Ex-MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman says he is “open” to playing with his former band again after his recent appearance with the group at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
Marty spoke to Consequence about his recent reunion with MEGADETH, which saw him join the group on stage to perform the songs classic songs “Countdown To Extinction“, “Tornado Of Souls” and “Symphony Of Destruction” on Monday, February 27.
Discussing sharing the stage with MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine again, Friedman said: “It was just like a perfect exclamation point on everything that we had done together up until this point. You couldn’t have written a better way for the whole thing to play out. It was just perfect timing, just a very natural and organic way to do it.”
Touching on his current relationship with Mustaine, Friedman said: “Oh, it’s great. It’s always been great. I think if anything, if there was ever any kind of weirdness, it was probably in the minds of the people who are fans or just people who are reading media things. We chat every once in a while and it’s always very nice. We have no … maybe at the time when I left the band there might have been some weird feelings between us, but I think at the time, Dave understood why I left. And at the time I understood why I put the band in a possibly rough situation. But that’s such a long time ago. And since then, there’s really been nothing but friendly, normal contact — and occasionally, we’ll talk about a thing that we might need the other to comment on. But absolutely nothing but complete friendliness.”
When asked if he would be open to playing with MEGADETH again, either onstage or in the studio, Marty said: “Yeah, man, the door’s open. I think the door has always been open. It’s really just a matter of doing something that has meaning to it. Meaning for them and meaning for me. So, Budokan is sort of a no-brainer. But if something were to come up that would be a good thing for them and a good thing for me, and add value to it, then I’m all for it. As far as I’m concerned, their band is just kicking so much ass right now, I can’t imagine them needing me for anything. [Laughs] But Budokan was wonderful. There’s other things in the future. My door’s open and we’re on great terms, and I love all the guys in the band. It’s very casual.”
When Marty Friedman was asked in a recent interview with Jonathan Montenegro’s “My 3 Questions To” about how the Budokan reunion with MEGADETH came to fruition, he replied: “Really about as simple as any approach could possibly be. Dave said, ‘We’re playing in Japan in February. You wanna jam?’ And I’m, like, ‘Sure.’ And that was really it. I mean, it’s really something that simple. So, I wish I had a more detailed answer for you, but that’s about it.”
Marty was also asked what his favorite MEGADETH album was from his time with the group, to which he replied: “If you would have asked me at the time that I was in MEGADETH, I would have definitely whatever album we were working on at the time, because I can tell you with a hundred percent certainty that anything that we did when I was in the band was a complete effort to do our absolute best, and when it was finished and we all thought it was done, we signed off on it and we knew it was the best album that we could make and it was really what represented us at that period of time.”
He continued: “Now, looking back over all these years, I haven’t really heard everything in the details that I’ve listened to it when I was in the band, but I would probably say that my favorite record is somewhere between ‘Rust In Peace‘ and ‘Countdown [To Extinction]‘. But my favorite period of time in the band was probably ‘Youthanasia‘ and ‘Cryptic Writings‘.
“With this MEGADETH thing coming up, it’s really kind of forced me to think about MEGADETH stuff, and it’s been a while, and it’s kind of fun looking back through all this stuff,” Friedman added.
Back on February 14, Marty uploaded a video message to social media in which he said: “What’s up, everybody? This is Marty Friedman here. Just a quick announcement to let you all know that I’m gonna be joining my good friends in MEGADETH on stage at the Budokan in Tokyo on February 27th.
“It’s been a real long time since I’ve been on the same stage with Dave Mustaine making music, and we’ve both taken severely different paths in our life since then,” he continued. “But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m so extremely proud of the part that I played in MEGADETH‘s history and MEGADETH‘s legacy, and I’m also very, very proud of the achievements that the band has done in my absence. But for right now, at this moment, I just feel immense joy and serious adrenaline to look forward to playing together at this very, very cool place. So I just really wish you could be there, and I hope to see you soon.”
Dave Mustaine recently spoke with Rolling Stone about reuniting with Friedman at the Budokan concert, saying: “When Marty said, ‘Hey, I can play at this gig,’ I thought, ‘This is so magnificent.’ It’s gonna be so much fun to get Kiko [Loureiro, current MEGADETH guitarist] and Marty together, because they’re both geniuses on guitar. So this is like a gigantic birthday and Christmas present for me.”
Mustaine continued: “We haven’t been to Japan in a long time. I thought that inviting Marty was just a very thoughtful thing to do. MEGADETH has not been a band has had a lot of guest appearances from other players. We are not a jam band. I asked Kiko how he felt about this, and Kiko is completely confident in his guitar playing.
“This is not like when THE POLICE handed their instruments to U2 to pass the torch,” he added. “This is doing something really grateful to the Japanese audience. We want it to be a gift. So everybody who bought that ticket before today, you’re welcome. … I’m really looking forward to this moment. It’s gonna be great.”