Fozzy bears up well as hit­mak­ers

Chris Jeri­cho and stop for con­cert be­fore cruise

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - MUSIC - By Ben Cran­dell

Chris Jeri­cho made his name in the wrestling ring as one of the most charis­matic and pop­u­lar stars WWE has ever pro­duced, and he will re­visit those skills when he hosts his inau­gu­ral cruise, called Chris Jeri­cho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, de­part­ing Miami on Oct. 27.

The five-day Nas­sau sail­ing on the Nor­we­gian Jade fea­tures live mu­sic, com­edy, wrestling stars Mick Fo­ley, Di­a­mond Dal­las Page, Raven, Ricky “the Dragon” Steam­boat and Rey Mys­te­rio, and a va­ri­ety of bouts, high­lighted by a match pit­ting Jeri­cho and the Young Bucks against Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and “The Vil­lain” Marty Scurll.

But the ti­tle Rock ’N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea speaks to Jeri­cho’s other pas­sion, rock ’n’ roll. For nearly 20 years, Jeri­cho has in­jected mus­cu­lar swag­ger into the mu­sic of Fozzy, the one-time metal cover band that has had a string of orig­i­nals land on var­i­ous hardrock charts. The ti­tle track from the band’s 2017 al­bum, “Ju­das,” reached No. 1 on the iTunes metal chart, No. 5 on the rock chart, and has car­ried the band to its most suc­cess­ful tour so far.

On his way to Fozzy’s Ju­das Ris­ing Tour stop on Satur­day at the Cul­ture Room in Fort Laud­erdale, Jeri­cho an­swered some ques­tions about mu­sic.

If you look at the de­mo­graph­ics that we’re get­ting, and what peo­ple are sign­ing up for, it’s mostly just to hang out with Chris Jeri­cho. And that’s the way I de­signed the cruise. I know my fan base very well, and if I think it’s cool, the Friends of Jeri­cho will prob­a­bly think it’s cool, as well. I’ll be wrestling. We’ll do three Fozzy shows. There’s com­edy, para­nor­mal, all that sort of stuff. … I’ll be do­ing spo­ken-word shows, live “Talk Is Jeri­cho” [his pod­cast], sell­ing brown­ies and le­mon­ade at the cruise stand. You name it, I’ll be do­ing it. [Laughs]

I al­ways say if Jour­ney and Me­tal­lica had a bas­tard child and it was raised by Ozzy that might give you an idea of what Fozzy sounds like. We all come from Ozzy, Scor­pi­ons, Iron Maiden, Me­tal­lica, Pan­tera in­flu­ences, but we also have a lot of ’70s AOR bands in there. There’s Jour­ney, For­eigner and Styx, a lot of Kool and the Gang and yacht rock and ’70s disco. Of course, the Bea­tles and Stones, and there’s a rap el­e­ment in there. We don’t care what the trends are. The only chance we have is to be our­selves.

There’s no doubt that Eminem is the great­est rap­per of all time. The way he con­structs his rhymes, the way he stays on the beat, the syn­co­pa­tions. I’m def­i­nitely a huge fan of him, for sure.

That was on our last record, “Do You Wanna Start a War,” and it’s been kind of a live hit for us. Peo­ple that know it love hear­ing it, and peo­ple that don’t know it hear that riff and say, “This sounds fa­mil­iar … But it can’t be. Re­ally?” [Laughs] When­ever we go to Eu- rope and play that song, peo­ple are mosh­ing to it, scream­ing and yelling. It’s one of those songs that comes out of nowhere, but when you hear it, it re­ally trans­lates well to a rock ’n’ roll for­mat. It’s a dark song, with some re­ally cool riffs in it, and it’s fun to sing.

The best one I ever saw, as far as con­cept, was the Me­tal­lica 30th an­niver­sary shows in 2011 at the Fill­more in San Francisco. They did four shows, and played 80 dif­fer­ent songs over the course of those four shows. It was just a re­ally cool night, times four. Also, Axl Rose with AC/DC at Madi­son Square Gar­den a cou­ple of years ago. If you saw it, it was just amaz­ing. It was like if Paul McCart­ney joined the Stones. The com­bina-


Where: Cul­ture Room, 3045 N. Fed­eral High­way, in Fort Laud­erdale, When: 7 p.m. Satur­day. Adelita’s Way and the Stir also will per­form. Cost: Tick­ets cost $20 Con­tact: Cul­ or Cruise: Chris Jeri­cho’s Rock ’N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea sails Oct. 27-31 from the Port of Miami. Ac­com­mo­da­tions start at $749 per per­son. Go to ChrisJeri­ tion of two of the big­gest rock ’n’ roll bands ever just killing it, do­ing more ob­scure songs than you’d ever ex­pect they would play. I re­ally en­joyed that.

I don’t think there’s any­one crazy enough to do what I do, you know? To take even one of these jobs, much less both of them, and pur­sue them at the high­est level. You’ve got to be com­pletely off your rocker, like I am. I can’t be­lieve there’s any­body cra­zier than I am. [Laughs]

I think Zakk Wylde is cut out for it. He’s got the per­son­al­ity. He’s ripped up. He’s huge. And, once again, he’s pretty in­sane, as well.

I’ve been lis­ten­ing to a lot of Greta Van Fleet. The crit­i­cism is that they sound just like Zep­pelin. Well, I wish I sounded just like Zep­pelin. You try and do it and see how much tal­ent it takes. … The thing I like about them best is that they’re young kids and they’re al­ready poised to go into are­nas. We need more bands like that, be­cause most of the bands that are play­ing are­nas are in their 50s and 60s. … We need a younger gen­er­a­tion of bands to come through and re­ally shake s--- up.


Chris Jeri­cho, cen­ter, says Fozzy's cover of Abba’s “SOS” in­spired im­promptu mosh­ing at their Euro­pean con­certs. He'll lead Fozzy Satur­day at the Cul­ture Room in Fort Laud­erdale and Oct. 27-31 at sea.

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