Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 24
builds up to something even beyond what the
beginning was. It's a new structure for me - a
whole new "atmosphere" kind of a song...
possibly one of the heavier pieces of music
on the record. But, it has gone over great
live, and been so much fun to play. It's really
a fun, challenging, intense, aggressive piece
of music. I'm very happy with it.
"Whiteworm" also really jumps out.
That's another of the songs we're doing live!
When it came time to choose the music video
from the record, I was so attached to all the
songs that I had to let the record company
decide for me, and they chose "Whiteworm."
I think what a lot of people are enjoying
about that song is that the intro is the kind
of thing that makes you want to get up and
play guitar. That's kind of like a goal, I guess,
in rock music and guitar music; if you get an
intro like "Stairway to Heaven" or "Smoke
on the Water," you're doing something that's
making a lot of people want to pick up an
instrument. And that's the subliminal goal
with any song you write, really, whether you're
thinking about it or not. So, "Whiteworm" has
definitely got one of those intros. It's a little
bit trickier than "Stairway to Heaven," but I
think with kids nowadays, the bar is a little
higher than what it was in Led Zeppelin's day.
Wall of Shred
etween playing on Cacophony's landmark
1987 shred album, Speed Metal Symphony,
and Megadeth's 1990 classic, Rust in Peace,
Marty Friedman introduced the world to his
solo work with the 1988 disc Dragon's Kiss. In
the nearly three decades since, he has rarely
taken a break, and never rested on his laurels.
Since exiting Megadeth in 2000, he has issued
nine solo albums including his latest, Wall of
Sound, which balances his technical talents
with interesting song structures that offer a
host of twists and turns.
and the best I can do. When I write a song and
think it's awesome, two or three months later
it may not be as good as I thought. For Wall of
Sound, I lived with so many songs that weren't
as good four or five months down the line as
they were at the beginning; I funneled 60 or
70 into those that still kick my ass 10, 12, 16
months later. That happened on Inferno and
that's what happened on Wall of Sound, too.
I think it's the strongest way for me to write
How is Wall of Sound similar or different
to your previous solo albums?
It definitely does. That's one of the songs
we're playing live in our set right now. We
do a couple from the record, and that's quite
an ambitious song to play live. But that's the
fun of it. It starts off really intense, comes to
a complete 360 into spaceland, then gradually
It's similar to my previous album, Inferno,
in that it took a long time to do - a year and
a half. And I took that time because I have to
live with this stuff to know that it's really great
"Self Pollution" goes through quite a few
I used the prototypes of my signature
Inferno Amp by ENGL, the prototypes of my
signature MF-1 guitar from Jackson, and the
signature pickups from EMG. So it was like
a "Marty party" in there (laughs)... a "Party
It was a really good proving ground for the
gear while we were developing the prototypes,
and there's no place where you're stricter
than where you're recording. So, I was really
dialing-in little details and having the companies come back with little tweaks done. And
at the end of the process, everything was done
to my satisfaction and ready for release. It was
really ideal because usually, when you do a
signature model, you might go to the factory
once and they might send you a guitar once
to try out, but it never gets the scrutiny you
have to give it when you're recording. When
you're recording an album, you're looking for
very specific things, and you're strict beyond
just if they sound good or not. So, all of my
signature models were tested really hard, and
it shows in the results.
Are you still in touch with Jason Becker?
Of course. We're best friends, as usual. He's
working on an amazing new album with a
lot of serious guests. I play two solos on the
record, and I just can't wait for it to be done.
It's going to be spectacular. - Greg Prato
Marty Friedman: Takaaki Henmi.
Which gear did you use on the album?