Enuff Z'Nuff's Chip Z'Nuff
By Jay Oakley and Christie Gerber
We're here with Chip Z'Nuff of Enuff Z'Nuff. Chip, How ya doing?
Very well at M3 here in Baltimore. A huge festival, I think it's the seventh or eighth year they're doing this and I feel very blessed and honored to be included with our band, Enuff Z'Nuff at a huge festival like this with twenty-two bands in two days. Can't go wrong.
We are excited to have you here. First time playing?
This will be our second or third time playing. Second time. We'd like to do it every single year but unfortunately they like to switch it up which is good for the fans. But, it was nice of Eric Baker (Co-creator / producer of M3 Rock Festival) to reach out to us and see if we were available. We flew in yesterday, had a great time, OD'd on sushi and now we're here and ready to rock and play a blistering, incendiary forty-five minute set.
So what's going on with you guys besides M3. I know I just watched a video that you directed I believe or produced it.
No, I did a video for "The Stroke." We did a covers record called Covered in Gold. I've never directed any videos per-say but I've been in quite a few. I just don't keep up to date on all the videos I do. Zen From Mars, I did a video from them and a band called Green Denim. Their new record's out right now, I worked on their video.
That's the one I just watched.
I'm not a video director what so ever. I think I've got some decent ideas that I've pillaged off the best but for the most part I produce records, that's what I do. When I'm not playing with Enuff Z'Nuff, I'm producing records out of my studio usually. The studio's under the same name and I make records, I try to help people out. There's a lot of artists out there. There's terrific musicians and if they ask for my help, my knowledge I try to pass it on to them.
That's very kind of you.
But, I think the biggest thing for us right now is playing these shows and getting geared up for this brand new Enuff Z'Nuff album that going to come out on Frontiers Records. We're hoping to get it out in late summer, early fall of 2016 and I don't have a title for the record yet but it's eleven songs and great material I think. It's a real rock record, very strong and mostly features the hard side of Enuff Z'Nuff. There's a little pop element to it but for the most part it's just a real great, straight ahead rock record. I hope everyone's going to be interested to hearing it. This is a good year for rock and roll right now Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Cheap Trick inducted into the Hall of Fame is a nice shot in the arm for rock and roll.
Which is needed, absolutely.
Michael Sweet, has a new album coming out.
You know it's going to be a great record. I know his road manager, Randi "Jesus" Scott, a great guy and as a matter of fact, coincidentally Michael's MCing this whole event today so it'll be good. I'd like to see how he's going to pull this one off because it's usually a job for Eddie Trunk or one of those That Metal Show guys, Don Jamieson. But, he's excited. I think he opens this show acoustically which is always a challenge and then the rock stuff starts happening.
So one thing I wanted to ask, if you're able. You are taking over vocals from my understanding.
Well, I didn't choose this gig. But, I've co-wrote and sang on every single Enuff Z'Nuff song and record throughout our career but I've always felt that there was somebody else that could do the job better once Donnie (Vie) stepped away for a little while to take a break. Then, I had my guitar played Johnny Monaco singing the stuff and he's now going through surgery with his hand to get his thumb fixed so he needs to take six months off or a year off. So, we went through the rehearsals and it sounded great and I said, "Well I'm part of the face of Enuff Z'Nuff, it's only fitting that I go out in front and sing these songs." So, it's my gig. I never through I'd be telling people that I'm the singer in Enuff Z'Nuff.
Can we expect to get Johnny back when he's fit?
I don't predict the future. If you talk to that chick that's on that cable TV show who talks to the dead. What's her name, with the blonde hair, she can tell you more then I can tell you. Listen, no one's been fired, Donnie still is the singer in Enuff Z'Nuff, he just doesn't tour with us anymore. He co-wrote those songs and no one would even know who I am if it wasn't for his beautiful pipes. That being said though, I've sang these songs, all of them, throughout or career and it just came to a time where I wanted to continue to keep singing and playing and I took the job. It's not an easy gig. I remember Steven Tyler from Aerosmith saying that he gets up in the morning and he's got no pipes at all. He gets in the shower and he starts singing and he just doesn't have anything at all. He just prays to the Pipes Gods to give him the strength to get through the songs because a lot of the audience that comes out here and sees our bands, our songs to these people are the first times they fucked or they got high or something in their life that was significant and that they'll always remember and they want to get back to that so it's a challenge and you want to make it great every single night.
I think we have a strong band. I have Erik Donner his father is the late Ral Donner who was Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin's favorite singer. He's a terrific lead singer, drummer. I have Tony Fennell from Ultravox, the second singer in Ultravox and he's playing guitar in the band and I have Tory Stoffregen, who's a terrific guitar player and he's been with Enuff Z'Nuff for years. So, I think I have a good band, I think we have something really special here. Two guitars, so it's real strong, powerful and we deliver.
We're focusing on the first couple albums of Enuff Z'Nuff because those albums were gold records. They sold a lot of records and MTV played the videos so I want to focus on the stuff that people know. Maybe later on put some of the other stuff in there as well. We have twenty albums of Enuff Z'Nuff with thirteen or fourteen studio records. That's a lot of material. I'm really excited to see this crowd at M3. You can get seventeen to eighteen thousand people in this place. We go on in the afternoon at five o'clock but if we play to five or six thousand people here that's like going out and it would take two or three weeks to reach that many people on a club tour.
Thanks so much, Chip. It was a pleasure, man.
I appreciate it. Thanks