Fozzy lead singer and pro wrestler Chris Jericho may be a dedicated family man and father of three, but he’s not concerned about sharing a backstage area with notorious advocates of the “groupies and blow” lifestyle, Steel Panther.
“I’ve been on the road since 1990, so I’m actually no stranger to all that stuff,” he says. “So I think Steel Panther will have to try to pull up their socks to keep up with Jericho sometimes – especially when it comes to the straight vodka. The groupies and blow are all fine and dandy, but the straight Grey Goose – that’s where my prowess and expertise lays!”
Shenanigans aside, Jericho is amped to be heading back to Australia for the second time this year, having played Soundwave Festival in February and March.
“Absolutely – we like Australia and we think Australia likes us,” he says, “which was really apparent at Soundwave this year when the crowds that we had for our set early in the day really blew me away. I mean, thousands of people… to get that sort of a crowd at two-thirty in the afternoon, I think we’re doing something right here.”
Jericho quickly debunks the theory that it may have been a surprise to be invited back Down Under so soon.
“Well, I dunno if it was a surprise; I think it was more warranted,” he counters. “It shows that the people who organise Soundwave were paying attention. Like, we were like a destination band at Soundwave – people grabbed their programs at the beginning of the day, looked at the set times, said, ‘We’re gonna go see Fozzy at this time.’ Like I said, the response we got was off the charts. So for me it’s kind of a no-brainer to bring us back again, because we obviously did our part at Soundwave.”
This time around, Fozzy are part of a diverse billing at the Hordern Pavilion, with their old-school heavy metal grooves standing shoulder to shoulder with the sleaze-dripping party metal anthems of headliners Steel Panther, plus Buckcherry.
“In some ways it makes perfect sense,” Jericho says of the lineup, “’cause I think all three bands are very entertaining live bands and all very exciting live bands, and all very much have the same kind of motto – which is, have a great time!
“We’re making sure that people have a blast at these shows, and it’s good-time metal. That’s one of the reasons Fozzy has been so successful over the past few years, because we’re very versatile. We could open for Slayer, Shinedown, Steel Panther, and get great reactions with all of those fans.
“Sometimes ‘fun’ is almost a dirty word in rock’n’roll, and this is gonna be a fun show. I think everybody knows that – the people that know Fozzy know that’s what we bring, and same with Buckcherry and same with Steel Panther. And when you do shows like this it really works, ’cause you’re getting new fans for all the bands. I think there’s enough of a gray area between all three of us that fans of Fozzy will love Steel Panther, fans of Steel Panther will love Buckcherry, fans of Buckcherry will love Fozzy and so on. It’s actually a really good mix … It’s gonna be one hell of a party, man!”
BY SHANE PINNEGAR