Marty Friedman (of Cacophony and Megadeth fame) has always had an interesting story. Post-Megadeth years found the celebrated guitarist moving to Japan, releasing numerous acclaimed solo albums and becoming a television star! Always one to follow his muse over the cliché or easy path, Marty is an icon to the metal world.
The great Prosthetic Records has reissued three fantastic Friedman albums for North American consumption! 2010’s “Bad DNA” and 2008’s “Future Addict” have only been available in Japan until now, streamlined and electric collections of Marty tearing it up in his forward thinking, signature style. In addition, perhaps Marty’s best album “Loudspeaker” from 2006 is also getting a sweet reissue treatment.
I was very honored to talk to Marty about Prosthetic, his surreal life in Japan, his favorite Megadeth solo, Billy Sheehan and donating all his Megadeth guitars for tsunami relief. What a class act!
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Morgan Y. Evans: Marty! It is an honor to communicate with you and thank you for taking the time. You were one of my first favorite “metal” guitarists as a kid when “Sweating Bullets” came out. I remember hearing your contributions to that song and it opened my mind to that type of music years ago. I have never looked back! My first question is, some people think of you as one of the most exotic guitarists in the world. Does that feel accurate to you? I just was talking about opening minds through playing styles. You could have chosen to stick to a more “commercial” metal life but instead admirably have without a doubt followed your musical muse. What is it about the allure of the guitar that has constantly driven you to strive to break new musical ground?
MYE: Marty, how does it feel to have the reissues come out on the well respected Prosthetic Records? They are a great metal label and have recently also increased their instrumental records profile with the band Scale The Summit. How did your new agreement with that label come about?
MYE: I am a big fan of “Elixir”, the track from “Loudspeaker” that you did with Billy Sheehan. What can you share of your recollections regarding that collaboration?
MYE: Can you describe the different feelings or emotions you have when you think of each of these reissued albums individually? What was going on in your life during the creation of each that resulted in the compositions taking the road they did?
“Bad D.N.A.” sonically has my favorite guitar sound of all my albums so far. I recorded it at my fave studio in LA, The Village Recorder, but I wrote most of it in a hotel in Singapore where I bought a guitar at a local music store and recorded tons of demos on my laptop. I love that place. I didn`t want to drag the guitar back home so I gave the guitar to the boyfriend of a girl I just met there. Boy was he surprised!
MYE: A good friend of mine Dave from a death metal band called Cold War Survivor really wanted me to ask you what is your favorite solo you played during your time in Megadeth. I hope you don’t mind answering that.
MYE: You have been in high profile music videos, collaborated with the greats and also been a pioneer in your own right. Still, being used to cameras or the public scrutiny may still not have prepared you for hosting Japanese television, right? Were you nervous at first when you started this aspect of your career?
MYE: What was it that originally made Japanese culture so fascinating to you, eventually creating a desire within you to relocate there? It is now arguably your true “home”. Also, I thought it was very cool when I heard you had done a lot of fund raising to help with tsunami relief in Japan in 2011. Can you talk about that a little bit as well?
MYE: It is funny. I have done a lot of big interviews but this one has made me nervous as, again, you are one of the first metal heroes of mine I ever saw on TV as a kid. “We’re not worthy”! I guess, in closing, instead of trying to form my own half-witted summary of your career, could you discuss in your own words what some of your favorite moments or highlights of your life as an artist have been and how they helped you grow as a musician or person?
MYE: Thank You so much Marty!