Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You don’t hear of many tour pairings having a classic/current feel like this one does. What are you looking forward to the most about touring with SAXON?
Chris: I think that’s one of the reasons why we like it. It’s one of the reasons why SAXON liked it. It isn’t just your typical, “OK, it’s SAXON, let’s stick ’em with ANVIL or something like that.” I think one of the reasons why you do a big tour like this is to gain new fans. We toured last summer with SHINEDOWN and GODSMACK throughout the States. And now this summer we’re doing it with SAXON. So I think one of the most important things for our band that’s been able to see us grow so much over the last few years is the diversity of what we do and the diversity of who we play with. We always knew we could play with anybody from SHINEDOWN to SLAYER, and we believe that because our music appeals to a lot of different people. So getting back to what you’re saying and how the idea for SAXON came up, obviously we’re huge SAXON fans. Very legendary band, very influential. But the thing that really appealed to me is the fact their last couple of records, more specifically their last record, “Sacrifice”, is one of the best records they’ve ever done. They’re still putting out great material even at this stage of the game. And they’re really a breathing, vibrant rock ‘n’ roll band, which I thought was really, really important. They’re not just phoning it in. They’re still out there to kick ass. And also too, they’ve got something good in the States. They’re still headlining major festivals in Europe and in the U.K., but they haven’t toured the States for awhile. And this is kind of a big return. There’s going to be a lot of SAXON fans that don’t know FOZZY or FOZZY fans that don’t know SAXON. But at the end of the night, those people are going to leave being fans of both bands, and that’s why you do something like this.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: “Chasing The Grail” is a great, heavy record virtually throughout the whole album. “Sin And Bones” obviously has its heavy moments as well, but it’s also a more diverse record. Would you agree with that?
Chris: Yeah, we got a lot of momentum from “Chasing The Grail”. A lot of new ears were listening, a lot of new eyes were upon us. And we knew we had the chance to go to the next level with “Sin And Bones”, especially since we had just signed to Century Media, which is the biggest record label we’ve ever been on. So I knew that we could hit a home run with the record and take it to the next level. So Rich [Ward, guitar] and I worked really hard to kind of figure out what it is that we do best, which is very heavy riffs and very melodic choruses. I always say if METALLICA and JOURNEY had a bastard child, it would sound like FOZZY. That was one of the things we do that a lot of other bands don’t do. We use a lot of singing in our songs. We love METALLICA, we love AVENGED SEVENFOLD, but we also love JOURNEY and STYX and FOREIGNER — those bands from the ’70s where everyone in the band sang. And we kind of wanted to utilize that trick in FOZZY. We started doing that when we were working on “Sin And Bones”. It really kind of showed us this is what we need to be, this is who we are. And it is a little bit more diverse, but it still fits that heavy/melodic vibe. It’s our biggest-selling record of all-time, it’s our highest-charting record, most critically acclaimed. It’s far and above and beyond what we were hoping for. It looks like our plan paid off. And I think in the future, it’s going to be kind of what we’ll stick with.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You’ve hosted the [Revolver] Golden Gods Awards several times, and obviously you’re tailor-made for that. This past May, how difficult was it to keep the humor and things going given that Jeff Hanneman [SLAYER] died that day?
Chris: Well actually, it’s obviously a terrible day, but it was probably in retrospect the best day that could’ve happened. Because you had all of his friends gathered together, and instead of a real despondent, horrible time, it was almost like a real big celebration for Jeff. It was a real coincidental thing but in a positive way. If there’s anything positive about that, from him passing away is that, you know, you’d (otherwise) have some guys over here, some guys over there, some guys over here — (but) everybody was there. You had people from the “Big Four” [METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX] gathered together that day. And it was a really cool experience because everyone was there to celebrate Jeff‘s life. Some of his closest friends, guys that he influenced the most and then of course 2,000 of his biggest fans that were in the crowd. It actually ended up being kind of a big, giant wake, and it was actually a positive experience in the middle of a horrible situation.
Read the entire interview at San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.