Marty Friedman has offered an update on his long-awaited documentary. Titled "Spacefox" (changed from the original title, "Hebi Metal San"), the film — which is being directed by Jeremy Frindel, the founder of Substratum Films — follows Friedman's reinvention from lead guitarist in MEGADETH to one of the most famous TV comedians in Japan.
The former MEGADETH guitarist spoke about "Spacefox" during an Instagram Live chat on Wednesday (May 6).
Marty said (see video below): "I have done a documentary, and it's pretty much in the can, but it's being edited and added to, and new things are happening here. We were thinking of adding footage of me playing at the Tokyo Marathon in March, and that didn't happen because of everything.
"Documentaries sometimes can take a very, very long time," he explained. "But I've seen the meat of the documentary, most of it, and it's a lot of fun. And hopefully it will come out sometime next year. Who knows? There's not really a set release date for it yet. But I have seen the material and I have seen a rough edit of it. And I hope to add new things to it and give it a really flashy ending. But there's no ending to the story, so when do you end the thing? But I think it's gonna come out next year."
In July 1999, Friedman was onstage performing at Woodstock '99 in front of a sea of fans as the lead guitarist for MEGADETH. Since joining the band in 1990, Marty played a crucial role in their rise to stardom with his unorthodox style of virtuoso guitar playing, selling millions of records worldwide, and being nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. Just six months after Woodstock, in an unexpected move that shocked his friends, family, and especially his bandmates, despite platinum albums and sold-out tours, for reasons unknown, he suddenly quit the band and walked away from it all. Unbeknownst to his U.S. fans, Marty moved to Tokyo to pursue his love of Japanese pop music, and in the process, reinvented himself as a wildly successful Japanese TV celebrity. Marty has appeared on 700-plus television programs, commercials and motion pictures since then, and become was dubbed "the Ryan Seacrest of Japan" by Billboard magazine in the USA.
"Spacefox" tells the surreal story of Marty Friedman, a nice Jewish boy from the suburbs of Baltimore who walked away from the ultimate rock and roll dream to search for something more fulfilling in a culture that was not his own. His renegade story is an inspiring example of the vast human potential to reach for our and achieve even our most unconventional dreams.
Said Frindel: "I grew up playing guitar, playing in rock bands, and spent many hours playing along with Marty's guitar parts from some of the classic MEGADETH records. As years passed and my interests shifted, I went on to work making films and hadn't thought about MEGADETH in many years. So when I stumbled across an article about how Marty Friedman had become the 'Ryan Seacrest of Japan,' I was fascinated.
"I've had many different chapters in my life and am always intrigued about the seemingly infinite variety of ways we can reinvent ourselves. So to see someone like Marty at the top of his game step away and disappear to another country, and re-emerge as a TV entertainer, completely captured my imagination. Right away I felt there was an amazing story and film in there. I am honored and excited that Marty put his trust in me to share his story and the crazy journey he's gone on."
Frindel released his first feature film, "One Track Heart: The Story Of Krishna Das", in 2013. Distributed by Zeitgeist Films, the film screened theatrically in over a hundred U.S. cities, in festivals all over the world, and won the Best Documentary prize at five festivals. Earlier in his film career, he also worked on the seminal rock documentary "Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster". Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2001, Jeremy has worked in the film and music industry in New York City for nearly 20 years.