Marty Friedman on the Term ‘Shredder’, Experiencing Music

I like Marty Friedman. As one of the most influential guitar players to come out of thrash’s most influential era, he has managed to keep his head down, and his hands on his guitar. Marty has had a celebrated solo career, post-Megadeth, and remains respected by his metal peers. ‘Wall of Sound’ comes out on August 4th, and-so far-is sounding really solid. Marty will be (and is) on the road in support of the new record.

Guitar World may have found a peeve of Marty’s, however. When asked if he was a shredder, Marty said,

I’m not a shredder. That is a lame-ass term and I fucking hate ever being called it, at any tier. A shredder, at least to me, is a guy who plays fast meaningless shit all the time. Shredders are the guys in your friend’s basement who play insanely fast, and it just looks so mind-blowing and amazingly cool with their fingers flying all around the neck, but if you close your eyes and actually listen, what you hear is a pile of shit. You all know what I’m talking about.

Simmer a bit, Marty, you sound a bit like Mustaine. He followed up with one of the most fantastic quotes I’ve ever read,

I beg you all not to be impressed with fingerwork, and be impressed by how the music you are hearing makes you feel.

Elitists, take note. Marty is spot-on.

He concluded, humbly,

Listen, slang terminology has different meanings for different people and I certainly don’t have the right to tell you that the term ‘shredder’ is good or bad. If you like ‘shredding’ and you think I’m a ‘great shredder.’ then I love ya! We are buds! Apparently since I have been out of the U.S., that term has taken on a new life and I’m not really sure what it means anymore. I just know that the term and the sound that it conjures up in my mind makes me want to dry heave.”

Marty comes through Texas in a couple of weeks. It’s been since the Countdown to Extinction Tour that I’ve seen him play. I can’t wait to see him shred. In a good way, of course.

Ben Borcher

Ben Borcher

From Powell, Wyoming. Moved to San Antonio, Texas. Married, 3/kids. Faith, family, music, and mountain biking. Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Type O Negative, Opeth, Pantera, Amon Amarth, Metallica, and Johnny Cash!
Ben Borcher