AJ Maddah that I know is a wise and caring man, and I don’t know what has happened to my old friend.

“My bags are packed, Aussie fans.”

Maddah has since responded to Mustaine via the following series of tweets:

Dave, we have been friends for a long time and I love you. Your family is like my own. But the only people being punished here are the fans.

“We took instructions from your representatives and we acted on those instructions, as we would with any other artist.

“I realise that you fired your agent and manager and appointed new ones during the process… And that there may have been misunderstandings or miscommunications, but none of those were at our end.

“Despite [all] of this, I sent you a statement regarding possible misunderstandings / miscommunications, apologising to fans, etc. … even though my people did everything by the book and correct protocol was undertaken getting approvals for supports. There are strings of emails supporting this, including ones forwarded with instructions to remove certain artists.

“I am not sure where and how you believe you are owed an apology. And if you are, it should be from your own reps!

“All you are doing by cancelling is punishing the fans who have had no part in any of this.

“Your reps approved your supports and sent clear instructions. They even approved artwork and press release.

“If you have a quarrel, or you were not consulted, then your issue is with your reps and not Australian reps or your old friend!

“So here it is, Dave. I apologize for whatever slight you think I have done you.

“So, does this mean tour is back on?”