Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently conducted an interview with FOZZY frontman and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Icon Vs. Icon: It goes without saying you are a busy man with many irons in the fire at any given point. Is it safe to say FOZZY became a top priority for you?
Jericho: Yeah, it has been since "Chasing The Grail" came out in 2010. That was the point when we decided that we had something really special here and we could really do something with this and it became time to put all of our effort and focus into the band. I was gone from the WWE for a year and a half when "Grail" came out. During that time, we toured 16 countries and built up a really good fan base everywhere. When it came time to make "Sin And Bones", I knew I would have about six months of free time. I came back to the WWE and as of August 14, 2012, when "Sin And Bones" comes out, we go on the road with the Uproar Tour. At that time, I am done with the WWE and it is full time with FOZZY until the album cycle and touring is done. Like I said, this is something I have been doing since I was 12 years old — it is part of who I am. I think I am very fortunate to have had two dreams that have come true, both of them in these very big ways. FOZZY is slowly catching up to where I am wrestling-wise. If I were to retire tomorrow, I would be very happy with all the things we have done as a band. We have worked really hard to get here and have all the pieces of the puzzle there and ready — it has been a whirlwind! I want to continue to build on those achievements!
Icon Vs. Icon: You have been working with these guys for a while and definitely had an idea of what you wanted to do for this album. Is there anything that stood out as a big challenge or a hurdle for you?
Jericho: I don't know about hurdles, but I definitely think that the melodies that Rich [Ward, guitar] wrote for me to sing pushed me as a singer. Not pushed me in a bad way, but it pushed me in a good way! After touring for 18 months in 16 countries, you really get a sense of who you are as a singer, your range and what your wheelhouse is. I think I have done the best singing of my career on this record. It wasn't a pushing thing, but more of a knowing-what-you-do-best thing. After five albums, you get a lot of experience and a lot of ideas of what you can do more or a little bit less of, whatever it may be. It is like anything — if you are a journalist and write more articles, you get better at it. If you are a quarterback and you throw more passes, you get better at it. I think I have grown into my voice from the years of experience I have at this point. It is really about learning to use your instrument the best way you can. When you are in the studio and you have three or four takes, you can blow out your voice. When you are on the road, sometimes you have to pull back and not blow out your voice because you have to sing again the next night. It all comes from experience, being a pro and knowing how to use your instrument. Your voice, just as much as a drum or a guitar is your instrument, so you have to treat it as such. It is a muscle as well, so you have to treat it like working your biceps or your chest. You can't overtrain it or rip it up, you have to be smart with what you are doing — take it to the limit but don't take it too far. I think the biggest hurdle for us was having M. Shadows of AVENGED SEVENFOLD on "Sandpaper" with us. He did a great job and actually helped us with the arrangement and put a lot of effort into it. Then we had to get permission from Warner Brothers, so that is when the business part of the music business came into play! That can be hard sometimes! That is a hurdle that we thought we would have a hard time clearing, but it actually came together very easily, I think much to M. Shadows' assistance and the working relationship between Warner Brothers and our label, Century Media. That was the one thing I was scared about but it worked out great and we got permission and all is well! [laughs]
Icon Vs. Icon: Now you have major label backing, has there been any talk of a possible DVD/Blu-ray release to capture the FOZZY live performance experience?
Jericho: Oh, yeah! We would love to! We did a DVD of some live stuff that we were going to release with the record, but the idea with Century Media was, "Why focus on old stuff when you can focus on something new?" I think that is definitely one of the thought processes. I am really looking forward to getting on the road, really honing our band and focusing our attack. Once you do that for a couple of months, a DVD release is the next obvious thing. We would love to do that to capture the power of the band on film.
Icon Vs. Icon: You already penned two of the most compelling autobiographies that one could hope for. Rumor has it you are working on a third?
Jericho: Yeah. Rumor has it that I have signed a deal for a third, but I haven't really started working on it yet because I have been pretty busy. However, that is one of the things I start doing when we hit the road with Uproar. You have a lot of time to kill on tour. When you have 30 minutes on stage each night, it leaves you with 23 and a half hours in between to kill! I am sure there will be a lot of working on the foundation on the book then. It is a long project, writing a book, and like you said, I have been fortunate enough to write two very good ones in the past. I have big shoes to fill or books to write when it comes to this third one. When the time is right, I will get the muse and get the inspiration. I already have more than enough material for the third book, so I think people will dig it when it is ready to go.
Read the entire interview from Icon Vs. Icon.
"Sandpaper" audio stream: