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Fozzy's Chris Jericho: "I'm Paul McCartney's 'ninja guy'"

Chris Jericho
(Image credit: Speedy Ruiz)

Just getting Chris Jericho to stay still for five minutes is something of an achievement. The pro-wrestling legend-turned-metal singer is a busy man; not only is he still taking bumps in AEW, he’s just finished up work on the eighth album from his band Fozzy, which he predicts will see the light of day during some point in 2022, plus he’s got irons in various writing, acting and podcasting fires. But he’s not so snowed under that he can’t spare the time to grapple with your questions about outdoor nudity, the art of the mullet and saving Paul McCartney from ninjas.

Metal Hammer line break

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to sign?

Michael Prior (Facebook)

“Probably a baby. That always comes to mind. When people get tattoos of where you signed your name, that’s always pretty surprising. You do a signing and the person you’ve signed comes back round and they’ve got it tattooed, that’s commitment there. But the baby always springs to mind, it was screaming and crying. Pretty sure they didn’t get it tattooed, though.”

How is the new Fozzy album shaping up?

Colin Bromley (Facebook)

“It’s done. It’s one of those things: we, as I’m sure a lot of bands did, took the time during lockdown to get the record finished. We were calling it ‘Chinese Fozzocracy’ for a bit, because it was taking so long. The first vocal tracks were done in May 2019 and I doubt it’ll come out before May 2022, so that’s three years right there. There will probably be another video before the album comes out.”

How difficult was it to shoot the rollercoaster-themed video for Sane?

@Chillin4Reallin

“It was [Fozzy guitarist] Rich Ward’s idea. We filmed it on the fastest wooden rollercoaster in America. That means it shakes you around a lot more, it was all bam-bam-bam-bam-bam, so I’m sat there and I’ve got to sell myself and be all cool as I’m jolting around. We did six takes, two of which didn’t work because of technical problems, but once that train leaves the station you gotta do the whole fucking ride. If you watch it back there are a couple of times where you only see four members of Fozzy and not five, because one of our guys couldn’t take it. There were a lot of green faces around. Some vomit was expelled, shall we say. But it was worth it because no one has ever done anything like that before.”

I met you after a show once and I couldn’t speak. Who have you met that has reduced you to gibbering idiocy?

Rebecca Cook (Facebook)

“The first time I met James Hetfield, which was weird because I was in my early 30s. I just went on about, ‘Thank you for the music, thank you for the lyrics’, like an idiot. I did the same to Paul McCartney. It was at a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame dinner and he was walking past me and I said, ‘Hey Paul, if you get attacked by the ninjas, just know I’ve got your back.’ He looked at me like, ‘What are you talking about?’ Later on, a load of people were trying to get pictures with him while he was at the buffet and I went over and said, ‘Hey, just let me know if you need me to get you out of here’ and he said, ‘Who are you, man? Are you a security guard? Listen, if I have any trouble with the ninjas, I’ll let you know, OK?’ And all I could think was, ‘He remembers me! I’m the ninja guy!”

Could you take down Jason Momoa in an arm-wrestling contest?

Darius Ramsey (email)

“Oh, easily, easily! I know the secret to arm wrestling – it was taught to me by an arm-wrestling champion nearly 30 years ago. No one really knows it, it’s a good secret… but I can’t tell you because it is such a secret. But if you can arrange the Momoa vs Jericho arm-wrestling, match I will beat him. You can sort that, right? He’s a metal guy, go get him, Metal Hammer. You’ll figure it out.”

When was the last time you were completely naked outdoors?

David Long (Facebook)

“In Canada that was a big thing when we were teenagers, just to see if you could take it. That actually might be the last time. There’s really not very many reasons to be naked outdoors in this day and age.”

If The Big 4 were wrestlers, who would be Metallica, who would be Slayer, who would be Megadeth, who would be Anthrax, and why?

Ross Drinkwater (Facebook)

“These questions are always kinda weird for me. Metallica would be whoever is currently the champion. Whoever is number one would be Metallica, that’s all I know.”

What’s is your favourite Fozzy album that you worked on?

@JamieRenee92478

“You always go through phases. Obviously every band says their new record is the best. I’m waiting for the band that says their new album is the third best in their catalogue. But our new record is, so it’s up there. Judas is really good as well, but if you wanna go back further then Sin And Bone is probably my favourite. There’s a 14-minute-long song called Storm The Beaches right out of the pages of Keeper Of The Seven Keys or Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. It’s the sort of song we’d never attempt now, but I’m glad we did it.”

I’m trying to convince my friends about the genius of Helloween, but they’re having none of it. Can you help me out?

Ben Davey (Facebook)

“Oh my god! Helloween are one of the best bands ever! One of my Top Five… Beatles, Stones, Van Halen, Kiss, they are right there! They invented an entire genre, that’s your selling point! In 1985 when Walls Of Jericho came out there was no speed metal, there was no power metal – Helloween were the first to combine Metallica’s heaviness and speed with the melody of Maiden. They never got bad, no matter the line-up changes, they created so many things that you don’t even realise. I could sit you down and point out where they influenced everyone from Avenged to Amon Amarth and beyond.”

Which wrestler had the worst taste in music?

Kevin Cousins (Facebook)

“Christian [Cage] was pretty bad. He liked boy bands. He knew all the words to Backstreet Boys songs. I used to say to him, ‘Why are you into this dude? You’re, like, 30?’. Music is selective but that’s when I was like, ‘Really?’ You go to a boy band concert and you’re one of two guys and the rest is chicks. I didn’t really get it and I still don’t.”

What is the one movie you wish you could have acted in?

Louise Livsey (Facebook)

“Pick any of the Christopher Guest movies. They’re so great. Spinal Tap we watch on the bus – it’s a ritual at this point. It’s aged really well. Same with Waiting For Guffman, same with Best In Show, I think that my background in improv would mean I’d fit in really well with some of the crazier stuff. Then any Indiana Jones movie – obviously as a kid I wanted to be the swashbuckler!”

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve got in your wardrobe?

Peter Willis (Facebook)

“Nothing embarrasses me, man, I’m in show business! I’ve got sparkles, spikes, rhinestones, spandex, light-up jackets, hats, makeup, studs, gloves, studded jeans, light-up scarves… you name it, man! I’ve got it all. The only thing that embarrasses me is when I’m wearing something with nothing on it at all. I’m like, ‘There’s no personality to this! Why am I wearing it?!’ Gene Simmons told me years ago that you should always look like a star. I always keep that attitude in my head at all time.”

Are we due a mullet revival soon?

Paul Green (Facebook)

“I see it all the time – my son is 18 and he’s got friends with mullets. Brian Pillman Jr in AEW has a mullet – there’s quite a few out here. I had a one back when they were in style, so I appreciate a good mullet. There were plenty of guys who’d just cut their hair on top, but the guys who spiked it up on top and let it go really long, they’re the guys. They really have to put effort into that; I appreciate you if you’re putting as much effort into the top as you are the bottom. Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys – that’s the perfect mullet.”

The new Fozzy album is expected later this year

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.