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“When you’re a ‘rock’ guy, there’s something that makes you want to be in the business, as a photographer, working at a label . . . I mean, you’re not going to be a fan of Cat Stevens and all of a sudden decide to be a roadie for Pantera or something. Rock gives you the inspiration to get involved.”

Marty Friedman is a rock guy. The 51-year-old spent much of the 1990s as the lead guitarist in thrash metal pioneers Megadeth, eventually taking the odd-seeming move of decamping from the United States to Japan and settling into a new role as a cheerleader for J-pop. Through his experiences in the Japanese music industry, however, one thing that struck him was just how natural a move that really was.

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