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2004 Wrap-up!!!
04 January 2004
in-depth interview with Marty!! Thanks for doing this interview, I?m sure the visitors here at are going to want to hear about the way you saw 2004.

Marty Friedman: Thank you. As usual you guys have done a great job with the site, I get compliments on it all the time!

.COM: So what stood out in 2004 for you?
MF: So much happened for me this year but right now it?s gotta be the acoustic show I just did with Aikawa Nanase. It was my first full acoustic concert ever and it reminded me why I was such a huge Aikawa fan even before I joined her band. She?s stunning, her songs are amazing and her voice is just gorgeous. I was in total fan-mode while we were playing!

COM: Didn?t you do an MTV Unplugged with Megadeth?
MF: Never did that but we did a bunch of acoustic songs during our normal concerts, and a few acoustic events, I remember a great one in Buenos Aires and another in Nagoya, Japan. For what that was, it was awesome because it was totally stripped down. But the Aikawa stuff was 2 ? hours long and quite big production wise, 2 pianos, flute, cello, sax, bass, percussion and me.

COM: Speaking of Megadeth, looks like they are back up and running and re-released their entire catalog this year, we get lots of mail asking if you heard them, what you think and so on.
MF: They rock. Dave remixed them with a friend of mine and great engineer, Ralph Patlan. Of course, there were probably a few things I would have likely done differently. But you know, when you mix an album, it?s literally impossible to please everybody, so you might as well please yourself. I think they did a really good job.

COM: Back to Japan, you did a major tour with Aikawa Nanase this summer. Any comments about that?
MF: It was awesome. 25 cities in Japan is really long for any artist over here. In Japan, tours are usually way shorter, even major artists might only do 3 or 4 cities on a run. When you do that, just as you get your vibe together, the tour is over. That?s why to cover that, in Japan, rehearsal is intense. It?s not unreasonable to do 2 weeks of rehearsal for one show! The tour went great. We shot and released a live DVD. Yumi from Puffy jammed 2 songs with us in Tokyo. As a huge Puffy fan and a huge Aikawa fan, being sandwiched between those two made it hard to remember which notes to play?(pix up in the gallery now!?Maysan) I can?t forget what a great time I had doing the Orion Festival in Okinawa with Sera Masanori. We almost couldn?t get there because of a typhoon, but after a hellish travel day we arrived in the nick of time to play for over 30,000. Just before showtime Sera asked me to go out there and do a 5 minute guitar solo instead of playing an intro tape! I?ll never forget that! (we will have a link to Sera Masanori?s official site soon?Maysan)

.COM: You also did your first solo shows in Tokyo and Osaka this year. Isn?t it about time??!
MF: You could say that. I just don?t put doing my solo music live in the forefront of my activities. I don?t want to be known as ?Marty Friedman, Instrumental Guitarist?. Although I love the music I have made that way, and I will continue to do much more, I like being part of a band with good songs best. That said, I?m thrilled to have some of the best fans in the world for my solo music, and that music is a big part of me, so when I have a chance to do solo stuff, I often do it.
.COM: How were the shows, and what did you play?
MF: Mostly stuff from Music For Speeding, but I also broke out ?Dragon Mistress? and ?Thunder March? from Dragon?s Kiss. We also did a long ?ad-lib? song for an encore in both cities. John Petrucci joined us in Osaka for that and it was a treat for me to play with such a great guitarist.
.COM: Sounds like more of a treat for the fans! I wish I was there?Any video available?
MF: It was taped for a Kobe TV broadcast.
.COM: Can you tell me a little more specifically about what you and John played together?
MF: I basically started the band off with an ad-libbed theme, and then I had John launch into some solos over it. Then I got him to do some repeating patterns and I copied and harmonized to what he was playing. He is a monster player, so that was challenging for sure!
.COM: Get me that video!
MF: I still haven?t seen it yet, I?ll have to decide if it?s fit for human ears or not?
.COM: Your face is all over cell phones in Japan, what is that all about?
MF: Poor cell phones..! All that info is on the site isn?t it? Music Life Magazine sponsors my weekly segment where I talk music, play guitar and stuff, and you can watch it on your cell phone in Japan. (Check the archive for more info. Maysan)
.COM: What about your new songs? You did a lot of one-off projects, we have yet to hear them. Why not a full album?
MF: I recorded a bunch in 2004. ?Atomic Locust? can only be heard if you check out the latest BOSS multi-track recorder, where it comes up as separate tracks and you can mix it yourself! I?m stoked on the song and I still own the rights so it may wind up on my next solo album. ?Love Terrorist? was written by me and recorded with Aikawa Nanase for a very special album in 2005. ?The Kid From Another Planet? was mixed by Mack (Queen producer) and will come out on my new DVD~~Any day now! I just finished tracking ?Street Demon? for the new AVEX cd/dvd ?D1 GRAND PRIX? which is a collection of new tunes by domestic artists with drift racing as the theme.
.COM: Why not just do a full album?
MF: I?m getting close to doing one, I?ve got the title, concept, musicians, jacket art, but only about half the material. Check with me later?

.COM: We just put up the link to order your new DVD that you just mentioned, glad to report that orders have already started coming in. What exactly can people expect from buying it here at the site as opposed to in music stores and other net outlets?

MF: I will be signing a special insert that will only come with DVDs ordered at The other thing is that is the first place the dvd will be available and only way to get the dvd before any of the other outlets start stocking it. I can?t tell you how pleased I am with this dvd. For anyone who as ever asked me for guitar tips, secrets, tricks, advice, it is perfect. I wish some of my favorite musicians would lay out their trickiest chops slowly and simply like this so I could learn them too! Enough about the dvd, just trust me, get it and you will improve drastically, quickly and easily, no question!

.COM: The music world suffered a great loss this year with Dimebag Darrell?s life being taken. Any reflections on this before we close?

MF: I didn?t know him that well, but we toured a bunch together and he was always cool to me, and to everyone else too as far as I know. No ?rock star B.S.?, a real genuine straight up kind of guy. His slang words got picked up by us in the Mega camp (most likely by Menza first) and we started talking like him saying stuff like, ?That?s cut!? and ?C-section?. I think those meant ?That?s a bummer!? and ?Lets? get outta here!?, but I could be wrong?He was a great guitarist and person. There are so many murderers, rapists and other criminals out there running free while so many unfair, stupid and senseless things happen in the world to good people like Darrell that it really makes you wonder.

.COM: Thanks for that, Marty. We at the site appreciate all of your help in keeping this site a great place for your fans to come.

MF: My pleasure. Thanks to you guys and thanks to everyone who visits this site. I appreciate each and every one of you. A happy, healthy and successful 2005 to all of you!