Wrestler belts out Fozzy tunes


April 17, 2003|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SUN STAFF

There's obviously something about spandex pants and over-the-top theatrics that appeals to Chris Jericho.

Jericho is best known as one of the top heels in World Wrestling Entertainment, but when he isn't belting one of his fellow professional wrestlers with a steel chair, he's likely to be belting out an '80s heavy metal tune as the lead singer of his band, Fozzy.

Fozzy, which plays Jaxx Nightclub in West Springfield, Va., Wednesday, covers songs by groups such as Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Judas Priest in addition to performing original material.

"We're not a trendy band, and we kind of pride ourselves on that," says Jericho, a 32-year-old native of Canada. "We're a heavy metal band in a day and age when heavy metal isn't all that popular."

Formed by Jericho and members of the rock group Stuck Mojo in Atlanta four years ago with the idea of being a local cover band that intended to just play a few shows, Fozzy has turned into a bona fide national recording act.

Because of Jericho's celebrity, the band had a cult following from the start and was signed by Megaforce Records after just two gigs. Fozzy has released two CDs, Fozzy (2000) and Happenstance (2002), which combined have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide, Jericho says.

Having learned from wrestling that a strong story line and larger-than-life characters are keys to success, Jericho initially created alter egos for the band members and a fictitious history that chronicled Fozzy's success in Japan.

"It's mutated from a Spinal Tap-type thing in the beginning to more of a real rock 'n' roll band," Jericho says. "I believe in the band, and I want to take Fozzy as far as we can go with it."

Just how far Fozzy goes, however, may lie in the hands of WWE's script writers, who would probably be doing the band a favor by turning Jericho's villainous wrestling character into one of the good guys.

"Wrestling fans are programmed to hate me and anything around me," says Jericho, who recalled how Fozzy was booed lustily during a live performance on WWE's Raw last year. "Maybe if I was a good guy, we'd sell double the albums."

Fozzy plays Jaxx Nightclub, 6355 Rolling Road, West Springfiend, Va., Wednesday at 7:30. All ages admitted. Tickets are $20, available through Ticketmaster. Call 410-481-SEAT or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Go to www.sunspot.net/live to read a complete Q&A with Jericho.

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