Guitarist Marty Friedman (MEGADETH, CACOPHONY) recently spoke with Metal Wani about his new live album, "One Bad M.F. Live!!". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET and Metal Wani).
On the classic live albums that inspired him:
Marty: "I would definitely prefer live albums when I was in my young teens. Even though I would get the studio albums and I enjoyed those too, but live albums were just the shit, man. I loved KISS 'Alive!', the RAMONES' 'It's Alive', 'Frampton Comes Alive!', BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, UFO, FOGHAT, Robin Trower. Live albums were an awesome thing back then. I guess they might have fallen out of fashion after that, but at the time, especially the Frampton and the KISS ones, they were the biggest sellers of anything back then. I think it's because they make you feel like you're at the concert without seeing it. I guess because video got really popular after that, people wanted to watch the videos of the concerts. But before then, you really to present it in just an audio format. And boy, it got me, man — [it] made me want to go to concerts so bad."
On being a band leader:
Marty: "I think the preparation for me is to make sure that what they're doing is going to make it easy for me to do my job, which is to basically be a singer on guitar. The bass and drums, the way that they lock... it's because we've been playing together for a long time, but I think even more, it's because of the way that they play naturally. They're both very super-aggressive players, but firmly into not overplaying, and always playing to each other... We played pretty much the same thing every night, but the band is really tight in such a fashion that if we were to ad-lib something, even that would be locked up the same way."
On his song "Dragon Mistress":
Marty: "That comes from my first solo album, which was like a billion years ago. At the time, believe it or not, I was trying to make the poppiest song on the record. It was a really simple type of groove, and I dropped the guitar to a drop-D tuning for it, which back then, wasn't really done at all, hardly. There were probably some guys doing it, but it didn't really become fashionable until much later. It kind of gives you that heavy sound... Playing it now, it kind of makes me really appreciative that people still care about that record now. It's just kind of flattering that people care about it and they like that song from that album. It also gives us a chance to do something different every night. We ad-lib it. Oftentimes, we bring a fan from the audience to play. There's a breakdown where it gets kind of slow and quiet, and it's just me playing on the record, but nine times out ten, we'll just drag somebody completely random out of the audience and do it. It's hit and miss. Nine times out of ten, the guys are really good and we have a lot of fun, but every once in a while... somebody wants to come up and they don't even know how to play guitar. [Laughs] That's always funny."
On whether he misses living in America:
Marty: "Up until I recorded [2014's] 'Inferno', I was really away from the U.S. a lot. I definitely missed it. Obviously, family and friends, but I really missed playing for American audiences. Then when I came back to play for 'Inferno' and did that tour, I was just so thankful that people supported me despite me being away so long and came out to the shows and had a great time and started to get into what I'm doing now, rather than what they knew me from before."
Friedman's 14th solo record, "One Bad M.F. Live!!", was released on October 19. The album was recorded in Mexico City on April 14 during the final concert of Friedman's world tour in support of his 2017 album "Wall Of Sound", which debuted on Billboard's Heatseekers chart at No. 12.
Joining Friedman on "One Bad M.F. Live!!" are his bandmates Kiyoshi on bass, Jordan Ziff (RATT) on guitar and Chargeeee on drums.
Friedman will kick off an American tour in support of the album in San Diego, California on January 23. The Texas-based "super metal" group IMMORTAL GUARDIAN will open.