Fozzy’s Rich Ward Talks Uproar, Chris Jericho and What it Takes to Be a Musician – Interview

I got to attend this years Rock Star Energy Drink Uproar Festival featuring Shinedown, Godsmack, Staind etc etc. It also included Fozzy, one of my newer favorite bands. Their new album “Sin and Bones” was really quite amazing. I’m ashamed that I doubted Chris Jericho’s abilities. That said Rich Ward has got an ear for good hard rock music. He mixes the class hard rock sounds of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with the more modern sounds of bands like Avenged Sevenfold and sprinkles a little bit of that Ted Nugent attitude in for good measure. You can listen to the entire interview along with my interviews with P.O.D., Adelitas Way, Three Years Hollow and Mindset Evolution right here:



Zoiks!: How’s the tour going so far?

Rich Ward: It’s been great, it’s been really cool. This is only our third Uproar show. Chris (Jericho) had two days off to do the “Summer Slam” Pay Per View and then “Monday Night Raw.” We did a headline show last night in St. Louis and this is the third show of Uproar for us and they’ve been all killer shows, killer.

Z!: It must be nice to have Chris back full time.

RW: It is, I don’t know how long he’s going to take off. The album just charted number one on the Billboard Heat Seeker’s chart, so we’re really excited for all of us to finally be charting and doing really well. I’d imagine we’re really going to take advantage of the momentum of the band and go out on the road. Chris will go back to wrestling because he always does but I think he’ll do it right about the end of the touring cycle right when I go back into writing mode for the next album. So it’ll work really nice.

Z!: I was going to ask you how he balances wrestling and rock n roll, but is it just kind of separate?

RW: Oh absolutely, I mean the WWE are here right now. There’s their film crew to do some sort of special. Obviously he’s been a really good worker for Vince McMahon for years. Even when he takes time off to do the band stuff, he and Vince have a great relationship so he can come back whenever he wants to.


Z!: I’m kind of new to Fozzy. I mean I’ve heard of you, but this new album “Sin and Bones” is the first time I’ve ever actually listened to your music. I’m absolutely in love with it.

RW: It’s a good record to join on with, because it’s definitely the best record. It’s tough when we’ve been a part time band for so many years because of Chris balancing wrestling with being in the band. This is the first time that we actually said Fozzy comes first and the WWE comes second, which was great because it allowed us to really focus and concentrate on making a great record.

Z!: What is the writing and recording process like. How involved is Chris and how much of it is you guys?

RW: He’s involved at the very beginning stages. He writes all the lyrics and then hands them over to me and then I build songs around the lyrics. We don’t have discussions on what the melodies should be like; he lets me write the melodies. What I do is construct demos, which are just my home recordings of the songs. Then I send those to Chris via email and he gets to hear what his lyrics sound like in a song. So it’s cool. Sometimes I have to changed some lyrics because they don’t quite fit perfectly arrangement wise with the tempo of the song, but I try to keep his lyrics as close to the original form as possible so that the meaning stays the same.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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