Chris Jericho says: “I always compare FOZZY to PANTERA…We were the original STEEL PANTHER”
Blabbermouth — In a brand new interview with The Weeklings, FOZZY singer Chris Jericho spoke about the band’s evolution from a covers act to playing some of the biggest music festivals on the planet.
“I always compare FOZZY to PANTERA,” Jericho said. “What I mean by that is that if you look at PANTERA, their original incarnation was different from what they became. They were doing ‘Metal Magic’ and ‘Power Metal’ and they were wearing makeup, they had a different singer and were doing more of a JUDAS PRIEST or VAN HALEN-type generic thing. Suddenly they get a new singer, they change their look, they change their vibe and they become the legendary PANTERA. It’s kind of the same with FOZZY. Not like we’re legendary like PANTERA is, but we started out doing covers. We were the original STEEL PANTHER. About two years into that, we decided we wanted to do more — we wanted to do something different. That was in 2002, so it’s been twelve years and it took a long time to change people’s perceptions of our band. Plus there’s the fact that Jericho, the singer, is a wrestler, so people were like, ‘Well, we don’t know if we want to take this seriously.’ So when we did the ‘Chasing The Grail’ record back in 2010, Rich [Ward, guitar] and I said, ‘Look, we can take this to the next level. Let’s see how far we can go.’ Because we know that as songwriters, we have something different to offer. ‘Grail’ comes out and does great. ‘Sin And Bones’ comes out and does even better. Then ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’ comes out and kills it. Plus we’ve toured with some of the biggest bands in the world, from SHINEDOWN to GODSMACK to METALLICA to AVENGED SEVENFOLD. You can see that this band is going places. It’s not Chris Jericho‘s band and it’s never been that. It’s five guys — five rock stars — playing killer music. We’ve worked for this, we deserve this and it’s cool to see it happen.”
“I love playing music with these guys. I love being in a band with Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere (drums), Billy Grey (guitar) and Jeff Rouse (bass).
“Once we started putting our full focus into the band and started giving a thousand percent, it started moving in leaps and bounds.
“I say this with zero ego: we’re dangerous. We’re a dangerous band because you can put us in front of anybody.”
He continued: “My experience in show business all came from rock and roll. When I first started wrestling, I wanted to be the ultimate rock and roll frontman of wrestling. I wanted to be the Paul Stanley of wrestling. I took those qualities into wrestling and then I brought those qualities back into music. I know how to work a crowd. Rich knows how to work a crowd. We how to write songs that people will groove to. We know how to write the kind of songs that you hear in strip clubs. Chicks like our tunes. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we’ll whip your fucking ass.
“We like the fact that people have low expectations for our band; we’re hiding in the weeds and when we get our chance, we’ll come out and bite you and you’ll never forget us.”
Jericho added: “Give us the same chance for the next five years that we had for the last five years and I fully expect us to be headlining arenas. And that’s my goal. If I didn’t have that goal or if anybody in our band didn’t have that goal, then quit. Go and get a job working at Sonic.
“Over the next five years, for people who love us, it’s going to be the greatest five years ever and for people who hate us, it’s going to be miserable. We’re not stopping.
“If you like us, great, and if not, step aside and let the people who like us have your seat.”
FOZZY will embark on “The Cinderblock Party Tour” in November in support of its new single and title track of its most recent album, “Do You Wanna Start A War”. The trek, which will kick off on November 20 in Flint, Michigan, will feature special guests TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION and SHAMAN’S HARVEST.
“Do You Wanna Start A War” sold around 5,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 54 on the Billboard 200 chart.
FOZZY‘s previous CD, “Sin And Bones”, opened with around 3,400 units in August 2012 to land at No. 143.
The band’s 2010 effort, “Chasing The Grail”, registered a first-week tally of around 2,200 to enter the Heatseekers chart at No. 6.
“Do You Wanna Start A War” was released on July 22 via Century Media. Produced by Rich Ward, the album features 12 tracks, including the debut single, “Lights Go Out”, the title track and the return of the Theremin in “Bad Tattoo”.
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