Chris Jericho – Fozzy

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Interview with Chris Jericho – Fozzy

 

Fozzy brings together the theatrics of WWE superstar Chris Jericho, the creativity of Stuck Mojo’s Rich Ward and the talent of Frank Fontsere, Billy Grey and Sean Delson to deliver some awesome albums and lively shows. Touring their new album, Chasing the Grail, Fozzy return to Australia for the first time in 2005 including a Sydney show that will feature Guns N’ Roses’ guitarist Bumblefoot. BBM’s BEN HARLUM caught up with Chris Jericho to discuss the shows and the big Bumblefoot news.

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The big news this week is that Bumblefoot from Guns N’ Roses will be taking the stage with Fozzy in Sydney, how did that come about?

It’s one of those things when you’re a touring musician where it’s hard to see each other. Bumble and I have been friends for a while and he hung out at one of our shows in New York City when he had time away from touring earlier in the year. So low and behold eight months later, here we are coming to Sydney for the first time in five years and Guns N’ Roses are going to be there the next night. I didn’t even realise until a couple of weeks ago, so I emailed him and he agreed to come and jam with us. We’re gonna go see Guns N’ Roses on Saturday, Bumblefoot is checking us out on Friday so it’s going to be a Fozzy vs. Guns N’ Roses weekend in Sydney!

What are you planning to play with him, or have you not planned that yet?

Yeah, we’ve planned it out but we don’t want to ruin the surprise. Whenever you get old friends together, you find some cool songs that you don’t normally play so we’ll be meeting somewhere in the middle there. We’re excited, Bumble’s a good friend and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

I’m excited to see it! Now you’ve left the WWE, is it nice to have some to concentrate on Fozzy and commit to those overseas tours you might not have been able to visit while on the road with the WWE?

Absolutely, but it’s not like I’ve ever had to take a hiatus from wrestling in order to tour. I’ve been juggling WWE and Fozzy for over ten years now, but they’re kind of intertwined because we received so many opportunities for Fozzy through the WWE, especially after Chasing the Grail came out. The more time I have to spend with the band, the better it is for us but it’s not like I had to leave the WWE to concentrate on Fozzy. We just finished a 3-week European tour and we’re really excited to revisit Australia, one of our best territories so it’s been a priority for us to show off what we’ve been doing over the past five years.

How has the live set evolved since 2005, with all your new material?

Like you said, it’s just more of the new songs. We’re doing almost half the new record live so the songs are translating really well in a live setting, they’re really energetic and the band is tighter than ever so it’s a rejuvenation of Fozzy. One thing I’m really thankful for is that after eleven years, we’re still growing. There’s not many bands who are still getting bigger after eleven years, so it’s a position we’re really happy to be in. From a live standpoint we’re really at the top of our game right now, especially after this UK tour.

It must also be in a good position to be in, after Chasing the Grail was so well received?

We did take almost five years to put the album together, we could’ve done it faster but after All That Remains we knew that we could take it to the next level with Grail. So we spent a lot of time writing the album, recording it and once it was done we made sure it was promoted properly, we really wanted to make sure we could hit a home run in all aspects. It’s good to know the fans stuck around during that time, and when the album came out the response was off-the-hook. It was a long time coming but we’re not going to take another five years for the next record, we’ve already started preliminary work on it.

In 2005 you played the Download Festival, do you enjoy playing festivals?

Yeah, we’re a big stage band and really come alive in that setting. One of the cool things that happened in this last European tour was that we picked up a really prominent booking agency so hopefully we’ll be hitting those festivals over the summer. We love the festivals because you get 45 minutes to be the best you can be and turn some heads, and for us that’s the stage where we can take the band to the next level.

I know you really blew the crowd away at Download, they were all chanting ‘Fozzy’ after the gig…

The cool thing about it was that we hadn’t done anything like it before – we had done a festival in Germany but Download’s a different animal. There was a band called Flogging Molly on before us and they tore the house down, so I was really nervous trying to follow them. But the moment they finished their set there was a huge ‘Fozzy’ chant so I knew we were going to be okay. We really made our reputation that day, we got some great reviews and I think Kerrang magazine, who normally hates everything we do, said we were the surprise best band of the day.

The shows in Australia will be filled with fans who have already embraced Fozzy and are on our side, but when you’re at a festival there’s a lot of people who don’t know your band and there’s so many other options on each stage so you need to bring your A-game.

I have to ask, what’s your favourite song to play live – is there just one?

We’ve really streamlined the set to play the best of the best in terms of what gets the best fan reactions. From the new songs I think Martyr No More gets a great reaction, and we do a singalong with God Pounds His Nails that usually tears the house down. Obviously Enemy is the one that everyone’s waiting for but they’re the ones I really enjoy doing. They’re all a lot of fun, man, it just depends on the night and the crowd.

Fozzy Tour Dates:
Melbourne: Dec
ember 2nd, Hi-Fi
Sydney: December 3rd, The Factory
Brisbane: December 4th, Hi-Fi

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