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Marty Friedman is a guitarist who needs no introduction.

As well as his ten-year tenure as lead guitarist of Megadeth, Friedman has also forged a memorable solo career, releasing his first album in 1988, and he is now preparing to bring his band and guitar to Australia for a run of smaller, intimate shows in December.

“It’s the first time that I’ve ever toured Australia with my solo band”, he enthused, “and it’s really only the third time I have been to Australia so it’s extremely exciting for me but my band members have just gone completely crazy because none of them have ever been there and I keep telling them how it’s always been fantastic and the people really love music down there. People in Japan are really interested in Australia, there’s just a lot of rock history there and it’s always a place where people aspire to go and play music. It’s kind of a not very well reached goal. Not a lot of bands get to go there so it’s really a treasure to be able to play music in your country”.

So with this in mind, what can fans expect from the shows?

“There will be a lot of surprises”, he promised. “I just released a live album called One Bad M.F and that’s a double album which means there’s about 80 minutes of music on there. Of course, we’re gonna play that but we’re gonna play longer. You can only fit 80 minutes on a CD but the concert is about two hours depending on encores and stuff like that so it could go even longer. Since it’s our first time in Australia we wanna do stuff that people might not expect and a lot of things that we don’t normally do. There’s a lot of people there that have been supporting me since the beginning of my solo career and they’ve never seen anything so maybe I’m gonna bring out some songs that I’ve retired. On the more recent tours, I’ve been pretty much focussing on the last two or three albums and maybe a couple from the early part of my career. It’s probably gonna be a setlist that we’ve never done before, only because I appreciate everybody that has waited so long. It’s really a rare treat for us to go down there so we wanna make sure we show our appreciation to the people who have followed me for so long and not given up”.

In the full interview Marty discusses the reasons behind playing smaller venues on the  tour, the special VIP package which includes a VIP only collecters album, why he first picked up the guitar and what band inspired that, being a self-taught guitarist and what it means as a player, keeping his music fresh and vibrant, his move to Tokyo and why and more.

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