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Rewind With Chip Z’Nuff, 2/22/01

 

METAL SLUDGE REWIND WITH…

Enuff Z’Nuff Bass Player Chip Z’Nuff

Jim Bob Dwarf has struck again! 
This time he got Chip & Donnie from Enuff Z’Nuff to do Rewinds with us!

Here’s the story along with a photo of Enuff Z’Nuff’s Ricky Parent, Donnie Vie, Jim Bob Dwarf, and Chip. Notice Monaco isn’t in the photo, but we’ll save that story for Donnie’s Rewind.

Jim Bob ventured to a club called Sidetracked in Lemont, IL, where Enuff Z’Nuff were playing on February 10th. Jeff Overstreet from Sidetracked, www.jeffoverstreet.com, hooked him up like a rock star.  Here is what Jim Bob had to say about it: "Alright I just got up and things are still spinning sorta, but altogether I don’t think things could’ve gone better last night. Jeff Overstreet definitely gets props ’cause he set me up the entire evening; he coordinated the interview segments, made sure I always had a brew in my hand, etc. We watched the show from the side of the stage in the ‘special’ area away from the crowd with the band’s friends, wives etc. The whole Sidetracked staff was way cool to me and gave me lots of latitude.
Chip’s interview was first, about an hour before the band went on stage. Chip wanted to do the interview in his car, so I went out there to the parking lot and we pulled off out of the way. His wife Michelle was in the car too, it was just the 3 of us. There were several interruptions because we did this in Chip’s truck and people kept coming over and banging on the window and Michelle kept telling them to go away. Chip was in the driver’s seat, Michelle in the passenger seat, and Jim-Bob in the back. The funny thing was that they burnt a fat one with me during the course of the interview. You can hear coughing and whatnot. It was ironic when I was asking the question "If you could smoke pot with 3 other rock stars who would they be" as Chip passes the log around. Also, Chip and Donnie stole my Sludge shirts so I’m fresh out now!"

First Jim Bob ends up drinking with Jani Lane, and now he’s smoking a fatty with Chip Z’Nuff! We’re a bad influence on poor Jim Bob.

We first talked to Chip back on June 15, 1999.  So we had a lot of catching up to do.  Enjoy!

1. What is Enuff Z’Nuff up to now?
(Chip, holding in smoke) New album. It’s called "10". Real excited about it. Just went to radio last week with the first single, which is called "There Goes My Heart." Obviously it’s an uphill battle, there’s a million bands out there all trying to get airplay. But, we’re very confident with this. We made a strong record. Hopefully we can go out and support it all year. In our little red Oscar Meyer Wiener wagon!
Jim-Bob: Do you really got one?
Eh, it’s a fictitious bus.
Jim Bob: I love that thing!
(Chip passes the hooch to Jim-Bob)
Jim-Bob: Oh, thanks a bunch.

2. What exactly is Bill Aucoin’s role with the band now and what changes do you think he’ll bring about?
Bill Aucoin is….everyone that’s followed rock and roll music through the early 70s will know that Bill Aucoin used to manage Billy Idol and of course was the history-making manager of KISS. And yes, he’s on board, he’s helping the band out, and, we don’t know what he’s going to bring to the party, except, when he makes a telephone call, people pick up the phone for him a lot faster than us. And he’s got quite a track record.  His work speaks for itself. If we can see a 10th of the success his other bands have had, we’ll be fine.


Chip & his wife Michelle
3.  What are you 5 Best and Worst memories of Enuff Z’Nuff?
That’s a lot isn’t it? The five best is: everybody meetin’, performing together, making an album, doin’ MTV and David Letterman and all the TV shows, and touring around the country to support the record. 
Michelle Z’Nuff chimes in: Them being together after 16 years is cool.
And the bad things that happened: Touring relationships, lost record deals, defunct labels, shitty tours – bands that we don’t even fit with! – but that’s the way it goes, you take what you can get. And uh, being lied to, constantly, about everything that we do.

4. Do you guys have plans on putting out a box set of all your unreleased songs sometime in the future?
When it’s all said and done, and the fat lady’s singin’, I’ll do that.  I’ll put together all the records like Metallica did with all the records together in one like in a big flight case. Mine’ll be a little amplifier, a little small, Marshall amplifier, and inside the amplifier, instead of speakers, there’ll be CDs.
Jim-Bob: Could you plug into it then?
Yeah, if you want to air-guitar.
Jim Bob: Like a little Pignose or something?
That’s quite a good idea if you ask me! I just thought of it.

