2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Reportedly Linked To Over 250,000 COVID-19 Cases

According to a new report, the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been linked to over 250,000 new cases of COVID-19. That event took place last month and it featured performances from Smash Mouth, Trapt, Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, Fozzy, Adelitas Way, and more.

The following was said in the report:

“Large in-person gatherings without social distancing and with individuals who have traveled outside the local area are classified as the “highest risk” for COVID-19 spread by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between August 7 and August 16, 2020, nearly 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, South Dakota for its annual motorcycle rally. Large crowds, coupled with minimal mask-wearing and social distancing by attendees, raised concerns that this event could serve as a COVID-19 “super-spreader.” This study is the first to explore the impact of this event on social distancing and the spread of COVID-19. First, using anonymized cell phone data from SafeGraph, Inc. we document that (i) smartphone pings from non-residents, and (ii) foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments, entertainment venues, hotels and campgrounds each rose substantially in the census block groups hosting Sturgis rally events. Stay-at-home behavior among local residents, as measured by median hours spent at home, fell. Second, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a synthetic control approach, we show that by September 2, a month following the onset of the Rally, COVID-19 cases increased by approximately 6 to 7 cases per 1,000 population in its home county of Meade. Finally, difference-in-differences (dose response) estimates show that following the Sturgis event, counties that contributed the highest inflows of rally attendees experienced a 7.0 to 12.5 percent increase in COVID-19 cases relative to counties that did not contribute inflows. Descriptive evidence suggests these effects may be muted in states with stricter mitigation policies (i.e., restrictions on bar/restaurant openings, mask-wearing mandates). We conclude that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated public health costs of approximately $12.2 billion”

[via Metal Injection]

Fozzy Playing Shows Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic, Chris Jericho Defends Their Decision

Fozzy recently played shows in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Iowa amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One photo from the South Dakota concert has since surfaced online and it appears that fans were not wearing masks or engaging in social distancing. Despite this, frontman Chris Jericho has defended their decision to return to the stage.

Jericho said the following on the latest episode of his “Saturday Night Special” series:

“We actually did [two] shows [so far] this week. And the reason for that is we had our tour — the ‘Save The World’ tour — which was originally booked for April and May, it got postponed to July and August, then got postponed to October and November. But four shows remained in August. And I was, like, ‘How?’ The shows are in South Dakota, and North Dakota, and we have one in Fort Madison, Iowa, which is right near the border of South Dakota.”

“The reason why the shows are happening — have happened; we did two already, and we’ve got our third one tonight — is because these states of North Dakota and South Dakota have low COVID cases; less than a thousand in both states. I think Florida had, like, nine thousand today alone. The venues are kind of either outside or they’re half capacity. We’re sold out tonight in Minot with, I think, 50 percent capacity. Last night, we were sold out in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with, I think it was 35 percent capacity. We hand out masks at the door, there are temperature checks — all that sort of stuff. We basically just stay on the bus all day. Everyone in the FOZZY camp — crew and band — has been tested.”

“It’s been so great to be back on stage again after seven months. The last gig we played was on the Jericho cruise, which is so hard to believe — it was like on a different planet, back in the days before the ‘rona changed everything.”

Fozzy are scheduled to perform in Sturgis, South Dakota tonight (August 9) as part of the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

[via Blabbermouth]

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The Wheelblocks (Avenged Sevenfold, Fozzy, Etc.) Share Cover Of Iron Maiden’s “Aces High”

The Wheelblocks, the new supergroup featuring Johnny Christ (Avenged Sevenfold), Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), and Strauss’ boyfriend Josh Villalta, have premiered a new video for their cover of Iron Maiden’s “Aces High.” You can check that out below. You can also head to Loudwire to read a new interview in which Jericho discussed the project.

Avenged Sevenfold, Fozzy, Etc. Members Launch New Project The Wheelblocks

Johnny Christ (Avenged Sevenfold), Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), and Strauss’ boyfriend Josh Villalta have announced a new project called The Wheelblocks. The band’s first single, a cover of Iron Maiden’s “Aces High,” will be released on August 6.

