Chris Jericho stopped by the SI office to promote his new book "The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea" and I caught up with him for a quick game of word association.
Hot Clicks: I know you've been discussing pro wrestling ad nauseum for the past couple weeks so let's start with some music questions. I'm going to name a band or musician and tell me the first thing that comes to your mind.
Chris Jericho: Sounds good.
Hot Clicks: Let's start with R.E.M. Your thoughts?
Chris Jericho: I never really got into R.E.M. I found them a little too wishy-washy for me. Michael Stipe's vocals I never dug so not one of my favorites.
Hot Clicks: Pearl Jam?
Chris Jericho: I really started getting respect for Pearl Jam after Cameron Crowe's documentary. I'm a huge Mother Love Bone fan. Massive, massive fan and have been for 20 years, but never got into Pearl Jam. Then when I watched that documentary I actually have a little bit of regret for never getting into those bands when they were hot because I was such a metal guy. I was standing up against grunge so I never gave Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains a real shot. Nowadays I look back and I'm like, "F--k, I wish I would have got it." I'm the right age for it and the energy is amazing.
Hot Clicks: Phish?
Chris Jericho: I don't know anything about Phish other than I know of them. the only thing I've ever heard is when Trey Anastasio did Oysterhead with Stewart Copeland and Les Claypool and I thought that was pretty good. He was playing this guitar that was made out of a deer horn and it was kind of like a Theremin. It was pretty cool, but I never really got into the Phish thing.
Hot Clicks: I'm a Phish fan and saw them play on the millennium New Years. They literally played from 11:45 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning without stopping. Can you imagine Fozzy doing that?
Chris Jericho: That's just insane to me. I can't even fathom it. We like to keep our sets very tight. We treat our shows like Queen at Live Aid. They had 20 minutes and just came out there and were like 'punch, punch, punch, knockout blow, see you next time.' That's what we like to do, even when we headline. it's like 80-90 minutes of non-stop music. There's never a dead spot in the set. To go out there and play seven hours, that would be insane for me.
Hot Clicks: Taylor Swift?
Chris Jericho: I actually really like Taylor Swift because she writes her own material. She's very smart and writes great songs. And anyone who can pack a stadium I have respect for. Especially when they write their own material and play their own stuff.
Hot Clicks: Drake, and hip-hop in general?
Chris Jericho: Not into it. I understand the swagger and bravado of rap but I think they take themselves way too seriously and it gets on my f--king nerves. That's why I'll always love rock and roll. All of my favorite bands have a little grain of salt with them. You never get that with rap. You never get someone in rap just saying, 'Thank you.' It's always 'I'm the sh-t, I'm a rock star. I'm Jesus.' And after a while, it just gets on my nerves. I like Kid Rock, but he's more than a rapper. And I like early '90s rap. I liked Gerardo and MC Hammer and that stuff because it was a little fun. I just like the personalities because they were fun to me. Whereas rappers now like Jay-Z and Drake and Kanye, they remind me of death metal bands that wear corpse paint and call themselves angel ripper or torso grinder. It's like, 'calm down.' It's rock n roll. It's fun. I love Run DMC, by the way.
Hot Clicks: Okay let's move onto some wrestling ones. Dean Ambrose?
Chris Jericho: I think he's great. With all the emphasis they're putting on a bunch of guys, I think he's going to be the next great babyface.
Hot Clicks: Luke Harper?
Chris Jericho: Great. Excellent, excellent worker. I didn't know much about him until I went back this summer and had a couple matches with him. He's one of those guys where it's like, 'Wow. I can do 20 minutes with him and tear down the house.' He's big. He's got a great attitude. He's got lots of experience. He's great to work with. Lots of fun.
Hot Clicks: Fandango?
Chris Jericho: From the moment that gimmick was created it was a one-trick pony and there's only so far he can go with it. I know where it came from. When Vince created it, I did 'Dancing with the Stars' and he thought all the dancers were effeminate and hated it so he created his own dancer.
Hot Clicks: Lance Storm?
Chris Jericho: Amazing technician. My oldest friend in the business and if anyone wants to go to a wrestling school and learn, don't waste your time. Don't F around Go to Lance's school.
Hot Clicks: Ralphus?
Chris Jericho: Probably serving fries somewhere in a fast food place. He was a guy who drove the lighting truck at WCW and was one of the most unique-looking people I'd ever seen and when I was doing this thing with Goldberg and they told me I should mock Goldberg. Instead of having a bunch of big bodyguards like he had, which still doesn't make sense to me since if he was so tough why'd he have those bodyguards? I thought I'd get the goofiest guy I could find, put him in a half-shirt and call him Ralphus. Which is the name of a murderous midget called blood-sucking freaks that I'm a big fan of.