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New Guitar Interview
18 January 2012
from Poland`s Top Guitar Magazine

There is a new DVD on the market in which you show people phrases plus add some commentary about phrasing. But there is no too much talk and academic speeches

after introducing you just bring phrases to the table.

What could you say people who might be expected you to tell them more how to build they unique vocabulary and their own phrases?


That video has been available at my website for several years now. I think it is extremely helpful. Try the phrases on the video, and make them easier to suit your own fingering styles. By doing that you will create your own phrases. Even if you don`t change them, the will sound totally unique because you decide where to put them in a song.



Please write us how did you learn phrasing?


I never “learned phrasing”. Phrasing means “expression” to me, so the way I express myself in music is heard in my phrasing. Phrasing grows and gets deeper and deeper as you continue to create new music.


Did you copy phrases from someone else from very beginning? Did you learn some about phrasing from other musicians?


I did a half-assed job of copying other players at the beginning, and from that my own style was born. I never intended to be a clone of some other great guitarist, so I never worked too hard trying to copy others correctly when I learned other people`s work.



I suppose your experiences from cooperation with japanese musicians also were lessons of phrasing although there were many exotic scales and elements in your music before you moved to Japan?


Every day I continue to play music, my phrasing gets one day deeper and “better”, regardless of who I play with. I have been very lucky to play with musicians from all over the world, and I learn something, mostly indirectly, from every single one.


IF there were any musicians in Japan which really changed your approach to building phrases – could you write us some about it ? My “approach to building phrases” has never really changed but so many musicians in Japan have opened my mind musically, mainly Tsunku, Hyadain, Yasutaka Nakata and so many others.


The music you showed us on a few last releases contains many elements of dance music.

Do you like and listen also modern dance music (I mean that presented by DJs in clubs) etc?


Very much. It usually has very little guitar in it, and I always feel like I can give dance music a new guitar heavy flavor.


Music on Tokyo Jukeboxes sounds very optymistic and happy – a kind of opposite in comparison to what we heard in Megadeth. I guess you are a in very happy period of your life. Any comments?


That is a very good observation. I was happy in Megadeth and I am happy now. However I have many more musical challenges now and that`s why my music has so many more emotions now.  Positive feelings come out in my music much more now, even when the music I`m making now at times is much heavier than Megadeth.


On Tokyo Jukebox you covered a lot of Japanese songs, did you did it again on Jukebox II? If yes could you write us some info about those songs (original performer, why you picked up particular song, when you first heard the song etc).


I chose songs that all Japanese people know, mostly current songs, but some classics as well.

The other reason I had for choosing songs, was I had to have a personal memory with the song.



Tokyo Jukebox 2 – did you use on that album any songs which did not make it on previous album or all of them are especially prepared / recorded for a new one?


All of the songs are new.



A few of your previous releases were disitributed in Europe by Mascot Records. Tokyo Jukebox 2 is now avaiable only in Japan. Are you going to release that record officialy in other countries?


I am hoping to release TJ2 worldwide sometime in 2012.



There are plenty great solos on latest album. For instance in 3 and 5 – how did you record them: straight into computer or via amp set? Are there recorded in one take or with any overdubs?


Always with an amp. Some are done in one take, some need a hundred takes. It`s not done untile I love it. Sometimes I love it right away, sometimes it takes time. Of course there are many overdubs.



In "Aitakatta" and few other songs did you play tuned down rhythm guitars? Could you write us some about tuning you use? 



I use regular tunings, but on most songs I used 7- string guitars for rhythms.


Song Toire No Kamisana is made from a few different parts – there are classic Trash elements inside – and delicate notes from opposite side. Are the structure of the song typical for japanese music which melts different tempos and moods in one song?



No. That song was originally a slow acoustic folk song. I just made it extremely crazy.



Canon a la Koto contains a real canon between Koto and electric guitar. Did you record both parts by yourself?  Are you into original japanese string, plucked instruments? Do you owe and practice them? 


No way!! I could never play a Koto like that. That is one of the best Koto players in Japan, Sachiko Kaihou.



Sounds played on that traditional instrument sounded like modern classic music. What are inspirations behind that song ?



The song was done as a 30 second TV commercial for a major bank, where I appeared with the Koto player showing two different worlds existing together.  Then I decided to create a full version for the album. It was a huge challenge especially for the Koto player, as my arrangement required her to change tunings 4 times. She is amazing!



Intro sounds to "I love you" reminds me very much Jeff Beck like style. Do draw any inspirations to that song from his music? I havent heard such a notes from you in the past ..


What a compliment! I know is a fine guitarist, but I know zero about his music or his playing. For some reason that style never appealed to me. But you are right that the intro solo sounds like “someone else”. Usually no matter what I do it sounds very “Marty”, so I love it when my playing sounds like “someone else” sometimes.


What is the story behind writing that song?


It is a cover song.


Your music changed after you moved to Japan – how did it affect your fans? Did you loose some of them and earn some ?  Do you meet people nowadays which say to you: "Oh Marty I liked you more in Megadeth/Cacophony times because blah blah blah"?

How do you respond them?



I hear everything from fans. In Japan I have done so many different things, that only a small percentage of the people here know me from Megadeth. I`ve done over 400 TV shows here, so most people have a different image of me. Outside of Japan, I hear more about Megadeth and Cacophony, and it is usually overwhelmingly positive. The way I see it, if you enjoy my music from any time of my career, I`m happy about it.




You have lived in many places including Hawaii, Germany and California now you reside in Tokyo. How those changes influence you as an artists and human being? What did you learn ? What did you miss?



I am lucky to have lived among several cultures and so many interesting places, that gives me a musical freedom that is unusual. Different cultures accept different things. For example it is totally normal for rock and metal fans to love pop music, but in the US it is somewhat taboo.


You decided to record „Time to say goodbay” cover on Bad D.N.A album. Why did you choose that song? Are there any other pop standards which would you like to cover in the future ?


Honestly I ddn`t like the original so much, but someone who`s opinion I trust told me I could make a really cool version of it. I actually liked the result.


You seem to be very busy person. Once you confessed that you are a workaholic.

Please tell us about music and outside music professional projects you are involved now and will be involved in near future?


I just did the theme song to the new Kamen Rider movie, I`m producing two great bands, and promoting TJ2 like crazy in Japan.


How are you able to avoid "burning out" syndrome?


By picking and choosing what work I do, and turning down work that I don`t really want to do.



You're working a lot with japanes artists. Probably most of your european fans don’t know them. Could you introduce in a few words the most famous of them ?



European fans may like Maximum the Hormone, I also work with Tamaki Nami, Nana Kitade, Nana Tanimura, Kirito, Aikawa Nanase, Kotoko, so many more


What could you tell us about guitar music in Japan? We all know that fans from Japan are very much into heavy rock / guitar oriented music but there are not too very well known guitarist from that country. Did you meet / record with any amazing players from Japan?

Could you tell us some names?


My favorite guitarists in Japan are Tak Matsumoto, and Hotei



You're probably first musician from Western World which writes double language facebook notes? Is it a exhausting experience? Do you experience some troubles when it comes to translate some language nuances (some idioms in japanese etc). Did you write first in japanese then translating or vice versa?



I don`t translate-I write things that Japanese fans can relate to in Japanese, and I write stuff for non-Japanese fans in English. The information is different. Non-Japanese people don`t know what is going on in Japan so even if I translated it it would mean very little to them.



Please tell us a secret – if something goes wrong and you just have to tell a curse – do you use japanes or english?


Both!! Thankfully I don`t curse much…



We remember "Exhibit A Live in Europe" release. Should we expect you with the band on the tour in Europe next year? If yes could you unveil us any details of the tour, band members etc ?


I toured 22 countries in Europe this year, my members are all Japanese guys in their early 20`s and amazing!



Many people ask you for Rock Fujiyama show which can be seen on youtube. Please tell us how did you start cooperation with producers of that show and if the show will be finally avaiable for fans outside Japan on DVDs ?


Never on DVD`s officially because it will be a publishing nightmare the way we destroyed so many songs…! My management is a TV management company so they often create opportunities for me to do TV, including the show Rock Fujiyama.





You wrote "I`m really proud of the first two bands to debut on my label, Gokukara Records". Could you tell us about idea of making that record company? What kind of music would you like to release on the label? Is it outfit also for your recordings ?



The label is for brand new bands that I put together and produce. My recordings are released on the Avex label.  The music is modern J-pop with a rock and metal sound.



The most boring questions: equipment used in recording process of Tokyo Jukebox – guitar/amps/effects/plugins ….


About 25 different gtrs all makers, 3 Engl amps, a few Maxon and Boss FX and D`Addario strings



Did you meet guys from Megadeth when they're performing around your area? Are you still friends / colleagues?



Still friends, but I haven`t seen any of them in years.


Plains for the near future?


More music, hopefully a European tour in the works!


Thank you and hope to see you soon!