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Interview – Chris Jericho, FOZZY – January 2013

| 6 February 2013 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Fozzy Chris Jericho 01

Originally published in XPRESS MAGAZINE:

FOZZY  Rockin’ Wrestler

Fozzy lead singer Chris Jericho has a new album under his arm and is bringing his band Down Under to join the mighty Soundwave Festival lineup, hitting Perth’s Claremont Showgrounds on Monday 4th March.  SHANE PINNEGAR reports.

As familiar to wrestling fans the world over as metalheads, Jericho became world champion in no less than four different US professional wrestling codes before recording the first of six Fozzy albums to date in 2000.  However, he is adamant that metal singer was never a second choice for him.

“I didn’t just wake up one day and say, hey I’m gonna be a singer in a metal band,” Jericho insists, “it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, no matter what else has happened.  I’ve always been a rocker, and I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12 years old. I just happened to have a few dreams when I was a kid; one was to be a wrestler, the other was to be a rocker.  I’ve never considered myself more of one than the other, its just that one was kind of taking precedent over the other. “

With their Soundwave Festival slot coming up fast, Jericho is looking forward to bringing their new album Down Under.

“We were in Australia two years ago, and we’ve been once before that, so this will be our third tour of Australia; which is always a blast”, he explains. “We have a great fan base there, and great shows there, but honestly this is gonna be above and beyond anything we’ve ever done size wise in terms of shows, so it will be really cool to see some old friends for sure.”

With their latest album Sin & Bones their highest selling yet, Jericho shares their unusual approach to songwriting, penning lyrics first then putting music to them.

“That’s how we did the last two records, yes.  Unusual, perhaps, but it works for us.  I come up with a bunch of central lyrics, I turn them over to Rich [Ward, also of Stuck Mojo] and he kind of constructs the melody lines, and the riffs from that. So we did the same thing again for Sin & Bones – not all the songs are written that way, but yeah six or seven of them were, and a couple were written whilst we were together, and then he had a couple of ideas of his own that he wrote his own lyrics to. So, we kind of went a little bit backwards, did things lyrics first.”

Remaining humble despite his dazzling wrestling career, six acclaimed albums with Fozzy, TV and movie roles, books, magazine columns, radio show and a happy family, Jericho laughs loudly when asked if there was anything he can’t do.

“Uh… I can’t have a baby!  That’s the one thing that is impossible. I just enjoy doing work where there aren’t any limits as far as who I am as a performer, or what it is that I do. I guess if there’s something that I want to do, then I just give it my best shot and do it. I’ve never really been afraid to try things; at one point I was really very worried about what other people thought about what I’m doing, or what I’m not doing.  And I’m enjoying everything that I’m doing. It’s really cool to know I have a great fan base, and a career that’s as good as it has been!”

4th Annual Revolver Golden God Awards - Nominees Announcement

Here’s the full interview transcript:

100% ROCK: Hi Chris.

How’s it going, man?

100% ROCK: Yeah really good! Thanks for your time today, man.

Not a problem.

100% ROCK: Congratulations on the latest album, Sin & Bones – how’s it been received so far?

It’s been just amazing! It’s the highest selling record of our career, the fastest selling record of our career. So all across the board it’s been rave reviews, everything we could ask for, it’s really cool when you put a lot of time and effort into something! We all felt, it was our best record ever, but you never really know how people are going to feel about it until it comes out. When it came out, that was the reaction that we got, that it was really cool…

100% ROCK: Excellent, that’s great. I read one interview with Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward, and he implied that you’d written a lot of the lyrics before he’d written the music. Is that the way you’d normally go about things?

That’s how we did the last two records, yes, unusual, perhaps, but it works for us, I mean, I come up with a bunch of central lyrics, I turn them over to Rich and he kind of constructs the melody lines, and the riffs from that. So we did the same thing again for Sin & Bones – not all the songs are written that way, but yeah six or seven of them were, and a couple were written whilst we were together, and then he had a couple of ideas of his own that he wrote his own lyrics to. So, we kind of went a little bit backwards, did things lyrics first.

Fozzy 01

100% ROCK: Cool, now, of the lyrics on the latest album; do you have a personal favourite?

That’s a good question! I loved the lyrics from Spider in my Mouth, because they really tell a story, which is cool Imagery, and I really love the title for it, it’s probably my favourite title of a record. I also really dig the lyrics for Shine Forever, ‘Love can be your enemy/ or an angel from above/ a blackened beast that you can’t see/ or a soaring snow white dove’. I really love that line! And then of course, Storm the Beaches is a really cool, historical piece, that’s written about World War Two and D Day. I got a heap lyrics and information from this letter that I found online, of a soldier who survived the attack and wrote to his mother, way back in 1941 or whenever it was. I took the letter and started constructing lyrics from that. It was a cool letter to read to help to get a storyline. And then Rich did a great job of putting music to it as well, so that’s one of my favourites.

100% ROCK: Yeah I love Storm the Beaches, as you said, its a really epic track. So it is nice to see what the background is, that it actually came from that letter, that’s pretty cool.

Yeah it came from the letter, but also reading online, I guess researching a lot into the letters.  So it was really, really cool to be associated with that.

100% ROCK: Now, you’ve just finished a run of dates in the States, you did the UK and Europe through December, and then you’ve got Soundwave Festival Down Under in February and March, it seems like you’re on a bit of a whirlwind ride at the moment?

Yeah, well, when you put out a record, you want to tour as soon as possible. We did an amazing tour in the States here with Uproar, which is like a travelling festival. We [went] straight to Europe and the UK to do a three week run with Soil, and then [we have] Soundwave Festival, which is just amazing. We were in Australia two years ago, and we’ve been once before, and this will be our third tour of Australia; which is always a blast. We have a great fan base there, and great shows there, but honestly this is gonna be above and beyond anything we’ve ever done size wise in terms of shows, so it will be really cool to see some old friends for sure.

