Chris Jericho on his new album, “Judas,” breaking into the Top 10 and rocking the country with Fozzy Across America
Chris Jericho is about to be everywhere. Literally. His band Fozzy is releasing its new album, “Judas,” today off a wave of buzz from its hit-single title track, which slow-burned its way up the charts since its release earlier this year all the way to a Top 10 slot on the Active Rock Charts. To promote the record, the Grand Slam Champion and his band will be embarking tomorrow on Fozzy Across America, a never-before-attempted sprint across the country where they’ll play three cities, in three time zones, all on the same day. (He'll also host the first-ever Loudwire Music Awards Ceremony on Oct. 24.) Just a few days out from the historic trek, Jericho talked with WWE.com about having his very own “Enter Sandman,” how the idea for Fozzy Across America came about, and how “Judas” wasn’t initially the choice for the record’s single at all.
WWE.COM: Tell us about your new album.
CHRIS JERICHO: The record is called “Judas,” obviously based off the title track. That’s been the name of the record for six months. We didn't do that to capitalize on the success of the song when you come up with a title of a record or everything like that. We had no idea how huge “Judas” the song was going to be, but here we are now with almost 10 million views on YouTube, No. 1 on satellite radio for five weeks in a row [and] we’re about to crack the Top 10 on the Active Rock charts [Ed. Note: Jericho informed WWE.com on Tuesday that the song had broken into the Top 10]. It’s really gotten a whole life of its own. We just just... sold the most tickets we've ever sold for a Fozzy headlining tour [in the U.S.]. Same thing in Europe, we just announced a sellout in Glasgow this morning. So, there’s a whole buzz about the band that we never had before “Judas” came out, which is great. This is turning into our “Enter Sandman” type of signature song.
“Judas” wasn’t the unanimous first choice for the single. There were people in the company camp and the Fozzy camp that felt other songs [could be the single]. There was one called “Painless,” one called “Elevator,” one called “Burn Me Out.” So we have those locked and loaded in the chamber. And because “Judas” the song has been such a huge success and broke down so many walls and opened so many doors for us, I suspect that “Painless” and “Elevator” and those songs will basically waltz right through and possibly do even better than “Judas” did.
What we wanted to do with the record was make an album like “Appetite For Destruction” or “Hysteria” or “Kick” by INXS. Back in those days, there were five, six, seven singles from an album. And we decided, “let’s do an album that has 11 singles on it” and do our best to write something like that. And we did. Like I said, I think there’s five or six songs that could be number one on the radio. There’s four or five on it that could be in the top 10 songs right after it. There’s a whole different approach this time, which is, it’s all about the song. It's not necessarily about, “does this song need a solo, does this song need a high scream, because I can do it, or does this need a wicked cool instrumental part, because we can do it.” We’re just focused on the song itself. And if it comes out good in two minutes and 45 seconds, let’s not add to it.
WWE.COM: You always want a song to be a hit, of course, but did you find there was added pressure when it came to writing songs that you specifically wanted to make an impact on the charts?
JERICHO: No, and it wasn’t really like that. You never know what’s gonna hit on rock radio. I guess I wasn’t saying, let's write 11 songs that should be on the radio; [it was] let’s write 11 songs where the hooks and the melodies are undeniable to us. And if there was … a record company in this day and age that said “you need six singles,” we could say, “well, here’s six songs that could be hits on the radio in our opinion.” We didn’t write it like anybody else.
We realized David Bowie and U2 and Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin and The Beatles and bands that would morph and change the sound of the records could still stay true to who they are as a band. And that’s what we did with this record. There’s a lot of stuff on there with diversity and variety, but it’s still very much a Fozzy record. We realized early on, especially over the last three or four years, if we’re really going to make it to the next level, the only chance we have is to be completely ourselves. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Just do us; just do Fozzy. And it's been going pretty good since we decided that.
WWE.COM: “Judas” became a big hit while you were working on the album. Did you feel any need to go back and touch the rest of the record up to capitalize on its success?
