Chris Jericho and the rest of Fozzy (band) performing on stage. Photo credit: Press

Fozzy frontman and wrestling icon Chris Jericho has spoken to NME ahead of the band’s upcoming ‘Spotlight On The UK’ tour – and his hopes to channel the charisma of rock legend Mick Jagger.

Last year, Fozzy dropped their latest single ‘Spotlight’ and announced that they would embark on the ‘Spotlight On The UK’ tour – kicking off this week. ‘Spotlight’ shows off the band’s signature heavy metal sound, but with a new twist for fans.

“I’d say it’s like if Metallica and Journey had a bastard child that was raised by AC/DC, you might have a little bit of a sense of what we sound like,” Jericho told NME of the band’s sonic approach.

“It’s very melodic, it’s heavy, it’s very groove-oriented, but it’s good time music. We built a reputation that when you come to a Fozzy gig, it’s just fun. There’s a lot of singing and chanting and jumping and just enjoying the groove. We take great pride in that.”

Speaking to NME about the upcoming tour, the sportsman-turned-musician stated that the band “take great responsibility” in “putting on the best shows that they can in the UK” because of the “many classic and great gigs” they’ve had in the country.

Last August, the band performed their biggest show London show to date at the O2 Kentish Town Forum. “It’s amazing when any show you play is sold out,” he said. “I think anytime we play in the UK the shows just continue to get bigger and bigger.”

However, he also shared that major cities are not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to touring the UK – and loves to give lesser-visited towns a shot. “We played Middlesbrough and Southampton and Grimsby, all these great rock ‘n’ roll cities that you don’t even really know exist unless you’ve been there,” Jericho said. “It’s not just about London for us.”

He continued: “It has always kind of been a second home for us. The UK is the first territory that really embraced Fozzy from the very first tour we ever did there back in like 2006.”

“I remember walking on stage in Nottingham Rock City, the first gig we ever played in the UK,” Jericho remembered. “I thought that I had walked on the wrong stage because there were so many people and it was just jam-packed crazy. I thought there’s no way that they’re here for Fozzy because we’ve never had that before.”

Jericho cited iconic British acts like The Beatles, Iron Maiden, The Struts and David Bowie as some of his biggest inspirations – with Y2J also excited to catch The Rolling Stones “four or five times” when they tour the world next year.

“I go see The Stones every time because they’re kind of the goal, you know what I mean?,” he said. “At 80, Mick [Jagger] is still the best frontman in rock and roll and looks like he’s 30 and sings like he’s 30. It gives us all some inspiration.”

He noted that “there’s just a vibe about English rock ‘n’ roll, a little bit more pomp and circumstance, a little bit more brattiness and sassiness” than in other genres. The 53-year-old credited Britain’s rock scene as a reason behind “the attitude and the conduct [he] has on stage.”

Described by Jericho as the band’s version of Metalica’s ‘Enter Sandman’, Fozzy’s most popular song is ‘Judas’. The song currently sits at over 69million streams on Spotify and 65.5million views on YouTube.

Days after their monumental London show, Jericho performed the song (which also serves as his wrestlng entrance music ) at the record-setting AEW: All In live event. NME asked Jericho what it was like to experience Fozzy playing in Wembley Stadium.

“[AEW: All In] was the biggest wrestling show of all time and, obviously, the biggest Fozzy show of all time,” he replied. “I’ve never done anything like that before – combining Fozzy and wrestling at the same time – but it was the right place for it.

“To sing myself to the ring with Fozzy playing behind me was amazing because I was biting off a lot more than I could chew. We’re on this giant platform above the ring, and then the intro [to ‘Judas’] starts and I got to run down the stairs and run across an aisle, then jump on a ladder, climb down the ladder to get to the ramp and then grab a microphone and start singing my way to the ring in the middle of this giant stadium. Then, you instantly go into a 15-minute long match with Will Ospreay.”

It was always Jericho’s dream “to be a rockstar and a professional wrestler” – meaning he was thrilled to “bring the best of both worlds together for one night” and will always be “a highlight of [his] career both in wrestling and in Fozzy, for sure.”

Wrestling and music often overlap. For example, Cyndi Lauper was a huge part of the World Wrestling Federation during the ‘80s and its Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection live events. Most recently, we’ve seen artists such as Westside Gunn, The Troggs and Joan Jett play wrestlers out to big matches. Even Snoop Dogg, Action Bronson and Bad Bunny have fought inside the squared circle – the latter won the WWE 24/7 wrestling title in 2021.

“If you’re talking about rap, if you’re talking about rock ‘n’ roll, I mean, wrestling fits right in,” Jericho reasoned as to why the two are intertwined. “[Wrestling]’s a very energetic form of entertainment. It’s very aggressive, very much a show business.”

He continued: “The pageantry of rock ‘n’ roll, the pageantry of rap music is in wrestling and vice versa. So there are a lot of similarities you can see and I think that’s why you’re drawn to both – whether you like music or whether you like wrestling.

He added: “Paul Stanley [of KISS] and I are pretty good friends because his son was a wrestling fan. Like, wow! What a way to meet one of my heroes. It’s perfect. It’s kismet so, like I said, that crossover Is very much real.”

Chris Jericho of Fozzy performs at Patti Pavilion in Wales. Photo credit: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns
Chris Jericho of Fozzy performs at Patti Pavilion in Wales. Photo credit: Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

When asked what is next for the band, Jericho suggested that Fozzy are no longer focusing on making albums. “I don’t know if we’re going to do records anymore,” he said. “I think we’re just going to concentrate on releasing a song.”

He explained: “We have had so many great songs on our records in the past that we don’t play live or we don’t get to release them to radio because we have too many songs, and I think the way of the future is releasing on a song by song basis.”

The tour will also celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary and will be supported by British quartet The Hot Damn and US band Pistols At Dawn. Fans can check the tour dates below and, find tickets here.

The dates for Fozzy’s ‘Spotlight On The UK’ tour are:

16 — Newport — Neon
17 — Bradford — Nightrain
18 — Manchester, Manchester Academy 2
20 — Glasgow — Queen Margaret Union
21 — Newcastle — Riverside
22 — London — Electric Ballroom
23 — Wolverhampton — KK’s Steel Mill
24 — Nottingham — Rock City
25 — Buckley — Tivoli
26 — Northampton — Roadmender

The post Fozzy’s Chris Jericho: “The pageantry of rock ‘n’ roll is in wrestling and vice versa” appeared first on NME.


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