By Alex. Published on 1/6/2015.
If you haven't heard of Chris Fronzak by now, you probably don't spend much time on the metal Interwebz. He and his band Attila are getting pretty big. He's all over Twitter with a loyal army of young women. He's started posting YouTube videos (watch him make ramen). He's putting out a rap album. He's got a clothing line. And now he's launching an app. Like him or not, he seems to be winning at life right now, and we wanted to ask him a few questions.
Where are you right now?
I'm at my home in Orlando, Florida enjoying a nice break from tour :)
We're just a few days into 2015. How does a guy like Chris Fronzilla ring in the new year?
I'm just working, working a lot actually. I didn't party at all on new years or do anything cool. I've been focusing most of my time towards my new app Spur as well as planning new upcoming products for Stay Sick. I don't even have time to party anymore, I've set some huge goals for myself this year and I'm determined to reach them. Oh yeah, I'm building a new house right now too, it's fucking insane.
So what's the coolest thing that happened to you in 2014?
Probably getting to say "Suck My Fuck" on live TV during the APMAs, hahaha, that shit was funny. I thought Mike Shea (owner of AP) was going to be furious but he was actually pretty stoked. Everyone else was so boring that night and I at least added some flavor to the mix for a couple minutes.
It seems like Attila really blew up this past year. Why?
Yeah, definitely! I think more and more people are just starting to catch on to us. We've always had a slow but steady growth as a band and this year just pushed things even further up for us. Our albums are all selling well (even our older ones) so I'd assume we're just gaining more fans by word of mouth or something. We obviously don't get any radio play and most press outlets are too scared to write shit about us so I'm guessing it has to be word of mouth, hahaha.
Obviously, with new levels of popularity come new levels of hate. Why do you think so many people are angered by your success?
I don't really know honestly…. I'm just an entertainer, I make music to entertain people and thats exactly what I do. I'm a pretty normal down to earth dude, I have a family and I ride my bike a lot and eat burritos. I don't know why anyone would hate me, but I appreciate all the extra exposure it gives me. Any press is good press.
In addition to Attila, you have your Stay Sick Clothing line. Where did the whole "suck my fuck" thing come from? What do your parents think of it?
Hahaha, "suck my fuck" is something I started saying on tour a long ass time ago. It was my response to every question my band would ask me. It always made people laugh so I put it on a shirt. My dad thinks it's hilarious, he said, "Thats like your catch-phrase." I love it.
So did you ever end up getting in any trouble over "suck my fuck" appearing on your tour bus
No, not at all, surprisingly! Just lots of smiles and laughs :)
Why do you have so many Twitter groupies? Am I the only one confused by the fact that young teenage girls are into Chris Fronzak and Attila?
I don't really know, haha. I think it has to do with us playing Warped Tour combined with the fact that I actually interact with my fans on Twitter, which is usually the recipe for fangirls. I don't mind it, I love that I have really crazy dedicated fans, it's like having my own army. I back it.
Do your Attila bandmates ever get annoyed with the fact that you seem to get all of the attention?
I think some do, but for the most part, they get it. I'm the most active on social networks, I'm the only one that makes YouTube videos, etc.. It's kind of awkward sometimes when we're about to go on stage and the crowd is chanting "Fronz" or "Fronzilla" instead of Attila, haha.
I think it's pretty normal for singers to get most of the attention, but I don't let it get to my head or anything. I don't have LSD- "Lead Singer Disease." I'm not like other singers that treat their bandmates and crew like shit. I'm pretty chill.
It's hard not to notice on Twitter your fondness for fine automobiles. I also saw that you're building an eight-bedroom house. Your band is popular, but I can't imagine you're making that much money from Attila. It's not like you guys are selling out 5,000 venues. Seriously, where does this loot come from? Stay Sick? I've seen online commenters suggest that your parents are well-off... others have suggested that you're going deeply into debt just to impress people. Please set the record straight.
Hahaha, the rumors, yes. Finally, I can set the record straight. NO- I do not have a rich family that gives me money (quite the opposite). NO- I didn't win the lottery (I wish!) NO- I'm not going into debt to have nice things (I'm way too smart for that). The answer is a combination effort.
For one, Attila does make decent money. It's not that we're making THAT MUCH MORE than other bands, but rather because we're EXTREMELY smart about what we do with our money. Most bands are fucking retarded when it comes to money management. We are very strategic about how we budget our tours and where we choose to spend our money.
I see bands that make the same amount as us walk away from a tour with NOTHING. Why? Because they wanted to by $25,000 in ear monitors, a $20,000 sound board, a $50,000 light setup, $25,000 in guitars, $50,000 in stage production, $5,000 in weed, $2,000 in booze, and drive in 2 buses instead of one. Is it necessary to spend all of that? Of course not. We are very skilled at money management; we set up strict budget sheets, we pay all bills on time, and we NEVER carry a debt. It pays to be smart.
As for me as an individual, I have multiple sources of income. You can hate me all you want, but you can't deny the fact that I'm a pretty smart individual. My high school GPA was so high at my time of graduation that I was offered a free scholarship to ANY college in Georgia. I turned it down because I wanted to travel the world and scream obscenities (much more fun than college).
