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MARTY FRIEDMAN On MEGADETH's Risk: "I Just Remember We Did The Best We Could"

"It's exactly where we were as a band at that time."


Remember Megadeth’s Risk? If you go now and look for any ranking of Megadeth’s albums, you’ll probably find it at the very bottom of those lists. While Risk debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard chart in 1999 (and even achieved gold certification for selling half a million copies in the United States) it disappointed many hardcore fans in the process, as Megadeth touched rock bottom in the reshaping of their heavy/thrash metal roots – which had been streamlined and slowed down for mass-market acceptance over the preceding years – to the point of sounding like a mainstream radio-friendly band with some 70’s AOR worship and electronic elements.

In case you were one of those who didn’t like the album, and haven’t listened to it ever again, well, you are not alone. In a recent interview with journalists Gustavo Maiato and Mateus Ribeiro, former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman reflected on the album – 25 years later – and acknowledged he hasn’t revisited the record since that time.

"I haven't heard it since back then. I don't think it was much of a risk, actually. And I just remember we did the best we could,” Friedman stated.. “And it's exactly where we were as a band at that time. And that's all any album is, really. An album is like a yearbook in school or in high school or college or whatever.

"An album is a yearbook of that period of time. So you can't really go back and say, 'Oh, this sucks' or 'We didn't mean to do that' or 'It was not a good idea,' or whatever, you can't go back and say that, because it is what it is and it was what it was. At the time, we believed in it and we did the best we could and that's all I can say about any album, really. It's the same answer for any album."

Friedman also discussed Risk eight years ago, in an interview with SiriusXM's Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, where he mentioned: "Well, I think anything that needed to be said from me about that was probably said at the time. I haven't even thought about that since then, so I couldn't give you an intelligent answer. I'm barely thinking about what I did yesterday, much less back then."

He elaborated: "I'm sure whatever it was at the time that it happened, everybody involved with it was doing the best that they possibly could — I'm sure of that — because that is something that's happened on every record before that, and every record since that and every record I'm doing now. When you're doing it, you're doing the absolute best that you can. And pretty much if you look at any press of any record, when it comes out, what the people are saying right then, right at that time, that's what it is.”

“And then, depending on the results of that, people's stories change, but at the time, you're doing the best that… You really, really, really believe in that — everybody believes in it — and then that's it. So, I definitely wouldn't even begin to think of whatever specifics were going on back then — it's just the farthest thing from my mind — but I can assure you that anything was done with the best of intentions and the hardest work. And everybody was just trying to do their best," Friedman added.

However, Dave Mustaine expressed a much different view about the album, when six years ago he sort of “blamed” Friedman as the main architect of the band’s change of direction sound. Talking to SiriusXM's Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live From The Rainbow Bar & Grill, Mustaine said: "We kept slowing down and slowing down and slowing down. If that record would have been called The Dave Mustaine Project and not Megadeth, I think it would have been successful. People wanted a Megadeth record. They didn't wanna see Dave bending over backward to keep Marty Friedman happy, 'cause Marty wanted us to sound like fucking Dishwalla."

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