Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman will release his new solo album, Tokyo Jukebox 3", in Japan on October 21. According to Billboard, the LP features Marty's cover versions of a wide variety of pop songs, including such contemporary numbers as LiSA's "Gurenge" and OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM's "Shukumei", along with DA PUMP's dance track "U.S.A.", END OF THE WORLD's ballad "Sazanka", and the vocaloid hit "Senbonzakura Feat. Hatsune Miku". Some throwback J-pop hits from the '90s are included on the set as well, such as ZARD's "Makenaide" and EVERY LITTLE THING's "Time Goes By".
Marty revealed the LP cover artwork via his social media in late August, and he included the following message: "Just like everyone, I've had a real tough time dealing with 2020. We all suffered from a massive lack of fun this year, so I made it my mission to make feel-good, serotonin-level-raising music of the highest order, stuff that will hopefully kick you all in the feels, and hard.
"Making the album during a pandemic had its hellish challenges, but everyone is facing hardships now, so I was just thankful to have such cathartic work to do.
"Guitar fans will notice, and hopefully enjoy, some pretty cool updates to my guitar sounds. I've discovered that when you take off all spatial effects like reverbs and delays, your solo expressions can often live and breathe more, and have an urgency and unique attack to them, that I'm really digging."
Several weeks ago, Friedman told Bob Nalbandian of the "Shockwaves/HardRadio" podcast that he was putting the finishing touches on his new solo album. Asked what fans can expect to hear on the follow-up to 2017's "Wall Of Sound", Marty said: "Any record that I do, as you know, as everybody who listens to my stuff knows, it's gonna be — at least in my opinion — one step further, deeper, more, above, whatever it is; just a new step farther ahead, advanced — just something I've never done before. And I've had the luxury of much more time and much more of other people's time as well.
"Usually, it's really hard to track down and nail down members and studio people," he explained. "You really wanna have your 'A team,' but sometimes the 'A team' is very busy. But now it's been a lot easier to get people on board who are usually really, really busy, so scheduling has been just a breeze. And [I] love that."
Released in Japan in 2009 and 2011, respectively, "Tokyo Jukebox" and "Tokyo Jukebox 2" — the ninth and eleventh chapters in Friedman's influential solo discography — featured energetic instrumental covers of Japanese pop (J-Pop) songs that can be enjoyed by anyone with a sweet tooth for melody, and captured Friedman's passion for the music of his adopted home country — although, as he warned in the liner notes, "I took the liberty of destroying and reconstructing them my own way."
Featuring Jeremy Colson (STEVE VAI, BILLY IDOL) on drums, "Tokyo Jukebox" featured reconstructed covers of J-Pop and J-Rock hits selected by readers of Japan's top entertainment magazine. "Tokyo Jukebox 2", meanwhile, was recorded in Los Angeles at The Village (AEROSMITH, KISS), and featured guest performances by Jason Bittner (OVERKILL, SHADOWS FALL) and Keshav Dhar (SKYHARBOR). The albums featured tracks originally performed by acclaimed Japanese acts such as MR. CHILDREN, SMAP, PERFUME and MAXIMUM THE HORMONE.
As previously reported, Marty's long-awaited documentary, titled "Spacefox", will tentatively arrive in 2021. The film, which is being directed by Jeremy Frindel, the founder of Substratum Films, follows Friedman's reinvention from lead guitarist in MEGADETH to one of the most famous TV personalities in Japan.
This past June, Friedman released a "Home Jams" version of his song "Self Pollution", which originally appeared on "Wall Of Sound". The new rendition of the song features Friedman, along with his longtime bandmates Kiyoshi (bass) and Jordan Ziff (guitar), plus Anup Sastry (drums). The split-screen video was filmed in Tokyo, Osaka, Phoenix and Baltimore, with each musician separated in his or her home.
Friedman's latest record, "One Bad M.F. Live!!", came out in October 2018. The album was recorded in Mexico City on April 14, 2018 during the final concert of Friedman's world tour in support of "Wall Of Sound".
"Wall Of Sound" was released in August 2017 via Prosthetic Records.