Interview: Chris Jericho Talks ‘Judas’

When he is not on the ring or hosting his highly successful podcast empire, Chris Jericho is hitting stages around the world with his heavy metal band Fozzy. The band is set to realease their 7th studio album “Judas”, this October 13.

Despite his busy schedule, and thanks to our good friend John Howarth, we had the chance to catch up once again with the band’s frontman, Chris Jericho, in order to find out more about the album, as well as some WWE and Podcast stories.

SR. Thanks a lot for giving us some minutes Chris. We just found out, you just finish soundcheck. How’s the current vibe of the band?

CJ. Hi man, not a problem, it is always good to have a chat with you and the Australian fans.The band is great, we feel stronger than ever, we feel the time is right for us to go the next level, all of us are a big Family ready to rock.

I really feel, right now we finally figured out what our sound is, and we are lovin’ it!

SR. Congratulations about “Judas”, you guys are killing the charts in the US with the first single. What was the process this time…I’m assuming you guys experimented with new things this time?

CJ. It was really experimenting to be honest. I would say this time we focus most of our energies on the songwriting overall, and then we jumped on the melody. I think the song Judas, is solid, and feels like the right song at the right place at the right time to take Fozzy to the next level, because anyone can relate to the lyrics on it. Everyone has made wrong decisions, like drinking like crazy, fighting or cheating…you know, things that made you to become your own Judas.

Also, we decided to get a producer instead of producing the album ourselves as we usually do with Richard (Ward). We got Johnny Andrews on board, as we knew him from our previous record when he produced the song ‘Lights Go Out’.

SR. Following up on that, the second track after Judas is “Drinkin’ with Jesus.” I’m assuming that was intentional?

CJ. Yes it was. It feel like the right choice to have this kind of duality of songs at the beginning, and also because the song is kick-ass. Just picture yourself listening to the track during a road-trip or in the highway on your way to work on a Monday. It’s also a dark song, about drinking alone and being on a dark path and drinking some booze with Jesus. I love the riffs and the sound in that song, it’s fun and full of energy…that’s the type of song you always need!

SR. One thing that totally grabbed our attention was the fact you guys included some industrial/urban bits in the song “Three Days in Jail”, which might be a risky move. What was the idea behind that track? Are you worried about the fans reaction?

CJ. As musicians we want to keep things diverse, as simple as that. The bands and their sound need to always be evolving, as at the end of the day we are all music fans, and we like different genres. For eg. I’m a mad Guns N’ Roses fan, but I also love the Beatles.

Don’t forget the Duke (Richard Ward) is in a rap metal band called Stuck Mojo. So this isn’t really something entirely new for us.

“…I see myself with Fozzy still going strong for many years, and with Judas, we feel we could start headlining bigger venues. I’d love to play a full house in the Rod Laver in Melbourne or the Olympic Park in Sydney…”

I think fans will be pleased, as we don’t wanna give them the same all over again, that’s why no Fozzy album feels the same. I truly believe “Judas” could become our own “Appetite for Destruction”, that’s why we wanted eleven singles on the record, and it’s not just a song after another one, you can clearly feel the differences between all of them.

SR. We are huge fans of your podcast. Just wondering who is in your guest’ bucket list?

CJ. So many names come to my mind. I’d say the first one would be Paul Mccartney. Also Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osbourne.

SR. Speaking about Paul (Mccartney). One of my personal favourite episodes was the one about the conspiracy theory about Paul been death, claiming the one currently on tour is a double!

CJ. Yeah, the first time I heard that story I was curious, so you know, I mentioned to a friend, who knew this guy, who knew this another guy who put us in touch with Gary Patterson, who is an expert on The Beatles and is a well-known rock historian.

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It was such a fun episode, and let’s be honest, after hearing it, you seriously start doubting about everything you think you know about Paul and The Beatles.

SR. Obviously, It need to ask you about your also successful journey as one of the WWE’s biggest stars of all time. However, I want to ask you something different, I just want you to take us back to that night in August 1999, when you made your very first official appearance to face The Rock.

CJ. How can I forget! I was backstage hearing The Rock’s speech and just seconds before going out there, I felt a mix of emotions, but overall I was very excited, as it was a combination of many years of hard-work.

Also, no pressure going against one of the most beloved characters of the federation. I just remember how loud the crowd was, especially when I said “I’m Chris Jericho, and I’m your new hero.”

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Then it was my debut in SmackDown against the Road Dog, we practice so hard, especially because we had to use a table. For some reason I wasn’t nervous, I was actually very confident, and Brian (The Road Dog) was a great partner.

SR. Many of your fellow WWE friends, like The Rock and Dave Bautista are doing big blockbuster films. Even Kane did a really fun horror film I saw the other day on Netflix. Just wondering if we will see you in films any time soon?

CJ. It could happen, but to be honest I’ve my music and too many cool stuff going on right now. I would not discard the possibility, but is not in my priority list.

Also, you forgot to mention John Cena, he is now in some big films and doing great. So happy for all those guys, they are hardworking people and they deserve it.

SR. Do you still see yourself playing with Fozzy after you eventually retire from the WWE?

CJ. I just gonna say this and I hope every musician feels the same: If you don’t see yourself in 10 or 20 years time doing music, you better give up, because music is a long journey, it has ups and downs, but we do it because we live it 24/7. So the answer is yes, I see myself with Fozzy still going strong for many years, and with Judas, we feel we could start headlining bigger venues. I’d love to play a full house in the Rod Laver in Melbourne or the Olympic Park in Sydney.

SR. Speaking about that. You guys played one of the biggest Soundwave’s ever, with Metallica headlining. Sadly, the festival is gone. What’s your most memorable memory of Soundwave 2015?

CJ. The Soundwave tour was the dream every music lover always wanted to live. I will never forget the moment when we got invited to a big barbecue alongside all the bands courtesy of the organisers, and seen the guys from Metallica there, just having fun and getting along with everyone, was fantastic, because the four of them are nice people, very down to Earth.

Also thanks to the same people behind Soundwave, we had the chance to come back later on to tour with Steel Panther, and we had such a blast. They are honestly the funniest and nicest guys to tour with.

It’s such a petty, the festival is gone, hopefully another big metal fest gets there, and with us in the line-up of course!

SR. Just to start wrapping up. When are you guys coming over?

CJ. We are dying to get to Australia. Seriously we cannot wait. I’m confident this record will take us back there for a proper headline tour, probably next year.

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SR. Before you go, I just want to open the microphone for you to send a message to the Fozzy fans here in Oz.

CJ. There has been a while, and we really want to be back in full force. We want to hear packed stadiums screaming “Fozzy, Fozzy, Fozzy…Oi Oi Oi!”

Thanks a lot to all of you for supporting us, and we really hope you enjoy “Judas” as much as we enjoyed making it.

JUDAS – Available in Australia from October 13, 2017
Get it now on ITunes here