Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Chris Jericho is a wrestler, author, actor. Now his band Fozzy has a hot single

To get along equally well with wrestlers, rockers, actors, podcasters and authors, you don't have to be some sort of omnicultural savant.

Sometimes, you just have to love dinosaurs.

"I get along really well with Slash because we're both dinosaur fans," Chris Jericho said. "I don't know if he has too many people he can talk to about dinosaurs, you know? You meet guys like that, and it's like, 'I like dinosaurs too!' He just happens to be one of the greatest guitar players of all time, and I just happen to be whatever it is that I am, and we both love talking about plesiosaurs."

Whatever it is that I am. That's a good self-description for Jericho, whose success across many disciplines may be rivaled, at least among wrestlers, only by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

A former WWE and WCW champion, Jericho, 46, has dabbled in a little bit of everything: Television (Dancing With the Stars, a galaxy of talking-head and panel shows), podcasting (Talk Is Jericho), film (MacGruber) and more. In 2018 he'll host his own namesake rock and wrestling cruise out of Miami; cabins are already sold out.

A bestselling memoirist, he recently released his fourth book, No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling but Succeeded in Life, which he describes as "more of a self-help, motivational speaking book, rather than just another Chris Jericho autobiography, because I figured, does the world really need a fourth Jericho autobiography in 10 years?"

And last week, Jericho dropped Judas, his seventh album with his hard rock band Fozzy. What started as a goofy classic metal tribute has evolved into a legitimately popular hard rock act — the title track is closing in on the Top 10 of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, making it Fozzy's biggest hit to date.

All of this the Winnipeg native has done largely from Lutz, his home since the late '90s, where he comes to unwind with family. He hopes to book a hometown show with Fozzy in 2018. Until then, he was happy to talk about his career's wild evolution.

Have you had any good rock-star hangs when your friends pass through Tampa?

I've had the guys from Avenged Sevenfold over to my house a couple of times for a barbecue. Guys from Black Label Society. I live a long way out of town, so it's a little bit of a drive. But when I'm at home, I'm really not very social. I basically hang out with family. That's the tradeoff of being on the road so much, is that when I'm at home, it's 100 percent for them.

You've hung with pretty much every metal legend there is. Is there a common thread that unites the Lemmy Kilmisters and the Axl Roses and every other all-time rock star?

When you've been doing this as long as I have, in show business for like 27 years, you're almost a kindred spirit. You kind of flock to each other. That's why I am pretty close to a lot of those guys, because you can talk to them like you wouldn't talk to a quote-unquote "normal" person. I'll never know what it's like to work at Hooters, because I've never worked there before. But if someone else has worked at Hooters, they can relate. It's like that with some of the dudes that I know in music or acting or wrestling or whatever it may be. When you get to a certain point, there's only a few people that you can really talk to and have conversations with that don't involve stupid fanboy questions.

The fact that you've had success in so many different disciplines makes it even rarer for you to find a peer. Do you find people are impressed by that?

It's just being worldly. That's why I got along really well with Lemmy, because anytime he brought up a story about, let's say, Chuck Berry, I could add to that story and give him some information that he didn't know. Or if he's talking about obscure British comedies, I've seen them, so I could come back to him with quotes that other people might not know. That has nothing to do with rock and roll. It's just having similar interests.

How would you describe the Fozzy that put out Judas compared to what you were when you began?

We've had successful songs in the past, but having that elusive hit song has changed everything for us in a good way. We're doing more walkups than ticket sales, and ticket sales are great. The good thing with the album is, there's a lot of songs that are locked and loaded in the chamber. Judas wasn't the unanimous pick for the single. There's Painless and there's Elevator and there's Burn Me Out. We wanted to make this record like Hysteria or Appetite for Destruction or Kick by INXS, where there's five or six or seven singles on the radio, and when the single has reached its peak, the next single is ready to go, and it's just as good, if not better than the last.

Do you ever worry that you're going to run out of stories for your books?

If I die, I'll probably run out of material for books. But other than that, I have a pretty interesting life, doing a lot of cool things, and a lot of ridiculous things happen. When you're doing all these interesting and fantastic things, I could probably write another autobiography right now.

Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Comments
R.I.P. to the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, a voice that roared from the ’90s to now

R.I.P. to the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, a voice that roared from the ’90s to now

Dolores O'Riordan had one of those voices. It was a lilt with a vicious edge, a warble with a snarl – it was a switch, and when it flicked, the room lit from faint emerald mist to the bloodiest of reds and right back.There is no replicating a v...
Published: 01/15/18
Photos: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System go deep on dub at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Photos: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System go deep on dub at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

When it comes to Lee "Scratch" Perry, the past and future have always been intertwined.So it goes without saying that the 81-year-old dub reggae icon's concert Sunday at the State Theatre included a little bit of both."We're gonna go back and forth, ...
Published: 01/15/18
Photos: The Moody Blues bring Hall of Fame history to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Photos: The Moody Blues bring Hall of Fame history to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

How beloved are the Moody Blues? Beloved enough to get a standing ovation 10 minutes before walking on stage.Just before taking the stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, the group flashed images on the stage of founding flautist Ray Thomas, who di...
Published: 01/13/18
Updated: 01/14/18
SoundBytes: The Struts, Big Freedia, Riff Raff, Bad Bunny and more

SoundBytes: The Struts, Big Freedia, Riff Raff, Bad Bunny and more

— British glam-rockers the Struts will open for the Foo Fighters at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on April 25, according to the venue. The show's sold out, but just FYI if you're going.— The queen of New Orleans bounce, Big...
Published: 01/12/18
Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams talks Prince, his career ‘change of scenery’ and more

Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams talks Prince, his career ‘change of scenery’ and more

Stokely Williams is a well-known industry vet. The Grammy-nominated singer of Minnesota R&B act Mint Condition, he's performed and toured with the likes of Elton John and Prince.So when coming up with a title for his first solo project, he chose R...
Published: 01/12/18
DNCE cancels Florida Strawberry Festival concert on March 1

DNCE cancels Florida Strawberry Festival concert on March 1

The Florida Strawberry Festival is down one Jonas Brother.Pop group DNCE, led by singer Joe Jonas, has pulled out of its March 1 headlining slot on Night 1 of the 2018 Strawberry Fest, organizers announced Friday. The official reason: "A scheduling c...
Published: 01/12/18
Bon Jovi coming to the Amway Center in Orlando

Bon Jovi coming to the Amway Center in Orlando

The next time Bon Jovi comes to Florida, they'll be Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.The recent electees will officially be induced on April 14 in Cleveland. Four days later, on April 18, they'll play the Amway Center in Orlando. Tickets to that show sta...
Published: 01/11/18
Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Between them they've got four Grammys, 21 CMAs and 36 ACM awards. Now Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town are taking their stacked trophy cases on the road.The two A-list country acts are gearing up for a summer tour that'll stop at Tampa's MidFlorid...
Published: 01/11/18
Harry Belafonte talks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Donald Trump, overcoming dyslexia and more

Harry Belafonte talks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Donald Trump, overcoming dyslexia and more

At 90, Harry Belafonte, a World War II veteran, a cancer survivor, an award-winning singer, actor and outspoken social justice advocate, is still keeping the words, actions and memories of his friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in mind."I think the na...
Published: 01/10/18
Mint Condition member headlines Heritage fest

Mint Condition member headlines Heritage fest

Stokley Williams is the Grammy-nominated session musician who’s backed up some of the best in the business, including Elton John and Toni Braxton.For more than 30 years he’s played frontman for the Minneapolis-based R&B band Mint Condition, a five-ma...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/12/18