Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has admitted that was offered a position in the band following the departure of guitarist Chris Broderick, but says that he would be taking "a huge step backwards" by returning to the Dave Mustaine-led group.
During a brand new interview with Argentina's Vorterix radio station, Friedman was asked to comment on ex-MEGADETH drummer Nick Menza's recent claim that Marty was involved in talks of a reunion of MEGADETH's classic "Rust In Peace" lineup in the months after Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover exited the band.
"I don't know anything about Nick's story, I don't know what he said, I don't know anything about that, but I will tell you that, of course, I was offered to join MEGADETH — not only now, but in other times [in the past]," Marty said. "[But] there's just no reason for me to join MEGADETH right now."
He continued: "Just because there's a vacancy in the band doesn't mean that, 'Oh, now is my chance to join MEGADETH.' There's absolutely no reason for me to do that. However, I'm very, very close friends with Mustaine and [David] Ellefson, and the band in general, and I love them like brothers. So if they talk to me, I listen. We're very close. So I support them, and I wish them nothing but success and power and everything great. But just because there's a vacancy in the band is not enough of a reason for me to, all of a sudden, put aside all the things I'm doing and then just join their band. It's just not."
Asked if rejoining MEGADETH would be taking "a step backwards" for him, Marty said: "A huge step backwards. Huge.'
He continued: "I'm really not into nostalgia at all. Like, we were just talking [earlier in the interview] about these great times [MEGADETH] had in Argentina [while I was in the band]. That's a wonderful piece of history; that's what it is. So it's time to move on and do new things and not chase the past. So I think that they're better off doing new things, and I'm certainly better off doing new things and being able to be the artist that I am, and that I wanna become. And there's no reason to go chasing the past."
Friedman was also asked if he ever got "bored of playing heavy metal music." He responded: "Absolutely. I get bored very fast anyway, but I think that, as a genre, right now heavy metal is becoming a lot better than it was ten years ago, because there's so much more experimentation and so many more collaborations and strange ways that heavy metal is changing that it's becoming very, very healthy."
He continued: "If you listen to [my latest solo album] 'Inferno', I'm doing a collaboration with the [Norwegian] group SHINING, with a saxophone, and it's very fresh and new, in my opinion, and there's just a lot of new elements to the heavy sound that maybe weren't there ten years ago, or five years ago, so there's a lot more experimentation going on right now, myself included."
Friedman added: "I don't wanna ever get bored with heavy music, so I have to keep trying to do something new with it."
According to Marty, while his solo albums provide a certain amount of continuity, he keeps growing and evolving as an artist through constant experimentation.
"I've done twelve solo albums, and those are constantly growing and changing a little bit, but I'm still the same artist doing that," he said. "But I like to do a lot of interesting things. I like a big challenge. I like something that I can be proud of. I've done a lot of things in Japan that I'm really glad that I had a chance to do, and I'm very proud of my time in MEGADETH as well. It's fantastic history we have, and there's no other band like it in the world; it's a great thing. So I'm constantly trying to do newer, more exciting and fresh things."
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson last month shut down the possibility of a reunion of the band's "Rust In Peace" lineup, telling Australia's "Blood, Sweat And Metal": "Here's the thing about reunions... Everybody wants to try to relive this glory day, because of what that period represented to them through that music. But you have to realize that it's greater than the sum of its parts; it isn't just the four people that recorded those songs. It is the darkness we were in, and then the clarity that we had getting sober and the people who were around us.
"That 'Rust In Peace' record is a story of a journey; it's really what you're hearing. That's why every record that we did with that lineup in particular told a different story, because we were in a different phase of our lives, [both] as individuals and together. And then came this point where that lineup just stopped making music together. There was no more harmony, there was no more melody, there was no more music together. And that's why that lineup split up. So to think that somehow that's just gonna all come back together… If it stopped working once, why would it ever work again? You know what I mean?!"
"MEGADETH in 2015, we can either go back and just recreate past glory days, which would probably sell a lot of tickets and we would probably make a lot of money. But MEGADETH has never been about just going out and making a bunch of money; it has never been about that — ever. So, to us, it's about creatively the next chapter of our story, and that's what you get when you go in the studio together — you get to write and create your next chapter. That is where MEGADETH is right now. That really is the page turner right now."
MEGADETH has just finished writing 15 songs for its next album, tentatively due before the end of the year. The CD will be the band's first to feature Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro, best known for his work with ANGRA, and LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler.