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 how it felt to play with Mustaine again, Friedman said: “It was just like a perfect exclamation point on everything that we had done together up until this point. You couldn’t have written a better way for the whole thing to play out. It was just perfect timing, just a very natural and organic way to do it.”
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.”
When Friedman was presented with the idea of MEGADETH‘s Rust In Peace lineup reunion three years ago, money became a persuading factor for him to take part. He and drummer Nick Menza met with Mustaine and ex-bassist David Ellefson at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim to talk about rejoining forces once again.
In Mustaine‘s latest book, Rust In Peace: The Inside Story Of The Megadeth Masterpiece, Friedman candidly reveals why he declined the offer of a MEGADETH reunion for their iconic album, Rust In Peace.
“My main thing was I’d be happy to do it, but I’m not going to take less money than I’m already making to do it,” Marty said in part.
“I’d been in Japan for more than ten years cultivating a career with solid rewards. I was making money not only for myself but also for my management and staff. My manager has been with me fifteen years.
“Everything was sound and solid professionally, and when the offer came up to all of a sudden join MEGADETH again, as long as I would not be making less money, I was ready to go,” he said.
“”But I was certainly not going to take a loss to join a band that, frankly, at that point, didn’t seem like they had too much to offer musically. A couple of members of the band had recently quit, and musically I hadn’t heard anything that they’ve done in a long time.
“I didn’t know about how relevant they continued to be in the music business. It wasn’t like MEGADETH was on the tip of people’s tongues, at least not in Japan. I had reached the point where people stopped immediately connecting me to MEGADETH and were talking about the things that I had done in Japan.”