FOZZY's CHRIS JERICHO: 'Rock And Roll Has Always Been Kind Of The Red-Headed Stepchild Of The Music World'

April 7, 2022

During an appearance on this past Monday's (April 4) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", FOZZY frontman and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho spoke about the popular notion that the producers of the Grammy Awards "hate" rock, as evidenced by the fact that they continue to disrespect the heavy metal genre by not including it in the event's televised portion.

"It's the same way it's always been, man," Chris said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "Rock and roll has always been kind of the red-headed stepchild of the music world. And it's just the way that it is. Unless there's a GUNS N' ROSES or a METALLICA in '91 that gets a worldwide, huge push, rock and roll's always kind of in the background. We know this; we've always known this."

Asked by host Eddie Trunk if there are any "new, young bands on the horizon" that he thinks "could bring rock back to the prominence" that the genre had in the 1980s, Chris said: "Well, now you're going into the business standpoint of things. Is there bands that could do it? Of course there is. If you look at THE STRUTS, or if you look at GRETA [VAN FLEET], or you look at some of those types of bands — DIRTY HONEY and HALESTORM — or you mentioned FOZZY, a good-time rock and roll band. But you have to have the industry behind you. And that's what I mean by GUNS N' ROSES or METALLICA in '91. Those bands were always great, but it was the industry getting behind them, the decision makers getting behind them. And you know how that works. And until the next rock band is kind of deemed that, I don't think you're gonna see rock in the forefront.

"I don't think it's worth getting angry about because we know that the arenas are still full, rock and roll is alive and well, and we shouldn't worry what the Grammys think or what the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame [thinks]. Who gives a shit anyways? It's like Chuck D. said: 'Who cares if I won a freakin' Grammy?' I think that most of the bands feel that way."

Back in 2018, AVENGED SEVENFOLD famously skipped out on attending that year's Grammy Awards despite the fact that they were nominated in the "Best Rock Song" category. At the time, AVENGED singer M. Shadows said in a text message to Trunk that although the move was "not really a protest per se" against the Grammy organizers, he and his bandmates were less than pleased about the fact that "Best Rock Song" was added to the categories that aren't televised during the performance-heavy broadcast. "Fuck 'em," the singer said. M. Shadows added that the rock genre gets "no respect" from the Grammy organizers. "I mean, how marginalized has rock become when 'Rock Song' of the year can't get two minutes?" he said.

In a December 2017 interview with the WRIF station, M. Shadows said that "the whole point" of being nominated for a Grammy is that "you wanna get noticed by people and seen on TV. It helps everybody when the bands can get bigger," he said.

Another person who has publicly voiced his disdain for the Grammy Awards is SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor. In a 2016 interview, Corey said that he didn't "have time" for the Grammy Awards, explaining that the annual show was nothing but "a popularity contest" among aging music industry insiders, many of whom have had a long history of ignoring hard rock and heavy metal. He said: "To me, the real reflection of where you're at is [performing live], and that's all it is. Walking on that stage and seeing a massive audience lose their minds — that's what it's all about. You can take those statuettes all day long; I don't care. It's cool to win, but I'm not gonna fucking die if we don't win a Grammy, you know."

Although SLIPKNOT has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards, it has won only one — picking up the "Best Metal Performance" gong in 2006 with the single "Before I Forget".

During a 2014 appearance on the Nerdist podcast, Taylor took issue with the Grammys and their voting process, saying: "Old people vote [on those awards]. I'm convinced that's the reason we won, is because an old person went, 'SLIPKNOT! I read a magazine article about them. They've been around. Here you go. Take it. The kids are gonna be real happy.' 'Cause you look at it, and you're, like, fuckin' JUDAS PRIEST won one for a live version of a song they released 40 years ago, and the live version was released 20 years before that. And they only re-released it because of a box set. And they gave it to them? I'm, like, 'Fucking what?'"

He went on to say: "It doesn't mean anything. I mean, that's like trying to hit a fucking needle with another needle. You have one metal category, you have one basic rock category, and you've got bands like FUN winning it. And I'm, like, 'Really? Show me on the doll where FUN is a rock band.'"

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