Adam from Global AZ Media conducted an interview with FOZZY guitarist Rich Ward prior to the band's September 20 show at Encore in Tucson, Arizona. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On when FOZZY plans to release the follow-up to their 2017 "Judas" studio album:
Rich: "Our goal is to have it out in the spring of next year. The single, 'Nowhere To Run', came out two weeks ago. We're super-excited; the video is freakin' on fire. The video in its second week climbed into the Top 40 on the Billboard charts. We were number one on the SiriusXM Octane chart. It's reacting super-positively. We knew the song was really good. It's the same thing with 'Judas' when we first finished it. We were, like, 'Wow, this is a no-brainer. It's a great song that has all the components that makes it an excellent FOZZY song.' And 'Nowhere To Run' is maybe a little bit better in some ways that we've really been connecting with it live. 'Judas' has some orchestral elements to it. There's lots of layering of guitars and the vocal breakdown to the verses are very interesting and introspective, whereas 'Nowhere To Run', it has some of those elements, but it's more of a straight-ahead rock song in certain areas. It just translates beautifully live. We're having a great time playing it."
On recently opening for IRON MAIDEN:
Rich: "One of the best things about opening for MAIDEN, besides the opportunity to play on one of the biggest stages in the world, it was their biggest show of the U.S. tour, Banc Of California Stadium, sold out, it was incredible. One of my favorite parts about it was just…the hero's journey, like every great movie whether it's 'Rocky' or the 'Star Wars' original trilogy, is just the journey of us, [Chris] Jericho [vocals] and I, when we were kids, the two of us in particular, were the biggest MAIDEN fans. And the fact that over a 20-year span of kicking down doors and playing any place that would have us, really fighting the odds and people will say, 'How do you say you're fighting the odds? You have a celebrity singer and some of the guys in the band came from another somewhat well-known band?' The thing is that, those open doors, but those credentials also close a lot of doors. When people say, 'Oh, you're the band with the wrestler in it.' It frustrates the hell out of Chris. Do you like the band or not?' Chris, a long time ago, said, 'Stop putting WWE superstar Chris Jericho and FOZZY. Stop that. At some point, this band is going to have to sink or swim on its own merits.' For us, that was the great acknowledgment that hard work matters. There are a lot of people who don't like what we do. The truth is, there's a lot of bands that people bring up all the time. Like TOOL, it's their favorite band. I think TOOL is one of the greatest bands on the planet, but they're not what I would listen to. It's like going to a restaurant. We all have different palettes. Different chefs cook for different types of palettes. There are certain types of bands that I really like and certain types that I don't. That goes for art and movies and television shows, so I never get offended when people say, 'Hey, I like your old band STUCK MOJO better.' Or, 'I don't like either one of your stupid bands, but I sure do like wrestling. I want to meet Chris.' I don't care. I don't take it personally because I have really good friends that are super-talented that are in bands that I don't like. I have such great appreciation for the skill and the art and the craft and the commitment to it, but that's why I'm so happy that things are the way that they are. When I grew up, there were only a few big releases a year for rock and metal. You were lucky if a MAIDEN came out and a [JUDAS] PRIEST record. You'd be lucky if you had a SAXON record and a METALLICA record. Really, there were only 15 or 20 big records that were going to come out. Then you say, 'What's RUSH doing? What's TED NUGENT and AC/DC [doing]?' But, now, there's so many different kinds of break-out genres. There are so many hundreds of thousands of bands making music that it really allows you to really find those bands who speak to you."
FOZZY's forthcoming album is once again being produced by Johnny Andrews, who worked on "Judas" and co-wrote FOZZY's "Lights Go Out" track back in 2014. Johnny has also written songs with the likes of ALL THAT REMAINS, THREE DAYS GRACE and HALESTORM in the past.