Former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman has no regrets about the band’s “Risk” album, saying that the controversial record was created “with the best of intentions.”
Issued in 1999, “Risk” received a mixed response from critics and alienated hardcore MEGADETH fans due to its departure from the band’s heavy thrash metal roots to a more commercial, pop rock sound. The album debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard chart and was later certified gold for selling half a million copies in the United States.
During an appearance earlier this week on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation”, Friedman was asked how he looks back on “Risk” nearly 20 years after its release.
“Well, I think anything that needed to be said from me about that was probably said at the time,” Marty said. “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 continued: “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.”
MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine recently said that “Risk” was the result of him “capitulating” to Friedman‘s “desires to be more of an alternative band.” He told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation LA Invasion: Live From The Rainbow Bar & Grill”: “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 backwards to keep Marty Friedman happy, ’cause Marty wanted us to sound like fucking DISHWALLA.”
In early 2015, Friedman stepped away from a planned reunion of MEGADETH‘s “Rust In Peace” lineup — also featuring drummer Nick Menza — because he didn’t feel inspired to re-team with his one-time bandmates. He later explained: “I think anyone that has something as good as ‘Rust In Peace’ in their history doesn’t want to revisit it unless you are going to top it. I didn’t see any reason to mess with that. I didn’t see a reunion being what it could be and what the fans deserved. If I were to revisit that, there would have to be a reason for me to do that beyond, ‘Let’s go back and do it again.’ That’s not a good enough reason.”