Marty Friedman has been a metal enigma all his career. When he quit Megadeth and moved to Japan, he did so during a time when there was no social media to announce and explain your every move to millions with just a click. So, it actually felt like years before fans became aware of Marty’s expat status.
How ironic is it, then, that Marty took to Facebook recently with a serious hot take: streamers are allegedly skipping over guitar solos as they listen. Without offering a single reference, Friedman posted:
"So 'Guitar Solo' is trending in Japan right now. Why, you ask? It's because it has been reported (true or not, who knows) that in Japan it seems that data shows that on music subscription apps, many people are skipping to the next song when the guitar solo comes on. This makes sense and it wouldn't surprise me if it were true."
The post is quite extensive, and to be honest, it reads like a David Lee Roth interview, with a lot of non-sequiturs. But it is earnest, if nothing else. Elsewhere in the post, Marty writes:
"First of all, I believe that this data must be referring to the mainstream hit music, not heavy metal bands and rock bands. I'm talking about what the vast majority of people listen to, pop artists who are on the top of the charts,. The journey of an actual hit song from creation to the end user, is incredibly long and a laundry list of professional people are involved. Aside from the artist himself, you have the songwriter(s), lyricist(s), producer, arranger, studio musicians for the demo, studio musicians for the master, label people, recording engineers and technicians, music video creators, directors and tech staff, and more. At this point we still don't know if the song will even be popular or not, but one thing is for sure there is a lot of money and time being gambled.
"For the above reasons, guitar solos have all but vanished in the top levels of the US mainstream. Other countries too. Luckily for us in Japan, Japanese people are accustomed to having guitar solos in all genres of music in Japan. They are so ingrained in the consciousness of the Japanese listener that many producers, artists and people in the music business may feel that the guitar solo is an important part of the song, a break for the vocalist, and a necessary "sound" of familiarity that is a must for any great song. The problem is, it can sometimes take on an obligatory existence, where as long as there is some kind of distorted guitar solo for 8 bars somewhere in the song, the quota is met and all is well. That just don't cut it, people! No wonder people skip the guitar solos when they listen. Even I skip them sometimes. I can tell in the first opening phrase whether or not I will give a rat's behind what the rest of the solo will be like. I bet you can too."
Forgive me: but did somebody really study this, or is Marty just tired of generic guitar solos in music from Japan? (According to him, for the record).
Anywho, here's a track with Marty Friedman and Megadeth that has plenty of smokin' guitar solos that you'd be a fool to skip over whether you lived in the United States, Japan, or on Mars.