The idea of forming his band Fozzy took shape backstage at a World Championship Wrestling event at the Alamodome in 1999. Just four months ago, he may have had the best seat in the house at the Royal Rumble, though it wasn't a seat at all being suspended above the wrestling ring in a shark tank for nearly 30 minutes. In between, Chris Jericho has had some stellar San Antonio performances fronting Fozzy. And he's about to add to its South Texas history with his biggest Alamo City concert yet.
Jericho and Fozzy hit the Fan Duel stage at 4 p.m. tomorrow during the fifth annual River City Rockfest outside the AT&T Center (tickets here; set times here). The band will play its new single "Judas," the title track to an album set to be released in September (watch here).
The singer, future World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer, best-selling author and podcaster discussed with AXS on Thursday what makes him Entertainer Extraordinaire while looking ahead to Fozzy's gig in less than 24 hours. Some highlights:
AXS: We just saw you here in San Antonio four months ago, suspended high above the ring in a shark tank at the Royal Rumble. I think you were up there for about 27 minutes, and I was there. What in the world was that experience like for you?
JERICHO: Well, I mean, it's just another day at the office. That's one thing, when you're in the WWE or when you're on the road with Fozzy, you just kind of take whatever experiences that you're doing and roll with them. So yeah, it was fun. Doing the Royal Rumble at the Alamodome was huge. Usually, we just do stadiums for Wrestlemania, but that show right there was a really big deal. San Antonio is a great town, it's a great Rock N' Roll town, it's a great Chris Jericho town. So whether I'm suspended from a shark cage or whether we're playing the River City Rockfest, San Antonio is always great to me, and I always have a blast coming through town.
AXS: You mentioned that took place at the Alamodome, which is also where you originally met eventual Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward back in '99 during a WCW event and decided to form Fozzy. You and I have discussed that before. . . . Now here you are at your first River City Rockfest on the heels of "Judas." Can you sort of summarize the journey of Fozzy's evolution from the viewpoint of the band's co-founder and singer, and San Antonio's role in that?
JERICHO: We took 2016 off by design when I went back to the WWE and Rich and the guys did another Stuck Mojo record. . . . We knew that the Judas record is coming out in September. . . . Just to see the reaction for it right out of the gates for "Judas," because I think we have a great video for it as well. It's very unique, very strange. Very dark, but also very entertaining, just like the song itself. So a combination of the two really did blow the doors open for us. The fact that it was used as the theme for "NXT Takeover" also helped. And then the fact that we were going out on tour. The single came out the day the tour started, and the video came out a couple days before that. So it was the perfect storm and perfect timing for all this. And like you said, I remember playing San Antonio with Theory Of A Deadman. I know we had a great gig there in 2013 with Saxon, where we ended up playing outdoors because the indoor venue had like a haunted house in it or something. . . .I know San Antonio's a great heavy metal town, and it's really embraced Fozzy right from the start. Like I said, there's certain cities that when you see them on the itinerary, you know it's going to be a good show. Whenever you see anywhere in Texas but specifically San Antonio, you know it's going to be a great time, great reaction, great crowd.
AXS: Your "Talk Is Jericho" podcast began with a Texas legend, one of the men you beat to become undisputed champion a few years ago -- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Who has been your favorite podcast subject -- wrestler, musician or otherwise?
JERICHO: Well, it's hard to say because I've had so many. But Paul Stanley, when I first had him on. Paul was a hero of mine, an inspiration, and now is a very good friend. When he first came on the show, I barely knew him. And that was a big thing. The first time I ever met him in person was on my show, which was huge. William Shatner was great. Having Dave Batista on. (Luke) Gallows and (Karl) Anderson from the WWE, just having a couple drinks and talk a bunch of B.S. That's always fun. Most of the shows I have, I really enjoy. But I think if I had to pick one, Paul Stanley was the biggest and the best.
Listen to the entire conversation below, and stay tuned for coverage of Fozzy's gig from the River City Rockfest.