5. Rate the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being a joke and 10 being somebody you hail.
This ain’t fair, these questions really. I find myself being a real jagoff right here.
Dana Strum =  Uh….Dana Strum, on a scale of 1 to 10, huh? 
(Long Pause) 5
Man, I should have never gotten this interview. These are all people that’ll be real pissed at me.

Robbie Crane = 1 to 10, huh?  5
Jerry Dixon = 5
Eric Brittingham = 6
Bobby Dall = 4. Wait make it 5. I don’t want to be disrespectful to Bobby, I toured with him.
Tom Hamilton = He’s more like a 7 or an 8. He’s very good.
Tom Petersson = Same thing. You know, he’s got his own distinct style. A 7 or an 8.
Gene Simmons = Well he’s a superstar, but playing ability…same thing. No, 6 or 7.
Nikki Sixx = Same.
They’re all pretty much the same players so far, everybody you’ve mentioned. They all can play, they’re all decent players, they all have their own style. But you haven’t mentioned anybody like Geddy Lee, who’s a monster motherfuckin’ bass player. Flea. He’s killer.  Nobody talks about Flea. He’s one of the better guys out there.
Fuzz = Hmm. Same. Everybody’s pretty much in the same category except for Tom Hamilton. (Takes a big toke)

6. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
(Someone puts their mouth up to the cracked window and shouts: "’Ello, mates!" Michelle Z’Nuff whispers for them to go away)
There’s so many to mention. There’s too many to mention! Including myself, probably.

7. Are you happy with Spitfire Records and how they’ve promoted the band?
Well, I like the guys over at Spitfire, I think they’ve got a real nice staff over there. It’s too early to tell. I can’t evaluate what they’ve done because the record’s still new. I know that we’re probably the only band on the roster that has pop overtones on a predominantly heavy metal label, hard rock label.

8.  Any truth to the rumor that you are going to join Metallica as their bass player?
No, that’s not. That’s a total lie. And personally, they’ve never even called me. But I like the guys and I wish them the best of success and I hope Jason, I hope Jason gets well.

8. Why is Monaco so bitter?
Michelle Z’Nuff, under her breath: "He was born that way, if you ask me."
It’s just that, err. Monaco, every time that he feels threatened, err, he, he puts his guard up. Which is understandable, like anybody else.
(Donnie Vie comes up to the window, Michelle puts the window down and whispers something to Donnie.)
But even though he may come across as bitter, he’s a pretty good guy.
(Donnie Vie to Michelle Z’Nuff: "Yeah, I got it, the other 20 minutes, right.")
He’s got a lot of personality.
(Donnie Vie to Jim-Bob: "Hey, hit me upstairs when you’re done here and I’ll take care of you, OK?")
(Michelle Z’Nuff, to Donnie: "What’s the discrepancy between… [inaudible]")
(Donnie to Michelle Z’Nuff: "What do you mean?  I don’t know what you’re fuckin’ talking about.")
Chip yells at Donnie and Michelle: HEY! Can we finish this up guys?!
(Michelle rolls up window.)

