Mustaine Thinks Marty Friedman Quit Megadeth Because He Re-Recorded a Solo Behind His Back

Mustaine Thinks Marty Friedman Quit Megadeth Over Guitar Solo Betrayal
Photo by Neal Preston
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In a new interview with Guitar World magazine, Dave Mustaine shares his regret over the circumstances that surrounded the exit of legendary Megadeth second guitarist, Marty Friedman.

Friedman made 5 studio albums with Megadeth during his tenure from 1990 to 2000, including the huge commercial hit (and frankly our personal favorite Megadeth album), Countdown to Extinction.

Back in 2014, Friedman claimed in an interview that he had grown bored with metal and Megadeth’s approach, stating:

“The melody’s like duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh. It’s kind of the same thing over and over again. I’d go play the show at night with Megadeth. And I’d be like, you know, what I’m listening to is just so much more exciting than what I’m playing as my gig.” He became attracted to the J-Pop genre at this point, stating: “There’s not a whole lot of happy music going on… especially in the heavy metal world, where everybody’s just trying to out-lame each other, you know, with darkness and monsters and crap like that.”

However, Mustaine now believes that he and his management’s actions were what drove the wedge that caused Marty’s departure:

“I’ve always believed we should give the guitar player an opportunity to do a solo that he feels is right for the song. If someone plays something that doesn’t work for the part, then I may make some suggestions. If it’s still not happening, I might say, ‘Okay, this is what I want you to play here.’” He went on:

“If a lead totally doesn’t work then I’m going to do the part myself. That’s what happened [on] Breadline. And Marty Friedman quit over the solo in Breadline.”

Mustaine went on to explain that Marty had already written and recorded his own solo for Breadline in the studio, but that Megadeth’s management thought that the solo would prevent the song from being a radio single. Mustaine stated:

“I said [to management], ‘Well, you have three choices. Either you mute the solo completely, have Marty come back and redo it, or I do it.’ And then I said, ‘If I do it, you’d better tell him.’ Well, I redid it and nobody told Marty. So we’re in there listening to the finished album and the solo comes on. It’s my solo, not Marty’s… I looked at him as tears ran down his face and I knew right away that nobody had told him. I knew that was probably going to be the end of Marty Friedman. Having been a partner with Marty for so many years, as much of an enigma as he was, I could tell he was really upset and he had had enough. What happened to Marty was definitely not okay. Our management was supposed to tell him and, for whatever reason, they didn’t do it. I think that was a terrible thing to do to him.”

In the end, though, everything seems to have turned out just fine for Marty. He is a huge star in Japan, having appeared on over 600 TV shows, movies and ads since moving permanently to Japan in 2003.