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Fozzy Singer/Wrestler Chris Jericho Always Wanted a 14-Minute Song — Video

FozzyIt’s hard to believe that Fozzy are on their fourth studio album with ‘Chasing the Grail.’ But in the decade since the band’s self-titled debut, Fozzy have morphed from ‘the cover band fronted by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho’ to a credible metal act that counts everyone from Zakk Wylde to Dream Theater‘s Mike Portnoy as fans. Fozzy cement their metal cred with ‘Wormwood,’ a 14-minute epic that ends the album.

“I am huge Dream Theater and Iron Maiden fan and I love Helloween, and some of my favorite songs are ‘Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,’ ‘Beyond this Life,’ ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys,’” Jericho told Noisecreep. “I love the element of those longer songs and [guitarist] Rich [Ward] is a Maiden fan, too. I always wanted to write a long song, but I had to think, ‘What subject can I write about?’ I thought the tribulation time in [the book of the Bible] Revelation would be cool to write a song about. With ‘Wormwood,’ I Googled the tribulation and wrote until I get everything down I wanted. It was 10 pages of lyrics.”

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Jericho knows the true test of the song’s power would come from his friends and peers: fellow musicians, like Portnoy. He said, “I wanted to give the song to Mike Portnoy and have him say, ‘This is really good.’ That was my goal. Fast forward three years, and I gave it to Mike and he texted me, ‘This is great! It sounds like ‘Learning to Live’ crossed with ‘In the Name of God,’ you did a great job.’ It was like the god of long songs gave me a tap on the shoulder!”

While some metal fans might not expect Fozzy, which started out as a cover band called Fozzy Osbourne, to churn out a 14-minute masterpiece, the band rose to the occasion. “We have so many different influences, styles, sounds,” Jericho said. “On the new album, we have a ballad and thrashers in between, but ‘Wormwood’ is a tentpole. It has the dark lyrics and ends the record with a tremendous story and elements of prog, and shows off the shredders we have in the band. I have been dreaming about doing a long song for a while.”

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The Fozzy Photos
Chris Jericho and Rich Ward of Fozzy at Big Machine Media in New York, NY. February 8, 2010
Alison Robert for NoiseCreep

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The song was co-written by now-former guitarist Mike Martin. “We came up with this masterpiece, and he was able to make his exit, with this great piece of work,” Jericho said. “Mike was with us for a few years and wanted to do different things than Rich and I were doing. ‘Wormwood’ is a nice little send off for him.”

‘Chasing the Grail’ is in stores now.

Editor: Tristan Waldroop
Video: Alison Roberto

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