10. What do you remember about writing or recording the following songs:
Little Pigs = In Lake Geneva Wisconsin, livin’ in a hotel.
(Someone else comes to the window and knocks on it: "I brought you a bottle o’ water, honey. Hi!" Michelle whispers something about an interview going on)
Hang on a second.
Chip yells = OK guys, give me a minute! Go on in baby!
(Window goes back up, everyone clears away. Chip chuckles) OK. Go ahead, bud.
Hollywood Squares = The only thing I remember about that is we snuck into a studio late at night in Crestwood, Illinois. We still haven’t paid our bill.
Baby Loves You  = Recorded in Los Angeles at the Music Grinder. Big studio where Alice In Chains, KISS, everybody’s been there. Was during one of our sessions for the "Strength" album.
Time To Let You Go = We were in Hit Factory in New York and Robin Zander wanted to sing the backgrounds on it and I told him no because I was told that Paul McCartney wanted to sit in on the session, play on the song, and it turns out that Paul didn’t get the time. Some things happened where he couldn’t do it. I still kick myself in the ass to this day because Robin Zander’s probably one of the best singers in rock.
Takin’ A Ride = Just remember recording it in my house in Lake Geneva. I mean, in Beverly, Illinois. In my front room. My beautiful little daughter was sleeping. Recorded it on an 8-track, took it to the record company and Clive Davis loved it. Put it on the record. It was one song we thought the label probably wouldn’t like because it was kind of alternative sounding. But, the song still holds up pretty good to this day, I think.
Haleah = Harleah? Just a great pop song that still hasn’t seen an album. Hasn’t been put on a record to this day. But maybe in the future you’ll hear it on one of our albums. I think it’s a nice song. Donnie came up with. Couldn’t think of a name of a girl that rhymed and had, sounds…you know…the lips. Certain words sound better when you sing ‘em.
Jim-Bob: Is it a real person?
It’s a real person, yeah. Harleah. It’s a very rare name, but beautiful still.
You’re Not Me = One of them Rock-101 school songs. Everybody writes ‘em. We thought it’d be good to have one on our record. Why, I don’t know. It’s not one of my favorite songs to be honest with ya. Probably because I wrote most of the lyrics on that one. Donnie much better lyrically than am, I feel.
My Heroin = Goin’ through a terrible time in my life.
Ain’t It Funny = Good rock song we recorded over in uh, on the north side of Chicago at a place called Velvet Shirt Studio. One of the only songs that Monaco actually plays on our albums, out of all the albums. 
No Place To Go = Umm. Wow, these guys really have a lot of questions, don’t they? No Place To Go is one of them rock songs.  We did it over where Disturbed did their record, at Johnny K’s Groove Master studio.  I sang the original version and then Donnie heard it and he re-sang it. And, we ended up doing two versions. We put one out in the States and another one out in Europe. Billy Corgan was nice enough to take time out from his Smashing Pumpkins schedule to play guitar on it.
Bang On = Another rock song. Same-old same-old. Not one of my favorites. But a lot of people like it.
Wake Up = It’s gonna be in a movie, called "Dead Awake", it’ll be out in a couple months, starring Stephen Baldwin, Michael Ironside. It’s like our "Stairway To Heaven".

11.  Do you really think Cinderella ripped off the riff from "New Thing" and used it in "Gypsy Road"?
I don’t know about that. I know I gave them the demo. It’s no big deal, I like the guys in Cinderella. I heard they were pissed off about that. And, that’s the last thing I want to do – look for enemies in the music business, it’s such a small business. But I did give them the demo before the record even came out, and 6 months later Gypsy Road hit the streets, and it’s the exact same riff. Coincidence? Sure, could be. No problem. I’m certainly not mad, and they better not be because them fuckin’ guys are living in mansions right now and I live in a hovel in Blue Island. (Looks at Michelle) With a goddess of course!

Enuff Z’Nuff 1991

12. If you could burn a fat one with 3 other rock stars, who would they be?
I already have!
Jim-Bob: If, if you could. It’s theoretical.
(Michelle shows Jim-Bob her shirt, which reads, ‘ROCK-STAR’)
Jim-Bob: Oh, there you go! Rock Star.
(Michelle passes the wogger to Jim-Bob)
Jim-Bob: Thanks much!
Umm. It’s probably be Rio. She’s a friend of mine. A lot of fun to puff with. I’ve puffed with them all, so
I can’t see anybody. Stern.

Jim-Bob passes it back to Michelle: There you go.
They all puff, OK? Without saying any names, they ALL puff. 99% of them like to smoke! It’s no big deal.
Jim Bob: We all do!

13. Who’s the most overrated band today and why?
(Chip scowls) This is like, try to find all the dirt you can and hurt people. The most overrated band and why? CREED, because I think they get more airplay than any other band out there, they take up a lot of space. Songs are decent. They got a decent sound, but uh, the ‘next Led Zeppelin’ I don’t think so. And I’m not tootin’ our horn either in Enuff Z’Nuff. Everyone’s got their own sound and that’s really hard to find. But uh, I don’t care who the band is. If radio and TV are receptive to playing your music every single day, people are going to get into it and
gravitate to it. That familiarity thing. Keep hearing it, keep spinning it, it’s like a subliminal sound. There’s songs, you know, where I used to go to work and I’d hear this song on the radio and I’d go, "I can’t stand this song!" and then by the end of the day I’d be singing,
(Chip sings) ‘Blah, I got a brand new pair of roller skates.’  You know, it’s ridiculous.  So if they’re played enough, and they’re halfway decent songs, they can be hits.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t take a Creed tour right now if they asked us to. A big help. I would take that in a second.

