Megadeth kicks the most butt on the Clash of the Titans tour



By Steve Newton

Marty Friedman is one happy camper. The Megadeth guitarist is soaking up the sunshine in El Paso, Texas, just hours away from the fifth show in the four-band Clash of the Titans tour of the Lone Star state, and he reports that things have been going extremely well.

“The first show in Dallas was incredible,” he says. “The venue was like half indoors and half outdoors, and there was this big lawn, and thousands of kids were lightin’ these bonfires. It looked totally satanic and weird, and there was nothing that anybody could do about it! The cops couldn’t stop ’em or anything.”

Wherever the massively popular Megadeth travels, it seems that its young, predominantly male fans get the urge to light something up—and we’re not just talking wacky tabaccy. Like when the band opened for Judas Priest in Vancouver one Hallowe’en night, and the local goof contingent went to the extreme with that curse of all rock shows, the firecracker.

“I remember coming out on stage and it was like being in the middle of a battlefield,” says the 26-year-old axeman, who so far has managed to elude the blinding capabilities of an M80. But Friedman admits that he’s not immune to everything that metal’s particularly frenzied crowds can throw at him.

“When we were in Italy, I got beaned with a water bottle on my arm while I was playing, and it really bummed me out. It felt like somebody came up on stage and punched me as hard as they possibly could. But I just kept playing, you know, ’cause what am I gonna do, stop?”

Not the type of band to quit—or even slow down—once its thrashy metal blast kicks into high gear, Megadeth is currently laying waste to North American cities on a bill with Anthrax, Slayer, and Alice in Chains that visits Vancouver on Friday (June 1).

Which band does Friedman figure is kicking the most butt?

“You mean besides us? Well, personally, I like Alice in Chains the best. I mean all the bands are good—Slayer is the best at what they do, and I really haven’t watched Anthrax, so I can’t say anything about them. But I love the music that Alice in Chains is playing; I think it’s really new and fresh. And it’s excellent sex background music.”

Friedman says some of the appeal of going to a Clash of the Titans quadruple bill is you never know which band’s going to take the headliner’s role of performing last.

“We’ve been switching off, and it’s kind of fun for the kids that way, because they don’t know who’s gonna come on in what order. In each particular town the fans have to be there on time to catch everybody, or they might miss their favourite band.

“But I think most kids are comin’ to see everybody,” he adds. “If you like Megadeth, chances are you’re gonna like Slayer or Anthrax or whatever.”

And is there one musical thread that runs through all four bands on the Clash of the Titans tour?

“Yeah,” chuckles Friedman, “distortion.”

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