Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman was interviewed by Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal on the fourth episode of the “Metal Assault” radio show on the Los Angeles-based station Razor KXRZ.
On what he is currently doing:
Friedman: “I’m actually here in L.A. recording my new album, which is gonna come out around January. I’ll be working on this album for the next month and a half or so, and then it will be done. And I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.”
On the musical direction of his upcoming solo CD:
Friedman: “[This is] by far the most intense and the most heavy and the most… How do you say this…? It’s the most… If you like any of my stuff, this would be the most ‘Marty‘ of anything. So if you hate my stuff, you’re gonna really hate this record a lot. It’s very uncommercial.
“I wanted to make a record that, there’s no dispute that, when people say they’re a fan of my music, or they like my music, that this is the representative of my whole musical sound.
“I rarely listen to my previous stuff, but sometimes I listen back to it and see what was going on. And a song called ‘Forbidden City‘ kind of made me think, ‘I’m really still happy with this song, even though it was recorded a long, long time ago. I wanted to do something, not along the lines of ‘Forbidden City‘, but much more intense, because that was a long time ago, and I’ve come so far since then, and I can do so much more, and I know how to do that kind of thing so much better than I did back then. So I wanted to do kind of like the 2014 version of just the deeper, heavier, more intense version of that kind of ‘Forbidden City‘ kind of mood. And I remember, that type of mood was very, very uncommercial at that time, so it’s probably way more uncommercial now, but it’s just like, the hell with it, I’m just doing it my way. So that’s kind of the theme of whole album — just all abandon, all bets off, just go crazy.
“I’m constantly evolving, so for better or for worse, this is the most evolved, most intense version of myself as a guitarist and as an artist and as a songwriter and all that. But this time, probably more of a metal spirit than ever before, so that might be a little bit different.”
On making his new album for the American market:
Friedman: “This is the first time that I’m doing something with America in mind — to really kind of give America what I would like to represent myself with. ‘Cause a lot of the stuff I’ve done since… I did a very small tour in 2003 — a solo tour — and that’s it. So I’ve done so much stuff in Japan, and I really haven’t considered doing something in America. I always thought, if I’m gonna do something in America, it’s gotta be something that is really, really super special, to make it worth coming back. So that’s what this album and this new tour cycle is going to be.”
On whether there are any metal musicians he would like to collaborate with:
Friedman: “On my new album that’s coming out next [year], there’s a lot of people I’m collaborating with in metal; they’re people all metal people definitely know and love. And I’m not gonna tell you who they are yet. But, really, kind of the idea that got me into doing this American thing is this record company, Prosthetic, put together kind of a list of the people who have said good things about me in the press in America. And I don’t really follow what’s going on outside of Japan, so I kind of really didn’t know. The Prosthetic guys made this big list of all these people and they wrote this wonderful stuff about me. And I was literally drawn to tears with what these guys were saying, and how they were influenced by me, and just the stuff that they were saying about my music in detail and my playing. And I was really blown away, ’cause I really don’t follow a lot of that — what people say in the press. And it was just so nice to see it in print and to check out the guys who were saying it. And there’s so many great musicians in metal nowadays — more so than back in the ’90s. Metal has really evolved into something cool, and I’m really interested in it much more now than when I was playing in MEGADETH. When I was in MEGADETH, I thought we were the best, and that was it. Now there’s a lot of great bands, and when some of these new bands come back and say, ‘I listen to a lot of Marty‘s stuff,’ really, it’s a big deal for me. So that kind of got me inspired to do collaborations with some of these great people, as well as doing the most intense, revved up version of Marty‘s stuff. So a lot of these great people that I’ve wanted to collaborate with, I’m actually collaborating with them on my new record.”