To many, former MEGADETH lead guitarist Marty Friedman needs little introduction. However, did you know that he’s fluent in Japanese through self-teaching, lives in Japan, and has composed music for anime?
Friedman challenged himself to learn Japanese, finding a correspondence course at the University of Oklahoma and later forcing himself to only speak Japanese in interviews even if it made him sound foolish to a native Japanese audience.
As anyone who studies a foreign language extensively will tell you, immersion is by far the best way to learn a new language, and even if you can’t move to another country or town, you can find ways to try and produce an immersive environment. For example, artist Felipe Smith (Peepo Choo, Ghost Rider), in preparation for moving to Japan to become a manga artist, got a job at a karaoke joint so he could be surrounded by Japanese speech at all times. Friedman similarly dived head-first into immersion despite having a reputation to uphold as one of the best guitarists in the world.
In 2003, Friedman moved to Japan. In fact, as someone who’s not as well-versed in metal (though I recall a friend from childhood who breathed the stuff), my first exposure to Marty Friedman was through the late night show, “Rock Fujiyama.” A program dedicated to celebrating metal and rock from around the world, Friedman was a mainstay of the show as they brought out music guests from both inside and outside of Japan and essentially rocked out together.
So, what shows has Friedman composed for? You might think Detroit Metal City, or maybe something super intense and hardcore, like Blood C. In actuality, it’s nothing quite so metal. He’s credited for the following songs:
The Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals first opening, and the ending theme to the third series of Maria Watches Over Us, a yuri anime about a student council at an all girls’ school.
Gokigenyou, Marty Friedman.
PS: While we can’t guarantee that Marty Friedman will be there, we’re running a convention this August 29-30 in Brooklyn, NY that will celebrate the intersection of various elements of Japanese popular culture, including music. Check us out at http://wakuwakunyc.com