Tag Archives: Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman’s Wall Of Sound Released Today

MARTY FRIEDMAN’s new album, Wall Of Sound, expands and destroys any conventional notions of instrumental music. It was produced by Friedman, engineered by Paul Fig (Ghost, Rush, Alice In Chains) and mixed by Jens Bogren (Lamb of God, Opeth). Legendary Queen producer, Mack, came on board to handle the mixing on two tracks, “Streetlight” and “For a Friend,” which Friedman proclaimed was, “an honor for me, for sure.”

Regarding the writing and recording process on Wall Of Sound, Friedman responded with this, “It`s a challenge to evolve album after album, especially on your 13th solo album. Not only as a songwriter but it is imperative to do new things on my instrument as well. Luckily this is a challenge that I love. You will find this hard to believe when you hear the density and sheer amount of guitar coming at you from all directions, but in fact, all of the final guitar tracks on Wall Of Sound were done in 9 days.”

He continues, “This furious and productive pace was made possible by over a year of making demo after demo and spending more time listening and living with the music rather than just playing it.  I had lived with the songs for so long and edited and re-cut them so many times, which by the time I got to the actual recording studio, it was like I had been playing the whole album on tour for a year already. I learned to do this from making Inferno.”

“This is why a lot of artists` debut albums are so strong-because they have had so much time to reflect on and fixed the music, and also, more importantly, attach real life experiences to the songs. I feel like I have a debut album here.”

Once again, Friedman assembled an incredible and diverse group of musicians to record and guest on Wall Of Sound. His core recording band is made up of Anup Sastry, a new whiz kid sharing drum duties with uber-veteran Gregg Bissonette, and Japanese bassist Kiyoshi who is undisputedly the most aggressive female bassist on earth. Guests include Jinxx of Black Veil Brides and Shiv Mehra of Deafheaven, and Jorgen Munkeby of Shining lends his voice to the only non-instrumental track on the album.

MARTY FRIEDMAN comments on the guests: “Jinxx from Black Veil Brides and I wanted to do something that would shock his fans and my fans. I arranged a monster of a tune called “Sorrow & Madness” based on a melody that Jinxx wrote on the violin. I took his sweet song and added so many twists and turns that it became a mammoth of Martyisms in tandem with a broad side of Jinxx that has yet to be heard by his fans. We are both very proud of what happened.” 

“I think Deafheaven is the one truly heavy band that comes to mind when people ask me to recommend something that`s not Japanese! I was super excited to work with Shiv from Deafheaven. We wrote “Pussy Ghost” together, and it is one of the most aggressive songs I have ever played, while at the same time evoking grotesquely beautiful moods that I have never felt before. One thing I learned from making Inferno is that when you have a guest, let them come up with music first. Let it be their baby, so they are personally invested in the song. Then arrange it and do it my way, then add more things together. This gives you a final song that sounds like both of the people put their heart and souls into the music, as opposed to one guy doing everything and the guest just blasting out a solo somewhere.”

“Jorgen from Shining also guested on Inferno and when we finished that song we immediately started talking about what we would do next. For those who don`t know Inferno, they are like a steroid-ed out and “genius-level musician-ed out” version of Nine Inch Nails for the 21st century, with a charismatic singer/composer (Jorgen) and a wicked sense of melody, that hits me in the gut on every song. “(Just Gimme) Something To Fight” is the one vocal track on the record and it kills. Even after finishing this song we have started working on more new things for who knows what…”

Wall Of Sound track listing:
1. Self Pollution
2. Sorrow and Madness (featuring Jinxx of Black Veil Brides)
3. Streetlight
4. Whiteworm
5. For A Friend
6. Pussy Ghost (featuring Shiv Mehra of Deafheaven)
7. The Blackest Rose
8. Something to Fight (featuring Jorgen Munkeby of Shining)
9. The Soldier
10. Miracle
11. Last Lament

Wall Of Sound is available for pre-orders  here: http://smarturl.it/MartyFriedmanon all digital platforms, compact disc and comes in five limited edition LP color variants:

  • White Black Swirl LP – 300 Worldwide
  • Clear Black Smoke LP – 100 Worldwide
  • Glow in The Dark LP – 100 Worldwide
  • Clear Black Swirl LP – European retail exclusive, 100 Europe only
  • White LP – US indie retail exclusive, 200 US only

All pre-orders come with a laminate good for 1 VIP meet and greet to Marty’s 2017 US tour. Keep an eye on www.martyfriedman.comfor dates, email martyvip@prostheticrecords.comwith your order number and what date you would like to attend.

MARTY FRIEDMAN will begin a headlining run on August 2 in Philadelphia, PA. Support comes from Houston’s top progressive outfit, Scale the Summit, along with Madison, WI’s technical progressive three-piece, The Fine Constant.  See below for all upcoming tour dates:

Marty Friedman – Wall of Sound Tour 2017
w/ Special Guests Scale The Summit and The Fine Constant

8/02 The Foundry at the Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA
8/03 Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
8/04 Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
8/05 Crossroads, Garwood, NJ
8/06 Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore, MD
8/08 Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH
8/09 Diesel, Chesterfield, MI
8/10 Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, IL
8/11 Studio B at the Skyway, Minneapolis, MN
8/12 Sokol Underground, Omaha, NE
8/13 Fubar, St, Louis, MO
8/16 Scout Bar, Houston, TX
8/17 The Rock Box, San Antonio, TX
8/18 Trees, Dallas, TX
8/19 Tower Theater, Oklahoma, OK
8/20 The Riot Room, Kansas City, MO
8/23 Marquis Theatre, Denver, CO
8/24 Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
8/25 The Rebel Lounge, Phoenix, AZ
8/26 The Whisky, Los Angeles, CA
8/27 The Parish @ HOB, Anaheim, CA
8/28 Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA

About MARTY FRIEDMAN:
MARTY FRIEDMAN released his first solo album, Dragon’s Kiss, on the influential Shrapnel Records. His tenure with Cacophony and Megadeth have created some of the most memorable music and jaw dropping guitar solos ever heard. He’s received dozens of platinum and gold awards from throughout the globe and continually pushes the boundaries of music as is heard on Wall Of Sound. Fluent in Japanese, Friedman currently resides in Tokyo where he is a constant fixture on Japanese television (appearing on hundreds of network programs, musical and non-musical, and as the face of long running campaigns for Fanta/Coca Cola, Sumitomo Bank, Suntory, etc.), in addition to appearing in major motion pictures. He is also the author of two hardcover books in Japanese detailing his unusual views on the current Japanese music scene, as well as two best-selling manga-related books, which are both in their eighth editions now. Friedman has not only held top charting positions with his albums in Japan but has also collaborated on and produced several Top 5 hits.

MARTY FRIEDMAN was recently appointed a Japanese Heritage Ambassador to promote the country`s upcoming Olympic games. He is currently filming a documentary, and his biography is set to be published soon.

