In preparation for hard rockers, Fozzy’s new album and supporting tour, rock superstar Chris Jericho (yes, Chris Jericho from WWE) caught up with Damian Robinson to explain more about the band’s sound, their critical acclaim, and how hard Fozzy play.
Fozzy are currently out on tour in support of the ‘Judas’ record. How’s the tour been going?
It’s awesome, thanks. The record is number one on iTunes and we’ve had over 10 million views on YouTube so it’s great that we’re out touring a hit record. We’re really excited that this tour will be our largest yet – and everything is growing.
That’s great news…
Thanks, we call it the Judas affect. And the good thing is, we have other songs on the new album that are as good as or better than ‘Judas’ so it’ll keep getting better, hopefully.
Early reviews of ‘Judas’ have been nothing but complimentary, with the likes of Guitar World saying that it sounded like a band ‘hitting its stride’. Is this the band’s strongest record so far?
I think all bands would say that their new record is the best, but I honestly believe that this is our best work. Our earlier records have laid a strong foundation for us and on this one we wanted to have an appetite for destruction feel in that there could be 6 or 7 clear singles on the album. So we took that feeling into production and if a guitar solo didn’t fit the song we’d leave it out, if a vocal didn’t feel right we’d leave it out. We’ve left some great songs off this album as they didn’t fit its overall feeling. This record has ten hit singles on it in my mind.
The album sounds a little more aggressive and punk than earlier records. Does Rich Ward (lead guitarist) have the final say in the sound of a record? Or was this a collective decision before you all sat down to write the tracks?
I’d agree. I think the record is very aggressive and very dark but with great hooks and riffs. This record sounds like if Metallica and Journey had a child and it was raised by AC/DC. I think this is why we’ve had great critical acclaim already. A lot of the sound is based on Rich and I bringing in Johnny Andrews as a producer. Johnny came in and really questioned some of our suggestions. He heard other ways to play parts of the songs which took Rich and me out of our comfort zones but it helped to produce an incredible album.
That’s interesting. I’ve heard Lars and James say similar things about their production of the black album…
That’s right, yeah. We wanted someone who could move us on from our last records and we knew that it would be a challenge and there would be conflict. It was deliberate.
Lead single from the album, ‘Judas’, is a pretty ballsy rock ‘n’ roll track about betraying people and pushing away people you love. Is this autobiographical or written with someone in mind?
We wanted to really write songs which mean something. Johnny actually wrote the words to ‘Judas’ but I have a song on the album about losing my mother when I was young. We wanted a record which let other people see all sides of us.
Your show at Riverside, Newcastle will be on Guy Fawkes Night. Any plans for anything special for the gig?
We love playing the UK and love Newcastle. We will play how we always do: loud, intense and like it was our last ever show.
Fozzy play Riverside, Newcastle on Sunday 5th November. Tickets, priced at £16.00 in advance (plus booking fee), are available from riversidenewcastle.co.uk.