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MARTY FRIEDMAN On His Upcoming Autobiography: ‘It Became This Monster Of A Project’

In a new interview with “THAT Rocks!”, the YouTube series hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman spoke about his upcoming autobiography, “Dreaming Japanese”, which will arrive on December 3 via Permuted Press. Asked why now is the right time for him to release his book, the 61-year-old musician, who has lived in Japan since 2003, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’ve always kept my private life completely out of media. Even in the Japan media, where I’m much more visible than in America, I’ve kept private things to myself and kept everything always about the topic at hand, whatever that be, whatever the program is about or whatever I’m releasing or whatever. So it’s never really been terribly personal. But at the same time, every person has a deep personal story behind everything, and I’ve been working on an autobiography for years. And when it started to take shape and become something real, I started to look for publishers who were interested. And I found an absolutely excellent, excellent publisher that got excited about it. And when we started working on it, it, it just became this monster of a project, way beyond anything I’d imagined it being. And I think a lot of your fans are going to enjoy it because it’s got so much deep details about the metal life that I’ve lived before I went over to Japan and the metal life now, but the real deep private relationship details between myself and all the other bandmembers from all my bands and all of the management things and life things that people don’t see when they just see you on stage or they hear the records or they read the interviews. There’s serious life stuff that you would only be comfortable talking about in a complete tell-all autobiography. And even then, I’m not even sure if I’m comfortable saying it, but I said, if I’m gonna do this, the main criteria is going to be all of this stuff is not stuff from interviews. And all of this stuff is gonna be stuff that’s very private and very true.”

He continued: “Of course I have no agenda at this age. The only thing I’m promoting is [my new solo album] ‘Drama’, which takes up about maybe four sentences of the autobiography. So the whole thing is just very deep and detailed into things that I think that no one really knows, because maybe I haven’t really been that vocal about in the past.”

After Florentine suggested that he could do the audiobook in English and Japanese all on his own, Marty said: “I could. I’m just so not into the idea of doing that. I dread the day when they say, ‘Okay, we want you to do the audiobook.’ ‘Cause I listen to these books, and it just seems like a ton of work. I’ve done voiceover stuff for a lot of TV shows in Japan, and just one half-hour show takes friggin’ forever. So, I’m just thinking, an entire book of, I think it’s like 150,000 words, just dreading that. So I’m hoping that like A.I. can clone my voice and do it for me, ’cause I’m not looking forward to doing that work.”

When Marty first announced his autobiography on May 13, he wrote in a social media post: “After an exhaustive and seemingly endless process, I’m beyond excited to let you know that I’ve just turned in the final manuscript for my autobiography, ‘Dreaming Japanese’.

“I’ve always kept my private life completely out of the media, so with nervous excitement, I am thrilled to share the story about my upbringing, home life and career for the first time. You will enjoy the deepest dive into never before revealed details about my life in MEGADETH and the personal relationships within the band written with alarming clarity. Same goes for all of my other bands, from the very beginning.

“I outline the entire story why — and exactly how — I dropped living the high life in a multi-platinum band to start from scratch in Japan dreaming to play J-Pop, and how that spiraled into eventually exceeding even my loftiest goals, even becoming a government appointed Ambassador. It`s a complete immersion into my daily Japanese life as I guide you through the inner workings of the Japanese television industry and music scene, from my my unique and unprecedented perspective.

“The book releases December 3 and I can’t wait for you to read it. We’re working on the cover now and I’ll share that soon.”

Friedman spoke about his autobiography in a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET. He said: “We’re in the last editing stages. All the content is done. It’s extremely long. The point that we’re at is that ‘You got to cut out a lot of this.’ We’re cutting out things. It’s hard because it is extremely long. It’s too long. We’re cutting out certain things, but what I can say about it is it is by far the most detailed account of anything I’ve participated in in my life. Any little subject has the deepest details about it. There are little details and very personal details. Of course, a lot of people want to know about MEGADETH. I made it very sure to give the most complete and honest account of all things that were never in any interviews. Interviews are usually where you’re talking about a topic and in ‘impress mode.’ But I wanted to get personal and talk about how things affected me in every little situation. All that is in great detail, as well as the transition into Japanese television and being the only foreigner in a world of completely Japanese people, as well as the pros and cons of that. It has all of the very important details that you can’t say in interviews, like private and personal things that don’t usually come out. I tried to keep that as the criteria: Did I talk about this in an interview? If so, it got cut. It’s all new stuff, and hopefully, by Christmas of this year, it will be available.”

Official “Dreaming Japanese” description: The rollicking autobiography of the iconic guitarist who took thrash metal behemoths MEGADETH from the edge of collapse to their highest peak before departing to Japan for the joy of J-Pop.

Marty Friedman‘s upbringing was as atypical as his career. Growing up in a Jewish household in Maryland, the son of an NSA executive, he lacked motivation until he accidentally discovered the guitar and immediately found his calling. Enjoying a hazy adolescence overflowing with partying, music, and teen antics, he achieved local stardom in DEUCE, then burst on to the national scene by pioneering a radically new style of playing, bringing attention to the guitar aficionado label, Shrapnel Records. Acclaim didn’t breed success or money, but undeterred, Friedman moved to California, and after attempts to join Madonna, KISS, and Ozzy Osbourne, finally scored a gig in MEGADETH at a time when the band members were just recovering from the verge of self-destruction, and Marty was in and out of homelessness.

Friedman is the most revered guitarist to play in any MEGADETH lineup. During his ten years, his exotic, innovating style helped define the sound of their biggest albums, and while it elevated him to guitar hero status with all the accompanying perks, it came at a significant cost. As the only clean and sober member, Friedman vividly recalls the triumphs and trials of each album cycle and more, bringing to light previously undisclosed personal feelings surrounding the circumstances that forced the band into hiding in the midst of the “Countdown To Extinction” tour and the brutal effort it took to get the band back up and running. His profound and complicated relationship with frontman Dave Mustaine was symbolic of the band’s insane dynamic, and Marty poignantly and generously shares his experiences within the band’s inner sanctum during the highs, lows, and daily routines.

But “Dreaming Japanese” is far more than a memoir about Friedman‘s multi-platinum years in MEGADETH. The riveting narrative captures his relentless perseverance as he struggles to start again from nothing. Spontaneously leaving his home in the U.S. and feeling lost in the middle of Tokyo, with few connections or concrete plans, the story traces his journey to acclimate and assimilate into the inner core of an alien society, language and culture, almost like a double agent spy. In fascinating detail and clarity, Marty shares how he gradually made inroads into the Japanese entertainment industry, becoming a household name and fixture on mainstream television and earning respect as a highly influential solo artist. “Dreaming Japanese” follows the wildly entertaining, inspiring, and above all, unprecedented path of a rock and roll guitar player who took the biggest risk, leaving worldwide success to start over from scratch in a country, culture and society far from his own, ultimately becoming an official ambassador of Japan.

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