The last time I interviewed Marty Friedman he was thrilled to talk about Megadeth; today not so much

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By Steve Newton

The last time I talked to guitar legend Marty Friedman he couldn’t stop talking about Megadeth. Mind you, that was 24 years ago, when he was a member of Megadeth.

Today I interviewed Friedman for the first time since May of 1991–when Megadeth was in the midst of the Clash of the Titans tour with Anthrax, Slayer, and Alice in Chains–and I asked him if he had fond memories of those days. (He was with the band from 1990 to 2000, and played lead and rhythm guitar on the albums Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia, Cryptic Writings, and Risk.)

“Absolutely, absolutely,” he replied. “It was great.”

But when I tried to find out if the rumours were true that he’d left Dave Mustaine and Co. because he wasn’t happy with the band’s increasingly less-aggressive musical direction, he shut me down.

“No, that’s not true,” he said. “And we don’t really need to talk about Megadeth too much. I mean I quit 15 years ago. It’s kinda old news.”

At the end of today’s interview I gave it one more shot, asking Friedman if–although things are going great for him in Japan–he’d ever join Megadeth again if Mustaine asked him to.

“Ah, I’d prefer to just avoid any Megadeth questions,” he reiterated, “if it’s okay with you.”

Hey, it was fine with me. I took my best shots, and he didn’t get cranky with me or anything. And besides, he’d given me a great interview, talking all about his life in the Land of the Rising Sun, his new album, Inferno, and its guests like Danko Jones, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Gregg Bisonette, and Ewan Dobson, “an absolute acoustic-guitar master”.

Stayed tuned for all that good stuff about Marty Friedman. And if you’re anywhere near Vancouver on Saturday, September 26, get your ass on down to the Rickshaw Theatre to see him.

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