Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman explained why reunion of the band’s Rust In Peace lineup more than five years ago failed to materialize.
The opportunity for MEGADETH‘s most famous lineup to regroup arose following the departures of guitarist Chris Broderick and drummer Shawn Drover in 2014.
Frieman opened up about about his reasons for turning down the MEGADETH reunion in Dave Mustaine‘s new book, Rust In Peace: The Inside Story Of The Megadeth Masterpiece, which details the making of the iconic 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. “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.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
He also said that one of the reasons he turned reunion opportunity, is the fact that the group is largely seen as Mustaine‘s solo project.
“Had it been more of a band situation and not such a one-man, Dave Mustaine-main-man party, I might have considered doing it for a little less. But, at the end of the day, MEGADETH is so much Mustaine because that’s the way he engineered it.
“I didn’t feel that kind of camaraderie, the four-man diamond, THE BEATLES, KISS, METALLICA. I felt like I would be going out there and tour and it was going to be Mustaine‘s big success. If I’m going to do that, I’m certainly not going to lose money to do that; I was doing great on my own in Japan.”
In a recent interview with Loudwire, Mustaine said that he really wanted Nick Menza and Marty Friedman to return to MEGADETH for 2016’s Dystopia album.
“The chemistry of Nick and Marty, don’t get me wrong — that was amazing. And my heart aches when I think about that. And, in fact, that’s why I wrote at the back of the book ‘In Loving Memory’ and not ‘In Memory Of’,” Mustaine said. “Nick said some sh*tty things about me at the end, especially to you guys and to Blabbermouth, where he would just wail on me. And I would think, ‘Nick, why are you doing this? I never did anything to you. I’m always fighting for you.
“When I would read the stuff that he would [say about me], I would just be so hurt. ‘Cause when we went to do the reunion, you see Ellefson tell the story, I wasn’t the one that said Nick wasn’t ready — Dave said that,” he continued. “I was really bummed about that; I wanted things to work out with Nick. And then in fact, I even said, ‘You know what? If it’s not gonna work with him playing in the studio, let’s have somebody else go into the studio and play, and then we can have Nick play live.’
“I was bending over backwards to get a place for Nick. And then he said he wanted this exorbitant amount of cash to work for us and to be able to sell all kinds of merchandise that he had.”
“Marty has a really successful career in Japan where he makes quite a lot of money,” Mustaine added. “And this is the part where I thought it was a little weird, where he said he said that he has to pay all his team while he’s gone instead of just himself. ‘Cause I thought we’ll pay you what you’re making so that’s switching horses in the middle of the river — it’s no big deal unless you fall off. And then when we found out that he wanted to sell his merch, his this, his that, his this, his that, then he wanted this crazy amount of money and he wanted to fly first class everywhere. I said to our management, ‘I can’t deal with this.’”