MARTY FRIEDMAN Online:
www.martyfriedman.com
www.facebook.com/martyfriedman.official
www.jacksonguitars.com/features/marty-friedman

Happy Birthday Jason Becker

By Andrew Catania

Jаѕоn Elі Bесkеr (bоrn Julу 22, 1969) іѕ аn Amеrісаn hеаvу mеtаl guіtаrіѕt аnd соmроѕеr. At the аgе оf 16, hе bесаmе раrt оf thе Shrарnеl Rесоrdѕ-рrоduсеd duо Cасорhоnу wіth hіѕ frіеnd Mаrtу Frіеdmаn. Thеу rеlеаѕеd thе аlbumѕ Sрееd Mеtаl Sуmрhоnу іn 1987 аnd Gо Off іn 1988. Cасорhоnу brоkе uр іn 1989 аnd Bесkеr bеgаn doing ѕоlо wоrk, hаvіng rеlеаѕеd hіѕ fіrѕt аlbum Pеrреtuаl Burn іn 1988, аlѕо thrоugh Shrарnеl. Hе lаtеr jоіnеd Dаvіd Lее Rоth’ѕ bаnd аnd rесоrdеd оnе аlbum wіth hіm, A Lіttlе Aіn’t Enоugh.

Bесkеr’ѕ реrfоrmіng саrееr wаѕ сut ѕhоrt bу аmуоtrорhіс lаtеrаl ѕсlеrоѕіѕ (ALS). In 1996, Bесkеr lоѕt thе аbіlіtу tо ѕреаk, аnd hе nоw соmmunісаtеѕ wіth hіѕ еуеѕ vіа a ѕуѕtеm dеvеlореd bу hіѕ fаthеr. Dеѕріtе hіѕ dіѕаbіlіtу, hе соntіnuеѕ соmроѕіng bу uѕіng a соmрutеr аnd hаѕ ѕіnсе rеlеаѕеd wіth Shrарnеl Cоllесtіоn, a “bеѕt оf” аlbum оf hіѕ fаvоrіtе ѕоngѕ аnd thrее nеw ѕоngѕ.

Cоnѕіdеrеd аn еxреrt guіtаrіѕt and оnе оf thе tор рlауеrѕ оf hіѕ tіmе, Jаѕоn Bесkеr ѕtudіеd thе wоrkѕ оf vіоlіnіѕt Nіссоlò Pаgаnіnі аnd wаѕ a рlауіng раrtnеr wіth Mаrtу Frіеdmаn. Hе lаtеr аrrаngеd Pаgаnіnі’ѕ 5th Cарrісе, реrfоrmіng іt during аn іnѕtruсtіоnаl guіtаr vіdео. Bесkеr’ѕ соmроѕіtіоnѕ оftеn іnсludе hіgh-ѕрееd ѕсаlаr аnd arpeggio раѕѕаgеѕ trаdеmаrkѕ оf hіѕ ‘ѕhrеd’ ѕtуlе оf guіtаr рlауіng. Oftеn іnсоrроrаtіng аdvаnсеd tесhnіԛuеѕ ѕuсh аѕ ѕwеер рісkіng, аltеrnаtе рісkіng, аrtіfісіаl hаrmоnіс ассеntіng, аnd tарріng; hе wаѕ аmоng thе lеаdеrѕ іn thе fіеld durіng thе tесhnісаl ‘ѕhrеd’ guitar, аnd Nео-Clаѕѕісаl Mеtаl trеnd оf thе mіd tо lаtе еіghtіеѕ аnd іѕ ѕtіll rеѕресtеd аnd hоnоrеd bу hіѕ musician рееrѕ tоdау.

Pеrhарѕ thе mоѕt hіgh-рrоfіlе аrtіѕt bаttlіng ALS іѕ Jаѕоn Bесkеr, thе tаlеntеd guіtаrіѕt whо ѕееmеd роіѕеd tо еmbаrk on a brіllіаnt саrееr bеfоrе hе received hіѕ dіаgnоѕіѕ іn thе еаrlу ’90ѕ. Rіѕіng tо рrоmіnеnсе аlоngѕіdе Mаrtу Frіеdmаn іn thе ѕhоrt-lіvеd рrоjесt Cасорhоnу, Bесkеr rеlеаѕеd a ѕоlо аlbum (‘Pеrреtuаl Burn’) іn 1988, аnd thеn саught thе еаr оf thеn-fоrmеr Vаn Hаlеn frоntmаn David Lее Rоth, whо nееdеd a rерlасеmеnt fоr dераrtіng guіtаrіѕt Stеvе Vai.

Rоth еnlіѕtеd Bесkеr fоr hіѕ thіrd ѕоlо LP, 1991’ѕ ‘A Lіttlе Aіn’t Enоugh,’ but whаt іnіtіаllу арреаrеd tо bе thе fіrѕt іn a ѕеrіеѕ оf bіg brеаkѕ еndеd uр bеіng a tеѕt оf endurance. Aftеr nоtісіng a lіmр іn hіѕ lеft lеg, Bесkеr ѕоught mеdісаl аttеntіоn аnd gіvеn thе grіm nеwѕ thаt hе hаd ALS. A рrоgrеѕѕіvе nеurоdеgеnеrаtіvе dіѕеаѕе thаt аffесtѕ nеrvе сеllѕ іn thе brаіn аnd thе ѕріnаl соrd, ALS grаduаllу rоbѕ іtѕ vісtіmѕ оf thе аbіlіtу tо соntrоl muѕсlе mоvеmеnt, ѕtаrtіng wіth fіnе mоtоr ѕkіllѕ (ѕuсh аѕ рlауіng guіtаr). Cоntіnuіng thrоugh dаіlу асtіvіtіеѕ mоѕt оf uѕ tаkе fоr grаntеd, ѕuсh аѕ wаlkіng or bеіng able to ѕреаk. Thе gеnеrаl рrоgnоѕіѕ іѕ grіm, wіth mоѕt раtіеntѕ раѕѕіng аwау wіthіn thrее tо fіvе уеаrѕ frоm thе оnѕеt оf ѕуmрtоmѕ.

Dеtеrmіnеd to рrеѕѕ оn еvеn аftеr hіѕ dіаgnоѕіѕ, Bесkеr mаnаgеd tо fіnіѕh thе ‘A Lіttlе Aіn’t Enоugh’ ѕеѕѕіоnѕ, but he wаѕ unаblе tо jоіn Rоth on tоur аnd ѕооn lоѕt thе аbіlіtу tо реrfоrm. Hе’ѕ lіvеd wеll bеуоnd the іnіtіаl lіfе еxресtаnсу thе dосtоrѕ оrіgіnаllу gаvе hіm, hоwеvеr, аnd thаnkѕ tо ѕоmе unіԛuе ѕоftwаrе thаt trасkѕ еуе mоvеmеnt. Hе rеmаіnѕ аblе tо соmmunісаtе аnd соmроѕе hіѕ ѕесоnd ѕоlо LP, ‘Pеrѕресtіvе,’ wаѕ rеlеаѕеd іn 1996, аnd he mаіntаіnѕ аn асtіvе соnnесtіоn wіth hіѕ fаnѕ vіа hіѕ оffісіаl wеbѕіtе.

