Chris Jericho is a busy man, what with being a WWE wrestling star, performing on Dancing With the Stars, writing two New York Times Top 10 best-sellers and hosting the Revolver Golden God Awards. Still with all that on his plate, he still finds time for his first love, rock and roll. Jericho has been performing in bands since he was 12, and he was one of the founders of Fozzy back in 1999 with guitarist Rich Ward and drummer Frank Fontsere. This week he even found time to bring Metaholic up to speed on the Fozzy‘s new album, Sin and Bones.
On August 14, Fozzy will release its fifth studio album, and the band’s first for new label Century Media. The guys will also spend the summer tearing up the road with Godsmack, Shinedown, Papa Roach and Staind on the 2012 Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival.
I managed to steal a few minutes of the mighty Jericho’s time and he was kind enough to talk about the new record, working with M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, as well as his thoughts on Randy Blythe, the rampant Pantera reunion rumors, and the recent Colorado shootings.
First on the agenda was the new record, Sin and Bones. Undoubtedly the band’s best to date, the record is packed with heavy riffs and melodic hooky choruses. Something Fozzy set a foundation for with 2010’s Chasing the Grail. “We got so much momentum from the “Grail” tour,” shared Jericho”. “We toured for 18 months and did 16 countries and played so many great shows with so many great bands. It was just all of this momentum building up to take it to the next level. So we knew we really had a chance to go somewhere bigger with Fozzy, and that’s why we put all our efforts into writing Sin and Bones.
“M. Shadows and I are just very good friends and we became very close over the last couple of years. When I was laying down ‘Sandpaper’ it was okay, but I wasn’t really capturing the vibe I wanted to capture. Which happens sometimes. I though hey why not give Matt a call and see if he’d be interested, and he called back right away and I sent him the demo. He said ‘hey, that’s the best chorus you’ve ever written. I think I can do something with this. Let me try a few ideas.’ It was an honor to have him on it, and the fact that he actually took it and reconfigured it and made it his own is just amazing. Amazing piece of work from him to do something like that, not just as a friend but as a musician. Cause he’s not going to waste his time if he didn’t like the song. It was just a really cool collaboration between the two of us.”
This month metal fans everywhere are up in arms about the arrest of Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe on alleged manslaughter charges. The Czech authorities have been playing games with his bail, and no one is sure when or if Randy will get out. I asked Jericho his thoughts on the matter.
“It’s hard, man, because the bottom line is, unfortunately, someone died, and that’s the worst thing. But I knew Dimebag [late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott, who was killed onstage in December 2004], he was a buddy of mine, and the fact that he was shot and killed on stage, it changes the dynamic of having a guy come on stage for the fun, headbang or whatever, like you used to see in Ozzy videos in 1985. When someone comes on stage, it’s cool, but when they stay too long, you start getting that warning, that radar, ’cause you don’t know. I mean, that was proven already. I don’t know what happened [at the Lamb of God concert in 2010] — I didn’t see it, if Randy did push this guy or whatever — but the point is I understand where he’s coming from. And it could just as easily have been anybody in a band where security doesn’t do their job. I mean, that shouldn’t even be an issue anymore. If someone wants to climb on stage and jump off, they should get two or three seconds on stage and that’s it. And when you wanna jump off, then let the fun continue. But when you stand there for too long, even if you’re not getting violent, people wanna grab the mic, everybody wants to be a singer, everybody wants to be a part of the show. You just can’t do it anymore; times have changed. So I feel terrible for Randy. I would like to see him just come home so that he can get a fair trial and let’s find out if he’s even guilty before you sentence him to a month in prison or whatever the hell it is. But that’s the problem when you play overseas — they make their own rules when you go to other places in other countries. And like I said, unfortunately, somebody passed away, but I would like to see [Randy] get home so they can have some kind of a trial and find out if he really is guilty or not and judge him accordingly.”
Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society founder, Zakk Wylde appeared on Fozzy‘s 2005 record, All That Remains. I asked Jericho about the recent rumors circulating about a seemingly implausible, but possible, Pantera reunion with Wylde filling in for Dimebag.
“I’m not sure exactly what my thoughts are. I mean, I would love to see it, if it was done for the right reason. I think Zakk is the perfect guy, and maybe the only guy that could actually replace Dime for a show or two because they were such good buddies and so close and, obviously, two guitar heroes from their generation. But it’s not just that — there’s so much more, obviously, between Vinnie [Paul Abbott, Dimebag’s brother and ex-Pantera drummer] and Phil [Anselmo, ex-Pantera singer], those guys need to hammer out a lot of things for this to even be a thought. But if they did hammer it out and they did decide to do a one-off tribute to Dime, I think Zakk would be the perfect guy for it. I think it would be badass. I think it would be amazing. But it will never happen — not because Dime isn’t here, but because Phil and Vinnie, I think, just have this blood feud that might never go away. So that’s the first thing that has to take place. But if it did, I think Zakk would be the perfect choice to do a couple of shows with them as a tribute to Dime.”
You can listen to the full interview with Chris Jericho below then get ready to buy your copy of Sin and Bones on August 14. You can read our review, but trust me, you’ll want to own this one.