Marty Friedman: 'I Have a Lot of Musical Statements to Make, and It's Confusing for Everyone'

Former Megadeth guitarist discusses solo album in new interview.

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Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman has been talking with Noisey about his latest solo album, "Inferno."

As the guitarist notes, while finding distribution for the latest album, which is a metal record, was not too difficult, he often struggles finding outlets for his more avant garde work because it confuses record labels:

"It's frustrating for record companies because I happen to have a lot of musical statements I want to make, but that makes it really hard to sell as an artist, and it's confusing for everyone. This time the company is a very metal record company, and a very modern company, and it's just what I needed to direct my music to the people who are going to want to hear it and haven't heard from me since I've been in Japan. And there are a lot of people like that. I'm very thankful for their support in doing it."

Friedman also talked about how his relocating to Japan was in part informed by the lack of strict boundaries imposed on particular genres of music:

"That's really important. Growing up and playing music in America, you know how it is ... If you play heavy metal, you're not necessarily going to make a lot of friends playing R& B. If you play hip-hop, you're not going to make a lot of friends playing country. The borders are very strictly drawn and there's not a lot of mixing. It's 'heavy metal or die,' or 'country music or die.' The fans of all this music like to have an open mind, but I think people are afraid to share that information in front of their friends. They might act like they're totally into metal all the time, but when they get home they listen to something else by themselves. In Japan there's much less stigma about that. It's better suited for me and my taste, particularly."

"Inferno," Friedman's first multi-national solo release in 15 years, was released this spring.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The fact is nobody cares about how good and complex (insert cringe here) jpop is or the hypocritical rants of this guy. Downvote, come on
    I agree with you. I know it sounds like I'm being sarcastic right now, and I assure you I'm not, making a pop song that get's radio play in America is so damn hard it's nearly impossible. 10 out of 10 of the people who will downvote and rant behind their keyboards haven't written a hit American Pop song. Now go to Japan where being a Pop-Star is VERY controlled to the point where they can't even have significant others because the label feels it would alienate potential fans. Writing a J-Pop song is hard enough, writing one and getting lucky enough to get in tagged onto an anime is crazy lucky. It's one of the luckiest things that can happen to you in the Japanese music business. I cannot express how difficult it must be to be a J-Pop Idol. Their music business structure is so different from what we are used to. People like to look past the complexities of writing Pop music. Sure it's not Between The Buried and me complex, but there is a science to it. BabyMetal gets coverage, you don't. OHHHHH SHIT. /opinion
    i'll agree with you that it must be difficult to be a j-pop idol, especially when they're past their prime at the age of 14 lol...but to say it's a complicated science, is completely assinine. japs are fkn pervs... all of them. little sister complexes and etchi/hentai anime, incest, weird sex(to put it mildly), where main characters are budding teenagers or preteens in sexually suggestive forms are the norm. the music could be terrible, but if they are cute and act doesn't matter at all to them. it has nothing to do with music. it's almost an americanized version of pop, but with more underlying perverted fantasies of the extremely young. if you've watched a lot of anime, the most common cliche is that of the NEET or hikikomori obsessed with young cutesy anime girls, because it's dominant in their culture...their music industry knows this, so you'll see it in their music as well. i'm not just gonna come down on japs, every culture has their pervs, but anime, especially harem/etchi type stuff indulge a lot of perverts world-wide, almost to the point where it's normal now....i mean ffs, look at all the ppl with my little pony or pedo-bear avatars can't hit a forum anywhere, where there isn't one. i loved anime a lot( AS A KID ), but if you're in your mid life and still watching these types of animes, you're ****ed up. plain and simple.
    Buddy, anime isn't a all encompassing representation of Japanese culture. It's one facet, and it's wrong to assume that they're like that in much the same way that Japanese people would be wrong to assume that Americans are all like the Simpsons. Arguments about cultural relativism aside, this is a guitar forum and not a space for xenophobic rants.
    Clearly you were watching too much pervy anime and not enough Initial D.
    sorry SteveDoninger i just accidentally downvoted your comment when i meant to upvote it...
    contradictions always confuse people... especially those who just talk about all sorts of random shit without even thinking first are the ones who are the most confused... welcome to planet earth mr. alien, take your coat off and sit back and enjoy our wonderful planet and its ppl. mr.alien: just passing through... i only stopped coz i need some gas and some oil... and maybe a big mac and some fries.
    Nowadays people are more open-minded about music which I like seeing. But back when Marty Friedman was active in Megadeth, people were totally snobbish towards the music they dislike, particularly country and hiphop. It is ironic because that was when hiphop was growing towards experimental territory and carving its own niche producing quality rappers.