Marty Friedman

Lead guitarist for the American heavy metal band "Megadeath", 1990–2000. Marty moved to Japan in 2004 and loves many musical styles, including JPOP.

Essential: simple portable audio

Living in Japan since 2004, Marty is very active in the music scene there, working as a TV host, performer, writer and record label owner—to name just a few of his roles. He talks about the impact of High-Resolution Audio on the music industry.

Interview by blueprint / Photography by Yohei Takeuchi

Q: You’re from the States; when did you first encounter the Walkman?

A: When I was a teenager. Back then, you usually just listened to music at home or at a concert, but I loved to listen by carrying around my enormous boombox in high school. So when I first saw the Walkman, I was amazed.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

A: Generally, it’s music that I’m currently creating. Sometimes when I’m cooped up in the studio listening for a long time, it’s hard to tell what is good and bad. So what I do is listen while taking a walk in the park or a temple. It actually feels like someone else’s music—so it generates natural feedback.

Q: Looks like portable audio is necessary for your creative work. How do you feel using a High-Resolution Audio Walkman?

A: Compared with an mp3, the lower register sounds are more melodious. But to me, it’s more important to have portable audio that’s robust and simple to use, rather than thinking only about "high specs" or "high quality".

Q: What do you think about High-Res Audio as a composer?

A: It’s true that quality deteriorates with CDs or compressed audio files when compared to mastering, but I haven’t really been bothered by it. That is, I’m always thinking, "Don’t forget about the feelings of ordinary people." So for composing, I use nice speakers while working, but at the end I listen with cheap speakers and adjust the sound.

Q: If High-Resolution Audio becomes mainstream, could it change that sort of production process?

A: Smartphones will be High-Resolution Audio-compatible in the near future. When that happens, it’ll benefit not only the production side but the entire music industry because "money moves". You need funding to create good music…and I want listeners to spend money on music they enjoy. If people try this Walkman, then maybe they’ll want music titles in High-Resolution—and that would certainly be good for the music industry and musicians.

Q: OK, last question. For you, what is music?

A: Well, I’d say it’s a total part of my life. If I were stuck on a desert island with just one thing, it’d be a portable audio player with a ton of memory. (laughs)

Chiyomaru Shikura

"What listeners really want—and will buy—is music that evokes the desire to possess it."

The Way The Artists Truly Intended

Enjoy the subtlest nuances of studio-quality sound with High-Resolution Audio. Passion for music unites every component from signal to speaker, while advanced technologies such as digital upscaling help create the ultimate listening experience.