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MARTY FRIEDMAN Explains How He Became A TV Star In Japan

Heavymeta-san kicked it off by accident.


Marty Friedman exited Megadeth in 2000 and has had one hell of a career in both Japanese music and TV. Friedman starred Hebimeta-san in Rock Fujiyama throughout the 2000s, and got his start in the Japanese music industry when he joined singer Nanase Aikawa's band. But how the hell did Marty Friedman, world-renown guitarist both then and now, get to be a TV star anyway?

In an interview with Consequence, Friedman explained that it all started when he joined Aikawa's band and was told that he should maybe give TV a shot.

"I didn't start off wanting to do that at all, actually. Like I said, I joined the band of one of my favorite J-pop singers when I first got here, and when you do that, people start seeing you. That kind of started a lot of new eyes coming on me, and one of the new eyes was a television production company that put me on a new show. I was initially not really into doing it, because I wanted to just focus on playing music — J-pop music. J-pop, when I say the word 'pop,' it's really very heavy metal. There's a lot of heavy metal influence. People get scared when they hear the word pop, but there's guitar going crazy in it. I was loving it.

"I wanted to concentrate on that, but they said, 'Just try this TV thing. Your Japanese is very good, and you have a very interesting viewpoint. Just give it a try.' And the first thing out of the box was a really big hit. It was a show called Hebimeta-san, which turned into Rock Fujiyama — it lasted for six seasons. For a new show, it's unheard of. So, other offers came up, and my management over here started filling things up, and the next thing you know, more people know me from television than music. And it's still the case."

Friedman notes that he's so well-known as a TV personality in Japan that the headlines surrounding his recent Megadeth reunion had to explain that he's also a musician. Which is wild considering Friedman is pretty much synonymous with guitar around the world.

"Actually, doing this Budokan show yesterday, when a lot of it was published on Yahoo News and things like that, 'He's the guy from TV, but this is what he really does' was like the headline for that thing. Doing television has facilitated the fact that I can leave for two months and tour America with my own music — and not have any problems with that.

"It's allowed me to live the exact life that I want to do. It's given me a lot of freedom. Of course, you never know when people come up to you, what they know me from. But my real gig is making music, and I love making music more than anything else."

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