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Marty Friedman says Polyphia are proof that “audiences are intellectual enough to receive a lot of musical data in the music that they listen to”

“Polyphia is not simple music by any stretch of the imagination, and yet a lot of people are enjoying it.”

[L-R] Marty Friedman and Tim Henson

Credit: Getty Images

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Ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman has named Polyphia as the band that proves “audiences are intellectual enough to receive a lot of musical data in the music that they listen to”.

Appearing on a recent episode of The Ex-Man podcast, Friedman touches on the enduring popularity of “high-level, virtuosic instrumental type music” over the decades, saying [via Loudwire] “I think there’s cycles in music that’s heavily guitar-oriented.”

“Polyphia is a fantastic band and I actually toured Asia with them in 2019,” he says. “It was a wonderful pairing because we both do such different things, but somehow it attracts the same kind of people. I think they’re a really good band to point to to show that audiences are intellectual enough to receive a lot of musical data in the music that they listen to.”

“Polyphia is not simple music by any stretch of the imagination, and yet a lot of people are enjoying it.”

During the chat, the virtuoso also explains why he doesn’t think of the music he makes as “guitar music”.

“Even though my music is categorised into ‘guitar music,’ I really don’t even see it that way, actually, but the listeners do,” Friedman says. “I view myself as singing through the guitar. There’s always a vocal element to the music that I play, but it’s done with guitar so naturally there’s a guitar fanbase for that.”

“I think it’s different from a lot of the more popular guitar bands out there.”

That said, Friedman admits he is thankful that guitar music listeners are discovering and liking his music. He says “People are finding me – I’m so [in the] Japanese bubble – they’re finding me peripherally through other artists. A lot of people have mentioned my name as an influence and I’m always thankful for that. It’s really about making one new fan at a time or 10 new fans or 100 new fans – one thing at a time. As long as you stay in the game, a lot of new opportunities seem to be happening.”

In other news, Marty Friedman recently joined his former band Megadeth onstage at Wacken Open Air to perform a selection of classics, including Holy Wars… the Punishment Due, Tornado of Souls, Symphony of Destruction and Trust.

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