14. What is your opinion on Napster?
I think it’s terrific. Although I’m not sure if they’re paying anybody any royalties for downloading their music or sales.  But I think it’s a way for all the musicians to be heard. And it helps elevate everybody’s perception, because you’re on there with the Metallicas and all the big artists that are out there of today. You’re lumped in with them so in a lot of ways it’s good. I feel bad for the artists of the 20s-30s-40s-50s-60s – the earlier artists – that are being pillaged and they’re not being compensated for their music. That’s…that’s disheartening a little bit. But anytime that you can get your music heard it’s a good thing I think.

15.  Which do you prefer and why?
Gino Martino or Derek Frigo = (Jim Bob misreads the question and says George Martino instead of Gino Martino) George Martino is very good.  I don’t know who George Martino is.  You mean Gino Martino? 
Jim Bob: 
Right.
They both are terrific. I think that Frigo is one of the better guitar players of the last decade, and I think Gino Martino has been a rock star for years. He knows how to carry himself. They’re both – it depends what your tastes are – they’re both real strong players though. You can’t take that away from them guys. They can both play their ass off, and sing. Well, Frigo’s not much of a singer, but he sings on guitar. But Gino Martino, he’s a great guitar player and he’s a real good singer too.
Playboy or Penthouse = That’s a good one. Probably have to go with Playboy, ’cause I’m a big fan of Hefner’s.
Ringo or George = That’s a tough one. I like them both. I’d probably have to go with George as far as tunes go. Ringo, he’s got a lot of personality. He’s more like a… a…he’s got a, well more like a clown character. I don’t want to be disrespectful to him, but George Harrison is a great guitar player. Great slide player.  He’s got great technique.
Thirsty Whale or The Metro = (Chuckles) Thirsty Whale, because I’ve been there millions. It’s been open for 30 years. The Doors opened it, Enuff Z’Nuff closed the doors. And they’ve been very good to us. Joe Shanahan. Although if I had to pick which clubs right now that are vital it’d obviously be The Metro. Joe Shanahan’s one of the better club owners in the city. Just personally, for me, it was the Thirsty Whale. The last show there by the way was Nash Cato from Urge Overkill, Jim Elleson from Material Issue sat in and played with us. I’ll always have fond memories of the Thirsty Whale.
Midway Airport or O’Hare = Oh, Midway for sure. It’s closer to the pad.
Eyeliner or lipstick = Eyeliner. Sure, for a man. And if I’m with my baby (looks at Michelle Z’Nuff) I like her in lipstick. She doesn’t even need eyeliner. 
Disturbed or Smashing Pumpkins = The Smashing Pumpkins have already had their run, but Disturbed’s having a little bit of fun right now. But if I had to prefer listening to both of them on a desert island, I’ll take Smashing Pumpkins.
Britney Spears or Madonna = Oh that’s easily Madonna. She’s the star there. She’s been around for years. Britney Spears, well she’s huge right now, but she doesn’t carry herself the same way. She’s not as real as Madonna. But she’s also easy on the eyes, though.
White Sox or The Cubs = Sox, by far. I like both Chicago teams but I’ll take the Sox any day because I’m loyal to my team. My grandfather played for the White Sox in the 30′s too.
Jim-Bob: Oh, no shit!
Yeah.
Jim-Bob: Who was he?
His name was Sigmund. He was a pitcher and played 3rd base. He was the last ambidextrous ball player for the Sox.
Jackie The Jokeman or Fred Norris = I like Fred a lot, he’s a really good guy, but I think Jackie’s more my buddy because, well we got a couple more things in common. He’s full of piss and vinegar too, Jackie is. Fred’s a little more laid-back. But I got respect for both of them.

15. Why do you think a band like Poison hasn’t taken you guys out on their Summer tours?
‘Cause, quite frankly, they got better things on their mind than taking us out on their tours. And secondly, we haven’t really pursued something like that. We’ve been trying to go out and work with bands like Oasis and The Black Crowes.

17. Was there ever a time that Donnie was so bad off that you didn’t think he was going to survive?
Sure. Haven’t we all been there?

18. Of all the bands you guys played with, who treated you with the least amount of respect?
John Cougar Mellencamp. We did the Flood Relief gigs with him out there when those people went through those terrible rains back in ’93/’94. He doesn’t really spend a lot of time with the opening acts. But they were good though. Really strong show. That chick can play the violin as good as any guy I’ve ever seen. But yeah, his wife Erin was a lot nicer, I’ll tell ya that. You can’t measure that anyway. We asked him a question that, well I wasn’t with him long enough to really give you a good answer. ‘Cause most of the bands we play with really like our band. A lot of these bands are our friends too, they turn into fans and friends. Just like we are to them.

