Marty Friedman Explains Decision to Leave Megadeth: 'I Just Couldn't Go on Anymore'

"Making money from fans who want to see you play when you're not into it didn't really sit right with me," said the guitarist.

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In a brand new interview with Wondering Sound, former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman explained his decision to leave the band in 1999 in order to make the kind of music that he was passionate about - Japanese pop music, or J-Pop, which Friedman calls "embarrassingly happy."

"I found myself touring with Megadeth, and in my hotel room I'd be blasting this Japanese music all the time. What's wrong with this picture?" he said (via Blabbermouth).

As his interest in J-pop grew, Friedman started enjoying Megadeth less. "I thought I was doing myself a disservice just playing the same old stuff and not really enjoying it," he said. "Making money from fans who want to see you play when you're not into it didn't really sit right with me."

According to Marty, he simply outgrew metal, explaining that Megadeth's music began to bore him, and he singled out the band's popular ballad "A Tout Le Monde" as an example.

"The melody's like duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh. It's kind of the same thing over and over again," he told NPR in a separate interview. "I'd go play the show at night with Megadeth. And I'd be like, you know, what what I'm listening to is just so much more exciting than what I'm playing as my gig."

Friedman told his Megadeth bandmates that he would leave the group at the conclusion of a 16-month-long tour, but "only stayed three more months." He explained to Wondering Sound: "It was just too much. I'm the kind of guy who can't fake it that well. It wasn't very nice, but I just couldn't go on anymore."

Focusing on the J-Pop genre, Friedman noted that going for the opposite of metal was the whole point.

"There's not a whole lot of happy music going on," he told NPR. "Especially in the heavy metal world, where everybody's just trying to out-lame each other, you know, with darkness and monsters and crap like that."

Marty's new solo album, "Inferno," sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 186 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on May 26 via Prosthetic Records (except in Japan, where the album was made available through Universal Music).

18 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Life is all about being happy, and it's far to short to continue going on daily hating what you are doing. Good for him.
    Maybe things are better this way. At least he does what he loves and it's obvious, considering his late albums.
    I wish he was still in Megadeth, but i gotta admit, i admire the fact that instead of 'faking it' for the fans, he decided to move on.
    An album called "Inferno",with song titles like Hyper Doom,Lycanthrope and Horrors hasn't got themes about darkness,evil and monsters?!
    No doubt Marty is a beast on the guitar. That said, his departure (Or one would say he quit the band) from Megadeth was over a decade ago. Time to move on, if he's as happy as he claims... its time to stop living in the past.
    Maybe it is better that way, and anyway... he would have left after hearing what Dave wanted for Supercollider.
    In my opinion, when Marty left, Megadeth lost its originality. I mean, next Megadeth albums without him weren't that bad, but they reached its prime when Marty was in Megadeth. He was different from Mustaine. He wasn't that fast, but his solos were much more melodic.
    Friedman,its good that he dose what he likes,for him to say that metal is boring only denoted his limitations to have the will to create metal music in proper.He likes J-pop good for him,but he clearly lost the point of metal along the way despite his crazy playing ability and it is good that he just moved on.Just because he was good at playing metal dosent mean that he had heart in what he was doing,which is more than obvious.
    I wanna slap the next guy who says "Marty wasn't as fast as Mustaine but more melodic", he both is faster and has a better taste in solos, he doesn't make as killer riffs though
    jpop>megadeth lol. awesome. btw, wtg marty, you're a class act for not wanting to take advantage of fans or just fake it for money's sake. you're one of the good few.
    I like 'embarrassingly happy' Jpop too... Aya Hirano, Nana Mizuki, Aki Misato... but not exclusively. I like to balance the mods and sounds of the music I listen to. Jpop, symphonic metal, hard rock... variety is good.