wrestle zone uk

EXCLUSIVE Chris Jericho Interview

October 1, 2011   ·   0 Comments

Wrestle-Zone UK reporter, Adam, recently had a telephone interview with Chris Jericho discussing his band. Fozzy and their upcomming November UK tour!

How would you describe the Fozzy sound to someone who has never seen or heard the band?

Very heavy and very melodic, I mean obviously we’re very influenced by the great metal bands, [Iron] Maiden, Metallica, but we also love a lot of seventies type bands like Journey and Styx and type of vibe, we love Pink Floyd and Rush so we’re kind of a combination of all those things, we’re very intricate with a lot of great harmonies, guitar work and singing so I would say we’re a cross between Metallica and Journey.

I agree. Will you be showing off any of your ‘Dancing with the Stars’ moves on stage during your upcoming tour?

No, that was only for the show itself (laughs).

You haven’t done them since?

It wouldn’t be very Rock n’ Roll to do a ChaCha in the middle of the set now would it?

You never know you could earn yourself some brownie points, so what is the best thing about touring in England?

The fan base, you know its very much a second home to us and has been since the first time we went there in 2004 and that’s why we continue to tour in England more than any other Country in the World, that’s the whole UK actually.

Do you find this to be because in the USA, World Wrestling Entertainment is more well known…

No it’s got nothing to do with wrestling, we’re not a wrestling band and we never have been, its about the fact that people dig the music, I think more than anything people just like what they like what they like in the UK, when we did Sonisphere (in July 2011) the line-up of bands was just so eclectic from Metallica to Slipknot to Weezer to Biffy Clyro to Fozzy and everything in between, there’s a lot of different styles that people like and its not like that in the US, its much more fragmented here. But yeah the band is doing great everywhere but for whatever reason people in England really dig what we’re doing and we love touring there, its always a lot of fun for us to come and I think this is our forth tour coming up in November, for the ‘Chasing the Grail’ record, in the last two years and probably our twelfth tour overall in England so we’ll always continue to come.

You mentioned Sonisphere, how was the experience for you and the rest of the band?

It was amazing, we played Download Festival a few years ago and it was fun but Sonisphere was a whole new level and the band has just really grown over the last couple of years so to be invited to Sonisphere in the first place is a testament to how great of a fan base we have and just between the fact that we were invited on the show and Kerrang! is now getting behind us and that’s all to do with the fact that our family in the UK, our fans that have built us up and helped us grow, its a reward for all of us. The festival was huge and we got great reviews, and any time you’re on the same bill as Metallica you know you’re doing something right.

Exactly. You were originally a cover band, how did you all decide you were going to begin making your own music or was this a natural progression?

Yeah we just started the band in 1999 and it was fun then signing a record deal to do covers, so we did that until 2002 when we realised we were too good of a band to just continue to do other people’s songs and when you start playing music you always want to play your own stuff, that’s the idea and so in 2003 we just started writing our own songs and the last two or three records have been all originals and that’s when we really started to stake our claim. Fozzy’s history is a lot like Pantera’s in that there’s two parts, you know Pantera started out as a glam band with a Poison type of vibe and then changed into the Pantera that everyone knows and loves and its kind of the same with Fozzy, we started off one way and then kind of morphed into another way and now we’ve just gone threw the roof, so many different things have happened with the band over the last couple of years, its been a great few years that for sure.

Great, so what is the writing process like for you personally?

I write all of the lyrics first off, I keep a list of song titles that interest me and then when it comes time to write lyrics I’ll sit with the titles and pick ones that I think are ones I could do something with, and then I’ll send all the lyrics to Rich Ward, the guitar player in Fozzy, and they he starts writing his riffs and his melodies based on my lyrics and we’ll just throw them back and forth and continue them from there so its a great process, its really cool, as an artist, to see what he comes up with based on my lyrics. So you know its always an interesting time when the song writing process starts, we never really know what we’re going to come up with, we just start with one thing and just go from there.

Was the writing process easier for the second and third albums than for the first?

Well we definitely have it down to a system we started before ‘Chasing the Grail’ which is to do it this way, we were much more of a patchwork, hodge-podge, for the last album I sent (Rich) fourteen songs and he came back with that he felt had different styles and different forms and it worked really well, obviously the album is still really doing well after two years so we’re going to do the same thing for our next record, and why mess with it when its really starting to work at this point.

When do you think the next album will be released?

Hopefully by the end of May, it would be prefect to do all the festivals next year over in Europe and the UK again so that’s what we’re shooting for.

Which festivals are you hoping to play next year?

Well, all of them (laughs). We played quite a few this year, we did festivals in Holland and Germany and Belgium, and then of course we did Sonisphere so maybe this year we could do Download and some of the bigger ones in Germany as well, I mean that was one of the cool things about playing the shows we did this summer, kind kind of opened the door for us and let people know who we were as a band and who we were as a live act and the reviews were great, I mean one that I saw said they thought Metallica, Weezer and Fozzy were the best bands of the entire Sonisphere weekend so when you start getting reviews like that you can start to build up your resume and build up the fan base you have and your reputation.

What can the fans expect from the new album?

It will always be that Fozzy sound, it will probably be the same vibe as ‘Chasing the Grail’ just taken to the next level with some crazy fast tunes, some rocking tunes, a couple of ballads and long songs, wherever the song writing takes us, its not like we sit down and say we need one of these and two of those and one of those, I think it’s definitely going to be ‘Chasing the Grail’ like I said taken to the next level.

With the third album you had some guest artist feature, but not on ‘Chasing the Grail’, was there any particular reason for this?