19. Can marriage vows mean anything to a rock star?
Sure, they should mean something to anybody. Driving on the way up here, I was telling Michelle that, ‘I’m not a rock star, really. I used to be a rock star. I feel like I’ve tasted success. But I’m just a musician and songwriter producer / everything, you know, I play music.  It’s not up to me to call myself a ‘rock star’. Other people call you a ‘rock star’. A rock star doesn’t call himself a rock star. 

20.  What do you remember about the following years:
1980 = Just graduating from high school.
1984 = First getting together, Enuff Z’Nuff just getting together and making their first recordings.
1987 = Starting to play around Chicago and starting a little spark, a little fire, getting a little buzz happening. People started paying attention to us.
1990 = Got signed, our first album came out, smash hits on MTV with "New Thing" and "Fly Michelle". Toured the country, playing sold-out shows for 12 months straight. On a tour bus. Probably never had more fun in my life.
1993 = Performed on Letterman for the 2nd time. We played "Superstitious" off Animals With Human Intelligence. David came backstage at the end of the show. We all shared cigarettes – David
smoked a cigar, we had cigarettes. The producer of Letterman saying, ‘Madonna was on the show last week and David didn’t come back and say hi to her. He never does this, Chip.’ And here is his back with the guys, taking pictures, hanging out, and Will Lee. The whole band.  It was great.

1995 = Lost our record deal. Actually, asked politely for Arista to let us out of our contract. We signed with Nirvana’s/Smashing Pumpkin’s label, Caroline.
1997 = Hmmm. Put out a couple of albums, one over in Japan and one here in the states.  Fought, scratched and clawed our way to get at least a little bit of airplay so we could sell enough records so we could stay in the business.
2000 = Made a new record. Producing records for tons of other artists – Mud Cherry, Ramone, 950, Purple. A lot of new music coming out. Some smashes too. And then of course, my bread and butter, which is Enuff Z’Nuff.  Hopefully we get a little bit of support on this album, we can go out and tour and let everybody know we’re still making music.

20. Don’t you think the peace logo has become played out already?
The Peace logo is never gonna go away. It looks cool, it means cool things. It’s for everybody. And that’s just ironic. What, should I change it to a knife or a gun? Or drugs? Or something that’s promiscuous? I think it’s a fine, fine logo to push. And, I’m real proud of our logo.

22.  Can you pay your rent?
If I can’t, my wife will!
Yeah, we don’t have problems with that. It’s not like we’re bums. We actually work. Every single day. I work harder than a lot of guys that are trillionaires. I’ve hung out with Donald Trump, where he sat down and I said to him ‘one of my goals in life is to be half as successful as you’ and he said ‘what are you talking about, you’re already halfway there’. So, that’s inspirational in itself. Get up every single morning, and it’s a new day, and I’m happy. Every day above ground is good.

23.  Time for Metal Sludge Word Association.  We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Scott Loftus = Disappeared.
Jim-Bob: He’s on the Loop!
Haven’t heard him.
Jim-Bob: He’s on weeknights.
You said word-association, I said ‘disappeared’. He used to play us all the time. He was a big, big supporter in the earlier days.
Jim-Bob: Yeah, like when he was on Y-108, WMET.
Unforunately, wherever he’s at, they’re not letting him call the shots, or he’s pissed off at us, ’cause we haven’t heard anything from him. But, a friend.
Fred Durst = Lucky
Kid Rock = Blessed
Dana Strum = (long pause) Funny
Jani Lane = Talented
Vince Neil = (long pause) Promiscuous
Barry Waterman = Good
Tommy Lee = Hung
Lars Ulrich = Jagoff
Billy Corgan = Star
Rikki Rockett = Pretty
Marilyn Manson = Superstar
Jimmy DeCanio = Who?!
Jim-Bob: Jimmy DeCanio. Owner of the Thirsty Whale.
Loveable.

So there you have it.  Thanks again to Jeff Overstreet and everyone at Sidetracked for making Jim Bob feel special. 

And of course thanks to Jim Bob Dwarf and Chip Z’Nuff for making it happen.

Look for Donnie’s very honest Rewind to go up next month!

For more info on Enuff Z’Nuff, check out their website at www.enuffznuff.com.

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