Hіѕ ALS grаduаllу rоbbеd hіm оf hіѕ аbіlіtу tо рlау guіtаr, tо walk, аnd еvеntuаllу hіѕ аbіlіtу tо ѕреаk. Hе nоw соmmunісаtеѕ wіth hіѕ еуеѕ vіа a ѕуѕtеm dеvеlореd bу hіѕ fаthеr. Hе rеmаіnѕ mеntаllу ѕhаrр аnd, wіth thе аіd оf a соmрutеr, соntіnuеѕ соmроѕіng. In thе bасk оf thе Pеrѕресtіvе CD саѕе, Bесkеr ѕtаtеѕ “I hаvе Amуоtrорhіс Lateral Sсlеrоѕіѕ. It hаѕ сrіррlеd mу bоdу аnd ѕреесh, but nоt mу mіnd.” His mеdісаl соndіtіоn hаѕ rеmаіnеd ѕtаblе ѕіnсе 1997. Hоwеvеr, whеn Bесkеr соuld nо lоngеr рhуѕісаllу рlау еvеn a kеуbоаrd, hіѕ frіеnd аnd muѕіс рrоduсеr Mіkе Bеmеѕdеrfеr helped hіm wіth a muѕіс-соmроѕіng соmрutеr рrоgrаm thаt rеаdѕ mоvеmеntѕ оf hіѕ hеаd аnd еуеѕ, еnаblіng Bесkеr tо соntіnuе tо соmроѕе аftеr hе lоѕt соntrоl оf thе rеѕt оf hіѕ bоdу.

Thе wrіtіng оf thе muѕіс hаd bееn ѕtаrtеd before ALS соmрlеtеlу сrіррlеd hіѕ аbіlіtіеѕ. Bу uѕіng guіtаr, аnd, lаtеr, whеn hе wаѕ unаblе tо uѕе bоth hаndѕ, a kеуbоаrd, hе соntіnuеd tо соmроѕе whіlе hіѕ dіѕеаѕе wоrѕеnеd. Whеn the lаѕt nоtеѕ оf the аlbum fаdе, уоu wіll nоt buу оr еnjоу Bесkеr’ѕ wоrk bесаuѕе уоu feel ѕоrrу fоr hіm, but bесаuѕе hіѕ ѕріrіt аnd wіll аrе unѕtорраblе. In 1999, Bесkеr rеlеаѕеd ‘Rаѕрbеrrу Jаmѕ’ аnd thеn ‘Blасkbеrrу Jаmѕ‘ іn 2003, bоth аlbumѕ mаdе uр оf demos аnd оuttаkеѕ frоm Jаѕоn’ѕ раѕt. ‘Cоllесtіоn’ соntаіnеd rе-rеlеаѕеѕ оf hіѕ bеѕt wоrk аnd thrее nеw соmроѕіtіоnѕ, сrеаtеd vіа соmрutеr uѕіng еуе аnd hеаd mоvеmеntѕ.

Happy Birthday Jason!

Ozzy Osbourne: If Zakk Departs After The Summer Tour, Who Will Replace Him?

By Andrew Catania

Now that the Black Sabbath band has started wrapping up their music career and the final show has been locked in for February 4th, many of us will mourn not having more from the band. However, this is equally pleasing in tandem, that Ozzy Osbourne, the Madman of Black Sabbath who recently turned 68, hasn’t called it a day yet and says that he’s “currently playing around with some song ideas. I have a few things jotted down, and once Black Sabbath is off the road, I will be heading into the studio with my band to get the songs recorded. Once it’s all in the can, you can be sure to see me back on the road again.”

Sounds cool, right!

So now that the big news is out and has enthralled the crazy global fandom of Ozzy – the ultimate Prince of Darkness, apparently, this has become a topic of hot debate about who will play the guitar on his upcoming solo records.  Ozzy has stated that Zakk Wylde will be performing with him on his scheduled summer dates

Is Zakk going to continue with Ozzy after the summer tour dates?  Or would he be going back to Black Label?  Here are our top picks of potential guitarists likely to pair up with Ozzy if Zakk departs:

Rusty Cooley

Acclaimed for his aesthetic and intricately refined techniques, and rendered as one of the fastest guitarists in the US, Rusty Cooley is a virtuosic name in heavy, progressive and power metal genre. Well-known as the king of shreds, Rusty has been casting a spell through his chords since 1985 and has been associated with the Day of Reckoning, Outworld, Austrian Death Machine, the Rings of Saturn and some solos and individual performances. He has been called as the ‘Leading Light of Post-Malmsteen Shred-volution’ by the Guitar Player magazine.

Jeff Loomis

Famous and applauded for his soulful contribution to ‘Nevermore,’ Jeff Loomis is one of the top-notch names that rule the present-age metal genre. Jeff Loomis has proven his mettle as a lyricist, composer, vocalist, bassist and keyboard, drum and guitar player.

Aside from some fruitful associations with Arch Enemy, Nevermore, Fear Tech, Sanctuary, Conquering Dystopia, Experiment Fear, System, and 7 Eyes, Jeff Loomis has skillfully proved his virtuosity in some solos that make a big emblem of his unique classic arpeggios and gradually flowing nuances.

Marty Friedman

Famous for his former association with the heavy metal band Megadeth that ruled the music world for the entire decade of the mighty 90s, Marty Friedman has now become a mega music sensation in Japan.

His shredding techniques and style still carry that vibrant and signature ‘Megadeth’ essence, however, his personal preferences and music taste have drifted towards contemporary and Japanese pop. This has influenced him to evolve as an ecstatic fusion of eastern and western music, punctuated and infused with thrash metal, progressive rock, and neoclassic genres.

Vinnie Moore

Having emerged on the 80s music horizon with his incredible performances in Alice Cooper’sHey Stoopid,’ Vinnie Moore has managed to attain the stature of the most influential musicians who defined and shaped the dynamics and tending patterns of the music scene of the 80s and 90s.

Vinnie Moore has had an exciting career from 1986 to date, that is punctuated with his associated acts with UFO, Alice Cooper, Red Zone Rider, along with some hit solos records to his name. Vinnie Moore’s style stems from neoclassical metal, heavy metal, hard rock, and instrumental rock genre.

Jimi Bell

Jimi Bell, known as “The Giant On The Guitar,” was  Ozzy’s second choice to Zakk Wylde.  Jimi has had a successful career starting with his band, Joined Forces.  He’s currently the guitarist for House of Lords. Jimi’s style of hard rock, the instrumental rock genre would make him an ideal choice for Ozzy.

