Jackson Guitars Welcomes Marty Friedman Back to Its Artist Roster

(Image credit: Karina Diane)

Jackson Guitars has announced that Marty Friedman is back in the Jackson artist fold.

Friedman’s game-changing contributions to heavy metal and guitar in general continue to inspire generations of musicians and music fans.

He defined modern guitar playing with Jason Becker in Cacophony, was a key element in the successful rise of thrash pioneers Megadeth and, with his “Marty-esque” improvisations and exotic fusion of Eastern and Western music, has achieved global success with his 12 solo albums.

During his tenure with Megadeth in the Nineties, Friedman helped to popularize the Jackson Kelly, his main axe at the time. In 1996, Jackson released a Marty Friedman USA Signature model based on the Kelly that has left an indelible mark on the look of heavy metal guitars.

“From the first time I saved my money as a teen to buy a Jackson to the day they released my first sig model Kelly, there was always an aura of greatness about the brand and the instruments,” Friedman said.

“Even more important than that, the people at the company have always gone way beyond the call of duty to help me pursue my musical goals—even when I was not officially working with the company. That speaks volumes to me. My longstanding relationship with Jackson gave birth to my new sig model, which was a massive project for both of us. It’s a guitar that can hang with the most aggressive playing possible, as well as allows tender interpretations of melodies, two major elements of my music. Oh, and it looks badass, too.”

Friedman’s all-new signature model will be officially unveiled at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, in January 2017.

Jackson is honored to have been there at the beginning with Friedman and is proud to continue the tradition of making history with him as he writes the next chapter in his ever-evolving and expansive career.

“It gives me extreme pleasure to welcome Marty back home to the Jackson family,” said Jackson Artist Relations Manager Mike Tempesta. “He is a hugely influential musician whose playing style defies boundaries and has paved the way for innumerable guitarists around the globe. An artist of this caliber demands nothing but the best and we are honored that Marty relies on his Jackson guitars, whether on the stage or in the studio, to cover any genre of music he may encounter. We look forward to an exciting future together.”

Since embracing Japanese music and relocating to Japan, Friedman has cemented his image as a unique and unpredictable solo artist while further solidifying his celebrity rock star status.

He has earned several top 10 spots on the Japanese charts and has performed in Japan's largest venues—from the Tokyo Dome to Budokan. He has also guested on more than 700 television programs, acted in four motion pictures and appeared in several commercials and TV ad campaigns. On November 4, 2016, the Japanese government named Friedman an “Ambassador of Japanese Heritage.”

His latest solo album—Inferno—includes his purest, heaviest and most impressive guitar work and also features several notable collaborations with artists such as Rodrigo y Gabriela, Revocation’s David Davidson, Danko Jones, Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho and Becker. Friedman calls Inferno “by far the most intense, sickest album I've ever done."

Following two years of heavy global touring to support Inferno, Friedman is back in the studio with plans for a new album in 2017.

For more on Friedman, visit martyfriedman.com. For the latest on Jackson Guitars, visit jacksonguitars.com.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.