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Marty Friedman: 'I don't think rejoining MEGADETH is realistic'


In a new interview with Finland’s Chaoszine, ex-MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman was asked what it was like to rejoin his former band twice on stage in six months last year — first in February 2023 at Tokyo, Japan’s famed Budokan and then in early August 2023 at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany. He responded: “Oh, it was fantastic. Budokan was the one thing that was kind of like unfinished business within the relationship between me and Dave (MustaineMEGADETH leader), which has always been fantastic and still is. But there was just that one little thing that was there that was just kind of left hanging there. And Dave was so gracious to invite me to play at the Budokan in Japan, and it was just a great, great way to tie things up — wonderful for me, wonderful for the band. But the fans, watching the fans who were there that night, it was just really something special, something unusual. The look of the fans was different from a normal show. People were in disbelief, and people were laughing and crying and big smiles and it was just kind of a really special event and I’m really glad that it happened.”

As for the Wacken show, Marty said: “That was kind of more coincidental because MEGADETH was playing there and I was playing there on — I forgot who played the festival first, if I played the day before the day after — but we were both in the same place, and we said, ‘Let’s do it again.’ And it was a thrill there as well.”

He added: “I’m just the biggest fan of those guys, ans anytime they ask me to play, I’m happy to do it. And I just wish them all the best with their lineup that they’ve got now and I’m glad to see them kicking ass.”

The interviewer then noted that former MEGADETH guitarist Kiko Loureiro suggested in an interview that he would have liked Friedman to rejoin MEGADETH after Kiko exited the group last fall. Asked if he was actually approached about coming back to MEGADETH when Kiko decided to leave the band, Marty said: “No, and I don’t think that’s realistic. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t think Dave would think that I would be a candidate to join the band, or rejoin the band, and it’s certainly not something that I thought of. I think they’re absolutely doing just fine the way they are.”

On the topic of MEGADETH‘s current guitarist Teemu Mäntysaari, who officially joined the band in November, Friedman said: “I met him for a moment at Wacken. He seemed like a very cool guy, and I wish him nothing but the best. He’s gonna have a good time with those guys.”

When the interviewer asked for more details about Friedman‘s meeting with Mäntysaari, pointing out that Marty is one of Teemu‘s “biggest influences”, Marty said: “I really didn’t have too much time to chat with him very much, because at the time Kiko was still in the band and he was there just kind of watching everything and just kind of being a fly on the wall and watching how the band does its business. He was a very polite, cool guy. And, unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him play there. Yeah, I didn’t really know what was going on in the band, but I just was there to do my show and hooked up with them for a show and he was there. And next thing you know, he’s in the band. So all the best to him.”

He continued: “I’m glad to hear he’s a fan of mine because that’s gonna help in MEGADETH. One of the things I remember about being in the band was it was really difficult for me to play the other guitar players’ guitar work. Luckily, when I was in the band, they only had like three albums out before I joined the band. But it was very, very difficult for me to even try to play Chris Poland‘s stuff, and I was not suited for that at all. So, if the new guy is familiar with my stuff, it’s gonna make his life a lot easier, and hopefully he’ll put his own stamp on things and he’ll make a whole lot of new fans too.”

Marty Friedman will release his new solo album, “Drama”, on May 17 via Frontiers Music Srl.

Recorded in Italy, “Drama” showcases Marty‘s unique touch, for the first time using both vintage and modern guitars. The album’s first single “Illumination” can already be streamed below. Marty paints atmospheric elements with a modern and exotic flair, promising “an unforgettable musical experience”.

Watch “Illumination” below.

“Drama” track listing:
01. Illumination
02. Song For An Eternal Child
03. Triumph (Official Version)
04. Thrill City
05. Deep End
06. Dead Of Winter
07. Mirage
08. A Prayer
09. Acapella
10. Tearful Confession
11. Icicles
12. 2 Rebeldes (Dead Of Winter)(Spanish version)
12. Mirage (Guitar Karaoke Version) (bonus track Japan)

Recording lineup:
Marty Friedman – Guitar
Wakazaemon – Bass
Gregg Bissonette – Drums
Mika Maruki – Piano, Keyboard & Synth
Hiyori Okuda – Cello
Miho Chigyo – Violin

Vocals on “Dead Of Winter”Chris Brooks (LIKE A STORM)
Vocals on “2 Rebeldes”Steven Baquero Vargas
Bass on “Mirage”Or Lubianiker
Rhythm guitar on “Thrill City”Naoki Morioka
Keys and synth on “Sanctuary”Takuro Iga
Drums on “Thrill City”Chargeeeeee

Marty previously talked about his next solo LP in October in an interview with Chris Akin Presents. At the time, he said: “I’ve been recording my upcoming album for almost a year now. And it’s gonna be finished by the end of the year, and it’s gonna come out in the spring of 2024. And boy, it’s an ambitious one. But, of course, I say that every time. But every time I have to top the one that was before it, so the task keeps getting more and more insane. And right now I would say I’m about 75 percent done with that.”

As for some of the other projects he is currently involved with, Marty said: “I’m editing my autobiography, which will come out also next year. And also, I just did the most exhaustive instructional video series for TrueFire — the most exhaustive one they’ve ever done and the most exhaustive one I’ve ever done by far. It’s the deepest dive into just the way I see music, which apparently is not the same as how others see it. Not that it’s better or worse, but it’s just completely different. So for the first time ever, including any of my other instructional things, for the first time ever, I’ve really actually worked hard on it and created this thing. And I did it at the end of the tour, the U.S. tour that I did earlier this year, and now it’s just about finished. [We’re] just putting the last edits on and just about done with that. So, it’s kind of a lot of post-production work at this point.”

Marty‘s latest album, Tokyo Jukebox 3, came out in April 2021 via The Players Club/Mascot Label Group. The record, which was made available in Japan in October 2020, is the third in a series that began with “Tokyo Jukebox” in 2009, and then “Tokyo Jukebox 2” following in 2011. The trilogy presents Friedman‘s inspired performances to Japanese repertoire he’s chosen to cover.

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