Marty Friedman Showcases His Signature Jackson MF-1 Models And Plays Snippets Of His New Album ‘Wall Of Sound’

Marty Friedman demonstrates his brand new Jackson MF-1 signature model in a new video posted on Jackson‘s YouTube page. The ten-minute-plus clip showcases Marty playing this new guitar amidst rare, intimate discussions about his decision to return to Jackson. Also, the video features song clips from his upcoming album, “Wall Of Sound.”

“Wall Of Sound” will be released on August 4 via Prosthetic Records. Produced by Friedman, engineered by Paul Fig (GHOST, RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS) and mixed by Jens Bogren (KREATOR, OPETH, SEPULTURA), the disc “expands and destroys any conventional notions of instrumental music,” according to a press release. Legendary QUEEN producer Mack came on board to handle the mixing on two tracks, “Streetlight” and “For A Friend,” which Friedman proclaimed was “an honor for me, for sure.”

Friedman said last year about the musical direction of the follow-up to his 2014 album “Inferno”: “This time it’s even more ambitious than that album was, a bit more dense, and, with any luck, more exciting for those of you who will hear it.”

He added: “There will be eleven or twelve songs in total. Sometimes a song you love doesn’t make it to the album because it doesn’t fit nicely in the sequencing. Either way, we’re pushing sixty minutes so that it won’t be a short album.”

 

Marty Friedman Announces ‘Wall Of Sound’ U.S. Tour With SCALE THE SUMMIT And THE FINE CONSTANT

Following last week’s album announcement, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has now unveiled his headlining tour in support of his latest scorcher, “Wall Of Sound.” The 22-show trek will feature support from Houston’s top progressive outfit SCALE THE SUMMIT along with Madison, Wisconsin-based technical progressive three-piece THE FINE CONSTANT. The tour kicks off in Philadelphia on August 2, just two days before “Wall Of Sound” is released.

Friedman comments: “We’re coming to you direct from Tokyo, to make you smile or make you cry, or even drag you up on stage with us. What’s for sure is that we will get your blood pumping.”

About the band, Friedman states: “Kiyoshi is the most aggressive bassist on the planet. You will either fall in love with her, admire her skills or both. Jordan Ziff is an up-and-coming guitar superstar. The youngest of the select few who have played beside me in the band. Anup Sastry (on the first week of the USA tour) played drums on ‘Inferno’ as well as ‘Wall Of Sound,’ and is the most innovative young drummer I’ve ever seen. Chargeeee (on the remainder of the USA tour) has been my touring drummer for eight years — he steals the show from me every night. He has an inhuman amount of energy.”

U.S. fans who preorder Friedman‘s new album at Prosthetic Recordsofficial store will be entitled to a VIP meet-and-greet for one of the dates below. Once ordered, please email martyvip@prostheticrecords.com with your order number and what date you would like to attend. Please note, tickets to the show will still need to be purchased. The pre-order VIP offer will expire on June 30 at which time VIP packages will only be available at MartyFriedman.com.

Image result for marty friedman

Aug. 02 – The Foundry at the Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA
Aug. 03 – Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
Aug. 04 – Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
Aug. 05 – Crossroads, Garwood, NJ
Aug. 06 – Baltimore Soundstage, Baltimore, MD
Aug. 08 – Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH
Aug. 09 – Diesel, Chesterfield, MI
Aug. 10 – Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, IL
Aug. 11 – Studio B at the Skyway, Minneapolis, MN
Aug. 12 – Sokol Underground, Omaha, NE
Aug. 13 – Fubar, St, Louis, MO
Aug. 16 – Scout Bar, Houston, TX
Aug. 17 – The Rock Box, San Antonio, TX
Aug. 18 – Trees, Dallas, TX
Aug. 19 – Tower Theater, Oklahoma, OK
Aug. 20 – The Riot Room, Kansas City, MO
Aug. 23 – Marquis Theatre, Denver, CO
Aug. 24 – Launchpad, Albuquerque, NM
Aug. 25 – The Rebel Lounge, Phoenix, AZ
Aug. 26 – Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 27 – The Parish @ HOB, Anaheim, CA
Aug. 28 – Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA

“Wall Of Sound” will be released on August 4 via Prosthetic Records. Produced by Friedman, engineered by Paul Fig (GHOST, RUSH, ALICE IN CHAINS) and mixed by Jens Bogren (KREATOR, OPETH, SEPULTURA), the disc “expands and destroys any conventional notions of instrumental music,” according to a press release. Legendary QUEEN producer Mack came on board to handle the mixing on two tracks, “Streetlight” and “For A Friend,” which Friedman proclaimed was “an honor for me, for sure.”

Friedman said last year about the musical direction of the follow-up to his 2014 album “Inferno”: “This time it’s even more ambitious than that album was, a bit more dense, and, with any luck, more exciting for those of you who will hear it.”

He added: “There will be eleven or twelve songs in total. Sometimes a song you love doesn’t make it to the album because it doesn’t fit nicely in the sequencing. Either way, we’re pushing sixty minutes so that it won’t be a short album.”

Marty‘s new CD was recorded in part at Dave Grohl‘s Studio 606 in California with engineer Paul Fig (ALICE IN CHAINS, RUSH, DEFTONES) and was previously described by Friedman as “a way more intense version” of its predecessor: “deeper, sadder, happier and more aggressive.”

Like “Inferno,” Friedman‘s upcoming album will feature several guests, including prog-thrashers MUTOID MAN, Jørgen Munkeby of the Norwegian avant-garde jazz-metal outfit SHINING and Jinxx of Los Angeles theatrical rockers BLACK VEIL BRIDES.

Regarding how the collaboration with Jinxx came about, Friedman told Guitar World: “I’m a big fan of Jinxx and BLACK VEIL BRIDES. He came to my show in L.A. in 2015. Right after that, I was told that he plays the violin. I didn’t even know that! Then light bulbs went off. I thought now’s the chance to turn some heads by doing something that’s a little bit, well, a lot, unexpected to my fans and his fans.”

Check Out Marty Friedman’s New Single ‘Self Pollution’ Off His Upcoming Record “Wall Of Sound”

Guitarist Marty Friedman’s new single, ‘Self Pollution‘ is available to hear in a twenty-second snippet on his website.  ‘Wall of Sound”  will be released August 4, 2017, via Prosthetic Records.  Here’s the link to listen and pre-order Wall of Sound.

http://smarturl.it/MartyFriedman

 

EMG Marty Friedman MF Passive Humbucker Pickup Set

http://smarturl.it/MartyFriedman

 

Interview: Shrapnel Records CEO Mike Varney Discusses Current Projects, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert and Much More!

 By Andrew Catania

I caught up with Mike to discuss what’s going on with Shrapnel Records, current and future projects.

How have you been? What have you been up to?

