Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman says that he doesn't like shaking hands with people because it hampers his ability to play his instrument.
The Japan-based axeman, who was a member of MEGADETH's classic "Rust In Peace" lineup, tells Metal Wani (hear audio below): "Yeah, I don't like shaking hands for a number of reasons, but it's not that I'm an asshole of anything. I'd much rather give someone a hug or pat 'em on the back or whatever."
He continued: "Shaking hands, if you're a guitar player, that's like my tool, and everybody's tool. And you get these big guys and they're very excited; they'll squeeze the crap out of your hand. And it's really kind of stupid. Guys come and they tell you that they've loved your playing for fifty years, or however many million years, and then they squeeze your hand so hard that you can't play guitar anymore. I just don't understand that. But, you know, it's a necessary evil, I guess. I just try to avoid it as much as I can."
Friedman added: "You play your instrument with your hands, so why not just bow like we do in Japan? I like that. And there's no germs. I mean, that's brilliant. But I love my fans more than anything, and if they must have a handshake, I give it to 'em. But when I'm doing things where I'm meeting two hundred people at a time, or a couple of hundred people every day, I definitely have someone prepare them not to shake my hand, because I've gotta go to work, and I can't do it. And it's really not because I'm an asshole; it's because I wanna play guitar the next day."
Other people who famously don't like shaking hands include Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Howie Mandel (who told People magazine last year that he hadn't shaken hands in eight years) and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Friedman's critically acclaimed 2014 solo album, "Inferno", sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 186 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was the 53-year-old musician's first collection of material recorded for the U.S. market since 2003's "Music For Speeding". Among the guest collaborators that appear on the effort are CHILDREN OF BODOM's Alexi Laiho, REVOCATION's Dave Davidson, acoustic flamenco-metal hybridists RODRIGO Y GABRIELA and Friedman's pre-MEGADETH bandmate in CACOPHONY, Jason Becker.