Marty Friedman Releases Instrumental Album After Calling Instrumental Music a 'Dead End Street'

"Yeah, I'm a hypocrite," he said.

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview with Decibel magazine (via Blabbermouth), former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman has clarified why he has released an instrumental album, mere months after claiming in an interview that instrumental music was a "dead end street."

"Yeah, I'm a hypocrite," Marty said. "The funny thing about artists is that they often contradict themselves, and I'm certainly guilty of that. But I really do think instrumental music is a dead-end street if you're an aspiring musician."

As Friedman went on to explain, his status as an established musician has afforded him the luxury of making an instrumental album:

"I've been playing for a long time, and I've got a certain fan base. And the good thing about my fan base is that it's not just one set of people. In Japan, most people know me from a particular television program - they don't even know that I do music. Some people only know me from my solo albums. Other people only know me from my past career, which is certainly the case in America. So, people know me from many different things, which affords me the luxury of doing whatever I want, be it instrumental or vocal.

"But if you're just starting out, instrumental music is tough to make a career out of. And to be honest with you, l'm not really a fan of instrumental music. I don't listen to much of it. Usually when I hear it, I get pissed off because I'd do it differently. That's an honest answer. The music I listen to is 100 percent music with vocals, and that's how I set out to make my instrumental music. It's hard to explain, but it's a different mentality than someone who is immersed in instrumental music. But yeah, you can pretty much say I'm a hypocrite."

Marty Friedman's latest album, "Inferno," is out now. While most of the album is instrumental, four of the songs on the record feature vocals.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Least he's admitting to his hypocrisy and not hopelessly trying to backtrack his arguments. Mature thing to do.
    Man Robert Plant could learn a thing from Marty. Glad to see someone fully embracing a comment they made that they knew was wrong, and not sound like an ******* at the same time. He sounds like a very modest guy.
    No, he didn't say he's wrong . He says he still thinks what he said, and yet he's doing what he cryticised - so he's a hypocrite in that sense. But then he also says it's not that of a problem for him, because he can do what he wants now. I just think it's a signal that he'd love to come back to Megadeth...
    He could have made lyrics about hypocrisy, and thereby avoided being a hypocrite.
    I dont see the hypocracy to be honest. The majority of people work dead end jobs but they still clock in every morning.
    i kind of see your point, he never said you shouldnt do it in the original quote, just that it wont make you much money. but either way he seems like a really nice guy
    I always feel bad for instrumental songs that are only instrumental songs because their creator couldnt come up with lyrics for them, not because they were made to be instrumentals from the get-go. Kind of like stillborn children or something. A life that could have been.
    I don't really understand why most people don't like instrumental music. Usually the music itself is BETTER when it's instrumental because more attention is paid to it. It's not just some half-assed background for a simplistic vocal melody.
    I somehow understood from his previous article (where he talked about instrumental music) that he was actually talking about guitar shred music and not about all instrumental music. His point was people should stop trying to be the next Joe Satriani. There are just a few really famous guitarists that everybody knows and you won't get famous by making guitar shred music - or that's how I undestood it. That's the music most (guitarists) talk about when they say "instrumental music".
    From my experience, the general audience for instrumental music are musicians themselves. In a way it's somewhat self indulgent I guess but it's just another outlet and a way for musicians to stretch their legs a bit without having to play under a vocal y'know?
    I agree. Having a voice and a face associated to music certainly builds more empathy between the listener and the music itself. If you're not a musician, you'll probably listen to music more casually (not that there's anything wrong with it!) and not actually care as much to the instrumental, since your connection to it is lesser, I'd say.
    Electronic music is most of the time instrumental. But that's pretty much the only popular genre that mostly doesn't use vocals and isn't primarily listened to by musicians/the elite.
    He didn't backtrack on what he'd said previously. He stood by it, although he admitted the apparent contradiction.
    In metal community the instrumental bands are certainly respected but the outside the genre, they are another instrumental band. It's realistic to think they will never achieve the fame Avenged Sevenfold gains no matter how more skilled aforementioned groups are in writing more compelling music. Metal in general seems to have difficult time accepted to general audience no matter how intellectual their music is.
    Well,it's difficult to use words when one can speak with a guitar.
    Good to see Marty owning up to his not so intelligent comment about instrumental music.Instrumentals are one of the best sources for musical inspiration IMHO.It is just as important as hit music,if not more so.
    Marty is a down to earth good guy, I've been following Marty since Cacophony, his yrs with Megadeth were just a bonus. MaggaraMarine - "His point was people should stop trying to be the next Joe Satriani." That's the way I understood his original comment as well.
    my response to the original article, "Marty Friedman - instrumental music is a dead-end street." ringoutxthegong posted on Feb 05, 2014 02:58 pm # "obviously he has problems with his own ego relating to music as a listener. he was the one preaching about virtuosity not being the proper intent of instrumental music (which is 100% correct) and then judges the music in only that one way: virtuosity... which yes, human nature probably only allows him and any other musician/guitarist two reactions to it, so he simply becomes jealous or contemptuous? so people should only bother to create emotion through music if vocals are included because your arrogance cant handle it mr friedman? moron. so no one bother with fingerstyle, flamenco, classical, jazz, or modern metal because even if its completely fulfilling for you, marty ****in friedman isn't getting off on it. people need to stop being so self indulged, comparing their skills or material to everything they hear, and remember why we loved this in the first place. animals as leaders ganesh rao Antoine dufor andy McKee anoushka Shankar ^ everyone go blow their minds, indulge in pure emotion, and give this lost soul claiming to be a true musician and lover of music a giant middle ****ing finger. ****ing moron." I must have changed his mind.