Five minutes alone with Fozzy's Chris Jericho

A portrait fo chris Jericho
(Image credit: Mick Hutson)

The Judas video got an unbelievable response. That must have been nice!

“Yeah, it’s been our most successful single ever! It’s charted higher than anything else we’ve done, the video’s on over seven million views so far, it’s been crazy. I was talking to Synyster Gates and Johnny Christ, because the first show of this Judas tour was back in May with Avenged. They listened to the song, they both thought it was awesome, and they said, ‘This is a lot of goodwill building up for you guys. Everyone knows you’ve been out touring, everyone’s pulling for you guys, and you gave them the right song at the right time.’ What we’re also getting is a lot of people that haven’t heard us before giving us a try, and they gave us a try on what is, in my opinion, our best song!”

You opened up the main stage at Download Festival this year – how was that?

“It was 11 o’ clock in the morning. You’ll take the main stage over anything, but at that time it’s like, ‘Is anyone gonna be there?’ But they came and there were, like, 30,000 people there, and they all came to see Fozzy! So there’s a lot of people coming to see us and a lot of people discovering us, and that’s a good place to be in. It’s a perfect storm.”

It’s gonna be five months between Judas the single and Judas the album. Did you always intend to leave it that long?

“Well, it’s funny, because Metallica released Hardwired in, like, August last year, and that album came out in November. Obviously, we’re not Metallica, but there was a three-month gap there. The reason Judas the song came out when it did is because we had the tours booked, we wanted to reintroduce people to Fozzy, and the album wasn’t ready yet. But there are many more songs as good as Judas on the album. It’s weird because the record company didn’t even want Judas to be the first single. There’s three or four more songs on there that could work – if this was 1987, we’d have five singles off there, ha ha! Every band will tell you that their next record is their best ever, and I’m saying that now, but I promise you, if you like what you’ve heard so far, you’ll like this record. It’s just as hooky and just as dark.”

Do you feel like the stars are aligning for this album? There’s definitely a massive buzz around it compared to anything Fozzy have put out so far.

“I think so. Metal Hammer have been super-supportive, and there have been a lot of bands that have been supporting us, too. Avenged Sevenfold, Zakk Wylde, Corey Taylor, Alter Bridge… that’s all paying off now, and we’re not taking any of that lightly. We’re coming out swinging at all times and at all costs, no matter what. We’re still getting bookings where we’re fucking third on the fourth stage, and that’s fine, we don’t give a shit. We’ll destroy your fucking stage! You have to put in the work, and we’re doing that, and it’s gonna pay off more than it ever has.”

It certainly feels like the days of this being seen as a Chris Jericho side project are dwindling.

“Yes! Everyone thought I was gonna do a run-in at the NXT thing at Download, but that would have just been weird for me to do right now. It’s not where I should be, it’d feel very strange. And this has never been ‘Chris Jericho And Band’. It’s never been promoted that way, and I fucking hate it when people try to promote it that way. We did a UK show recently, it sold straight out, but then they put a poster up saying ‘SOLD OUT – FOZZY, FEATURING CHRIS JERICHO FROM WWE!’ I was like, ‘Why the fuck have you put that on there? It’s already sold out anyway!’ That’s why on our main promo pictures, you see [guitarist] Rich Ward in the middle. It’s five guys.”

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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.