CHRIS JERICHO Says FOZZY 'Had To Work Twice As Hard To Get People's Respect'
Last month, FOZZY vocalist Chris Jericho spoke with Zoran Theodorovic of Capital Chaos. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On opening for IRON MAIDEN at the group's September 14 concert in Los Angeles: Chris: "That's pretty huge for us. It's something that kind of came out of nowhere, almost. We're super, super-excited about it and super-honored to do it. It's going to be one of the biggest shows we've ever done. We put the whole tour together based around that show. When you go open for IRON MAIDEN, you'd better be at the top of your game, which is why we're doing a couple weeks beforehand to get primed up and tightened up and ready to go. I'm really excited about it. Obviously, [they're] one of my favorite bands, and to get the opportunity to even be asked by them I feel is a huge deal, and we're treating it accordingly." On overcoming the double-edged sword of his wrestling fame: Chris: "I think because of who I am and my name, we've had to work twice as hard to get people's respect in a lot of ways, but once we did, we've got the respect for life. I think that every band has to kind of make their own way, and we had to do that too. There was never any easy rides for us because Chris Jericho's in the band or [guitarist] Rich Ward's in the band, whatever you might think. You've got to work hard, and you've got to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities when they come. For us, with the 'Judas' album and the 'Judas' song, it just became such a huge hit right off the bat. It seemed that we had the doors [get] kicked open for the proverbial hit single that we had never had before. Once that happened, suddenly it's a whole new world. It's been really cool for us — a lot of momentum, a lot of buzz that's allowed us to get the show with IRON MAIDEN and get the shows with NICKELBACK that we just played. I'm really excited about it, and I think it's kind of a whole new era of FOZZY because we took advantage of the opportunities when we had them. We always were very well-rehearsed; we always were very tight as a band; and when those opportunities came, we were ready to go. I think we took a lot of people by surprise because we were prepared when we got the opportunity to go to the next level." On FOZZY's new single, "Nowhere To Run": Chris: "It's been a great response right away. I think it's one of those tunes that's very catchy. There's a lot of hooks to it. We're excited about it. Sony Music, our new record label, wanted us to do another song to keep the momentum rolling, and that's what we did, and so far, so good. I think we've got another hit on our hands." On the group's forthcoming album: Chris: "We did such good stuff with the last record, and you want to keep it and make it as good as it possibly can be, and make it even better. Anything we're going to do at this point has to be bigger and better than 'Judas', so there's not really pressure, but there's expectations, and there is kind of a level of quality that we put upon ourselves that we will expect nothing less and accept nothing less. That's why I think it's great that we're able to put out 'Nowhere To Run' now, which kind of keeps the momentum rolling but allows us the time to write the record that we need to write, but also not take too long in doing so." On what to expect from the record: Chris: "You never want to do 'Judas II'. We'll obviously just continue the vibe and continue the momentum that we have. We've been writing some very hooky songs... I think one thing that we've really figured out is that we know how to write a song that appeals to radio, and as a result of that, I think we really understand who we are as a band and how to get those songs on the radio, which is a very important element to building a band in this day and age." On the band's evolution: Chris: "When we first started out, there's a lot of people that were a little bit confused as to what was going on, but I think at this point, people know who we are or know what the concept of the band is, and know that when Jericho's singing with FOZZY, it's not a wrestling thing, and when Jericho's wrestling, it's not necessarily a FOZZY thing, and when Jericho's doing a podcast, it's not an author thing. I think you can wear different hats and have different points on your brand. I think fans of Chris Jericho or wrestling fans or FOZZY fans, they all come to the show and have a great time because it's about the energy and the attitude and the vibe and having a good time." FOZZY's new single, "Nowhere To Run", was released on August 29. It will appear on the group's new album, which is expected to be released next spring.