Fozzy - Sin and Bones CD

100% ROCK: Absolutely, well, we’re looking forward to the festival, you can bet your life on that! It looked like you got Christmas off, do your family celebrate a big Christmas?

Of course, of course, you don’t want to be doing too much work around Christmas, especially with young children too. So it’s the best time of year to be in a band, it’s cool.

100% ROCK: So to go back to the early days of Fozzy, at the very start when Fozzy Osbourne was the band name and everything, how did you make the progression from covers to originals? Or as one article I read wrote; from a joke band, to becoming a serious one?

I guess its kind of the same vibe as Pantera had. There were two separate versions of the band with the same name… There was Pantera at the start, [playing] more Van Halen style, wearing make-up, big hair, that sort of thing.  [Then they] just kind of changed their style, became the better players that we all know and love. Same thing happened with Fozzy: we started as a covers band, and it was fun while it lasted, then we kind of realised that we really wanted to continue playing together, and we wanted to continue to exist, and the only way to do that really is to write our own songs and continue as professionals. That was such a long time ago, ten years ago, believe it or not.

100% ROCK: So most people have accepted that Fozzy are a serious heavy metal band now?

I think that the majority of people that have listened to the band, and like the band; never thought that we were anything but! [It was] 2003 when we stopped doing the cover songs and stuff, and started doing our own thing. That was almost a decade ago, so people that still can’t tell the difference need to get over it already! [Laughter]

Fozzy live in Australia Dec 2010

100% ROCK: With everyone in different bands, and with your other commitments, for one thing; presumably you’ve all got different management and so forth. How do you actually manage to schedule recording and touring dates?

Well, we all have the same management, and over the last three years the focus for all of us has been Fozzy, and all of our schedules revolve around Fozzy at this point. It was a little bit harder in the early days, when we’d just started up, but we kind of stayed the course throughout it back then. But once we started to record as a band, we kind of had a whole united way to really approach things… and it’s been full-force Fozzy ever since.

100% ROCK: So you consider yourself a rocker now primarily, rather than in the past a wrestler, or whatever?

I’ve always been a rocker, and I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12 years old. I just happened to have a few dreams when I was a kid; one was to be a wrestler, the other was to be a rocker. But nothing that I ever did is not legit, and I think that’s the reason why the band has grown to the place it’s grown. Because people know this is real, you know – I can hold my own with anybody when it comes to music trivia, or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve always enjoyed the things that I do, and I’ve never considered myself more of one than the other, its just that one was kind of taking precedent over the other. But I didn’t just wake up one day and say, hey I’m gonna be a good singer in a metal band, it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, no matter what else has happened.

100% ROCK: I guess it must get hard when you’re on a tour bus with four other guys, away from your kids and your wife and everything for a couple of months at a time?

Its just one of those things, I’ve always done this, I’ve always toured and been on the road. The longest tours have been a few weeks at a time in the States, so you can go back and forth [to home] when you have a couple of days off, or whatever. Walking in that door, it’s a good feeling, and that’s the way you want it.

100% ROCK: To briefly recap, like a ‘this is your life moment’; you had an incredible wrestling career, you’ve released six albums with Fozzy, you’ve toured around the world multiple times, you’ve acted in TV and Movies, written books and magazine columns, had a radio show, you’ve got a beautiful happy family, you’ve been on dancing with the stars and other reality TV shows, worked with underprivileged kids. Is there anything you can’t do!?

Uh.. I can’t have a baby…

[Laughter]

…That’s the one thing that is impossible. I just enjoyed doing work where there aren’t any limits, you know, as far as who I am as a performer, or what it is that I do. I guess that I don’t want to have any limits, you know, if there’s something that I want to do, then I just give it my best shot and do it. I’ve never really been afraid to try things, at one point I was really very worried about what other people thought about what I’m doing, or what I’m not doing.  And I’m enjoying everything that I’m doing. It’s really cool to know I have a great fan base, and a career that’s as good as it has been!

Fozzy Chris Jericho 03

100% ROCK: Well you’re making the rest of us look really bad dude, so I really hope you suck at something!  [Both laugh]

Well I’m sure that there are plenty of things that I’d suck at, for sure!  [laughs]

100% ROCK: If you could magically go back in time and be part of the recording of any one album, what would you chose?

I’d probably be an engineer on The White Album, or something along those lines. I mean The Beatles are my favourite band of all time. So it would be cool to be a fly on the wall, watch them make that one.

100% ROCK: And finally mate, what for you, is the meaning of life?

Just enjoying what you do, and being happy with where you are and who you are! I think that’s the secret, just to be happy and to live the best life possible.

100% ROCK: Great stuff mate, you’re a champ! Thank you very much! We’re really looking forward to seeing you guys down under in February/March.

Thanks man, I can’t wait, I’m looking forwards to it.

100% ROCK: Awesome, catch you then!

soundwave2013

Fozzy plays Soundwave Festival in 2013:

Feb 23rd 2013    Soundwave Brisbane
Feb 24th 2013    Soundwave Sydney
Feb 28th 2013    The Hi Fi Bar, Melbourne with Anthrax & This Is Hell
Mar 1st 2013     Soundwave Melbourne
Mar 2nd 2013     Soundwave Adelaide
Mar 4th 2013     Soundwave Perth

https://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock
http://www.fozzyrock.com
http://www.myspace.com/fozzytour
http://www.chrisjericho.com
http://www.thedukeofmetal.com

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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