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Marty Friedman Played ‘What I Wanted to Play’ on Megadeth’s ‘Rust in Peace’

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Marty Friedman is one of the most revered guitarists worldwide, getting his start in various bands before going solo and landing a spot in Megadeth in 1990. His playing can be heard on their landmark Rust in Peace album, an exercise in technicality and pure shredding that was unparalleled at the time of its release. In a new interview, the virtuoso was asked exactly how much control he had over his playing and he reveals where lines were drawn.

“I can just tell you that, as far as having any say, the only say that I wanted to have was with my own guitar playing,” Friedman started telling Metal Music Examiner (audio below), “So as far as that’s concerned, I had complete control over what I played. And I wasn’t interested in changing anything up that anybody else was doing, as long as I could do what I wanted to do.”

This didn’t mean he was free to do whatever he wanted as he was conscious of the certain parameters that existed within the band’s sonic realm. Friedman recognized this when he added, “Of course, everybody else had to like what I did, so I wanted to make sure everybody liked what I did. But it was completely up to me what I wanted to play. So that’s all I wanted; I didn’t wanna come in and start changing things around, band-wise, politics-wise or anything like that, or even in songwriting. I just wanted to, you know, have my guitar playing [come out] my way, which is really the only way that I ever play guitar.”

Detailing why this autonomy was paramount, the six-stringer concluded his thoughts, saying, “I’m not really good at adapting to anyone saying they want me to play one way or another way; I’ve never been in that situation, so I wouldn’t be the type of guy that you could say [to], ‘Play this like whatever.’ So as far as I was concerned, I had all the freedom that I wanted ever in that band. It was fantastic.”

Talks linking Friedman back with Megadeth began when guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover left the thrash act in 2014. Fans began to speculate a reunion of the classic Rust in Peace lineup, but it never came to fruition. Friedman explained, “There’s really no reason for me to rejoin the band right now, or anytime, really. If there’s a reason to join the band, I would consider it, but just because there’s a member out of the band, that’s not enough of a reason for me to join. You need a better reason than that.”

The guitar legend recently wrapped up a rare stateside tour in support if his 2014 release, Inferno, which marked a return to a heavier sound and featured a bevy of guest metal musicians.

See Where Marty Friedman Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time

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