Ex-MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has told FoxSanAntonio.com in a new interview that he has nothing but respect for his former band, despite the widespread belief that his split with the Dave Mustaine-led group was acrimonious.
"My years with MEGADETH was a great period of my life," he said. "We were able to create a unique sound and it was a fantastic partnership. I wouldn't want to trade any of my time with MEGADETH for anything. It helped me grow as a musician. It really taught me so much about showmanship and working well with others."
He continued: "What I liked most is that we were all together with one goal. We didn't compromise when it came to making music. And we put out some great albums during my time in the band."
Asked about the status of metal as a genre, Friedman pointed to METALLICA's self-titled 1991 album as a defining release which helped introduce this brand of music to a whole new audience.
"In my opinion, [METALLICA's 'Black' album] is the single most important album in metal," he said. "The sound of metal could have been long gone, but that album helped metal find its place in the mainstream."
He added: "Metal is not the easiest music to play, and its even more difficult to make sound good. METALLICA was able to combine all that was good about metal without compromising who they were. There are some of the best metal songs on that album like 'Enter Sandman', and it really opened the door for so many bands."
Mustaine said in a recent interview that a planned reunion of MEGADETH's "Rust In Peace" lineup — featuring Friedman and drummer Nick Menza — in early 2015 failed to materialize for a number of reasons, including a difference in vision for the band's new music. He said: "Marty had sent some e-mails saying, 'Oh, man, you know, the fans have this self-inflated importance of 'Rust In Peace' beyond what it really is. And I was, like, 'Huh?' So I didn't know if that was a backhand to the face of the fans or not, but he had basically said that if we were gonna do anything, it had to be better than 'Rust In Peace'. And he sent me over some links to some songs that he thought should be the direction that we were going in, and one of it was this J-Pop band with some Japanese girl singing, and I was, like, 'Uh-uh. This ain't gonna work.' More power to [Marty for being into that stuff]. Do what you want, Marty. He's a great guitar player. But I'm not gonna sing like a Japanese girl."