FOZZY's CHRIS JERICHO Is 'Up There With AXL ROSE And DAVID LEE ROTH When It Comes To Fronting A Band'

March 31, 2016

Mark Strigl of the "Talking Metal" podcast recently conducted an interview with FOZZY and STUCK MOJO guitarist Rich Ward. You can now listen to the chat using the Spreaker widget below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to FOZZY's 2014 album, "Do You Wanna Start A War":

"We've been writing for the last three months. And just like the writing that I did for the [new STUCK] MOJO record ['Here Come The Infidels', due in June], it wasn't consistently hunkering down in the bunker to write, because there are other things. Obviously, I've been working on getting the STUCK MOJO album released and there were things we had to do. But my full-time job, pretty much, over the last three months has been working on this new FOZZY record.

"I produced the last three albums, but on this album we're actually using an outside producer, a guy named Johnny Andrews. He produced the most recent WILSON record, and he's really well known for being a songwriter; he's written Top 10 singles for HALESTORM and THREE DAYS GRACE, and he's a really talented producer/songwriter. And he actually helped co-write a couple of songs on 'Do You Wanna Start A War'; I co-wrote 'Lights Go Out'. And just working with him during that period of time, doing that co-write with him, I really knew that he was gonna be a big… a good, positive force in the studio. And I think he understands who we are as a band."

"The album is great so far. We've got six songs that are kind of in a rough demo form. And next week I actually go back and start working on more songs. And I actually think this could rival — just based on what material we have right now — this could be as good as 'Do You Wanna Start A War', which I thought was our best album to date; I really like that album.

On the FOZZY songwriting process:

"Working with Chris [Jericho, FOZZY singer] for sixteen years, nobody knows who he is as an entertainer and as a vocalist better than I do, so when I'm writing, I'm writing for Chris. And there is some collaboration on lyrics as well, so I'm having to be very mindful to not just serve my own interest as a musician and as a writer; I'm also having to make sure that I'm writing something that is representative of who we are as a band."

On performing with FOZZY:

"I love FOZZY. There's nothing better than walking on stage with who could be the best frontman in rock. You know, people will be quick to say [Chris Jericho is] a professional wrestler. Well, let's take the fact that he has big arms and is an athlete out of the equation. The guy commands the audience of twenty thousand people in a sold-out arena. That skill is the same skill when a microphone and a rock band is behind him as it is when he has a microphone in his hand and he's talking to an area full of wrestling fans. It is still the act of communication and bringing someone who is paying money to be entertained. And Chris is freaking second to none at that. I put him up there with Axl Rose, I put him up there with David Lee Roth when it comes to fronting a band. To me, he's one of the best in the biz. So being in a band with him is super cool, because it takes all the pressure off me. I can play guitar and I can be that No. 2 guy. I can be Slash or I can be Zakk Wylde or I can be Dimebag and I can focus in on my role of being the best guitar player, the best lead guitar player, the best riff writer that I can be, knowing that that front of the stage will be owned by someone who is amazing at it."

"Do You Wanna Start A War" sold around 5,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 54 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived on July 22, 2014 via Century Media.

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