Fozzy have just released their highly impressive seventh studio album Judas. The title track “Judas” has already became hugely popular with fans new and old alike. The album itself is a solid mix of hard hitting rock anthems filled with enough swagger to make it one of the rock albums of the year and Fozzy’s best album yet. We were lucky enough to chat with Fozzy vocalist and WWE wrestler Chris Jericho to talk about the album, find out when they plan to return to Australia and he shares a favourite Halloween memory with us.

SCENEzine
Firstly congrats on the song “Judas” it’s been going crazy on Youtube. You must be blown away by the response?  
 
Chris Jericho
Yeah man we’ve had successful songs in the past but never really like this. So it’s cool to see how people have responded to the song and the video. It just continues to grow. The amount of tickets we are selling now to shows it’s bigger than every before. We are looking at a seventeen year overnight sensation at this point.
 
SCENEzine
Was the video a fun experience to make or did it take a long time?  
 
Chris Jericho 
I didn’t take long at all just one take man it took us eight minutes to do. It was one take and slowed down recorded at half speed. So a four minute song recorded over eight minutes. It was the cheapest video we’ve ever done, the quickest video we’ve ever done and by far the most successful we’ve ever done so it’s really a really cool time for us.

SCENEzine
Our favourite track from the album is “Running with the Bulls” is their much of a story behind that song?

Chris Jericho
Actually that song wasn’t even going to make it at one point. Our producer Johnny Andrews we gave him the power to say what stays and goes, he wasn’t a fan of that song. He didn’t like the lyrics so I re-wrote the lyrics and next thing you know it’s one of our favourite songs on the record I love it I think it’s a great tune. I loved it from the moment I heard it. You just never know man you hear certain songs in demo form and sometimes you get sick of them because it’s not giving you the vibe that you want. Sometimes songs happen very easily. You just know that when you have something special you have to spend a little more time on it and make sure you give it every chance that it has to really work. “Running with the Bulls” is a perfect example of that.

SCENEzine
Were you involved much in choosing the cover art for the album?

Chris Jericho
Oh yeah for sure all that stuff is kind of my department. We were getting some different ideas that weren’t all that great they looked like bad grim reaper covers. Like bad eighties metal covers. Judas is about betrayal so the picture with the butcher knife behind her back was perfect.

SCENEzine
You teamed up with Pledge Music to release the album. Do you think it’s important to provide fans with physical options like vinyl in this day and age of music streaming?

Chris Jericho
Yeah it’s still important especially for rock n roll fans they like to have the physical product in their hands. I still do also I like having the physical copy especially when it comes on vinyl. You feel like you really have an accomplishment like when the record comes you unwrap the plastic like you used to when you were a kid and smell that vinyl. It’s been very cool the last three Fozzy records have come out on vinyl and they all stand in my collection. Sonically it’s so much better, souvenir wise it’s so much better. It’s much more of a piece of art when you have the big cover compared to a thumb nail stamp on a iphone somewhere.

SCENEzine
With your lyric writing process do you need to hear the music first?

Chris Jericho
No not me I’m the opposite I write based on song titles. Another different thing with this record is that Johnny was the producer the Bob Rock, the George Martin. I wrote fourteen pieces of lyrics and he used three of them. Being the main lyric writer at first I was like that’s kind of shitty but then I realised it doesn’t matter who writes the lyrics. I’m the singer I can sell it I can sell the lyrics and sell people on what I’m singing. I’m the one who’s bringing those songs to the masses so to speak. So who actually writes the words really doesn’t make a difference it’s all about the song itself. For this album one that I did do that’s a standout for me is “Wordsworth Way”. That’s based on a street that I grew up on when I was a kid. It’s also about my childhood and the passing of my mother. I’m very proud of that one for sure.

SCENEzine
With all of the things you have going on was it a hard process to get the album finished?

Chris Jericho
No the thing is for me I’m the singer right so I go in there and it usually takes me one day per song. So I was done in fourteen days. It was pretty quick and very cool to be able to get it done that fast and then I’m finished. I’m not producing it or mixing it or playing the guitars on it. So it really wasn’t that hard a very quick process for me. It’s just the waiting as the great Tom Petty says the waiting is the hardest part. I finished in March it took eight months for the record to be done after that. Once I heard it I realised how amazing it is and how much it stands out from anything else we’ve ever done.

SCENEzine
Is it crazy to think people may discover Fozzy without even realising your a WWE Wrestler also?

