During an appearance on the Guitar Speak Podcast, Marty Friedman talked about his longstanding relationship with Jason Becker, going all the way from the ’80s to the present day.
Marty and Jason founded a neoclassical speed metal band called Cacophony in 1986, remaining active for three years and releasing two studio albums. When the group was launched, Marty was 24 years old, while Jason was yet to turn 17.
Asked on what he recalls from the “early Shrapnel days with Jason,” the guitarist replied (transcribed by UG):
“We really did what we wanted to do, we were not too concerned about what the other people on the label were.
“And to be completely honest with you, we didn’t want to be locked in with a lot of the stuff that was on there because to us, it did not seem very musical. It seemed like a lot of people showing off and playing exercises, just kind of… I don’t know, there was a lot of technique displays and acrobatics.
“Not to say that we were not guilty of a lot of that, and I believe that we were, probably. If we had a chance to do it again, we would’ve done it a little bit differently, but even still, if you look at what our influences were at the time, there was nothing of what was influencing the other guys on that label.
“We weren’t very much influenced by traditional classical music like most of the other guys were. We were into odd stuff, things that were a little bit oddball and eclectic. And then there was foreign music we were both very much into.
“I was into Japanese music and he was into Indian music, and we both got into Indian and Japanese music, and Chinese music, so there was a lot of really oddball influences in there. That might’ve had something to do with why we never really took off – because it was just such a strange blend of weird stuff.
“We really loved a lot of what we did, we’re very proud of it, and I still, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that I would definitely change, but I’m still proud of that stuff.
“Jason really grew big time after all that, musically. He grew so fast, you know? I’d like to think that I grew a little bit in time taking baby steps and evolving, but he grew by leaps and bounds in a scary fast way, and he started to really become just a brilliant composer.”
Asked about making a guest appearance on Jason’s latest album, 2018’s “Triumphant Hearts,” Marty replied:
“Whenever he calls, I’ll just do whatever he wants me to do. He had me play a couple of songs on this album, and on the title track of that, ‘Triumphant Hearts,’ he gave me a great melody to play, so I was so excited.
“It was, like, the most delicious part of the song. I got to play the main theme towards the end of the song when it comes to, it’s the most exciting theme modulation and climax, so he gave me a good, solid bite, allowing me to play that part of the song.”