WWE Superstar Chris Jericho talks about working with band Fozzy

Fozzy is the hard rock/heavy metal band fronted by WWE superstar Chris Jericho recently released its 5th studio album via Century Media records titled “Sin and Bones”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Chris recently about the album and his appearance on the popular ABC television show “Dancing with the Stars”.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background info on the new album?
Chris Jericho: After the “Chasing the Grail” album we decided that our approach is a little bit different from the norm. We use really heavy riffs combined with melodic hook filled choruses. Maybe if Journey and Metallica had a bastard child it would sound like Fozzy. We really honed in on that with the last record and when it came time to do “Sin and Bones” we knew that was the direction we wanted to go in. We wanted to make this record like our “Black” album. That Metallica album has a certain tone and feel. Even though the songs on that album are all very diverse they still fit together. We put a lot of time in to the sequencing of the record.

AL: What type of creative process does the band take?
CJ: We do things a little bit backwards. I will generally write the lyrics first. From there I will give them to Rich Ward and he will right the music and the melodies based on the lyrics I give him. A lot of times it’s the other way around. Doing things this way on the last three records has worked out really well. A lot of my lyrics are based on song titles. If I see or phrase or something I find interesting I will put a note of that into my phone. When it comes time to write I will look through those notes and sort of work backwards from the title. Maybe we will experiment with the traditional way of song writing on the next record.

AL: Did the band do a lot of pre-production for the record?
CJ: We took our time. We started working on this album back in November. We did a tour of Europe and brought a recording rig along with us. We just started recording ideas and riffs while we were on the road. When it came time to go into the studio we knew we didn’t want to have to rush. The label actually gave us a deadline of May 2012 but we had already been working on the album since November so we had a good start on things.

AL: What do you think has posed a bigger challenge wrestling, playing music or “Dancing with the Stars”?
CJ: They have all posed challenges. When I was a kid I wanted to be in a rock band. I have been playing music since I was 12 and then I started wrestling at 19. I was always being told that I wouldn’t be able to do those things for various reasons. I learned very early on that you have to eliminate negative people from your world and that if you really want to do something you have to make it happen. As a result of that I have never been afraid to try anything. Especially something that is creative. When “Dancing with the Stars” came up the 3rd time I decided to try it. The first couple times they asked me to be on the show I was busy with “WrestleMania” and the other time I was doing a Fozzy tour. That show was probably the biggest challenge. Music and wrestling I had been doing for a majority of my life. I had never danced before. The first time I danced was in front of 25 million people. There ended up being a lot of similarities between the three. You have to feel the music and be on top of the beat and like in wrestling you have to remember the choreography while being light on your feet. Once I got that first performance under my belt I got addicted to it. When I got eliminated from the show I had withdraws almost. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was glad that I could prove to myself that I was able to do that.

AL: Do you ever find critiques are quick to write the band off due to your wrestling background?
CJ: They have in the past but we just keep coming back. People have been hearing about the band for years but until they really listen to the music do they understand what they have been missing. I think we have had to work a little harder to get past that but in 2010 I started to really notice a shift. People still knew me from wrestling but they started to pay more attention to the band and not what I have been associated with in the past. When I go see Iron Maiden I don’t say “there’s the airline pilot’s band”. Those are two separate things. You just have to prove to people that you are real and passionate. This is part of who I am and it is never going to go away.

AL: What made Fozzy abandon the idea of having alter-ego’s and go in a different direction?
CJ: We were originally signed as a cover band by Megaforce Records. They were really into what we were doing so we decided to come up with alter-ego’s to make what we were doing a little different as just playing covers was a bit boring. After playing together for awhile we realized we liked what we were doing and we had some good chemistry. We decided to take it to the next step and start playing our own tunes. I compare our band a lot to Pantera. There were two version of that band. When they first came out they were a glam-metal band with big hair and makeup. It makes no since that they changed everything about themselves and turned in to the band we all love. Fozzy was pretty similar. There were two versions of the band under one name. Our original name as a cover band was Fozzy Osbourne so we shortened it and now we are on version 2 of the band.

AL: What are the bands plans for the rest of the year?
CJ: After the “Uproar Tour” ends we have a short tour of the states in October and then we head over to Europe. From there we will be heading to Australia as part of the Sound Wave Festival with Metallica. Those dates were all booked prior to the album release so we will be plugging some holes here and there with other dates as well.

CD Review: Fozzy “Sin and Bones”

Fozzy
“Sin and Bones”
Century Media Records
Producer: Rich Ward
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Sin and Bones” is the 5th full length release from the heavy metal band Fozzy. Fronted by WWE super star Chris Jericho and backed by Rich Ward, Frank Fontsere, Paul Di Leo and Billy Grey the group has been releasing albums since 1999. “Sin and Bones” continues the Fozzy tradition of no frills in your face American heavy metal. The album is being released via Century Media Records and features 10 blistering tracks produced by Rich Ward.

Being a big wrestling fan growing up I remember when the band first came out and featured Chris Jericho’s alter-ego Moongoose McQueen. The band has come a long way since then proving that they are a legitimate band and not just something created for television. “Sin and Bones” opens up with the eerie “Spider In My Mouth” which sets the stage for songs like the album’s title track “Sin and Bones” and the trudging Ozzy Osbourne esc. “Shine Forever”. The album features some great playing by the band and the overall production/mixing of the album was very clear and crisp.

Over all not a bad album but not a great album either. “Sin and Bones” at times tries to cover too much musical territory causing Jericho’s vocals to sound strained which at various times gave the performance an uncomfortable feel. I think it’s great when a band tries to venture into different styles and ranges however if not done correctly the result can be devastating. “Sin and Bones” isn’t that far off track but just enough to rock the boat.

Track Listing:
1.) Spider In My Mouth
2.) Sandpaper
3.) Blood Happens
4.) Inside my Head
5.) Sin and Bones
6.) A Passed Life
7.) She’s my Addiction
8.) Shine Forever
9.) Dark Passenger
10.) Storm the Beaches