Chris Jericho
People seemed to be a lot more concerned with that in the past. At this point in time I think most people are seeing it much in the same way like with Pretty Reckless or Thirty Seconds to Mars. It’s just either good music or bad music and that’s really all that matters. At this point in time who cares what the singer does outside of the job. It’s all about the song itself.

SCENEzine
It seems like yourself and Rich Ward have a great working relationship. Do you remember how you initially met him?

Chris Jericho
We met backstage at a Wrestling show in San Antonio I think it was. He was there doing some music for one of the guys. We just struck it off right away and realised we had a lot in common musically and personally and became friends basically right of the bat. That’s how it all started.

SCENEzine
How does walking out on stage at Download Festival compare to walking to the ring at Wrestlemania? Are they two completely different feelings for you?

Chris Jericho
Not really man the live show is the live show. It’s great to have that energy from the crowd whether it’s a big crowd or small crowd both in wrestling and in Fozzy it’s always a rush. That’s when you really get a chance to do your show and be who you want to be. Whether it’s ten or ten thousand and Download was one hundred thousand, we always put on the same show. We have a lot of energy and take great pride in the fact that we are the show. We make sure that people have a great time at all times whenever we play. Getting that buzz from the audience is a pretty cool feeling for sure.

SCENEzine
I’ve read that you’re hoping to bring Fozzy to Australia in 2018. Do you have a favourite Australian tour memory from a previous visit?

Chris Jericho
Well in 2013 we got the opportunity to tour with Metallica on the Soundwave tour. Then we came back with Steel Panther about six months later. Touring with Metallica we got to see how professional they are not only as a band but a well oiled machine, as a unit, as a business. We had a great time on Soundwave it was like summer camp we would be on the same planes as guys like Anthrax and Duff McKagan. We made a lot of friends and by the end it was kind of sad to leave each other because you’ve made so many friends and got to hang out. We’ve known the guys from Bullet for My Valentine for years and we hung out every night. We got drunk watching Metallica side of stage then Moose would try and steal a golf cart that goes one mile an hour in the back stage area thinking he’s going to outrun the security guards who are basically walking beside him because he’s going so slow. Stuff like that is part of the rock n roll experience. We had a really good time with a lot of those bands it’s too band Soundwave doesn’t still exist because it was a real fun experience not just the shows itself but the good times you have afterwards.

SCENEzine
In the years since you had been back to Australia wrestling. Was there a part of you that was like man I wish I could play a Fozzy show while I’m here?

Chris Jericho
Oh yeah for sure. We’ve been waiting to come back to Australia since then. For whatever reason the Do You Want To Start A War album tour didn’t work out down there but we will be back in Australia this time. Judging from the amount of focus and buzz about the band and the fact that here it is 12:15 at night where I’m at and I’m still doing interviews because I understand that a lot of people in Australia want to talk to me and talk about Fozzy and I never take that for granted. I know we will be back in Australia sooner than later definitely in 2018 that’s my goal. It’s the whole bands goal we all know it, everyone’s on the same page. It’s just a matter of making it happen and we will be working our asses off to do that.

SCENEzine
Our absolute favourite Fozzy song is “Enemy” do you still get a kick out of playing that one live?

Chris Jericho
Yeah man it’s funny because the longer a song is around the more you take it for granted. People love that song they love “Enemy” it’s our responsibility to play it. It’s got a great elongated guitar solo in the middle that gives Rich the spotlight. It’s one of the highlights of the show for me it has a really cool groove and we have a lot of fun with it. People always sing and love it and it’s basically our first hit. There wasn’t a lot of radio push at the time but that was an organic hit. People know it, sing it and love it so we will play it every show for sure.

SCENEzine
Lastly since it’s about to be Halloween could share with us one of your favourite Halloween memories?
 
Chris Jericho   
Well probably it would be a couple of years ago we got to play the KISS cruise on Halloween night. I went on stage dressed as Paul Stanley’s Bandit makeup which you’ve got to be a real obscure KISS fan to know that. Before Paul was the Star Child he was the Bandit. I liked the idea that it was the only place in the world where dressing up as the Bandit people would get it and think it’s cool. Looking into the crowd as I was dressed as the Bandit I saw a guy dressed as a toilet. Seeing a guy dressed as a toilet slam dancing in the pit on Halloween night on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean somewhere (laugh).
 
 
Check out Judas by Fozzy here –  https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/judas/id1278081275
 
(Interview by Christian Ross)
 
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