Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has set "Inferno" as the title of his new solo album, due in early 2014 via Prosthetic Records. The CD will be the 50-year-old musician's first collection of material recorded for the U.S. market since 2003's "Music For Speeding". Among the guest collaborators set to appear on the effort are CHILDREN OF BODOM's Alexi Laiho, REVOCATION's Dave Davidson, acoustic flamenco-metal hybridists RODRIGO Y GABRIELA and Friedman's pre-MEGADETH bandmate in CACOPHONY, Jason Becker.
Speaking to Guitar World magazine, Friedman said: Each of the guests on this record took a song from scratch — they would write it and then I would arrange it and add my parts to it. That way we were both invested in it and it's a little bit of a deeper experience."
Friedman described the new album as the most "Marty" record has has done in years. "I figured if I was going to come back to America, I was going to come back big and give people something they want out of me," he told the magazine. "And I know that what they want is not some avant-garde thing. What they want is just the most intense writing and playing I can do."
That said, Friedman made it clear that fans should not expect anything that resembles the music he recorded with MEGADETH and CACOPHONY. "It definitely doesn't sound like that stuff, if only because my playing has a thousand times more richness and deepness and intensity than what I was able to do with the chops I had back then," he said. "Truthfully, I can't even listen to a lot of my old material. Some of the ideas were good, but the execution was just absolutely unacceptable."
He continued: "I will say that a lot of the same spirit I had back in the day is coming back into play now, on this record. That idea of just going completely balls-out with my playing I there again. It's kind of a childish way to think, but my goal on this record was just to go completely ape shit and smoke everything else I've ever done."
During a recent interview with the "Metal Assault" radio show, Friedman said about "Inferno": "The idea that got me into doing this American thing is this record company, Prosthetic, put together kind of a list of the people who have said good things about me in the press in America. And I don't really follow what's going on outside of Japan, so I kind of really didn't know. The Prosthetic guys made this big list of all these people and they wrote this wonderful stuff about me. And I was literally drawn to tears with what these guys were saying, and how they were influenced by me, and just the stuff that they were saying about my music in detail and my playing. And I was really blown away, 'cause I really don't follow a lot of that — what people say in the press. And it was just so nice to see it in print and to check out the guys who were saying it.
"There's so many great musicians in metal nowadays — more so than back in the '90s. Metal has really evolved into something cool, and I'm really interested in it much more now than when I was playing in MEGADETH.
"When I was in MEGADETH, I thought we were the best, and that was it. Now there's a lot of great bands, and when some of these new bands come back and say, 'I listen to a lot of Marty's stuff,' really, it's a big deal for me. So that kind of got me inspired to do collaborations with some of these great people, as well as doing the most intense, revved up version of Marty's stuff. So a lot of these great people that I've wanted to collaborate with, I'm actually collaborating with them on my new record."
Friedman also elaborated on the musical direction he wanted to take with "Inferno", telling "Metal Asault": I rarely listen to my previous stuff, but sometimes I listen back to it and see what was going on. And a song called 'Forbidden City' kind of made me think, 'I'm really still happy with this song, even though it was recorded a long, long time ago. I wanted to do something, not along the lines of 'Forbidden City', but much more intense, because that was a long time ago, and I've come so far since then, and I can do so much more, and I know how to do that kind of thing so much better than I did back then. So I wanted to do kind of like the 2014 version of just the deeper, heavier, more intense version of that kind of 'Forbidden City' kind of mood. And I remember, that type of mood was very, very uncommercial at that time, so it's probably way more uncommercial now, but it's just like, the hell with it, I'm just doing it my way. So that's kind of the theme of whole album — just all abandon, all bets off, just go crazy."