Malaysia's The Star Online conducted an interview with former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman during Friedman's recent visit to Malaysia for a guitar clinic organized by Bentley Music. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
On his current relationship with his former MEGADETH bandmates:
"I'm still friends with those guys, I still keep in touch with them. I don't call them every day, though."
On his decision to cancel his Indonesian guitar clinic:
"The U.S. Government issued a travel warning, so I couldn’t go to Indonesia. I have only postponed my clinics in Indonesia and I will go there once it's safe."
On endorsing Ibanez guitars for the past two years, after being formerly known as the wielder of Jackson axes:
"Jackson is probably the best guitar out there where playing heavy metal is concerned. But with Ibanez, I can play metal and a whole other range of sounds, like I can change to a clean sound and I like that because I'm playing different kinds of music now.
"I'm not travelling with my own guitar because I can pick an Ibanez guitar right off the rack wherever I am and I'll be able to play it without any problems. That's important."
On what influences him as a musician:
"My inspiration stems from being in places like this. I have the opportunity to travel to so many interesting places and I'm influenced by the local sound and music.
"I was in Taiwan recently and I heard this wonderful song on a local radio station and it was so good, I'm going to rip it off (laughs)."
His advice for guitar beginners:
"Don’t try to do the difficult stuff first, keep it easy. And don't be discouraged if you can't play the difficult stuff, even though it looks easy. And it is easy when other guitarists do it, but you have to remember they have been playing for years. So start by learning the easy songs. It's easy to get depressed when you can't play, so keep it simple."