In a recent interview with of Mike Karoyli of iRockRadio.com, FOZZY vocalist Chris Jericho discussed how radio airplay has impacted the group in recent weeks. (The title track to the band’s new album, “Judas”, currently sits at No. 11 on the Mediabase Active Rock chart, which monitors airplay on rock stations around the country.) “It’s the real perfect example of this grassroots movement that’s brought the song up to the next level,” he said. “It’s something you used to see with a band like IRON MAIDEN or METALLICA. They weren’t the critics’ darlings or the radio programmers’ darlings. It became a big fan base that pushed them into the forefront. We’ve had that, especially with ‘Judas’. It’s at No. 11 — the highest it’s been since it was released on May 5th. That is a long time, as you know, for one song — but at first, you get to the smaller markets, then you get to the mid-level, then you get the big ones, and then you get the snobs that only play ten songs, and to get in that Top 10, you’ve got to impress them and have the story and have the numbers and all that other stuff. Thankfully, we have that.”
He continued: “There’s a lot of people now that are listening to FOZZY that never have before. We had our fans… but a lot of places wouldn’t (give us a shot), and now, all these doors are opening. When you have the proverbial hit single, everything changes, from the way that radio programmers treat you to the fans that come to the shows, the numbers, everything. It’s a really good position to be in.”
Jokingly referring to FOZZY as a “seventeen-year overnight sensation,” Jericho says the band’s goal for “Judas” was to make an album that “just had single after single after single,” a la GUNS N’ ROSES‘ “Appetite For Destruction” or DEF LEPPARD‘s “Hysteria”. “The cool thing is that ‘Judas’ was not the number one choice to be the first single,” he said. “There was a big debate with the record company and kind of the inner circle of FOZZY as to what the first single should be. I always thought it should be ‘Judas’. Some thought it should be ‘Painless’. Some thought it should be a song called ‘Elevator’, [or] a song called ‘Burn Me Out’. There’s three or four other songs in the chamber that are just as good as ‘Judas’, and I think now, with all the work that ‘Judas’ has done in building the profile of the band, that the door’s been kicked open. I expect the next single, which will be ‘Painless’, to waltz right through the door.”
Jericho also relayed the advice Ronnie James Dio once gave him about making time for your fans. “I always try to at least say hi to everybody, and take a picture — it takes three seconds,” he said. “Even people outside the bus, the last thing you want to do after a show is go and sign autographs and take pictures… but, you know, what kind of a jerk would I be if I didn’t? ‘Cause I was one of those kids. It was Ronnie James Dio who told me — we played a show with him once — and he had a bunch of people at the gate, and he went and signed pictures for all of them. I was like, Do you do that every night? He said, ‘Absolutely. You have to give people their moment. You’ll never remember this day, but they’ll never forget it. They’ll either remember you being nice to them, or not nice to them.’ Thankfully, most of the time when people say ‘I met Chris Jericho,’ [they say,] ‘He was really nice.’ There’s a few people who say, ‘He was a real dick,’ and I apologize for that, but hey — nine out of ten ain’t bad.”
Jericho also commented on the group’s upcoming performance in Las Vegas, where nearly five dozen people were recently killed at the country music festival Route 91 Harvest. “Obviously, it’s a horrible tragedy, but I think the worst thing you can do is not play, because people need an outlet, and they need a smile on their face when something bad like that happens,” he said. “We were in the Netherlands the night of the Bataclan massacre in Paris. We had a show in Paris exactly seven days later, and we went and played it. I was, like, ‘I don’t care if two people show up — those people need a night out, and to have some fun, and to forget what’s going on.’ We had a great show. Same thing is that we have a show in Las Vegas (this) week. I just read a bunch of bands are canceling. We’re not canceling. We’re not going to do that. Whether it’s good, bad, smart, stupid, I can’t allow me or my band to let something like that… you do it in honor of the people who were victims. I think all of us need more of that.”
“Judas” was released on October 13 via Century Media.
FOZZY has just embarked on “Fozzy Across America”, an event that consists of three live performances in three separate cities and three different time zones in just one day — a feat that has never been attempted by any other group.