During a recent appearance on "The Jasta Show", the podcast hosted by HATEBREED's Jamey Jasta, former MEGADETH axeman Marty Friedman spoke about the importance of guitarists having their own sound and style that can be easily identified.
"I think, especially if you create a lot of music, you have to decide every single thing that you're putting into that," Marty said. "Every note on the record has been decided by somebody — it's not an accident. Even the accidents are decided — you decide whether to keep it or not. So everything is decided, and all those decisions, the sum total of all those decisions equals your musical statement, your musical identity. And for someone who, a guitar is their main instrument, that is probably one of the parts that you put the most of your energy and the most of your soul and the most of your strictness about. So by the time it gets out to people's ears, that's exactly what you want them to hear. So I think just anybody has their own voice when it comes to their music. Some voices are maybe a little bit easier to detect than others, but I believe that fans are getting smarter over the years."
He continued: "Yesterday I did this lecture, and it wasn't on musical topics; it was about Japanese topics. But there was a kid who was eight years old in there and he was asking me about guitar stuff, and he was so intelligent and he knew about my work. And I'm, like, when I was eight years old, I couldn't even put a sentence together. So I think what you said about people picking it out more now than before, people are smarter now, and people who decide to listen to metal, it's more of a conscious decision. Because if you just look around you in America, it's not metal — it's not metal. So you've gotta find it. You can find it, and it's fantastic, but a couple of decades ago, you didn't have to look too far to see a metal billboard or a metal song on the radio or a metal concert in your area, and it was just more metal in the lifestyle. But now people are looking for it and finding it. And I think if you spend that effort to find it, you might put a little bit more effort into knowing what it is and details about the music."
According to Guitar Player magazine, while many guitarists can define their music in great detail in technical and theoretical terms, when it comes to explaining the emotional impetus of their music, most give the simple explanation that they "play from the heart." Marty, who moved from America to Tokyo in 2003, concurred, saying: "It's you coming out. If your image was something, you're putting it out there and your hands and your body and your instrument is the channel — it's the vehicle to get it out. And it might take a while to develop that identity.
"I was talking to my bro Kiko Loureiro [current MEGADETH guitarist], and he says that when he hears my playing, he sees a geisha girl graciously moving her hands in the air," he continued. "You know how sometimes they do when they do a dancing type of thing. And, of course, there's a Japanese connection there, but it kind of makes sense, because there's so much Japan influence in me personally and musically as well that it could be understood that someone might get that out of my playing.
"And we were talking about [British guitarist and composer Allan] Holdsworth, and we both met Holdsworth and we were talking about our Holdsworth experiences. And he had gotten into a really deep conversation with Holdsworth, and from that conversation, it really described the feeling, what you hear when he plays. So when a player is playing, it's really that person's life coming out, that person's insides are coming out and you can hear it. So there's definitely a big Japanese influence in my life and you can hear it. And Allan Holdsworth's got this extremely complex, and his journey in music has been complex with a complete disregard for light jazz and the things that jazzers have disdain for. And he's very anti-normal jazz playing, and he's a very strict perfectionist and never satisfied. And that feeling comes out when I hear his playing. So I think if you interviewed a lot of guys about their personal lives, there might be a correlation to what you her when they play."
Friedman's latest album, "One Bad M.F. Live!!", was released on October 19. The effort 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.