For ‘All that Remains’ you mean? That’s when we had started doing all original stuff so we wanted people to see the band in a different light and I figured if we had guys like Zack Wylde, Marty Friedman and Myles Kennedy involved people would know that this is not just something to take lightly that if you have guys of that quality involved in your band there’s something to it, there’s a merit to it so that’s why I invited those guys to play, and then for ‘Chasing the Grail’ we were in a different place. We’ll always have a guest star or two, I mean ‘Chasing the Grail’ had Jeff Waters from Annihilator play a couple of solos but it was more just because we wanted people to have a bit of a different style not just typecasting so to speak because on this record I think we might have one guest solo or two but the band is just so strong at the moment that we don’t really need anyone else to play with us.

Brilliant. Can I ask, where is Moongoose McQueen these days, has he retired?

Yeah, he’s cooking fries in Illinois somewhere.

I always thought he would be sitting in a retirement home somewhere reminiscing about the good old days?

(laughs) Yeah exactly, sitting in the back of a pub somewhere.

If you were to develop your dream rock band line-up who would it consist of?

James Hetfield on rhythm guitar, Zack Wylde on lead guitar, Cliff Burton on bass guitar, Mike Portnoy on drums and Bruce Dickinson on vocals.

Very nice. What would be your guilty pleasure band or singer?

I always loved early nineties rap, like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice and stuff like that.

What is your favourite song of the moment?

It depends on what day it is, I love ‘Nightmare’ by Avenged Sevenfold, we’re getting ready to do a bunch of shows with them actually next week which are our first arena shows so that’ll be cool.

Yeah I just watched a video of you performing with them at a festival?

Yeah, yeah they happened to be in Napa (California) and they asked me to come and sing a song with them so I sang ‘Bat Country’ with them, and now we’re actually touring with them which will be really cool.

Cool. What is your favourite Fozzy track to perform and why?

Man there is so many cool ones, I love playing ‘Grail’, I love ‘Under Blackened Skies’, I love ‘Friday the 13th‘, ‘Enemy’ is fun because people always love that, its gets one of the biggest reactions.

So you think this is the main track that everyone expects to hear when they come to see Fozzy perform?

Enemy? Yeah that’s the one, people chant for that they love ‘Enemy’, for whatever reason they love ‘Martyr No More’ too, they’re the two big ones that bring the best reactions, and ‘God Pounds His Nails’ too, but yeah ‘Enemy’ is the one at the end of the set people are always chanting for.

If Fozzy had never been do you think you would have still progressed into music, and in what genre?

I don’t know its really weird because I’ve been playing in bands since I was twelve years old, you know I always wanted to be in a rock band and I wanted to be wrestler, those were my two goals when I was a kid and Fozzy just kind of happened very naturally, very organically, so I don’t know, I’d been thinking of putting together a band for quite a while before I met Rich Ward so I’m sure I’d have something going on, but if I hadn’t met Rich I doubt I’d be in a band as big as Fozzy because he’s so talented, he’s such a great player, great performer, we really achieved a lot together because of each other I think, so its just one of those things, like if Lennon never met McCartney what would have happened, you know what I mean.

Yeah. The Rock of Jericho Radio Show returns next month, could you explain what it is to our UK fans?

Yeah, I did this show for two years from 2005 to 2007 I believe, and it was a rock n’ roll show, just a play list of different types of heavy music from the sixties to now and its going to be a continuation of that except for before it was all done on tape where as now its live and we’ll get a chance to have some guests and have some callers and just have some fun with it, I mean I love radio, and its the one thing when I stopped doing it years ago I always kind of felt a little bit like man I’d love to have my show back so when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance, I love doing radio and I’m really excited about it.

Did you even ask Alfonso Ribeiro to do the infamous ‘Carlton’ dance when you were with him on ‘Celebrity Duets’?

(laughs) no but I think he did do it at the end of the show or something like that but once I got kicked of I kind of stopped watching it, but that was his big thing, he said if he made it to the finals he would do the ‘Carlton’ dance and then he made it to the finals and he won and then got nothing, he won the big fight and got nothing.

(Laughs) Yeah. In your book ‘Undisputed’ you talk about making a great first impression on the singer, P!nk, have you seen or spoke to her since?

Oh, no I haven’t, it was funny because she was really nothing at that point in time and then she went on to become an international, hugely famous star, I haven’t seen her since and if I did I doubt that I would even bring that up. It was an act, it wasn’t me at all (laughs).

Speaking of the book, are you planning or writing a third?

Yeah, I mean I really enjoy writing my books but it takes a lot, there a lot of effort that goes into it so I finished ‘Undisputed’ basically a year ago an then had to do all the promotion for it and add all the final touches to it so when it came out in February and I got offered a deal to do the third book so you just kind of gotta sit on it for a while, I won’t even think about starting to it for another six to eight months.

Both books are amazing by the way.

Oh thanks.

Another outside interest of yours is acting, have you got anything in the pipeline?

Oh yeah Ive always got stuff going on man, besides the radio show and the book I’ve been doing a lot of work out in Hollywood to get some stuff out there, I mean we’ve got the tour going on with Avenged (Sevenfold) next week and then we’re coming back in November to the UK and Europe for three weeks then and we’re working on a new record so there’s always a lot going on with Jericho.

This is going to be a random question but as I know you’re a fan of ‘Jersey Shore’, are you team Ronnie or team Sammie?

I dunno man, probably team Ronnie, you gotta go with the dudes right?

Yeah. You’re the man of a 1004 holds, if you were to add another to your arsenal what would it be?

I dunno, I’m down to about 63 holds now so I’d have to learn them all back again to try and figure out which ones are which.

And finally, could you sum up Fozzy in one word?

Maximumrockicity!

Thanks to Chris and management for taking the time to do the interview with us! The band are in the Europe on the following dates – 

 

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