LocalBozo.com recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow. You can also listen to the chat below.
LocalBozo.com: Chris, you’ve had as decorated a career as any in professional wrestling. But after a decade, FOZZY certainly looks like it’s becoming more and more your priority. Talk a little bit about the struggle that’s gone into working toward erasing the stigma of this being a “celebrity” or even a “wrestler’s band” and the satisfaction that you’re taking from the fact that the band is now so recognized, especially in the rock community, as a legitimate act.
Jericho: Well, I mean, when I was a kid, I had two goals: I wanted to be in a rock and roll band and I wanted to be a wrestler. And that started from the time I was about twelve. So, to me, it’s always been the two dreams that I had and I never really saw one as being more than the other. Wrestling took off first, but even when I first started wrestling, I was still playing in bands and writing songs and doing demos and all that sort of thing. So it was weird when we started FOZZY in 2000; there was kind of a real stigma with the fact that it was “the wrestler’s band.” I never saw it that way, because it was never a wrestling band. It’s not like we ever got up on stage and, you know, sang about body slams and wore spandex tights or anything like that. They were completely two separate things and I never really saw it as anything other than just the two passions that I had. And I think that’s the reason why FOZZY‘s gotten so far and why we’re continuing to grow and have so much momentum behind us, is that people finally realize that this is real. This is not some kind of a novelty. It’s not some kind of a celebrity vanity project. It’s something that I’ve been doing my whole life. You know, I guess I started playing in bands when I was twelve, and I’ll be playing in bands when I’m 62 years old. It’s just something that I do and part of who I am. I think the best analogy would be like 30 SECONDS TO MARS, where the lead singer is Jared Leto — great actor, but also a great rock and roll singer and a great rock and roll band. And people don’t really care what he does outside of the stage of 30 SECONDS and it’s that way with FOZZY now. I think people could really care less what I do when I’m not onstage or recording records with FOZZY. They just enjoy the music and enjoy the fact that this is a kick-ass rock and roll band playing some great songs, and that’s all you can ask for.
LocalBozo.com: FOZZY‘s upcoming release, “Sin And Bones”, is due out on August 14th. Talk about how this new album differs from previously released FOZZY records.
Jericho: Well, I mean, like you said, a lot of people are really turning their heads when it comes to us. And we knew it would happen. We knew if we stuck to our guns, and just continued to play, continued to tour, continued to do what we do, that the people that weren’t into the band would start slowly getting into us and start finding out and starting checking us out, out of curiosity, you know? And what we do that’s different from most other bands is we play very heavy music with very melodic, catchy choruses —almost like METALLICA — and combine it with JOURNEY, or something like that. I think that’s one of the reasons why there’s such a buzz about this record. It’s because it’s something that’s a little bit different from what’s going on now — like I said, very heavy, very catchy, very hooky, very melodic — and that’s what “Sin And Bones” is. We started kind of developing this vibe with “All That Remains” and “Chasing The Grail”, our last two records. But this one really took it to the next level and I think that’s why this will definitely be our biggest record because it’s the best of what we do as a band, cultivating a sound that not a lot of other bands are doing right now. We take great pride in that.
LocalBozo.com: Among the album’s highlights, you collaborated with AVENGED SEVENFOLD‘s M. Shadows on the song “Sandpaper”. Talk about that experience for us.
Jericho: Yeah, Shad‘s a friend of mine and when I was recording the vocals, I wasn’t really feeling the one part: “a cat scratch whiplash / a witch hunt in black.” So I thought it’d be cool to have somebody else do it, like a calm response. So I called Matt and asked him if he’d be interested. I knew they were off and he was at home, so he’s like, “Send me the song and I’ll see what I think.” I sent it to him and he really dug it. He was a fan of ours from before anyways — he liked a bunch of our songs. He thought that “Sandpaper” was one of the catchiest choruses that we’d ever done and so he kind of took it and laid down the part like I asked him to and then he also rearranged the song a bit — gave it a little bit of a different arrangement, streamlined it, made it a little bit more compact, and in my opinion made it a better song. So not only did he sing what I asked him to, he also put his own spin on it and really went above and beyond to create this amazing song that’s just been doing huge for us since it came out. So it was cool. It was cool on a professional standpoint, on a creative standpoint, and on a friendship standpoint to have him involved.
LocalBozo.com: Switching gears, Chris, you’ve had some incredible opportunities in and out of the ring over the past decade. Shortly you’ll be stepping away to spend some more time with your band. Looking back on your latest run with WWE, which looks to be wrapping up shortly, what are your reflections on this latest run and is it still as fun for you as ever to be out there wrestling?
Jericho: If it wasn’t fun for me, I wouldn’t do it, you know? I took time off on the “Chasing The Grail” tour, and once that tour was done, it was time to move forward doing a new record and my job as a singer is to write the lyrics and to sing on the record. Lyrics were all done and doing vocals took about 15 days total, so other than that, I had nine months of nothing really going on. So it was the perfect opportunity to step back into WWE for awhile. But the plan was always when the new record came out, then I would leave and go back full time with FOZZY. So, you know, we’ll see what happens in the future. I still love doing what I do in the WWE, but like I said, FOZZY‘s kind of taking precedence at this point. With all the momentum and great things we have going on, it’s cool to see this second dream come true. But it’s good to know too that WWE‘s always gonna be there and I feel great. I thought this last run was awesome and I feel better than I did, you know, 3, 4, 5 years ago. So, you know, I’m raring to go for the next round.
Read the entire interview from LocalBozo.com.
“Sandpaper” audio stream: