Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman continues to flourish in Japan, and he's once again delving into Japanese culture for inspiration with the third installment of his Tokyo Jukebox series.

Friedman started the series in 2009 with the initial Tokyo Jukebox album, followed with a sequel in 2011 and now makes this a trilogy with his third release coming on April 16 via The Players Club / Mascot Label Group.

The guitarist shares, “I've been playing stuff from the first two Jukebox albums live all over the world, and it's taken on a life of its own. Especially in places like North and South America, Australia, Italy, France and even India. My fan base is very dedicated, and what I have found is that lots of new fans have been introduced to Japanese music and culture through me, which is very gratifying. On the tours it seems like aside from the dedicated guitar fans, the Japan fanatics have been noticeably growing, so now felt like the right time to do Tokyo Jukebox 3.”

Friedman reveals that it wasn't merely just as simple as picking songs to cover for this new release. He explains that covering material is a more involved process in Japan. The guitarist says, “In Japan, you have to get permission to record and release cover versions, and that can be a very tricky and long process. So, the last thing I wanted to do was to ask permission to do a song, only to wind up not recording it for whatever reason. That would be very impolite. I spent several weeks choosing songs and demoing them to see whether I could create versions that I could get pumped up about, before I even approached any publishers. I came up with a short list of 20 songs, and from this chose about 15 that I knew I could really score with.”

To help whet your appetite for the new album, Friedman has issued a pair of tracks - "Makenaide" and "The Perfect World" - that will both be available as instant grat offerings for pre-orders of the new album. Pre-orders are now underway at this location.

Friedman just posted the video for "Makenaide" and offers, “I feel so incredibly fortunate and grateful for the love and support of wonderful people from so many countries and cultures around The World. With this video, I tried my best to share that unique feeling with you, and what better way than to have those cool folks jam for us. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time and energy to learn this song and make this video so fun to look at.”

The other new track, 'The Perfect World," actually dates back to 2018 for Friedman. He reflects, “Back then I did the song with Jean-Ken Johnny from Man With A Mission on vocals, and that was used as the main theme for the Netflix series B: The Beginning. On the day of release, the song went straight to the top of the Japanese iTunes chart.” This recording, however, is a fresh interpretation with Alfakyun, one of Japan’s premier female J-Pop singers performing the vocals. As Friedman offers, “It's really a self-cover, so it fits in with the idea of this being a covers album.”

Much of the recording process was done at Power House Studios in Tokyo, with Friedman, who was also the producer on the project, joined by bassist Kiyoshi and drummer Anup Sastry. He shares, “Kiyoshi has been in my band for about six years now doing all my tours and recordings. She is a powerhouse, and I honestly have never seen anyone hit the bass as hard as she does, especially while keeping up with my kind of challenging music. Anup was a member of Skyharbor (an Indian/American progressive metal band) and has been on my last three albums. He is just plain phenomenal as well.”

In other Friedman news, the latest incarnation of his long-selling signature model guitar, Jackson`s MF-1, will be released this month. It is a brand-new Purple Cracked Mirror model, with a stunning design and ultramodern construction. Get a closer look here.

Marty Friedman, "The Perfect World"

Marty Friedman, "Makenaide"

Marty Friedman, Tokyo Jukebox 3 Artwork + Track Listing

Mascot Label Group
Mascot Label Group

1. Makenaide
2. Senbonzakura
3. Gurenge
4. Kaze Ga Fuiteiru
5. Echo
6. The Perfect World (feat. Alfakyun)
7. U.S.A.
8. Shukumei
9. Ikuze Kaitou-Shoujo
10. Sazanka
11. Time Goes By
12. Japan Heritage Official Theme Song

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