Former FOZZY drummer Frank Fontsere has once again opened up about his decision to leave the band, saying he “had no real investment in what was going on.”
The 54-year-old musician’s exit from FOZZY was officially announced on January 3. The band simultaneously named his replacement, former THROUGH FIRE drummer Grant Brooks.
Frank discussed his departure from FOZZY in a new interview with the “Talk Toomey” podcast. He said (as transcribed by Phoosi.com): “I’ve been doing it a long time, and I still love playing, and I still love playing live, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of the traveling. I’m not Dora The Explorer; I don’t really care about seeing exotic places or all that stuff. For me, it was always about the shows. I used to think, ‘Man, it would be nice if I could just teleport to every show.’ And especially having a kid — he’s seven years old — I was missing him. We weren’t spending tremendous amounts of time on the road, but still, it was just getting harder. And there were other factors too; there were other things I wanted to pursue. I kind of needed to figure out who I was, who Frank Fontsere was as opposed to Frank the drummer for FOZZY. That was the entirety of my identity, and I needed to figure out who I was and can I just go out there in the world and do something completely on my own.
“It had been years and years and years of ‘the kind of success that will sustain me is just around the corner’ or ‘the kind of success that will sustain us is just around the corner’ — it was always ‘just around the corner.’ And I couldn’t take that anymore,” he continued. “‘Cause the band is doing well, but it’s not like we flew around on private jets and stuff like that; there were still things to deal with. We would have tour buses and they were nice and everything, but there was still a lot of showering at truck stops and gyms and things like that. I’m not a snob — it’s not like that’s some kind of true hardship — but it just wears on you after a while when you get to be in your 50s, especially when you don’t have any skin in the game. I didn’t have any songwriting credits — I’m not a songwriter — and I had no control over what the band did at all; I had no say over what the band does. It was, like, when they say ‘jump,’ I say ‘how high?’ And it’s not like they were dictators or anything like that — we had a good relationship — but ultimately, I feel like I’m working toward something, or at least I was trying to work toward something and I didn’t have any real control over the outcome.”
Frank added: “They say, ‘Well, if you’re gonna fail, fail on your own terms.’ The band that follows their heart and does the music that means something to them, they think, ‘Well, if we sell no records, at least I have the records and at least I can be proud of that.’ And I didn’t really have that; I had no real investment in what was going on.”
Fontsere was a founding member of FOZZY, having formed the group in 1999 with singer Chris Jericho and Ward.
When FOZZY announced Fontsere‘s departure, the band said that he was “stepping down to focus on his family and other projects.”
In a separate statement on his personal Facebook page, Brooks said that he was “super excited” about his new gig. He wrote: “So thankful for this amazing opportunity! Huge shoutout to Rich Ward, aka The Duke and Chris Jericho for reaching out to me and offering me the gig.
“My first shows will be on the Jericho Cruise setting sail from Miami, Florida to Nassau, Bahamas on March 14-18!”
FOZZY will release its new album, “Boombox”, on April 15. The LP, which includes the top 10 singles “Nowhere To Run” and “Sane”, was once again produced by Johnny Andrews.
FOZZY‘s “Save The World” 2022 U.S. tour, featuring special guests GFM, KRASHKARMA and THE NOCTURNAL AFFAIR, starts on March 31 in Detroit, Michigan and wraps on May 16 in Sauget, Illinois. Additionally, to celebrate the arrival of “Boombox”, FOZZY will play an album-release party on April 11 at Irving Plaza in New York City, where fans will be able to purchase and listen to the full album exclusively in advance of the release.
FOZZY debuted a brand new song, “Purifier”, during its September 2021 concert in Flint, Michigan and has been performing it live ever since. Back in July, FOZZY played another new song, “The Vulture Club”, during its concert in Iowa City, Iowa. The band also performed its latest single, “Sane”, live for the first time.
In May, FOZZY dropped a video for its first new song in two years, the aforementioned “Sane”, which hit one million views in its first two weeks. This first-of-its-kind video was filmed on the longest wooden roller coaster on the planet today.
In the summer of 2020, Chris revealed that FOZZY‘s next LP would contain 12 songs, including one cover.
Ward and Andrews once again did “the lion’s share” of the songwriting for the new LP, which was recorded primarily in Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition to producing “Judas”, Andrews previously co-wrote FOZZY‘s “Lights Go Out” track back in 2014. He has also written songs with the likes of ALL THAT REMAINS, THREE DAYS GRACE and HALESTORM.
In November 2020, FOZZY appeared in its first global live streaming event from Madison Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
FOZZY is Chris Jericho (vocals), Rich Ward (guitars, vocals), Grant Brooks (drums), Billy Grey (guitars) and P.J. Farley (bass).