In case you were wondering why there are apparently no gay heavy metal bands or allegedly no black people at metal shows, Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward has an explanation for you. The Atlanta band, which is fronted by pro wrestler Chris Jericho, was in the UK last month to perform at Download festival at Donington Park in Leicestershire, and Ward sat down with Felicity Hall of British music site Get Your Rock Out.
“Metal always gets weird… and I don’t even know… but it gets this weird reputation of being racist or homophobic. It’s, like, why? And they say, well, there’s not a lot of black people at the shows. It’s, like, black people are welcome. We don’t have a sign [saying that no blacks are allowed to attend metal concerts]. But it’s about culture.
And that’s the one thing that people don’t realize… Because there’s not a lot of gay heavy metal bands, that doesn’t mean that that culture is not welcome, it’s just that we gravitate towards things that we are culturally drawn to, and black culture, in general, is drawn to music that came up in black culture… you know, rap music, R&B, blues, jazz, and there are places where those cultures can meet, and they often do.
But even Living Colour and bands like Fishbone, they don’t have large black audiences. They play rock music, so they have a mainly white audience. So it has nothing to do with color, it has to do with culture.”
Fozzy has a new record called Do You Wanna Start A War out July 22 via Century Media. It was produced by Ward, and you can check out the debut single, April’s “Lights Go Out,” after the interview.