Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Icon Vs. Icon: FOZZY is back with a brand new album titled "Do You Wanna Start A War". What goals or expectations did you have when starting in on the record?
Chris: Our only rule was that there are no rules. We wanted to make a record that was diverse, concentrate on writing good songs and not necessarily worry about the genres they fit into or what is going on with other bands. We just wanted to do our own thing, be ourselves and write a record that was very indicative of who we are as a band and who we were influenced by. That was basically the process. Ya know, we had so much momentum built up after "Sin And Bones" and we wanted to keep it moving. We knew that we were now under the microscope more than ever, so we wanted to make the album our careers. It is really the perfect indication of who FOZZY is as a band and FOZZY is many things. I think "Do You Wanna Start A War" is the crux of that.
Icon Vs. Icon: For those who haven't heard the album yet, how does it compare and contrast to your previous releases?
Chris: It is still FOZZY. Anytime you have Rich Ward playing guitar, Frank Fontsere on drums and Chris Jericho singing, it is going to sound like FOZZY. It compares the same way all the rest of our records do. There is some evolution on this record and some songs that go in different directions than what we have done in the past. On "Sin And Bones", there was a 14-minute song and there is nothing like that on this record. We always try to change and evolve with each record but it still sounds like FOZZY no matter what it is we are doing. I think "Do You Wanna Start A War" is just a natural evolution of our band. After putting out three records in five years, you really get on a roll and get into the groove of who you are as a band, what your band sounds like and what your band does best. That is where we are at right now.
Icon Vs. Icon: FOZZY albums always feature some great collaborations and this new album is no exception. This time you have Michael Starr from STEEL PANTHER along for the ride on "Tonite". How did the collaboration come about and what was it like working with him on the track?
Chris: We toured with STEEL PANTHER last December in Australia. Michael simply said, "I want to sing on the new FOZZY record!" I said, "OK!" Every time we have collaborations, it's not stunt casting. We don't do it because it would be cool to have a certain person on it but because we want it to add to the song. STEEL PANTHER getting so popular and being so comedic and so much fun is something that just proves how damn good they are! Michael Starr is, without question, one of the best rock singers in the business today. To have him involved on "Tonite" was amazing. The song is a sort of CHEAP TRICK, power-pop song. We knew he would kill it on a song like that, which he did! It got to the point where we actually gave him more to do! He sang background vocals and it sounded so great that we asked him to do the bridge as well. He really adds a lot to that song and made it even better than it was! It was great to work with him because, like I said, he is one of my favorite rock singers in the business today for sure.
Icon Vs. Icon: As a fan of the band, I have always felt you were one of the best-kept secrets in rock as far as frontmen go. I guess I would say I felt you were one of the most underrated frontmen for a long time. Do you feel you are finally getting the recognition you deserve as a frontman?
Chris: I guess. I really never saw it any other way. Because I have spent my career in front of crowds, I know how to put on a show. Maybe it is underrated or the best-kept secret but that is good because that is one of the things people are realizing about us now; we are a great live band. We have a great reputation for being very entertaining and energetic. When you come to the FOZZY show, you are going to have a good time. We put together our band to reflect that. Everybody on stage is a great performer and, like I said, we really concentrate on having a good time and the frontman is a big part of that. Yeah, I enjoy doing what I do. I know the tricks of how to get crowds involved and how to get them into the show. That is the most important thing, making sure people have a good time when we are on the stage. If I am a little bit underrated, that is OK. I have made a career off of low expectations! [laughs] It is always good when you do a show and people say "Wow! You guys were really good!" Of course we are really good! We wouldn't have it any other way! [laughs] We aren't doing this just to be doing it; we are doing it to be the best band in the world!
Read the entire interview at Icon Vs. Icon.