Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman spoke to Consequence about his reunion with his old band during the first-ever performance of Dave Mustaine‘s group at the renowned Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. At the conclusion of the main set on Monday, February 27, Friedman joined the stage for three numbers: “Countdown To Extinction,” “Tornado Of Souls,” and “Symphony Of Destruction.”
On why they chose to play “Countdown To Extinction,” even though it’s not usually a part of band’s live performances, Friedman said: “They had one show at a different venue — kind of on the outskirts of Tokyo. So, I went to that venue and rehearsed with them at the soundcheck for that show. It was interesting, because when Dave and I talked about the songs that we were going to do, we both agreed that ‘Countdown’ would be great – because the intro has got a bass solo in the introduction, and that would be great time to introduce me. And I thought, ‘That’s a great idea.’”
“But I sort of forgot we never really played that song when I was in the band,” he continued. “It was kind of like… a sleeper track — even though it was the title track of an album. I tried to find something online, and apparently, we did play it when I was in the band — there was some footage of us playing it in Osaka. So, I guess we played it, but it definitely wasn’t a staple setlist song. I learned it from the video – from the mid-‘90s.”
“But then when I got to rehearse with the band now, none of the guys in the band had played this song before! Despite that, it sounded like they’d been playing it for years. The band is just so tight, and they’re firing on all cylinders, and so talented. So, you’d never know it was not a ‘normal setlist song.’ It was just for the Budokan show. So, I was impressed with how well the band adapted to playing a brand new song.”
Regarding his present relationship with Mustaine, Friedman replied: “Oh, it’s great. It’s always been great. I think if anything, if there was ever any kind of weirdness, it was probably in the minds of the people who are fans or just people who are reading media things. We chat every once in a while and it’s always very nice.
“We have no … maybe at the time when I left the band there might have been some weird feelings between us, but I think at the time, Dave understood why I left. And at the time I understood why I put the band in a possibly rough situation. But that’s such a long time ago. And since then, there’s really been nothing but friendly, normal contact — and occasionally, we’ll talk about a thing that we might need the other to comment on. But absolutely nothing but complete friendliness.”
When asked if he would be open to play with MEGADETH again, whether on stage or in studio, Marty responded: “Yeah, man, the door’s open. I think the door has always been open. It’s really just a matter of doing something that has meaning to it. Meaning for them and meaning for me. So, Budokan is sort of a no-brainer. But if something were to come up that would be a good thing for them and a good thing for me, and add value to it, then I’m all for it. As far as I’m concerned, their band is just kicking so much ass right now, I can’t imagine them needing me for anything. [Laughs] But Budokan was wonderful. There’s other things in the future. My door’s open and we’re on great terms, and I love all the guys in the band. It’s very casual.”