I don't want to give away all of my secrets, but the average millionaire has 7 sources of income. If you rely on just ONE source to make money, you're limiting yourself. You also need to figure out a way to make money while you sleep. Being in a band is tough, it's not like the 90's where I would be getting multi-million dollar royalty checks. I don't make SHIT off CD sales, no one does. But I'm not the type of person to bitch and complain, in fact, I NEVER complain. I just stay positive and adapt.
How do I make so much money? To be completely honest, I just work my ass off. I'm passionate about what I do so therefore I don't take days off. I worked on Christmas, and I worked on New Years. Did I get drunk? Nope. Do I feel good? Hell yeah.
You were supposed to release the Fronzilla rap album this past summer? What the hell happened?
Dude... label bullshit. It sucks. Anyways, it's all worked out now and my rap album is getting released this Summer! It's going to be a banger for sure. No one on this site will like it, but if you dig 2 chainz and waka flocka you'll dig it, haha.
Clear something up for me. In July you and Artery Recordings teamed up to start an imprint called Artery/Stay Sick, and you guys signed the band Old Again. Now, you just announced the launch of your new record label, Stay Sick Recordings. Is this the same imprint, or a totally new thing separate from Artery?
Originally my label was just going to be a small imprint, nothing big. But after thinking about it I realized that this is something that has so much potential. All of the current label owners out there are getting older and more out-of-touch with the scene, and it's time for a newer/better label to step into the game.
I want to use my label as an opportunity to give back to younger bands, and give them the opportunity I wish I had. There are a lot of young bands out there with huge potential and I feel like I'm the perfect person to help shape them and grow their career.
Have you signed any bands yet?
I've got a few bands in the works as we speak ;)
Speaking of record deals, Attila has released four albums with Artery. Have you fulfilled your contract with them yet?
Our recent album "Guilty Pleasure" was a one album deal, so yes, we are technically free agents right now. I'm not exactly sure what our plans are right now, but I know it will be something big.
Something big, huh? Does that mean that you probably won't release your next album with Artery? Have you guys been contacted by any major labels?
We haven't been contacted by any major labels yet. I don't think it's really publicly known that "Guilty Pleasure" was a one album deal. We've always liked working with Artery because they've always treated us well. I'm not opposed to something different for a change though.
I say that our next deal will be "something big" because I know what our worth is. For us to consider signing anything at this point in our career, it will have to be monumental. If not, we'll just go independent. A label isn't detrimental to our success at this point.
You had a well-publicized social media altercation
with Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail this past fall over some of your lyrics. Did you guys ever work things out? Likewise, two weeks ago we posted about a petition
that was launched to prevent you guys from playing Skate & Surf in May. Has anything come of it?
I don't think we ever "officially" worked anything out, but it's just like anything else on the Internet- People get all hyped up about it for a few days and then it dies out and nobody cares. I don't have a problem with him, I just wish he would have taken the time to confront me face-to-face before talking shit. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that anyone could accuse us of being "homophobic." We have gay family members and gay close friends.
That petition is absolutely hilarious too. The song they used in the petition is "Callout" which EVERYBODY knows is a PRO-GAY anti-homopobic song that calls out close minded people such as Westboro Baptist for their evil homophobic ways. I'm still in utter shock that ANYONE could have the nerve to call me homophobic. People are fucking idiots sometimes; it's shit like that that makes me want to quit the fucking Internet, but that would be extremely unfair to my fans.
When writing lyrics for the next Attila album, do plan to be more mindful of the lyrics you're writing, so as to avoid accusations of homophobia, etc.?
Fuck no. Every single band's lyrics are all the same these days, if I change what I'm doing then Attila is going to sound identical to every other fucking band. The sad part is, I wrote a lot of actual meaningful and personal lyrics on "Guilty Pleasure," people just choose to ignore them and focus on my more radical lyrics. I don't give a fuck, but that's the truth about us. If I write a meaningful song with no curse words, no one gives a fuck. If I write a fucked up crazy song, everyone loves it.
When you're in your mid-30s and beyond, the whole "smoke pot and bag bitches" isn't likely to resonate anymore. How do you plan to adapt?
What do you mean? Is the next generation just going to turn into complete pussies? If so, then yeah I guess I'll have to change my lyrics. But if people still want to listen to crazy party music then we will still be here for them.
When you're not driving fast cars and being Fronz, what do you do in your down-time. Is there a quiet, refined Fronz in existence? One who reads poetry and feeds ducks, perhaps?
Haha, yeah, there is. I've talked about it in the past, but I read books and ride my bike a lot. I think those two activities are extremely important and everyone should try to do them more often. Books are the best way to learn and expand your mind, and riding your bike is a great way to clear your head and get exercise at the same time. Instead of worrying about what people are saying about you on the Internet, try closing your computer and going for a bike ride.
You're about to launch you're own app, Spur, right? What's that about?
My app Spur is the VERY FIRST mobile photo-sharing app based on a system of up votes and down votes. Basically, my app is going to show you the most popular photos of each day, and you can swipe right to upvote them, or swipe left to downvote them. It's all user-generated content and the users decide which photos are popular or not.
My app is really simple but really fun, I'm fully confident that it will become huge. It's going to be completely free and ad-free as well, so if you're reading this, check the app store and download it! I've been busting my ass towards this for about 5 months now.
So what's next for Attila?
We're doing a lot of international touring in 2015. We're really starting to grow overseas so it's time to hit new markets and do some world tours :)