Editor’s Note: This has been a surreal feeling for little ol’ Madness To Creation. It’s one of those things where I never thought I would get to talk to an idol of mine in the entertainment industry, yet here I am, as we have an interview with Chris Jericho of Fozzy. Chris Jericho simply needs no introduction. This man is simply a professor of entertainment. If you need to know how to grow your band or simply grow in the entertainment field, get yourself a notepad and a writing utensil and sit under his learning tree and just become a sponge. Along with becoming the first ever AEW World Heavyweight Champion defeating Hangman Page at All Out, Fozzy, led by Chris Jericho, released their single entitled “Nowhere To Run” this past weekend, and the response has been massive already. In this interview, you need to take some notes and learn how to make it and become successful in the entertainment industry. Fans can find Fozzy at the following locations:
Matty: How are you doing today Chris?
Chris: I’m good man.
Matty: To prepare for this interview, I was listening to your “Nowhere To Run” single and rocking out to some Stryper and Demon Hunter. What was the most rewarding experience about writing “Nowhere To Run”?
Chris: I think the most rewarding experience about it was knowing that there was such anticipation for the song, not just from our fans, but from radio and from the Sony Record Company, and they had really gotten behind us, which is really cool because it was the first time that we had to go to the major label machine, where they’re like, “where is the next single, we’re ready to go now”. The times have changed where you don’t have to do the full album, you just work on getting something released just to get something out there due to the momentum that the “Judas” record gave us, it’s pretty cool to know that you have the right team behind you, which is just going to continue to take us to the next level, where we went from the last record to this one, and that is to just continue forward momentum between each record.
Matty: You’re opening for big bands such as Nickelback and Iron Maiden, what’s that like trying to win over the audience from your perspective?
Chris: Well, we haven’t opened for Iron Maiden yet, need to build that time machine *laughs*, but we did open for Nickelback this past weekend, it’s really cool whether it’s Nickelback or Iron Maiden, or even with Slash, the vibe is just there, both of those bands just perform and have a great time, which is kind of what Fozzy is all about, so even if they don’t really know who we are, or maybe if they’ve heard of us but haven’t heard us, if you know what you’re doing, it’s very easy to crack those crowds and make sure that they’re having a good time as well. With Iron Maiden, I wouldn’t say intimidating, but they’re notorious for having fans that are very much “Iron Maiden For Life”, and I know this because I’m one of them, so it’s our responsibility to take control of that audience and make sure that people are engaged with us, and to make sure that we do our job, which is to warm up the crowd, to make sure that there’s a great night of rock and roll all across the board. We like that, and it’s something that we’re very good at.
Matty: You’re opening up for your dream band on September 15th, do you ever go through moments where you get butterflies in your stomach, or do you go through with the confidence and charisma that you’re well known to have?
Chris: No, it’s just like when we were on the KISS Kruise, if you go on there timid and just go, “aw shucks, I’m just happy to be there”, you’re going to get eaten alive, our job is to just go up there and take control. If you have the attitude of crushing Iron Maiden, or KISS or crushing Nickelback, then you probably shouldn’t be there, obviously, you’re not doing that in a malicious way, but if you have the attitude of conquering and destroying, I think that’s why we’ve been given those opportunities to begin with. We’re not scared, we’re not timid, we’re very confident in who we are, but we have the utmost respect for the bands that we are opening for. We’re there to make a mark, we’re there to make them remember us, and you get one chance to do that on one tour, and we want people to leave thinking, “Iron Maiden was amazing and exactly who I thought they would be, but that band Fozzy did a pretty good job too, so next time they come to town, we’ll check them out”, so it’s kind of the goal of what you want at all times every time you play a show.
Matty: With the amazing success of the “Judas” album through the title track and “Painless”, what has that done for the success of Fozzy, what have you noticed?