Well, you know I have some records coming out. I got a new record with a guy called Steve Conte. Steve was a guitarist who played with Chilly Band; he toured Asia; He either played on or one of the big hit songs that he played the solo on. He’s done a lot of stuff, and he’s got a bunch of records out on CDS and other jazz labels. He’s pretty well known, that’s one of our front and center labels. Then I’ve got a guy called Dario Lorino, Dario’s the guitar player for Black Label Society along with Zakk,  he’s been in the band for years. Dario did Zakk’s Book of Shadows to RV; he’s had duo gigs with him, and Zakk, two unplugged, Dario plays keyboards, sings and plays guitar.

Dario just made an excellent record called Death Grip Tribulation and it’s great, it’s our record. It’s been up sections for eights. He’s got that base player from John Deservio who toured with Vinnie Moore when he toured on his section album Time Odyssey. JD played with Vinnie Moore back then; the band was Vinnie Moore, JD, and another member.

Dan Conway is one of those drummers like when I, you know, like Deen Castronovo, when he was a young guy or Jeremy Colson.   When I was introduced to Steve Vai. When Jeremy was 21 or 22, they’d be calling and trying to get him off the deck, Dan Conway is that kind of drummer, he’s a freak, and I found him some Dario stuff. He’s played on other records of mine since Dario’s first record; he’s on Dario’s second record. Just had him play on a new album by a guy called Indigenous. Then several records of Indigenous as the guitarist Mato Nanji, he’s been out. I think he’s front runner with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Rick’s tour, and he’s out there, and Zakk’s on the tour and (either passing Advi) or Johnson, I don’t know who is on the tour this year but I know that Zakk’s playing a part of it and this guy Mato has been, he’s been the most consistent guitar player I think in all the years they’ve been doing Experience Hendrix, I believe he’s been on the more tours than any other guitarist. Anyway, I just finished recording with him and Indigenous, and there’s a band here call Count’s 77, the guitarist is a guy named Stoney Curtis, he’s been in about more albums I think on Bruce (Barrow). A lead singer is a man named Danny Koker, who’s the star of the TV show called Counting Cars on History. He’s been singing forever; they called him the Count, he’s also on Pawn Stars, he’s a car guy. Anyway, Danny’s got this great band called Count’s 77, it’s a classic 70’s style Rock band.

So I made a record, two records with them, the new one’s coming out March 10th. Dario’s record was just released last week, Dario’s got a video to the title track that’s Tribulation to be released later this week, so that’s kind of what I’ve been doing here the last few months. I’ve got other stuff planned; I’ve got things in the works. Oh, I’ve got a new record coming out with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Jimmy Haslip on bass and Robin Ford on guitar, that’s called JNGCHI, kind of a Bluesish, like a Blues Fusion kind of a thing.  So that’s that in the works, and I’m looking for some more stuff that, the biggest problem is that when you finance records, it costs money and the money that comes back in now is so little.

Streaming pays such a small percentage, compared to all the people who listen to the music and the sad thing is that I don’t think the industry, or even the consumers thought about it much and projected what will happen in the future. What they didn’t think through is that you’ve got artists, you know, I’ll use Robin Ford for example. I’ve done some records with him, but I don’t know him well, met him but don’t know him well. A guy like that has worked with the world’s best engineers and some fantastic records, but let’s just say that if Robin isn’t the man that wants to sit at home and to hear his records, (I’ve never heard that he did that, I guess he does that, this is all guesswork) but I’m just saying with the industry you know will not go out and purchase enough records to support a great artist.

Give an Example.

Just say a great artist. I don’t want to act like it’s a negative put down; I don’t mean it to be that way.  If you have an artist that’s in a niche ok, and that niche artist doesn’t sell a lot of records, you know, but the record still costs money to make.  By people not buying music and thinking that they are doing great by the artist by streaming it, by them not buying it, they’re helping to bring about at some point, the end of guys recording career unless the guy has his studio, and can engineer it himself. Or unless the guy is some improvisational wizard and can go in and blow in one session and record in one day, like some jazz guys maybe. But you know, otherwise, if nobody is buying the records, then who is going to pay for them?  You know, that’s the hardest thing. Not every artist is Richie Kotzen and has a home studio, or Paul Gilbert, that can record a lot of the album in their home studio. A lot of these guys are used to the only top line equipment; they have ears that tell them that no, that digitally is not, it sounds like it needs a console, through the pre-op roll, tape. Sure people get used to a certain standard, and the public is accepting so little, in general, as a stereotype.

The public, they are allowing a telephone as a medium of listening to music or communicating music or an MP3 Player, or through a port in their house. A lot of the public is not demanding. They will take a lower quality resolution download; you know what I mean? They’ll extract less, and a lot of artists will feel that they would rather not play than deliver less. So, there is still some CDs and vinyl being sold so, you can still sort of cut your budget down and work really hard with your fans, you can still sell enough records may be to break even, but if that keeps going the way it’s going, at some point in time the money won’t be coming back to the people. I even know an artist that’s in the band that started making a solo record, and he said that half way through it, he realized that nobody was going to pay me anything for it. He’s going to put a bunch of his money into recording it but then, start talking to labels, and they are like, there are just not big budgets up like there used to be. He wasn’t willing to go out and become a salesman.

A friend of mine, he’s got twenty grand raised on a Kickstarter campaign which is making his record with one of my artists. He said, we’ve been together forever and I know it’s a weird question to ask you but, I think I should make my record on Kickstarter. And the artist said, there’s one thing about that, though, the people that buy my stuff they think of me as a guy that’s at a certain level, of a particular standard. It’s bad I’m fucking begging them for money like I can’t get it somewhere else, I’ve got to go and ask them, it almost takes that feeling of this guy is special, I revere this man. Like, a lot of people don’t realize that the artist that they love is living in worst standards than they are living. That’s when you can make money from selling records [starving artists], so the artist is like, I don’t know if I like the idea of how that looks, me getting money from my fans. I said well, there’s the other thing too if you want to, you know. Let’s say the record cost Thirty grand and you have to sell 3,000 records at ten bucks a piece or whatever up front, you take their money and say “I’ll give you a record, give me ten dollars” then you have to go deliver 3,000 records to your house, which looks like a lot more boxed up than you think it is. Then you have to open them all up, and if you’re signing them as part of the deal to get them to, then you have signed them all, you have to put them in packages, you have to go out and buy the packaging, you have to address them all, then you have to go the mailbox and mail them, I said as long as you’re willing to do that then it might be viable, if not forget it. I don’t want to do any of that. So that’s kind of what we’re looking at now, is that you have people that are forced to go their fans but sometimes the fans won’t give them what they need to make the records, and it’s embarrassing for them. Wow, I only made five grand here, I’ve got to go give it all back to the fans that revere me the most and gave me money. [Right] Now I have to go give the five grand back, I feel like an idiot, some of these guys are thinking. So it’s just sad that we’re in the state that we’re in.

