SW: I know that Megadeth is very active on the Internet; in fact your website MEGADETH ARIZONA ( has been voted as one of the best rock 'n' roll websites on the Internet by several multi-media magazines. Seeing the lack of media support for heavy rock bands, particularly on MTV, do you see the Internet playing an important role in the promotion of your latest effort, as well as future Megadeth albums?
MF: Without the MTV support, it's good to see there are other means of getting the band out to the people, like through the Internet. Of course, we would like to see MTV come to the party a little more, like they did on Countdown To Extinction, and maybe they will eventually...which obviously would be great, but seeing that we are not a band that was made by MTV, we can't really be broken by MTV. Our fans have stuck with us when metal was really trendy and when it hasn't been trendy, so it really hasn't affected us one way or another. It's definitely not the end of the world if MTV doesn't jump on us.

SW: Do you think there is potential for a band like Megadeth to still attract a young audience...seeing that most kids today are attracted to what they see on MTV and the like?
MF: There's tons of young kids who come to our shows...some as young as six years old! And it's really great to see that. Our shows attract a very wide demographic group; everyone from kids, to parents, to grandparents. There was a lady at one of our shows who was 75 years old, and she was totally into metal music...she was totally hip! Talking to her was just like talking to a 15 year old metal fan.

SW: Cryptic Writings has received positive reaction from not just rock/metal critics, but critics from major music publications, which is pretty surprising since most critics have taken pride in bashing metal bands these days...
MF: I think those reviewers picked up on the fact that we write good songs, regardless if they are played in a heavy metal context, a rock'n'roll context, a pop context, or's beyond just the sound of metal. And, of course, we love the sound of heavy metal, but if you're planning on making a long career out of it, you got to really put some substance of songwriting to go along with that "metal" sound.

SW: Although some critics still consider Megadeth as the stereotypical thrash-metal band, the fact is, you're all brilliant musicians and songwriters. Marty, as a virtuoso guitarist, you've recorded several diverse solo records, covering many exotic musical soundscapes, including a record with New Age guru you feel Megadeth will branch out even more so on future records, musically speaking?
MF: I think as we grow as a band, our music gets more and more diverse. I mean, we wanna be like a Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin...a band that is not known for just one sound, but many, many sounds, with their own personal stamp on each one of those sounds. And I think Cryptic Writings is our first step toward that.

SW: Let's talk about Marty Friedman's career prior to joining Megadeth...back in 1981 you recorded an independent EP with the group VIXEN; shortly after, you formed the band HAWAII and released two albums and one EP, and then you formed CACOPHONY with Jason Becker and released two albums for Shrapnel Records. And thus far, you have released four solo records, three of which were released while you were in Megadeth...what was it like during the early stages of your recording career?
MF: Fortunately, I've always wound up playing the music that I ultimately wanted to play. When I first started playing in bands, I wanted to get into the most ass-kickin' band that I could get into. I didn't want to be playing Fleetwood Mac covers and stuff like that...and, as much as I like Fleetwood Mac, that wasn't the type of music I wanted to make a living playing. A lot of times when you get into a career of playing music, you wind up playing just for bread and butter, and it's usually music you either hate, or not exactly the music you started off playing. I started playing guitar after I saw a KISS concert, because it was so exciting, wild, loud and aggressive. And the fact that I wound up playing in such an aggressive band, and making a living at it and really enjoying it...I consider myself very lucky as a working musician.

SW: Marty has recorded solo records, and Dave Mustaine recorded a side project with Lee Ving (of Fear)...I seem to remember that you, David, were also working on a solo record a few years back...did anything ever transpire with that?
DE: That was back around the time we were doing Countdown..., and in between legs of that tour I was writing some songs with a friend of mine from L.A., but I never did anything with it. It's an odd situation doing side projects, it can really take the focus away from the band. My side project was, I wrote a book called Making Music Your Business, which came out last May. It's basically a general overview of various aspects of the music business, written from my point of view as a professional musician. I geared it to other young musicians who are looking to get into this business.

SW: I think that's great; it seems that 90% of the books about the music business are written by either an attorney or a record company executive...or perhaps from a former musician from the 60s or 70s. There aren't any current books about the music industry today, written from an active musician's point of view...
DE: I agree. What I did was, I interviewed other musicians like Slash, Joey Ramone, Crissie Hynde, Tori Amos, Will Lee from David Letterman's band...I really wanted it to be a book by the musician, for the musician. I didn't want it to be a heavy metal book, a Megadeth "tell all" book, or anything like that. I wanted it to be for today's musician, no matter what type of music they play, so I interviewed musicians from all aspects of the business. Will Lee gave me insight on being a musician for television, as well as being a session musician, and I also included female artists to get their perspective.

Megadeth Part 4