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Prior to their show at the Q factory in Amsterdam I am talking to Chris Jericho, front man and singer of the band. It takes a while to track him down, but eventually the man in question is found in the tour bus. After being instructed that fifteen minutes is the maximum time, we get the interview started.

By: Wim R. | Archive under heavy / power metal

How’s the tour going so far?
It’s going great man! We just finished our most successful tour of the UK. Most of the shows were a sell out or packed. We also played bigger venues then we ever did. The UK has always been a place where Fozzy was quite popular. Now we are continuing on the European mainland, we never played Amsterdam before, so we look forward to that. Italy will also be a first for us, we are doing three shows over there. Our popularity in Germany is growing. We played Holland before, but never in Amsterdam. If memory serves me right we did a show in Rotterdam? But not Amsterdam, so that is a cool thing.

For this album you took a break of one year, what is the reason behind that?
We thought it would be a good move, after all the continuous touring we did on our last two albums. Just disappear from the radar for some time, to get things fresh again. Iron Maiden did that a few times during their career. It gave Rich (Ward, guitarist) the opportunity to get Stuck Mojo back in action and I picked up wrestling again (Jericho is a well-known WWE wrestler in the US). Meanwhile we started the process that resulted in our new album ‘Judas”. The single ‘Judas’ was already released back in May of this year. In May Rich and I really got together and focused on Fozzy and the new album. We made the right decision, as the single is charted high on Spotify and YouTube. So, it is quite successful. We call it our ‘Enter Sandman’ It is number five in the US rock charts as we speak..

Probably the album gave the single another boost, don’t you think?
Yeah, guess you are right with that. Because we released the single in May and the album in October. So the single has been in the charts for quite some time now. So, the next single will have to wait until ‘Judas’ had its maximum effect. We have a luxury problem on our hands hahaha…

So, stepping out of the spotlights for a year was the right decision?
Sure, the best we could have ever made. Look, what is happening at the moment. Bigger venues, new countries and cities we are able to play now.

band image

For ‘Judas’, you had a very intense collaboration with Johnny Edwards. In the past he already wrote some songs for Fozzy. Now he was also at the production helm.
I tell you, Johnny wrote all the songs for our new album besides being the producer. In his songwriting he emphasis more on the power of the choruses. He also brought more Groove and melody into the songs. Normally, I am the main lyricist, but for ‘Judas’ I only had a small contribution on three songs.

Was this easy for you, to let go?
Yes, it was. At the end it is the song that counts, not who wrote it is my firm belief. As a singer it is my job to sing the songs as convincing as I can. Especially lyrics like ‘enslaved to the Judas in your mind’ will get to you. How powerful can it be with a sentence like that? Not being able to trust yourself or betray yourself? I mean, Geddy Lee has no problem to sing the lyrics Neil Peart writes, now does he?

Fozzy has been around since 2000, quite some time.
Yep, from 2000 up until 2010 it was more of a fun thing. From 2010 till now we only grew more and more as a band.

‘Judas’ is a strong album, especially the groove in most of the songs.
Thanks, good to hear. I am convinced that ‘Judas’ holds at least eight potential hit singles. Just like Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ or Metallica’s ‘Black Album’. From those albums the single also kept coming and coming. For example ‘Capsized’ is the tenth song on the album. But it could also have been the album’s opening song because of its power.

Talking about ‘Capsized’, that is a song that is meant to be played live I think.
It is funny you are mentioning that. Chris said the exact same thing today. I did need some time to appreciate the song to be honest, but now I like it very much.

Besides Fozzy you are still active as a wrestler and Rich Ward as guitarist for Stuck Mojo. How do you combine all these activities?
We don’t. Wrestling is on hold right now and Rich has his focus on Fozzy only. But, you won’t hear me complaining. When I was a kid I wanted to be a singer in a band and a wrestler. And I did it both!!

Chris, thanks for your time, anything else you want to share with our readers?
We will return to Holland next year. Tilburg to be exact as support act for Steel Panther. Hope to see you all there.

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