I honestly think, that there has never been better guitar players on the planet than there are right now. I mean, it’s amazing what’s out there, and there are better guys out there now than there were in 1980 when I started my label looking for great guitar players. They’ve had YouTube, and better teachers and a much more of higher standards and the bars have been raised. Unfortunately whenever the bar has been raised, there are less people that can pass muster than there are that can achieve that level and at some point, it happens all the time, music gets to be so difficult, all the other people that are out there that want careers too but aren’t that good, they have to make it cool not to be good. Then good is not good; it’s like ‘aw man, that’s Pre-Madonna thing, that guy is over singing, that guy is over playing. Ohhh that once Mariah Carey, look at all those extra notes that are all you know punk shoots coming back or grunge music or whatever, which, I like a lot of the grunge music and a lot of the punk music, but I mean those genres require less technical proficiency as most musicians in the band. Those styles keep coming back because we raised the standards to be so high that the average player will never get there. Back when we had Inga and Paul Gilbert, I mean guys out there at a certain point, rock musicians are like ‘Fuck that’ [yeah], I’m never going to be that, I’m going to do something else. So there is always more people with little talent than there are those few individuals with great talent, so that’s when they get together and they create a movement and just overturn things. So, we’ve been in an interesting place in music for years now where all this stuff can co-exist. It’s not like; disco takes over this, this takes over disco, you know what I mean, right now it’s an interesting time because all this stuff co-exist. Before you know, the metal fans were into grunge, and a lot of the fans were into this were into punk, and the punk fans were into this, you know what I mean, they kept mutating.

Seems like not there are so many genres out there and people swimming them that fans anchored down and they support their genres, but there is this. It used to be that everybody liked Led Zeppelin, or everybody liked Pink Floyd or that many years ago, everybody liked Van Halen or if you were young, should you like this, but now there are so many niches for people to listen to. Some guys are only into EDM, some kids are only into rap, some kids do like classic rock, so there are many that like other stuff. So I think we have better music than ever, the only problem is that it’s spread out over so many genres that it breaks up the fan bases, again with so little money coming back in, it just makes it difficult for artists to keep making records and keep recording. So, I’m going to make records still, but I don’t have, I’d be lying if I said I thought I was going to make a lot of money from it, it’s just what I do. I don’t know what else I would do, so and I love music, when I’m not making records in the studio or paying someone to make records in the studio, I’m buying music for my collection. I will buy CDs like a mad man; I can’t believe how much good stuff there is out there.

A few years back, I know you did a publishing deal with another company.

What happened was it got to be so many digital outlets out there and so many other revenue streams from streaming, all this stuff. I have so many records that I have made; it was getting difficult and costly too, a lot of times it cost more to render a statement than what the checks were for. We had an accountant for X amount of money; you only take X amount of time rendering accounts; it was just getting to cost prohibitive. That’s without having a zillion different money coming in from different places and having to figure it all out. So, I usually go to an aggregator, somebody that could make the music available in more places, I listed in Itunes for years. I believed that the way I felt, I felt people were kind of like me, if I want something I go to Amazon right up, I don’t need to worry about anybody else. The fact is all these little players, they all add up to something. I just didn’t want to think about it, because the idea of having all these other things, You follow what I’m saying, [yes] I had the best deal with Itunes, I didn’t need to go anywhere else, I had a direct deal with Itunes.

I didn’t want to have to worry about pennies trickling in from zillions of other sources because as I said, accounting for that would have been a nightmare. So rather than getting into streaming, or getting into other digital people other than Itunes, I made a deal with a company called Orchard which is one of the very first pre-Itunes digital companies and they are owned by Sony and me had other people come, wanting to acquire the catalogue but I wanted to leave it in the hands of somebody who really knew what they were doing, they were going to make the most amount of money for the artists; Because if I was going to hand it over, I wanted it to be a positive thing for everybody, not a negative [right]. So the Orchard stepped up, they are handling all the stuff, and they deal with it, and I now have a new deal with them for a new product, which I’m doing, and now I just don’t have to worry about hundreds of records, I only have to worry about a few it’s a lot easier [sure]. They are handling not only Itunes, but they are managing YouTube and Amazon, they are handling all the sources [Spotify and all them] Yeah they are doing all that stuff, and they have to all that because like I said all those other sources are slowly becoming The source.

I didn’t get this from the Orchard, but I heard it from somebody else, that within the next couple of years CDs are going to be pretty much non-existent you know, or very boutique. It’s like cars don’t even have CD players in them now, they are making most cars without them. So they are going to phase out that and so I’ve been doing this since 1980 and it has just felt like it was time to let somebody else, that was putting all the energy and money into all the infrastructure, money and time into building up such infrastructure to let them deal with it. They have it all figured out, how to track all that stuff, it’s a significant investment in software, you know [yeah]. You profit all that stuff, but as a small label it just, there was less & less money coming in and it would have been from more and more sources and would have to go along, it would have been tough to track all that stuff, so by working with them, they track it all, and it makes more sense. I think it’s a better situation for everybody. To have a warehouse and staff and to have records selling so few, it just didn’t make sense anymore.

How are you picking your guitarists?

Well, it’s funny. I met Dario when he was 15 or 16 and people would say ‘come out and see him, he’s amazing, ’.’ and I would say ‘no he’s not, he’s not amazi.’ I met Jason Becker at 16 and Paul Gilbert at 15 and (Stevie Ray) at 19, and now they are amazing. Over the years, Dario was touring with (Jenny Laid of Warrick) when he was 16, and then a few years later he got into Lizzie Borden and toured with them. So he’s been on the road for the last ten years. He’s 26 or so now. I don’t know his exact age, but he’s somewhere in that ballpark. He’s had quite a journey, with all the stuff he’s done with Black Label now with Zakk. So, I signed him, and he wasn’t with Black Label at all, and we put out the first record and within a few months of the record coming out, just as luck would have it, whether his talent met the right opportunity, Black Label hired him to be the second guitarist in the band. So, I have, to be honest, that was a determining factor for the next record because we had something to build on and I invested in the record with him because I thought he was the kind of guy that would go out there and do something. Personable, got a strong work ethic, he’s really easy to get along with. He wakes up every morning and says what do I have to do get further up the ladder. He’s not a guy who is going to be lazy and lie around and wait for someone to do something for him. He’s extremely motivated, and he had that motivation, he had that thing that I could see in Richie Carson back in the day and a lot of those artists that were just not going to be denied, they are going to keep going until somebody takes notice. So I saw that in him and the Black Label thing sort of kind of proved that. I did a record with Jackie Vincent. Did you know about that record?

Sure do! Amazing record!  Jacky’s very talented!

