PAGAN with Crave Death, Blind Girls & Masochist. Crowbar, Brisbane Saturday 18 August, 2018 At 8pm on a Saturday …
If there’s something Chris Jericho can’t do, he hasn’t tried it yet. The Fozzy frontman is a non-stop high-energy entertainment machine, and he’s coming back to “Fozztralia” this November.
The WWE Superstar, current New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Intercontinental Champion, TV host, actor, and of course, rock star is known for keeping so busy it makes an ant colony look like slouches. Though he’s earned his stripes (and fair share of belts) as the WWE…well, there’s not much he hasn’t won. He was even voted “greatest champion in history” by fans, taking a landslide 63% share of the poll. The hits keep coming for Jericho, with 2017’s Judas record smashing charts and tipping Judas’ single YouTube view count at over 20 million.
It’s been almost eight years since the Fozzy faithful have been treated to a fully-fledged headline tour. This will be Chris’ and band’s first foray after his massive Rock n’ Wrestling Rager cruise…let’s hope he’s still got some party left in him once they return.
Your Instagram story had you back stage at a Dee Snider gig last night.
Yeah. It was a blast. We played a special Osh Kosh [Wisconsin] on Thursday [at time of interview]. Cadott, Wisconsin last night, Peoria today, Belvedere, Illinois tomorrow, so it’s kind of a mid western run but it’s been a lot of fun man. It’s just places that we’ve never played before. They were really excited to see us, now that Judas has become such a big hit.
It’s been smashing records left, right and centre, you must be absolutely stoked on it.
I think it was the right song at the right place, at the right time for the right band. I think there was a lot of people that were fans of Fozzy but even more people that were kind of curious and just waiting to kinda check us out, and with all the fires that built up around the release of Judas. They finally did check us out when they did they heard the best song that was ever released, arguably, and it just took things completely to the next level right off the bat and it hasn’t stopped ever since.
You guys are coming back to Australia, the first headline tour in about five years. You must be stoked on that as well!
Well we had a great relationship with Australia for many years. I think our first tour there was 2005, then 2010. And then we did Soundwave 2013. We did Soundwave and then the run with Steel Panther so I thought we were building a real great fan base in Australia and had a lot of people that were really excited when Fozzy came to your country. And then for whatever reason, it’s been five years since that. And it’s been far too long for us.
Nobody’s leaving a Fozzy show without a smile on their faces.
It seems like you’re riding a wave of buzz unlike ever before.
Once again, with Judas being such a worldwide success, it was the perfect time to return to “Fozztralia,” Australia as we like to refer to it. After having a number one album on iTunes in Australia, and all the success around the world, the perfect time to come back to a country that we’ve always considered to be one of our best countries. The crowd reaction, for shows and all that sort of thing. Soundwave, I loved that tour so much. It was so much fun. And then playing some pretty good venues with Steel Panther as well, so the momentum was there. I think five years is far too long in between tours, but it’s gonna be kind of a continuation of what we’ve always done in Australia which is make sure that everybody has a great time watching a pure rock and roll band with high energy play some cool songs and have a good time. That’s what it’s all about.
Do you put a special set list together to refresh people’s memories, so to speak? Or is it just focused on the new material?
You know what, it’s I don’t honestly still play stuff from the biggest albums of your career and I found that for us in the states, in the UK, in Europe, that the last three records, Sin and Bones, Do You Wanna Start a War, and Judas are by far our best. Those songs go over better than the older ones do. And we play a song from every album up until about, I don’t know, maybe a couple months ago, whenever we realised that To Kill A Stranger doesn’t get the same reaction that You Wanna Start a War does, or you know, God Pounds His Nails never had the same vibe that Bad Tattoo does. And so our set list now is mostly made up of the last three records. We still throw in a very cool version of Enemy, for the long time fans.
So you’re just giving the people what they want.
Exactly. Nobody’s leaving a Fozzy show without a smile on their faces. I think we have a lot of fans that have been with us from the start, but there’s a lot more fans that have discovered Fozzy over the last one, two or three records. And so you wanna kinda cater to them the most. And plus, they’re the songs that go over best. The band has really gone to the next level when it comes to song writing and to connecting with the audience as a result.
You’ve been wrestling with the New Japan Pro-Wrestling promotion – are you a bonafide wrestling “freelancer” now?
Well, I’m not working for WWE now. I’m doing some stuff in Japan. And I’ll probably do some more there over the next few months but for right now it’s all Fozzy. I mean, you know, we finish up this short little run, then we go to Europe for three weeks, then we do the states for five weeks, then we got the Jericho Cruise, then we go over to Australia, so there’s a lot of stuff going on with Fozzy right now.
I’m excited about all of the aspects of what’s going on, all the places that we’re going around the world and most importantly, returning to Australia. It’s been a long time coming, like I said, we’re very very excited about it and I’m really looking forward to returning. And like I said, we’ve got a great relationship with the Australian Fozzy fans and I expect these to be the biggest shows that we’ve ever done there as a headliner.
Is there much of a difference in the intensity of your performance when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll as opposed to wrestling?
Absolutely not. They both face the same form, it’s connecting with an audience. They’re both really high in energy, aggressive forms of entertainment that are very much based on having that reaction from the crowd. And the energy that you have from the crowd. So, it’s exciting and like I said, I think when I first started wrestling, I took a lot of tricks from the great front man of rock and roll, and used those in wrestling. And then when I got into Fozzy, I took some more tricks that I learned from the great wrestling characters, and you put them all together and it’s all about entertaining a crowd. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I have a reputation of being a great rock and roll front man. It’s all about connecting, being the party host and making sure that people have a great time. It’s hard to do properly but if you can do it, in any form of live entertainment, the show, you can get the people into it and make sure they have a great time, and that’s what it’s all about. //
FOZZY Judas Rising Tour
Wednesday 7th November // The Studio, Auckland
Friday 9th November // Max Watts, Melbourne
Saturday 10th November // Manning Bar, Sydney
Tuesday 13th November // The Gov, Adelaide
Wednesday 14th November // The Triffid, Brisbane
All tickets available here.