Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman spoke to LA Weekly about his decision to step away from a planned reunion of the band's "Rust In Peace" lineup — featuring Friedman and drummer Nick Menza — in early 2015, sixteen years after he initially left the group. He said: "I think anyone that has something as good as 'Rust In Peace' in their history doesn't want to revisit it unless you are going to top it. I didn't see any reason to mess with that. I didn't see a reunion being what it could be and what the fans deserved. If I were to revisit that, there would have to be a reason for me to do that beyond, 'Let's go back and do it again.' That's not a good enough reason."
MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine said in an interview that the "Rust In Peace" lineup reunion failed to materialize for a number of reasons, including a difference in vision for the group's new music. He said: "Marty had sent some e-mails saying, 'Oh, man, you know, the fans have this self-inflated importance of 'Rust In Peace' beyond what it really is. And I was, like, 'Huh?' So I didn't know if that was a backhand to the face of the fans or not, but he had basically said that if we were gonna do anything, it had to be better than 'Rust In Peace'. And he sent me over some links to some songs that he thought should be the direction that we were going in, and one of it was this J-Pop band with some Japanese girl singing, and I was, like, 'Uh-uh. This ain't gonna work.' More power to [Marty for being into that stuff]. Do what you want, Marty. He's a great guitar player. But I'm not gonna sing like a Japanese girl."
Friedman is putting the finishing touches on a new solo album for a 2017 release via Prosthetic Records. The follow-up to 2014's "Inferno" was recorded in part at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in California with engineer Paul Fig (ALICE IN CHAINS, RUSH, DEFTONES) and is described by Friedman as "a way more intense version" of its predecessor: "deeper, sadder, happier and more aggressive."
Like "Inferno", Friedman's upcoming album will feature several guests, including prog-thrashers MUTOID MAN, Jørgen Munkeby of the Norwegian avant-garde jazz-metal outfit SHINING and Jinxx of Los Angeles theatrical rockers BLACK VEIL BRIDES.