With a pro wrestler for a frontman, expectations for Fozzy weren’t high to begin with. However, from their roots as a weekend cover band to the dizzying heights of a headlining world tour, they’ve developed and matured beyond all recognition in 15 years.
Accompanied by Reverted, Malrun and The Dirty Youth, Fozzy bring their contagious riffs and vocalist Chris Jericho’s indomitable energy to Camden on their European leg of world domination. Discussing covers, emotional range and what comes next, Already Heard grabbed a few moments with guitarist Billy Grey before they take the Underworld stage.
AH: First off, a massive welcome to the British shores again, we’ve missed you since Download! What’s been happening in the Fozzy camp since then?
Billy: It’s been great to come back! We’ve done a lot of touring, over in the States mostly, with Buckcherry, Theory of a Deadman, another American band called Texas Hippie Coalition, and some on our own as well.
AH: Congratulations on ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’, it’s a phenomenal record.
Billy: It’s my favourite record yet! I know every artist says that about their new record, but it has the best songs on it, it’s a relevant record and I just really love it.
AH: ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’, for the most part, was a really energised and relentless record, but where did the solemnity of ‘Died With You’ come from?
Billy: You know, everybody in the band is into all different kinds of music and a good song is a good song. We definitely wanted some ups and downs and some peaks and valleys on the record, and a song like ‘Died With You’ is perfect for that.
AH: We’re grateful it’s ended up on the setlist tonight!
Billy: It’s one of my favourite tunes!
AH: What songs do you know will never make the setlist but you really wish they would?
Billy: Oh god let’s think about this here. I would think ‘No Good Way’ from that record (‘Do You Wanna Start A War’), maybe ‘Storm The Beaches’ from the previous record, ‘Sin And Bones’, I mean ‘No Good Way’ probably has a chance but ‘Storm The Beaches’ is a bit of a long tune so you have to have a headline set with a bunch of video theatrics going on, a whole concept thing!
AH: Your cover of ‘SOS’ has caused a real storm, some are saying that’s what they’re waiting to hear tonight. What’s your next big cover?
Billy: We haven’t really talked about that. We throw ideas around but nothing’s really solidified yet. One thing about doing a cover tune is when you do it, you pick a song that’s not your style and it’s obviously going to be a good song because you’re willing to cover it and people wanna hear it, but you have to make it your own. And they try to do it just like the record or the one previous and it just doesn’t come across as good, but if you make it your own, that’s what makes it special.
AH: What I loved with ‘SOS’ was the way you kept the piano elements!
Billy: Yeah I loved that, kept to the roots, shoved the beats up, blasted some guitars in there!
AH: So you’ve opened for the likes of Saxon already, and they’re big influences to you. Now look at you, headlining a world tour – did you see this coming?
Billy: Well we always hoped it would happen, and it’s always good to go out with bigger bands to build your following and get to play in front of their crowds. But you know, we always hoped it would happen and we’re very thankful to be here doing it!
AH: You’ve still got a long way to go on this world tour, how do you keep your sanity on the road? What’s your downtime like?
Billy: Downtime is trying to find something good to eat sometimes. A hot meal’s good. We always try to exercise and just walk around and see different things. But the main thing is sleep, it’s not overrated.
AH: Back in the days of ‘All That Remains’ and ‘Chasing The Grail’, I could never have predicted how big ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’ would become. So what’s the next step?
Billy: The next step would be just to write another great rock record, and move forward with the concept of being the biggest band in the world! Going for the top!
‘Do You Wanna Start A War’ by Fozzy is out now on Century Media Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_)