Wrestler, Rockstar, Author, Podcaster. The WWE Superstar and Fozzy frontman discusses his latest album and life away from the ring.
It’s been a big year for the “The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla.” Your seventh studio album Judas arrives October 13th. The reception for both the single and music video has been massive.
Yeah definitely, the song ‘Judas’ creates a buzz for the entire album. We were fortunate that ‘Judas’ came out 5 months ago and not 2 or 3 months ago because it gave us the chance to really build and grow and i think people who had never listened to Fozzy before have given ‘Judas’ a chance and finally listened and realised how great the song is, how catchy it is, how big it is around the world right now, because it was had to build and a chance to grow because the single itself, so now that there’s such a buzz about the single by itself that the album as a whole is one of the most anticipated of the year so it was really fortunate for us.
Following the success of ‘Judas’ around the world, are there any locations that you’d like to tour on that haven’t been as capitalised on within the rock industry before?
That’s the cool thing, its worldwide in places like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, places we’ve never even been to, the song was top of the charts on iTunes. That’s the great thing about worldwide hits, you know, we’ve had successful songs in the past, but a hit single puts you on a completely different level. Number 1 on iTunes, Number 1 on Spotify ‘Rock Playlist’, Number 1 on satellite radio, Top Ten on U.S chart radio. That’s virtually impossible these days, but we just got such a good reception from such a large network. I think there’s been a grassroots interest towards the building of this song and the building of Fozzy; you can see it in the ticket sales for the last U.S tour are the best we’ve ever done done and getting ready to come back to the UK, just a couple of weeks to go until that. So it’s really gratifying when you consider the fact that all these cool things are happening all because of that song, with a great album; locked and loaded and ready to go, so it’s a good time for us for sure.
You mentioned Fozzy’s UK tour at the end of this month, here in Sheffield on November 3rd at Corporation. Recently, in the UK and Ireland we’ve seen the revival of the wrestling scene, drawing massive crowds for both the WWE and on the independents, but even more so, British Rock has been notorious for decades. Which British bands have influenced you as a person and the sound of Fozzy?
Well the thing about the UK, it was the first place that made wrestling cool and with music, it was the first country, England and Scotland and Ireland as well, that really took Fozzy under their wing. We call it our second home and those nations were the first ones outside of the United States that grew Fozzy and have done for the last decade and more. So we love touring the UK and Ireland because we always want to come back and visit our loyal fans and all the new ones that are growing now. The UK doesn’t care really about just what’s playing on the radio, it really isn’t just as mainstream-minded as the States, they’ll just listen to what they like and that great for us, because we all love British music. My favourite band of all time is The Beatles and second of all time is Iron Maiden so that tells you all you need to know about my love for British music. So we love it there, the last few times we’ve been we were at Download. Fozzy’s a big time band in your country and that’s very cool for us, that’s from years of hard work and dedication but also great fans from England who have always believed in us and always supported us from the smallest of punk shows that we’ve done to places like Download and shows in London, so it’s a really good time and we’re excited to come back. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a proper tour and it’s going to be a good one.
Our fans are definitely passionate for bands like Fozzy when you’re over here.
For English people there’s less rules in terms of what you have to like or what’s mainstream. We don’t have big pyro coming off, we don’t have a vocal team or lots of lighting on stage or a show going on behind us. We are the show and we work our arses off on stage to give our energy and electricity to the fans. Our fans work very hard at Fozzy shows. There’s never a gig, and i mean never, where people stop chanting in between our songs, we’re very fortunate to have that, by far the best fans in the world. It’s a real cool vibe whenever we play in the UK because of that, it’s also like going to a football game where you get all of those vibes and chants as well, so it’s a lot of fun, it’s more than just a regular show. English fans understand that with Fozzy we expect you to put in as much energy as we do and the result is always a fun and supercharged rock and roll show, people just trying to have a good time, just absolutely going for it.
You’re a jack of all trades; a wrestler, musician, author, podcaster. Is there anything else you want to accomplish in your career? What’s on your bucket list?
I don’t really have a bucket list, for me it was always just wanting being in a rock and roll band and being a wrestler, those are the two things that I wanted to do when i was a kid and i’ve chased those dreams for the last 30 years of my life. Other things have happened because there have been a lot of opportunities that have opened up, I love having my own podcast, I love writing books, I love the acting that i’ve done. The best thing of all is just getting a chance to tour around the world doing what I love, entertaining and being Chris Jericho, along the brand of Jericho, so everything that I do, I’ve put a lot into it, when you see my name you know it’s because I really want to do it, because I really believe in it.
Speaking of dreams, you have your very own cruise ship, the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager, departing from Florida in October 2018. Can you tell me more about how the idea came about and what to expect?
I went on a KISS cruise back in 2015 and as soon as we got off the boat, I told my manager that we needed to do a rock and wrestling cruise. So, nearly exactly two years later, even after losing our ship just before we announced, here we are. It’s going to be one of the greatest and biggest cruises in the world, one of the biggest wrestling promoters in the world in ROH hosting a tournament, an actual wrestling ring in the middle of the ocean, hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. We also have three ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcasts live. We have some great rock and roll bands playing along with Fozzy like Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons which is huge for me, having such great music and a lot of other stuff as well; a lot of comedians, an all female AC/DC tribute band. There’s already a lot of tickets being sold to people in the UK and Ireland and even Australia so people from all around the world showing up, with just over a year to go until we set sail. It’s going to be entertaining, it’s ambitious, It has everything, If I was on a cruise, this is what I’d want it to be.
A bit like the mind of Y2J, Chris Jericho coming to life… on a boat.
It really is, It’s all the stuff I love, everything we have on our shows and on my podcast, the wrestling, the comedians, like you said the mind of Jericho on a boat. I might have to start using that. It’s going to be a family of Jeroholics who love everything I love and want to see it all, to follow me on this journey and just enjoy it. I’m really excited about it because it wasn’t easy to put together, to get it rolling. But there’s a lot of buzz and a lot of excitement for an endless amount of memorable moments.
Thanks man, we’ll keep trying to write great tunes and touring around the world playing, I’m excited about the next chapter for us and we’ll see you in Sheffield soon.