By Eric Mackinnon
Fozzy main man Chris Jericho is still juggling his dual role as WWE wrestling superstar with bad ass rock frontman. As such the Ayatollah of Rock n rolla is presently working his exit from the wrestling giants before reuniting with his rock tag-team partners for a summer assault on arenas and venues near you …... including this summer's Download Festival.
Scheduled to slot in on the main stage alongside the likes of Steel Panther, Airbourne, Alter Bridge and Aerosmith, the main stage card is the rock equivalent of the WWE supercard Wrestlemania.
With Jericho unavailable for a chat with your faithful New Rock Times scribe this week, I have dipped my toe in the archive and the last time Jericho stopped in for a banana and an interview with me.
What goes on backstage in the headliners compound at a mega festival like Download? Hookers, drugs, rock n ' roll excess? Not so much when Jericho and Metallica frontman James Hetfield got together at Download 2012.
“I just broke off a conversation with Hetfield to come and do this interview with you,” laughed Jericho as he sat down with Eric Mackinnon.
“We were talking about diet and how much weight James has lost on the caveman diet and I've started doing the same thing. If fans ever want to know what rock guys talk about back stage, it's not hookers and blow or new music its frickin' cave man diets.
“It's fun to see everybody at festivals like Download.”
In 2012 Fozzy had an early morning slot on the second stage but Jericho always had eyes on the main stage.
“We are the second stage of Download this year but I want to get to the main stage next time,” he says prophetically with Fozzy earning their main stage wish for 2017.
“I want Metallica's job and if I didn't then I shouldn't be doing this.
“There were 20,000 people watching us at 11:45 in the morning. That's how into the festival all these fans are and why this is so successful. Even though the rain is there, when it came down to it and the music starts people are into it and excited when the music starts. The rain washes all the bullshit away and it really is like a big community or a big family.
“I have never seen any bullshit. I've seen a lot of the bands walking around and there is no animosity or fighting and everyone is just having a good time – that's what it is all about.”
The hugely likeable Jericho must be one of rock's busiest frontmen. Juggling his role with Fozzy with a gruelling travelling and ring schedule with the WWE but Y2J says it works because it is the realisation of a childhood dream which he was determined to achieve.
He continued: “I started playing in bands when I was 12 years old. I always wanted to be in a rock n roll band and I wanted to be a wrestler. Those were my two dreams and I was stupid, lucky and crazy enough to go and make both of those dreams come true.”
He added: “When I'm at home I don't really do anything. I don't have many friends in Tampa and I just hang out with my kids and the family and that's how I am able to juggle everything and make it all work. When I go on the road it's time to put the nose to the grindstone and make it all work.”
Fozzy will open the Main Stage and kickstart the final day of bands at Download on Sunday, June 11.