Chris Jericho Says Fozzy’s New Album Will Feature 12 Songs Including One Cover

During a recent episode of his “Saturday Night Special” series, Chris Jericho revealed some more details for Fozzy’s upcoming album. He said the following:

“We are working now. I actually have the track listing of the new FOZZY record right here. There’s 12 songs. There’s 11 originals. One of them is ‘Nowhere To Run’, our last Top 10 hit. One of them is a cover song, which I’m not gonna tell you. So there’s 10 [new] original killer tracks on here. It’s our best album ever by far, and I can’t wait for you guys to get a chance to hear it. And we’re gonna start recording vocals… We did four songs of vocals already. And one of the songs is called ‘Ugly’. There you go. U-G-L-Y. You ain’t got no alibi. That’s all I’m saying.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Fozzy’s Chris Jericho Sings A Cappella Version Of Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” After Sebastian Bach Recently Accused Him Of Lip-Syncing

As previously reported, ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach recently started a Twitter feud with Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho after accusing him of lip-syncing. Now, Jericho has responded once again by singing an a capella version of Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild” on the latest episode of his “Saturday Night Special” series. He also posted an extended version of the partial cover on Twitter:

UPDATE: Bach has since responded by posting a series of texts that he sent to Jericho after seeing the clip. Blabbermouth shared a screenshot of that:

He also added the following in response to a fan:

Sebastian Bach (Ex-Skid Row) Starts Twitter Feud With Chris Jericho (Fozzy) After Accusing Him Of Lip-Syncing

Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach recently started a Twitter feud with Chris Jericho after accusing the Fozzy frontman of lip-syncing. You can see various tweets from them below:

Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward also chimed in:

[via Blabbermouth]

Fozzy Reschedule Their “Save The World” Tour Once Again

Fozzy have postponed their “Save The World” tour once again due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trek is now scheduled to take place this fall with Through Fire and Royal Bliss set to open.

Tour Dates:

10/03 Dallas, TX – Trees
10/04 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
10/05 Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
10/08 Lincoln, NE – The Royal Groove
10/09 Iowa City, IA – Wildwood
10/10 Waupaca, WI – Indian Crossing Casino
10/11 Kansasville, WI – 1175
10/12 Harrison, OH – Blue Note
10/15 Buffalo, NY – Iron Works
10/16 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Club
10/17 Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance
10/18 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
10/19 Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
10/22 Joliet, IL – The Forge
10/23 Grand Rapids, MI – Elevation @ The Intersection
10/24 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
10/25 Indianapolis, IN – Hi Fi
10/26 Belvidere, IL – Apollo Theater
11/12 Angola, IN – Eclectic Room
11/13 Flint, MI – Machine Shop
11/15 Pittsburgh, PA – Jergel’s
11/16 Cleveland, OH – The Winchester
11/19 Chattanooga, TN – Songbirds
11/20 Johnson City, TN – Capone
11/21 Charlotte, NC – Underground
11/22 Nashville, TN – The Cowan

Chris Jericho commented:

“Due to the news of the world @fozzyrock are choosing to push back our #SaveTheWorld tour yet again! Hopefully rock shows will be allowed and safe in Oct/Nov!

Just know that we have been in intense discussions with all of the local promoters involved and we promise these shows will be following ALL health and safety guidelines established by each governing municipality…. and we are strongly encouraging everybody to wear a mask! (I personally Wanna make them mandatory, but I’m not a state governor.) Having said all that, we can’t wait to rock with you all again…SAFELY!

Go to fozzyrock.com for all ticket and VIP info! If you already bought tix for any of the shows, they are all still valid!”

Fozzy Delay New Album To 2021

Fozzy were previously planning to release a new album, titled “2020,” this year, but the effort has since been delayed. The record will now be released next year under a new name. Chris Jericho said the following during a recent interview on Volume TV’s “Life In Six Strings“:

“The original idea was to call it ‘2020’, until we realized that we’re not gonna have this fucking thing done till November/December, so it’s not as contemporary anymore to put out an album called ‘2020’ when it’s 2021. Let’s just leave it behind.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Kuarantine (Fozzy, Etc.) Team Up With Bruce Kulick For Cover Of KISS’ “Heart Of Chrome”

Kuarantine, the KISS tribute band featuring Chris Jericho (Fozzy), P.J. Farley (Trixter), Joe McGinness (Klassik ’78), and Kent Slucher (Luke Bryan), have teamed up with Bruce Kulick for a cover of KISS’ “Heart Of Chrome.” You can check that out below:

Jericho told Revolver the following:

“We were pleasantly surprised and stoked to hear the huge reaction to our first single ‘No, No, No’! So what can a band that specializes in non-make-up KISS songs do to top that reaction with their second single? How about tap the guitar player from that era to join the band? That’s exactly what we did when we asked former KISS axeman Bruce Kulick to join us on ‘Heart of Chrome’ — and he crushed it!

‘Chrome,’ from the 1992 album Revenge, is one of the most underrated songs in the KISS Katalog and one of the hardest to sing! Even Paul Stanley himself said to me, ‘If you can sing that song in the original key, with the original melody, then you have completed quite the task.’ So that’s what the band and I did! Plus, having Kulick onboard to lend his signature tone and soloing style, made the tune even more rifftastic! See kids, there’s always a positive in every negative: Only in a pandemic can you form a KISS cover band with the ex-guitar player from KISS and end up with a kickass song!”