Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman was recently interviewed by Metal Chris of DCHeavyMetal.com. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow.
DCHeavyMetal.com: Marty, you have eleven solo albums to choose material from and songs from other bands as well that you've been in. So what kind of set list can fans expect to see on [the upcoming U.S.] tour?
Marty: It's gonna have a little bit of everything in there. Obviously, it's a lot of stuff to choose from. There's only about two hours to play; I think we're shooting for like a two-hour show, give or take a few minutes either way. But there's gonna be a lot of surprises, a lot of things that people don't expect. The stuff that's worked best live in the past and the stuff that I've been wanting to play from my new album, "Inferno", is gonna get the most airtime during the concerts.
DCHeavyMetal.com: In May of 2014 you released "Inferno" and that is your first solo album to be released in the U.S. in, I think, a decade or so here. Is this going to lead to more releases here in the West and more touring?
Marty: Definitely. Definitely. This first tour is really just to kind of get my feet wet and introduce my Japanese band to people in America, and I think they're gonna think it's super fresh. It's really exciting, and it's different you know. I really don't know what to expect from the audiences in America as I haven't played there in forever. But that's the whole thing, you know. The album got wonderful attention in America. Fantastic reviews in places like Rolling Stone and Grammy.com and Billboard — places that usually completely ignore anything I do. It seemed to be a good sign to take it to America and go on tour. We're already talking about a second leg of this thing in America, and we haven't even started the first one yet so that's a good sign. It's my home country, and especially Baltimore is my hometown, so I'm really super excited to kick off the tour there.
DCHeavyMetal.com: Why exactly did you name the album "Inferno"? Are you a Dante fan or does it have some other meaning to you?
Marty: [Laughs] Actually, I wanted to have kind of a cliché heavy metal title. I had the concept for the cover way before I really had finished all the music. I wanted people to know that it was a heavy record, and I wanted a really super-cliché heavy metal word. But I wanted the photo, or the graphics on the cover, to be like really artistic and non-cliché. So I wanted that kind of a opposite contrast. I wanted a super, almost corny title, but you know it's metal. But I wanted to have the front cover, the whole entire cover, look like a gorgeous piece of art — not a terribly typical heavy metal cover at all. That's kind of where the title came from.