Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman was interviewed on the latest Metal Injection Livecast. You can now listen to the entire chat using the audio player below. (Note: The Friedman interview begins around the one-hour, 15-minute mark.)
On how he feels when he listens to MEGADETH's "Countdown To Extinction" album now, 20 years after the LP's original release:
Friedman: "To be honest with you, I don't really listen back to much stuff, even of my own solo stuff, once it's done — except, obviously, if I'm preparing for a tour or something. When I'm working on something, I work so freaking hard on it to make sure it's so perfect that I'm so pleased with it. And then, when it's done, it's done; I don't wanna look back on it. But I'm completely sure that if I were to listen back to the MEGADETH stuff, I'd be very happy with it, very proud of it. There are great memories attached to it. Obviously, if I was playing it now, it would be 20 years better, because, hopefully, I've improved somewhat rather than going backwards as a musician and a player, so I'm sure that I would do things completely different now than I did then. But I'm still very, very happy with all that stuff."
On working with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine:
Friedman: "He was great; he was absolutely fantastic. Actually, it was working with him that made the whole thing worth doing, because he, kind of like myself, is really, really into making the music and doing whatever it takes to get it to be the best it can possibly be — it's not a slack-off whatsoever. He's very perfectionist when it comes to music, and I'm exactly the same way, so we really worked well together. If I'm gonna work with somebody, I need their asses to be motivated and he was definitely motivated, and so am I. So I really loved working with him and that's why we worked together for so long."
On the political overtones in MEGADETH's music:
Friedman: "I'll be honest with you: I never understood… Back in the time, there was a lot of political talk in the lyrics and stuff, and that stuff stumped me, man. I had no idea what [Mustaine] was talking about. If somebody asked me about the lyrics of MEGADETH songs, I would be, like, 'I have no idea.' And Dave would be, like, 'Dude, you've gotta figure out what these songs are about.' I'm not a political person; I just don't follow it. I couldn't tell you who the vice president is right now. I have no idea; let's put it that way. I have no idea."
On whether he still listens to metal music:
Friedman: "I just produced an album called 'Metal Clone X' [audio clip] that is the heaviest album that I've ever recorded — ever. I love metal, but I've been doing metal since I was a teenager, so metal's gotta be freaking rad if it's gonna get into my radar. Just because it's metal… I mean, I've heard so much metal over my life, so it'd better be freaking rad. So, like, every once in a while, something's totally rad and it catches my attention. Like, a couple of years ago, I heard DECAPITATED and I'm, like, 'Wow, this is rad! I love this!' And then I heard CHTHONIC and I'm, like, 'Wow, this is unique. I really love this.' I hear things every once in a while and it really picks up my ear. And I'm, like, 'Wow, this is really cool. This is a new twist.' And, 'This is heavier than I've ever heard anything before,' or, 'This has some really neat parts in it,' or whatever. But if it doesn't have something new, then it's gonna hit me on the radar. I mean, I'm definitely not into, 'Wow, it sounds like traditional metal. That's rad!' I'm totally not into that."