"The PRS Marty Friedman signature model was developed over the course of recording my most 'guitar demanding' album yet, "Inferno". Its sound is all over that record. PRS has finally created my ultimate go-to guitar."
Marty Friedman is one of the most influential and innovative lead guitarists in the world of thrash metal. Known worldwide for his groundbreaking work with Megadeth and Cacophony, Friedman’s career to date includes 27 gold and platinum records, 5 Grammy awards and 12 solo albums. His SE signature model, a black singlecut with star inlays personally chosen by Friedman, is also a force to be reckoned with.
PRS: At what age did you begin playing the guitar? Do you play any other instruments?
MF: I started at 14 and I also play bass, but only in an extreme emergency.
PRS: You are originally from Washington, D.C…. what led you to Japan and why?
MF: I fell in love with Japanese current music (J-pop) as well as the traditional music of Japan which still greatly influences today`s pop, rock, metal, everything over here. I knew I could add my flavor to the current Japanese music scene so for that simple reason I packed up and headed to Tokyo.
PRS: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
MF: Elvis is the overlord of everything, but mere mortals have also managed to create great music of all genres. I`m influenced by any music (or any event really) that makes me feel something when it happens. It all finds its way into my music.
PRS: Speaking of influences, you are considered one of the most influential lead guitarists in thrash metal and progressive rock. With 27 gold and platinum records and 5 Grammy awards under your belt, can you describe any one highlight in your career that you are most proud of?
MF: Not really, and actually I`m quite shy about tooting my horn about the type of things that you have to list in your profile. I`m proud of everything, and usually I`m most proud of whatever my most recent endeavor is, and right now it`s my latest album, “Inferno” and its upcoming tour.
PRS: You’ve been playing PRS guitars for many years, do you have a favorite one and why?
MF: Of course the Marty Friedman model is my favorite, but any PRS you pick up off the wall is going to be a 100% world class instrument. I`m in the guitar playing business, not the guitar making business, so I couldn`t give you an educated comparison between models, but I like the security of knowing that any guitar you pick up is not going to let you down.
PRS: How has playing PRS guitars inspired your creative and artistic vision as they relate to your music?
MF: This may sound weird, but I don`t get inspired by an instrument. It is like a fork or a knife, a good one is necessary but it doesn`t change the recipe of the food.
PRS: You have described latest solo album “Inferno” as the ‘most guitar demanding’ album yet. How did your PRS guitars help you with this demand?
MF: Having so many different sounds available in just one guitar made it super easy to get lots done in the studio without changing guitars left and right. I love that. Many guitars are a one trick pony-good for one thing but not anything else. The Marty Friedman model drastically changes character just by changing the volume on it. This allows me to stay in creative mode rather than jerk around trying out loads of guitars looking for a suitable tone for this part or that part. They are all in one guitar.
PRS: When you’re not touring or writing, what are some things you enjoy doing on your free time?
MF: I have so little free time that when I do, there is really nothing that I want to do other than relax and eat extremely spicy food. The beach is an ideal place for that.