with Chris Jericho
Interview by Wolf Shankland
Fozzy are an American heavy metal band, formed in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1999. The lead singer of the band is professional wrestler Chris Jericho. He resides in Tampa, Florida, while the rest of the band live in Georgia.
The band is currently signed to Century Media Records. The band also consists of Stuck Mojo including Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere with their additional members being Billy Grey (Dangerous New Machine, Sick Speed) and Paul Di Leo (Adrenaline Mob, Nena). Jericho has characterized the band by saying, “If Metallica and Journey had a bastard child, and it would be Fozzy.”
Hey Chris, last time we saw you were on tour with Soil, how did you enjoy the gig in London?
Chris: Yeah man it is definitely one of the best shows we’ve done in London and definitely the best one since the Astoria (RIP). We used to play the Astoria a lot cause it was such a great place and never been able to find a cool replacement for it as far as sound and size and vibe. But the gig was off the charts as far as the crowd and the reaction and it was a really cool night.
Not alot of Y2J chanting, to be expected?
Chris: No it doesn’t matter but most was chanting Fozzy and if they decide to chant Y2J then whatever.
Y2J and Fozzy are the same, Y2J is a part of who I am, as long as they’re no one chanting “Your shit” at me then I don’t care. [Laughs] We prefer Fozzy chants though. I don’t like silence in between our sets, we want to keep the energy rolling through the crowd so we try and get them to chant Fozzy just to keep the energy flowing.
How do you think you’ve evolved as a band?
Chris: I think the biggest evolvement in the band is our music, very heavy riffs and melodic choruses and very much focused on keeping it that way especially in our last two records, very heavy riffs and a lot of harmonies, lot of vocals. I like the 70’s feel, a lot of mics on the stage, everyone singing and I like the fact we do that…and that is the biggest evolvement; we know who we are and what we do best.
Was it hard giving up wrestling and concentrating more on music?
Chris: It was never really about giving up the wrestling. I’ve been in bands before I even started wrestling, and I’ve been in bands since I was 12 years old. They were both dreams of mine and been a rock star and a wrestler since I was a kid, so it’s awesome I can do both of those. But my priority right now, and has been for about 3 years now, is Fozzy but as far as give up…I’ve just moved on not given up.
Which do you prefer?
Chris: both. I never had to choose, I got a hall pass! [Laughs]
Lets talk about Sin And Bones:
Chris: Well I wanted to continue with what we did with Chasing The Grail, lot of heavy verses and choruses, and we really wanted this record to be our version of the Black album. What I mean is the Black album is a cohesive flow of songs, each song fits a certain vibe and we wanted the same thing, from song 1 to song 10 we wanted to take the listener on a journey and it’s meant to be played in sequence. You can shuffle it if you want but it you listen to it in sequence it will take you somewhere and that’s what the Black album does to you. I really stuck to that template.
How does it differ from previous work?
Chris: I think it’s the second step after chasing the grail, it’s a more…erm, ah, more concentrated sequence of songs, it has more of a dark tone, dark vibe to it so I really wanted to make this the best thing we’ve ever done, spent a lot of time writing it, a lot of time producing it and when we heard all the reviews and opinions it was cool to see how people felt about it. Another difference is it’s a more a whole band in record cause the Grail was just me and Rich doing everything whilst this one is a whole band written record.
Tell us about the story behind ‘Storm The Beaches’
Chris: It’s about D-Day, we had a long song on the grail called Wormwood and we wanted to do another long song for Sin and Bones and I’ve always thought D-Day is the ultimate heavy metal song topic. Some bands have dabbled in it but not as much as we have with it and wrote the lyrics about a kid who was in D-Day. We found this letter online from a kid to his mother from a kid who had survived D-Day, so I based the lyrics on that, so that’s how we got the first person view on it, then I googled a lot of stuff to add to the song from that era.
You’ve worked with a lot of stars. Whose been your favourite?
Chris: We don’t really have a favourite; we worked with Zack Wylde, Marty Freedman and M.Shadows and load more people but whose my favourite? I don’t have one, they’re all a bunch of terrific guys and we were really happy to play with so many different people. At the moment I’m happy M.Shadows joined us on Sin and Bones cause he did an amazing job on vocals for Sandpaper. Phil Camel as well did an amazing job in She’s My Addiction and he’s wanted to do something with us for a while and we were like wow ok man!! So yeah it was really cool to have everyone working with us.
What are your plans for 2013, any good gigs or festivals coming up?
Chris: Well we have Bloodstock, and Soundwave festival in Australia with Metallica headlining, which is going to be amazing and we’re gonna work on other tours in April or May, probably come back over here again or the states. Gotta just go, where we gotta go, and do what we have to do to publicize Sin and Bones and then start on our next record which is gonna be similar to Sin and Bones, but it’s gonna be a non-stop year for us we hope!
Thanks for your time Chris!