Chris: Well, like I said, we’ve always worked hard, now we have music that people can sing along with, now we have the reputation of being a great live band. We want to make sure that people have a good time, that’s the ambition that we have, we’re Van Halen in 1979, we are a Fozzy show, we want people to scream, yell, and chant Fozzy, drink beer, jump up and down, groove with the girls and the guys, we don’t care *laughs*, we just want people to have a good time and it’s one of the reasons why we have gone as far as we have, now people know what to expect from us, throw in a couple of hit songs, and now you have the whole rock world now and everything that we do now is under the microscope, so we have to make the right decisions and make the right call on everything, and every song that we release has to be better than the last. We kind of found that formula, which is really cool for us because we’ve been doing this for awhile now, but over the last few years, we have really struck gold, if you have the right team, the right producer, the right record company, all the way down to the recruiting, when you’re firing on all cylinders, that’s when you finally have the momentum and the confidence that you need to go out there to take command of the stage no matter where you are, and when we are out there, it’s our stage, I don’t care if it’s for a festival, if we’re at the top, second from the top, or if we’re opening up the night, you gotta be very confident and make sure that people are there to have a great time, and know that it’s a party whenever Fozzy is on the bill. We take great pride into making sure that people will always have a great time at our shows.
Matty: Tell us about your very first Fozzy show, what memories do you have from that show?
Chris: Yeah, it’s weird because we’ve been playing for a very long time. The very first Fozzy show was just a lot of covers, just like what any band does, you get some friends together and you just start playing some music, we had some name value because Richard and Frank were from Stuck Mojo, and I was in WCW wrestling at the time, I remember we had a great time just playing songs that weren’t ours, we just kind of started the band off that way, and then we realized that we have a great group of friends here, with great chemistry as musicians, we think we can go a lot farther by playing our own thing by playing our own songs just like any other band. The Rolling Stones and Metallica started by playing other people’s songs. I’ve been playing in a band since I was 16 years old, so I didn’t really feel nervous or anything like that, it was just a different version of that, so I remember it was at a venue called The Hanger in Marietta, Georgia, it was the summer of 1999 I think, August of 1999, it was 20 years since.
Matty: Is this what you envisioned Fozzy to be right now?
Chris: It was something that I always had in my mind. I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to be a wrestler, it was what I wanted to do when I was in my teens, I was 13 or 14 years old, so I can’t say that I didn’t expect this, obviously we had to put a lot of work into it, and we had a lot of fortunate experiences, but it worked out the way it should’ve because no matter who’s in the band or who’s outside of the band, we’re a great, great group and I think that’s something the rest of the world is finally catching up to, it’s been a great couple of years for us, it’s taken some growing some getting into. I’m not surprised, but I’m excited and happy that it’s finally happening.
Matty: What makes Chris Jericho tick, what makes his gears grind, what gets Chris in that mode?
Chris: Anytime I get to be on that stage to play some rock and roll and people are enjoying it, that’s what it’s about for me. To me, it doesn’t matter if we’ve had five shows in a row, or whether people have seen you 15 times or whether it’s the first time, it’s an exciting night for them. Maybe they’ve gotten a babysitter or got someone to work for them, whatever it is everyone has a story on how they get to a show, and we take great pride in the fact that people are there to see us, we always give the best possible show that we can, we leave everything that we have on that stage, and we make sure that people have a great time because that’s our responsibility. We are just as excited to be there as they are to see us.
Matty: Where do you see Fozzy next year?
Chris: We will have the “Nowhere To Run” single and I think we’ll have the Fozzy record in February or March of next year, we’ll have the new record out and I would like to continue the momentum that we have and playing with these bands like Iron Maiden and Nickelback, and we have the fortunate position of being self-sufficient and we want to support bands that aren’t in that position, it’s kind of where the Fozzy animal lives and breathes the best. We love playing smaller shows and we love playing clubs, but it’s just something about those arenas that our music is built for, and our show is built for. Me as a frontman, I enjoy the bigger crowds, I think we’re at the point to where it’s the next logical step for us. I can’t see it not happening, especially with all the crazy stuff that is going on right now, so it’s going to be very great year for us for sure.
Matty: What else do you have to add because I know that it’s a big media day for you?
Chris: I think we have everything, we just hope that your readers like our band, if not then that’s cool too, we’ve always had to work a little bit harder, just for the aspect that I’m in the band, now all of that is kind of washed away, and it’s who we are a very energetic very entertaining fun band with some goofy dudes that you can get along with, that’s kind of the definition of what rock and roll is.
Matty: This was an absolute honor and a humbling privilege, thank you much Chris!
Chris: Thank you to you as well, cheers buddy!
And there you have it! Fozzy will be on tour! Check out the tour dates below: