Marty Friedman has offered an update on his long-awaited documentary. Titled “Spacefox” (changed from the original title, “Hebi Metal San”), the film — which is being directed by Jeremy Frindel, the founder of Substratum Films — follows Friedman‘s reinvention from lead guitarist in MEGADETH to one of the most famous TV personalities in Japan.
The former MEGADETH guitarist spoke about “Spacefox” during a new interview with FOX17 Rock & Review. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s being going on since 2016. They’ve been filming, on and off… Mostly around 2019, they got the bulk of it together. When I did my first real tour of America in 2016 after being in Japan for, like, 10 years, that’s what they covered at the beginning, and then they came to Japan and did the main segment. And all they had left to shoot was the very ending, and then the [pandemic] hit.”
He continued: “I’ve been playing the Tokyo Marathon opening ceremony for the last four years, and I was slated to play in 2020, and the film crew was gonna come to Japan and film that, and that was gonna be the big ending. And then possibly in the Olympics, I was not confirmed but there were some things that I could have done in the Olympics and the crew was all planned to come out for any of that stuff to make a final ending to the movie. And that kind of put the kibosh on that. So the next time we get a chance to film together, they’re gonna put the ending on it and we’ll be good to go. But the meat and potatoes of it is done, and I really like it.”
As for a possible release date for “Spacefox”, Friedman said: “I would say summer of 2022, because I’m probably gonna do some international touring before then, and that would make a nice backdrop for the ending of it.”
In July 1999, Friedman was onstage performing at Woodstock ’99 in front of a sea of fans as the lead guitarist for MEGADETH. Since joining the band in 1990, Marty played a crucial role in their rise to stardom with his unorthodox style of virtuoso guitar playing, selling millions of records worldwide, and being nominated for multiple Grammy Awards. Just six months after Woodstock, in an unexpected move that shocked his friends, family, and especially his bandmates, despite platinum albums and sold-out tours, for reasons unknown, he suddenly quit the band and walked away from it all. Unbeknownst to his U.S. fans, Marty moved to Tokyo to pursue his love of Japanese pop music, and in the process, reinvented himself as a wildly successful Japanese TV celebrity. Marty has appeared on 700-plus television programs, commercials and motion pictures since then, and become was dubbed “the Ryan Seacrest of Japan” by Billboard magazine in the USA.
“Spacefox” tells the surreal story of Marty Friedman, a nice Jewish boy from the suburbs of Baltimore who walked away from the ultimate rock and roll dream to search for something more fulfilling in a culture that was not his own. His renegade story is an inspiring example of the vast human potential to reach for our and achieve even our most unconventional dreams.
Said Frindel: “I grew up playing guitar, playing in rock bands, and spent many hours playing along with Marty‘s guitar parts from some of the classic MEGADETH records. As years passed and my interests shifted, I went on to work making films and hadn’t thought about MEGADETH in many years. So when I stumbled across an article about how Marty Friedman had become the ‘Ryan Seacrest of Japan,’ I was fascinated.
“I’ve had many different chapters in my life and am always intrigued about the seemingly infinite variety of ways we can reinvent ourselves. So to see someone like Marty at the top of his game step away and disappear to another country, and re-emerge as a TV entertainer, completely captured my imagination. Right away I felt there was an amazing story and film in there. I am honored and excited that Marty put his trust in me to share his story and the crazy journey he’s gone on.”
Frindel released his first feature film, “One Track Heart: The Story Of Krishna Das”, in 2013. Distributed by Zeitgeist Films, the film screened theatrically in over a hundred U.S. cities, in festivals all over the world, and won the Best Documentary prize at five festivals. Earlier in his film career, he also worked on the seminal rock documentary “Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster”. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2001, Jeremy has worked in the film and music industry in New York City for nearly 20 years.