Marty Friedman: On Not Fixing It

“I have great memories of all my live shows,” says Marty Friedman, who recently released Exhibit A: Live in Europe and Exhibit B: Live in Japan [Avex Trax]. “But when you’re listening to the live tracks over studio monitors weeks later, your opinions change. Then, you make compromises.

I tend to pick complete performances that kick ass, even if part of the song isn’t as good as the same part played on another night. I don’t like stuff that’s hacked together in Pro Tools—especially if you have to fix tempos that are different from one performance to another. For some reason, a live crowd causes phrases and melodies to pop into your mind that would never occur to you in the studio, and a live album should document the energy and buzz of that moment. Studio technology shouldn’t intrude for the sake of making something perfect.