MARTY FRIEDMAN: Only A Small Percentage Of People In Japan Know Me From MEGADETH

New Guitar recently conducted an interview with former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

New Guitar: The music on the “Tokyo Jukebox” albums sounds very optimistic and happy — a kind of opposite in comparison to what we heard in MEGADETH. I guess you are a in very happy period of your life. Any comments?

Marty: That is a very good observation. I was happy in MEGADETH and I am happy now. However, I have many more musical challenges now and that’s why my music has so many more emotions now. Positive feelings come out in my music much more now, even when the music I’m making now at times is much heavier than MEGADETH.

New Guitar: Your music changed after you moved to Japan. How did it affect your fans? Did you lose some of them and earn some? Do you meet people nowadays who say to you, “Oh, Marty, I liked you more in MEGADETH/CACOPHONY times because blah blah blah?” How do you respond them?

Marty: I hear everything from fans. In Japan, I have done so many different things, that only a small percentage of the people here know me from MEGADETH. I’ve done over 400 TV shows here, so most people have a different image of me. Outside of Japan, I hear more about MEGADETH and CACOPHONY, and it is usually overwhelmingly positive. The way I see it, if you enjoy my music from any time of my career, I’m happy about it.

New Guitar: You have lived in many places including Hawaii, Germany and California now you reside in Tokyo. How those changes influence you as an artists and human being? What did you learn? What did you miss?

Marty: I am lucky to have lived among several cultures and so many interesting places; that gives me a musical freedom that is unusual. Different cultures accept different things. For example it is totally normal for rock and metal fans to love pop music, but in the U.S. it is somewhat taboo.

New Guitar: How are you able to avoid “burning-out” syndrome?

Marty: By picking and choosing what work I do, and turning down work that I don’t really want to do.

New Guitar: You wrote “I’m really proud of the first two bands to debut on my label, Gokukara Records.” Could you tell us about idea of making that record company? What kind of music would you like to release on the label? Is it outfit also for your recordings?

Marty: The label is for brand new bands that I put together and produce. My recordings are released on the Avex label. The music is modern J-pop with a rock and metal sound.

New Guitar: Did you meet guys from MEGADETH when they’re performing around your area? Are you still friends/colleagues?

Marty: Still friends, but I haven’t seen any of them in years.

Read the entire interview at Nthis location.