Last Updated on 01.11.11 Written by John Guarnieri
Fallen Blue has had the honor talking to and getting help from some incredible guitar players: Dave Mustaine, Zakk Wylde, George Lynch, Phil Collen, and numerous others. It is safe to say that we can add, Mr. Rich Ward, along with his talent and generosity, to that list. Rich was a member of the rap/ rock pioneers Stuck Mojo, and can be currently scene blistering the stage alongside his metal brothers in Fozzy, Adrenaline Mob, and Walking With Kings. In the time we spent talking, we discussed everything from how he maintains sanity with his busy schedule, the future with Fozzy, and his love for police.
With some incredible bands, comes a substantial amount of time devoted to recording new music, touring, press, etc. When asked how he able to stay sane, Rich said: "It is important to not get burned out. If someone is grilling five steaks, more often than not one of them will get burned. The whole thing is one incredible balancing act, and sometimes life will get in the way. For the new Fozzy album in 2012, I rented a cabin in the north Georgia mountains, just so we can get away and not be bothered, ideally we want be out of our comfort zone."
By having strong personalities in his bands, that always pushes Rich to be the best he can be. In Fozzy, he has to contend with their vocal beast, Chris Jericho, and in Adrenaline Mob, music's 'splendid-splinter', Mike Portnoy. "There is no denying that having Chris and Mike in a band pushes you to higher levels. You never want to be the last guy picked on the dodgeball team. It is inspiring really, to go out on a stage and compete with them. There are times where I am jumping off of a 10ft tall amp stack, and the fans will still look through me like I'm not even there and try and catch a glimpse of Portnoy wailing on the drums. It is things like that make it a friendly competition between all of us."
Rich said that fans can expect another great Fozzy album in 2012. "With our previous release, 'Chasing The Grail', we felt we were just hitting our stride. The lyrics are all being done by Chris, and it should be a real killer album. As we have moved forward with the band, we have all realized our roles in the band, and what we have to do to be successful. With the economy like it is now, it is important for us to give something to the fans that they want to hear, and spend their hard-earned money on, because without the fans we wouldn't be where we are now. Its an honor to play for them."
It was pretty cool to hear about Rich talk about his admiration for all police officers and the work they do, as well as how his friends wanted him to take the exam to become a member of the Georgia Sheriff's Department. "I have some great friends that are on the SWAT team for the Sheriff's department. I have done numerous ride-alongs with my friends, to include some work with the local drug task force. When I was growing up, I wanted to be one of three things: a musician, a member of the military, or a police man. In the middle of my career when it was slow, one of my friends on the Sheriff's Department wanted me to take the exam, and I almost did."
Rich continued on further saying: "When you walk into a gym at noon, the only people inside are usually musicians or police officers, and all the cops come up to me saying how they love my music. Its very cool to see that cops are such big metal fans, but it also puts things in perspective. Here are these people that put their lives on the line every day, coming up to me to thank me, when it should be us going to them and thanking them for protecting us and keep us safe. There may be some bands or artists out there that may thing its cool to fight the 'man', but who do you think they call when their bus breaks down or equipment is stolen. It is an honor to do what I can for the police, military, and first-responders."