Credit: Maria DeBiassi
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MARTY FRIEDMAN`s presence in the world of music, the world of guitar, and Japanese pop culture is mystifying, bizarre, and nothing short of inspiring.
His 14th solo album, ONE BAD M.F. Live!! is an all-out celebration of Marty`s music in its rawest form, Recorded live during his 2018 Wall of Sound tour, ONE BAD M.F. Live!! smashes any notions you may have about instrumental music being pompous and snobby. As seen in the first music video for the album, “Whiteworm,” FRIEDMAN and the band are all smiles and are in constant interaction with the audience, pouncing on the rhythms and playing such addictive melodies that one doesn`t miss a vocalist for a moment.
“This live album is a tip of the hat to the live albums that blew my mind when I was a kid,” explains FRIEDMAN, “the musical content itself is modern and atomic-powered, but the presentation is decidedly old school. The pacing of the show, the audience participation stuff, the special live arrangements of the songs, it`s all been tweaked in such a way to give the audience the feeling that they are really getting something special, that only happens at THEIR show, not just a recital of the songs exactly as they know them. There are happy accidents, once in a lifetime ad libs, things that could have only happened because we were high on the audience`s energy.”
MARTY FRIEDMAN`s first major impact in music was in the game-changing guitar duo Cacophony, which he founded with equally enigmatic and now legendary guitarist, Jason Becker. He then spent 10 years as lead guitarist in the genre-defining thrash metal icon Megadeth. His tenure in the band, considered the “golden era” by many, was indisputably the most successful era in the band`s history, by any criteria.
As much as he loved Megadeth, its music and its fans, FRIEDMAN`s overwhelming love of Japanese music and the Japanese language, found him leaving the band and moving to Tokyo. It is there where his career took off in very unexpected ways. His appearance as the star of a new TV comedy, “Hebimeta-san” (“Mr. Heavy Metal”) and its spinoff, “Rock Fujiyama,” which ran for six seasons, propelled him into the living rooms of Japan`s mainstream. This led to appearances on over 700 TV shows of every category, parts in major Japanese motion pictures, several TV commercials, including a two-year Coca-Cola campaign for Fanta. His popularity with the Japanese public led him to write two best-selling books in Japanese. In 2018, Young Guitar Magazine honored him with a 175-page special edition devoted only to FRIEDMAN and his inimitable playing style.
Despite MARTY FRIEDMAN`s flourishing television career, he still considers his music his “only real job,” often performing at the Tokyo Dome, Budokan, the Super Arena and other top venues with his own music, as well as guesting with other artists.
Along with releasing his ever evolving solo albums, he also writes and performs with the top artists in Japanese music, racking up countless chart hits including a #1 with Smap, two #2 songs with Momoiro Clover, a #2 with Sound Horizon, and a long list of others in and around the Top 10 in Japan. His latest Japan-only release, B: THE BEGINNING-THE IMAGE ALBUM, hit #1 on the overall Japan iTunes chart in fall of 2017.
In 2017, the Japanese Government appointed MARTY FRIEDMAN as an Ambassador of Japan Heritage, for a term of three years through the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Along with J-pop icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, baseball legend Hideki Matsui and four others, he’s the first foreigner ever to receive this title. He performed the Opening Ceremony at the Tokyo Marathon in both 2017 and 2018, again the first foreigner to do so. His most recent collaboration with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra is the government sponsored Japan Heritage Theme Song.
Now with the release of ONE BAD M.F. Live!!, the combination of his other worldly experiences culminate into an avalanche of emotion, in his immediately recognizable style. “I like to lose myself in giving as much energy to the audience every night. I want everyone to go home feeling like they were injected with a shot of positive vibes.” MARTY FRIEDMAN continues, “I think we captured that on the record.”
October 23, 2018
August 23, 2018