THE DUKE - Stuck No More Page 2
by Martin Popoff

"Because truly, through all of this, I really haven't changed," says Ward, after a long discussion about Journey, Styx, Pink Floyd and AC/DC. "A lot of fans through the years have asked me who my favorite bands were - it's the same ones. I still listen to the same classic rock/AOR stuff, and I'm still the same guy. This outwardly chronicles a pointed effort on my part to make some changes, so that I can stop fighting evolution, so that I can look forward, so that I can become more than the guy who plays the riff tuned down to C. In all honesty, even though I really enjoy that kind of music, I feel like I'm almost better at playing rock music than I am at metal at sometimes. Sometimes I struggle a little bit more at putting together the ultimate riff record."

So Rich wrote an intensely emotional record. About change.

"Well, the whole collapse of my life, actually happened about three years ago (laughs). I had Stuck Mojo, I had Fozzy, I had started this side-project with Steve, Sick Speed, I got married. Man, my life was jammin', everything was really cool, I was really just enjoying forward momentum. Even though Stuck Mojo was kind of on the backburner, because we had just burnt out our relationships with each other. Bonz and I did not get along, but we knew that we still made good music together, so we never obviously said the band had broken up. We had just decided, why don't we try some other things for a while? And then, slowly, one by one, Bonz and I started to have less and less communication. Chris Jericho from Fozzy had a child and wanted to take some time off from touring. And the Sick Speed band I had been working on and shopping deals for, I just had so many lineup changes that it was hard to keep continuity. Just, everything was going wrong, and then my wife and I split up, and it was just a weird time."

THE DUKE - Stuck No More Page 3