Well yeah, you know, there’s an example, I mean, he’s a great player. Jacky Vincent when he came to me, such a beautiful person, and Dario, just the nicest guys ever, both those guys. So you just get a sense that Jacky Vincent wasn’t going to be denied. The fact that he went out there, made his record, raised all that money, that just goes to show you that he had that quality, you know that I believed in when I signed him and Dario the same thing. So for me, I guess I’d be looking for younger people that are going bust ass. I mean like Richie Carson is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, and there’s not a year of his life since I met him, where he wasn’t productive. He’s probably made, I don’t even know how many solo albums, I think he’s made 20. I don’t even know; it’s some insane amount of solo albums. All the stuff with Mr. Big and Virtue and Winery Dogs, you know, Richie Carson sent me so many demos, it was like ‘oh it’s Monday, a RichieCarson demo, oh Tuesday, two more songs.’ [Chuckle] I’m not kidding you, he was whipping those things out and sometimes I’d get two demos a week or demos within seven days or something like that. He was putting all his time into writing and trying to come up with better stuff so we could get signed. You don’t see many people like that, that are that motivated these days you know and I understand why, because of the returns when you think ‘well what am I going to get?’

There are guys making $75,000 a year teaching, and nobody knows whom they are and they are as good as anybody. But they realize, they have two kids, teaching is what they do, if they go away on tours, they may lose their children. I mean, not lose them, they are going to have to be away from their family. It’s not a lifestyle they want. There are guys here in Vegas that are amazing; they are getting their paycheck every week. It’s hard to tell somebody ‘hey go on the road with this metal band and live hand to mouth’ when they are making Fifty grand a yeah playing top 40, [chuckle] because they are giving up something solid for something maybe, and so that’s the hardest thing. That’s the kind of like when you were younger; you can afford to, you don’t have all those ties.

I’m impressed with Jacky Vincent, he’s got a son, and he’s got all this and been a great father from all appearances and done all this stuff. That is impressive, that’s one of the reasons why I was pulling for him too. When he came to me he had a young son; I was like ‘how old are you?’ He was like ‘23’, that’s a child. He was really about being there for that kid and taking care of him. The one point is, Jacky & Dario were two guys that impressed me as just motivated. They wanted to be the next generation of traveling guitarists. They wanted to work with me, and I wanted to work with them, and it was great.These YouTube phenomenon but they don’t play anywhere. If you don’t play anywhere, it’s hard to make any money.

Do you think YouTube has cheapened the guitar?  It seems like nobody does traditional lessons anymore.  Everyone is using YouTube now.

I’ve got a really good friend that, a lot of the world knows who he is, he’s a fantastic technician, I won’t say his name, but an amazing tech. He has a degree from Berkeley School of Music, he has to go out and teach at a store that charges $50 an hour for whatever, and then they take $25 or something and give him the rest or whatever or give him $30 and they take $20, it’s some crazy split. They do find the students, and they have overhead there, the building and stuff. He’s great! If he had come around back in 1988 or whatever I would have given him a record deal. Now he’s just another guy that’s got great chops, and he’s even actually thinking about maybe doing something else. That’s the sad thing that you were talking about. With a degree from Berkeley, being able to chart out the most difficult (chardle)stuff you ever heard of and then play it back, sit there and play anything you can think of, play a Bach, a guy like that shouldn’t be having a hard time making a living. Like you said all these guys and YouTube lessons and the reality of guitar teaching, you only have to be one lesson ahead of your student. You don’t have to be as great as this guy is, so there are plenty of, or other guys that are a tenth the guitar player this guy is that is making the same money. It’s a little strange out there, but yeah if there was a guitar player that had something going on that wanted to do something that, I’m always looking for something.

What do you think 2017 is going to bring to you?

Well, I don’t know, I’ve got five records coming out right now, and I’ve got some more in the planning stages that I won’t mention but, it’s funny. It was always whatever kind of came down around the corner. You never know what is left at my post office box next, I could walk in there and listen to 20 terrific guitar players, I could listen to 2 great ones, 4 mediocre ones and 16 you know whatever, horrible or I can find 5 great guys in one batch and never for 3 months find anybody that sounded like anything. You never know what kind of the way it’s going to come. Oh, so the Japanese Young Guitar Magazine just did an all shrapnel 150 pages Special Edition, and it’s not only a magazine, it’s more like a book. It’s got a hard glossy cover; it’s got a corner of it like a book. It’s not like a magazine; it’s more like a book, 150 pages. It’s all the Shrapnel records that were ever done are in there, all the interviews with the top artists, it’s got sheet music.

Japan loves to shred.

Yeah, they like to shred, but they quit being willing to pay much money for it. If I came up with a guy that was the next big thing in my mind they might not even want to put it out. It’s very; they’d put it out if I gave it to them more than if it just came off the street maybe. It’s still, the perception that things are big in Japan, but it’s just a small segment of Japan. It’s a fetish; the average Japanese person doesn’t think about shred guitar. They have those fans there, but it’s a pocket of fans in Japan. They are way into their music indigenous to Japan; you know Japanese artists and whatnot. In America, people used to think like ‘aww Japanese family would believe that shred guitar is a fad for them’ no; it’s just that there was a following for it. You know what I’m trying to say.

Look at Yngwie; he releases all his records to Japan. Young Guitar did a huge spread on him.

Yngwie is in a class of his own pretty much. I don’t know any artists that consistently released music that didn’t change much, and that’s by design. Yngwie wanted to make sure that when people bought an album, they got everything they wanted on the album. It wasn’t like he was going to listen to EDM or something and try to incorporate or whatever, he wanted to give the fans that experience and I think that’s why he has kept the fanbase because they always know what to expect from him. A lot of times artists lose that fan base because when the fad takes a turn, they take a turn with the fad. Then they lose that focus, but Yngwie never did that. Would you say Yngwie stands in a class of his own?

Yngwie is in a class of his own!

Yeah Yeah, he is in a class of his own, I’m happy that I happen to be the guy that found him Luckily, I don’t think anything would have kept that guy down, so I just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Here’s the thing, Yngwie from what I know is that, unless he’s been drinking too much or something, a lot of that stuff that he would say was deliberately meant to get people going mad. I say he called me up one day laughing, oh man I need a guitar player, are you in Guitar World. I told him I’d never heard of Jeff Spike, but he asked if I liked him, I told him never actually heard his music. Stuff like that, he would say stuff just to get people ‘Yow what the F’ to get them upset. That was his humor. One time I think he said ‘have you ever listen to Willy Raw?’ or something like that, I said nope, that was just him being of character. I think he like the idea of creating that persona. I think Black (Fork) kind of had that persona, kind of a dark persona, but Yngwie is a lot of humor. I mean he’s a hilarious guy, he loved Monty Python and can sit there and run down Monty Python skits, reenact them, but I don’t believe that most of the stuff that was said about him, when people go ‘what a jerk’, I think he knew exactly what he was saying and I think that’s why he said it. As far as him being, the stories of people who met him and he was mean or whatever; I never saw that side, he was always sweet and kind of that wise ass streak. People had to know how to take him.

