Photo: With Megadeth in 1990: (from left) Dave Mustaine, Nick Menza, David Ellefson and Friedman.
You had a nice long run in Megadeth. Is there anything you miss about being in that band?
“I loved everything about it. I loved the guys, the music, the fans. I loved the way we ran it – it was a great machine. It was what it was, and it was fantastic. I take great pride in what we did together. But I can’t really say that I miss anything about it at all. Well, I do miss hanging out with the guys. We’re still friends, I assume. We’re in touch sometimes. You know, when you’re in a band with that kind of activity, you’re up each other’s asses 24 hours a day. [Laughs] In some ways, it’s tighter than a family. But I wouldn’t trade my experiences since then for anything. I wouldn’t do back there in a million years.”
Which might answer my next question: Would you entertain an offer to join another big band?
“Oh, I definitely would do that in a heartbeat. I would love to be in a great, great fresh and exciting band. You can make a point out of this: I do exactly what I want to do, but if I had an offer from a great band that was exciting and challenging and that I could contribute to, I’d be in there, absolutely. I’m really open to anything. When I’m totally into something, that’s when I do my best work. If I’m bored with something, I tend to try to do other things. I’m up for anything that would be a cool musical endeavor.”
When Jason became ill and had to bow out of the David Lee Roth band, if David’s camp reached out to you, would you have considered that offer, or would you not have wanted to go there?
“Luckily, I never would’ve had to make that decision because there were a lot of guys who were better suited for that gig than me. For one thing, I’ve never done a fret-tapping thing in my life. [Laughs] Not once. Most of those Van Halen songs would’ve proven to be quite challenging for me.
“Had they have come begging for me to do the gig, and if Jason had asked me to do it, I might have learned how to fret tap and maybe I would have entertained the idea of doing it. But that was never my cup of tea in the first place. I was a great fan of Van Halen and David Lee Roth, but that was never anything I felt I had to do in my guitar playing.”
Marty Friedman's album Inferno will be released on May 27. You can pre-order it at Prosthetic Records.