JERICHO: No, but the reason “Judas” came out so long ago, which is five months now, is because the record was supposed to be finished and ready by the end of August. Being typical artists in a typical rock ‘n’ roll band, we didn’t [finish on time]. At first, I think there was a little concern, shall we say, somewhere in the company that “Judas” the song came out way too early. In retrospect, it ended up being a blessing in disguise, because now, as I’m speaking to you, “Judas” is higher than it’s ever been on the charts. I feel like if we were to put out another album or another song in the meantime, it might have diluted that power “Judas” has. That turned out to be the best thing that we gave it a good five months.
WWE.COM: Let’s talk about Fozzy Across America. How did that idea come about?
JERICHO: For so many records that release, [everyone talks] about the first week sales, and then it kind of disappears. It’s a shame because a record you spend so much time on [can] come and go as a kind of flavor of the week. We didn’t want that. We wanted it to be something a little bit bigger. Something you could sink your teeth into audio-wise and also visually, from a spectacle standpoint. So we came up with the idea of doing three shows, in three different time zones, in three different cities, all on the same day. That’s something that’s never been done before by any rock ‘n’ roll band, ever. It’s gonna be a crazy day. We start at Fort Meyers, Fla. at 10 in the morning, head over to El Paso for a 3:30 show and then we're in Vegas for an 11:30 show. It’s gonna be a haul, and crazy, but it really felt like it was gonna be cool and give “Judas” the album a little more of a push than just releasing it and saying, "There it is!" We like the excitement of it.
WWE.COM: How can fans get ahold of tickets if they want to attend?
JERICHO: One of the things that was very important for us was to do this through the rock radio stations in each city. When it came to decide upon Fort Meyers, El Paso, Vegas, we felt like their radio stations were big Fozzy supporters and big Fozzy fans. They probably have handled everything. If you go to FozzyRock.com and look up Fozzy Across America, you see … they’re basically all just giveaways. Tickets have been getting snapped up so fast, we had [to move to a bigger venue] in El Paso right off the bat because there was so much demand for it. It’s very cool everybody wants to be a part of it. If you live in Fort Meyers, if you live in El Paso, if you live in Vegas, just Google Fozzy Across America and you’ll find all the information.
Get ready for #FozzyAcrossAmerica-October 14, 2017 3 Cities, 3 Shows, 3 Time Zones...ONE DAY! In a massive undertaking never attempted by any other band EVER, @fozzyrock will fly across the nation to play three shows in three different time zones, ALL in the same day!! COME JOIN US............9am- FT MYERS, FL The Ranch. Presented by WRXK 96K @96krock www.96krock.com - Tickets available for .96 CENTS starting Sep 18! All Ages 3pm- EL PASO, TX Star City Studios Presented by KLAQ 95.5 @klaqofficial Tickets only available exclusively from www.klaq.com All Ages 11pm- LAS VEGAS, NV Hard Rock Cafe Presented by KOMP 92.3 @komprocks Tickets only available exclusively from KOMP.com 18+ More info and #FozzyVIP packages at fozzyrock.com! (Graphic by @wrestlingparty)
WWE.COM: You always have a lot of irons in the fire every time you take a break from WWE, but it seems like this is a real creative boom for you. Is there any reason you’re so prolific at this point in your life?
JERICHO: Yeah. It’s just all these projects I’ve been working on [have been] years and years of work culminating over this month [and] next month. Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, the cruise I’m doing, I’ve been working on that for two years. We finally just got it up and running about a month ago. All of those things that I’ve been working on have been in position and been part of what I’ve been doing, and it’s come to fruition this month, next month and the month after that. It’s a good problem to have. It’s very busy, but that’s the way I like it. And it’s one of the only reasons I’m gone from WWE. It just felt like … these four, five things are blossoming as we speak. It’s a busy time, but it’s very rewarding creatively because I really went outside of the box and took a few chances on all of these things. It’s a good position to be in.