 

 

http://www.shrapnelrecords.com/

 

 

 

 

 

The Shredding of Marty Friedman

By Andrew Catania

An unforgettable name from the music scene of the mighty 90s and the one who completely aced his job as the lead guitarist for Megadeth, Martin Adam Freidman, affectionately known as Marty Friedman, is a modern American guitarist who possesses a sound global fandom and continues to rule hearts. It was after attending a Kiss concert that Marty’s musical flair was ignited. Not looking back since Marty embarked on a journey of learning the tact and intricacies of strings and chords.

Pairing up with some of his friends with similar musical interest, Marty and Co’s rehearsals and jamming sessions soon became the talk of the town. People would drop in from nearby locales to listen to the young kids skillfully playing the great originals of that time.

After being featured on live shows and paving the way to the regional media and entertainment limelight, Marty decided to test his mettle outside of ‘The Rehearsals’ and embarked on a long and accomplished journey that is punctuated with notable associations and collaborated acts, such as his joint feats with Racer X, Hawaii, Cacophony and Tourniquet and also a number of incredible solo feats. After some accomplishments, Cacophony was dissolved, leaving each member to plunge into their solo flight.

Now that the high road was taken, Marty decided to give the Megadeth auditions a shot and test his fate. He was not picked in his first attempt; not because of a lack of talent or expertise, but because of his multicolored hair. Later next year, he was successful in impressing the band and officially became a part of the exalted Megadeth in 1990.

The band provided a great platform for him to further improve his technique by working alongside some of the greatest music virtuosos of the era. Experimenting with a variety of instruments and techniques and fusing the best of neoclassic, heavy metal, thrash speed, and J-pop genres, he eventually evolved his signature tones. Delivering his best, his debut album with Megadeth titled ‘Rust in Peace’ strengthened his position in the band and is considered as the best thrash metal release of all time. The association prevailed for almost a decade and is punctuated with five studio releases and numerous shows and guest performances. Marty Friedman’s contribution to Megadeth includes playing for Rust in Peace, Youthanasia, Risk, Countdown to Extinction, Hidden Treasure, and Cryptic Writing.

At a time when Megadeth was ruling the music charts, Marty bid farewell to the band and became more inclined towards strengthening his solo portfolio. Over time, he has added some solo feats to his profile, including Dragon’s Kiss, Tokyo Jukebox, Introduction, Scenes, Metal Cone X, True Obsessions, Loudspeaker, Future Addict, Bad DNA, and Inferno. The music maestro has permanently moved to Japan and has hosted a couple of TV shows, such as Rock Fujiyama and Jukebox, aside from a couple of feats with Shrapnel and Avex Trax.

Marty’s signature fusion style of cumulating the essence of eastern and western music along with that of universal thrash, heavy metal, and rock has added a whole new dimension of these genres. His unique, soft and smooth-sweeping techniques over arpeggiated chords have cast a major influence on young and budding generations of musicians.

Top Neoclassical Guitarists

By Andrew Catania

Neoclassical metal is influenced by classical music and heavily dependent upon mastering complex techniques and forms. Over the past few decades, there are a limited number of neoclassical guitarists that have influenced the music industry. Here is a list of the ten best neoclassical guitarists of the modern era.

Yngwie J. Malmsteen

Yngwie J. Malmsteen gained popularity as a neoclassical metal guitarist in 1980. A new force in heavy metal, he released his first solo album called Rising Force in 1984. This was the catalyst to his success as musicians because despite being only the first song published by Malmsteen, Rising Force went on to win the best rock album for Guitar Player Magazine and was nominated for a Grammy. The success was not short – lived but only the beginning of an incredible career. In 2009, Time Magazine rated Yngwie Malmsteen as amongst the ten greatest electric guitar players of all time.

Uli Jon Roth 

Uli Jon Roth is a German musician who was one of the early adopters of the neoclassical style of music in the metal genre. He gained momentum and influence as the lead guitarist for the iconic band Scorpions. He also had a stint at a solo career before joining the Scorpions during which he composed four symphonies and two concertos. This creative time in his career is said to be the defining moment of his legacy as a neoclassical metal guitarist since his work was heavily inspired by advanced compositional elements from European classical music.

Joe Stump 

Joe Stump is an American musician and composer. Apart from having a solo career, he also plays with Exorcism, Raven Lord and the world-famous metal band HolyHell. His musical style is predominantly inspired by Yngwie J. Malmsteen. 

Chris Impellitteri 

Chris Impellitteri is the founder and lead guitarist of his namesake band – Impellitteri. Although his music is not commercially popular, he has a large following amongst innate metal lovers. His neoclassical style of music takes the form of fast shredding guitar techniques, traditional metal screaming vocals and speedy rhythm. This affinity towards shredding has led Guitar World Magazine to name Chris Impellitteri as one of the fastest guitarists of all times, one rank ahead of Yngwie Malmsteen. 

Michael Romeo
Michael Romeo started the progressive metal band Symphony X. His music as a guitarist is neoclassical in style because as a child, he began formal music lessons at the tender age of 10. Guitar World ranked Michael Romeo #91 in their ‘100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of all Time’ list.

 George Lynch

George Lynch has a series of successful platinum albums featuring his excellent skills as a lead guitarist. The albums by the band Dokken resulted in Lynch gaining a reputation for being the closest thing as a guitar hero. He was named the ‘Top 10 Metal Guitarists of all Time’ by Gibson.

Marty Friedman

The band Megadeth requires no introduction to the heavy metal fan. The fact that Marty Friedman was the lead guitarist for Megadeth for almost a full decade is nothing short of a reflection of his extraordinary abilities. Marty came from humble beginnings where he was mostly self-taught, and as news of his music spread through his small town, people would come in flocks to hear him play from neighboring villages. Western and eastern music influences his neoclassical style of music.

Ritchie Blackmore

Ritchie Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter who was also a founding member of the iconic band Deep Purple. The legendary track ‘Smoke on the Water’ is till date considered being a classic and a reflection of Blackmore’s fondness for illuminating classical elements of music into modern rock and metal. His work with Deep Purple led to Blackmore being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.


Randy Rhoads

Randy Rhoads had a wildly successful, yet short-lived career due to his untimely death in a plane crash that also resulted in the passing of the legendary Ozzy Osbourne. During his short time as a heavy metal guitarist, Randy was a significant influence on the neoclassical scene of music and was placed on numerous “Greatest Guitarist” list. His skills were valued so highly that Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot brought him on board to play with them. Today, one can’t help but invoke a sense of “what- if’s” while referring to Randy Rhoads due to the tragic end to his unbelievably talented career. 

 

Tony MacAlpine 

Tony MacAlpine began playing the guitar at the age of 12 and studied classical music as a child. Years of classical influence as a child led to him being recognized as a role model in the neoclassical guitar scene due to his highly advanced shred techniques. He has been described to have the outstanding technical ability when Jason Ankeny from All Music asserted MacAlpine to be a ‘virtuoso.’