During a recent question-and-answer session at "BackStory Events" in New York City, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman spoke about the evolution of his guitar playing over the course of the last few of his solo albums.
"Every time, I try to not repeat myself," he said (see video below). "That's pretty much my biggest thing that I'm reaching for. I think I really started to get super happy about what I able to do around 'Tokyo Jukebox' . I was always very satisfied with what I was doing before — I thought, 'I worked so incredibly hard. I love it.' — and 'Loudspeaker'  was a big step for me. I was happy with that. It was the best-selling album I ever had in Japan. But after that, when I did 'Tokyo Jukebox', the first one, I really outdid myself as far as workload and what I was trying to accomplish. And then I said, 'Okay, now this is a whole new level of me playing.' And then, after that, each time I tried to top that. Then the offer came to come to America again and do 'Inferno' . And I'm, like, 'People in America haven't heard me in a long time. They just think I shuffled off to Japan and that's the end of it.' So I wanted to really even up my game more."
He continued: "I work incredibly hard on this stuff. Sometimes I wish I could just relax. But 'Inferno' was a big stepping point. When you work for 16 months editing and changing demos and stuff, then I got really happy with that record. And then 'Wall Of Sound' , I had to top that, so I took 18 months to write demos. And it's just new things to try to do, but I think that's the price to pay if I'm gonna keep doing solo music; I can't really go back. So the live album [2018's 'One Bad M.F. Live!!'] was great, because I just played the show and there was no real prep or no work — it was just from being on tour for a while."
Friedman added: "If you like a different era of my playing more than the recent one, that's totally fine too — I totally get it. I mean, music is not about the actual music — it's about what happened in your life when you were hearing it. Really, it has so little to do with the actual music itself. For me, it represents growth in music, but to other people, it represents, 'Well, I had this car, and I used to crank it at this car,' or, 'I had this girlfriend who dumped me,' whatever, 'I lost my virginity…' That's the best. If you get your music in the background when someone loses their virginity — fan for life. However, I don't picture a whole lot of guys losing their virginity to instrumental music. But maybe it's a trend that's gonna start soon."
"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.