Enuff Z’Nuff’s Chip Z’Nuff
This interview was done by Jim Bob Dwarf, in person at Star Trax studio in Crestwood, IL, on September 13th. Yes, September 13th. It took us a while to transcribe this because we’re lazy bastards and nobody wanted to do it. It finally got done and here it is for your reading enjoyment.
1. What are you up to?
Just finished the Metal Sludge tour with Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd. That was great. Before that I was on the LA Guns/Enuff Z’Nuff tour over in Europe. Now I’m currently in the studio recording some new songs. Have a brand new Enuff Z’Nuff album coming out at the end of the year called ‘Favorites.’ And uh, I’m also currently producing a couple of different projects: A band called Ivory out of Philadelphia, which I think has great rock songs. And the Ramone record, artist out here in Chicago. Really strong. And this guy that just got out of prison – his name’s Jimmy Zappas. He served thirteen and a half years in….a Marion prison for half a pound of cocaine. Doesn’t do drugs at all. Got caught selling when he was younger, and instead of plea-bargaining, getting out, he fought it cause h e didn’t feel he was as guilty as he was charged. Ended up serving thirteen and a half years in prison, got out of prison, and is right now currently writing a book, and recording songs he wrote in prison. It’s really good. It’s called ‘Zappas,’ that’s the name of that project. And then I just finished working with a guy named Billy McCarthy, he’s also known as Billy Dior. Played drums in D’Molls, which did a couple of albums on Atlantic Records. And he wrote a book called ‘The Devil of Shakespeare,’ it’s got a big buzz on the streets right now and gets released next year, in March 2004. And we wrote a song for the book, aptly titled "The Devil of Shakespeare." And he’s got some nice musicians that are playing on the record. He’s got one of the guys from 20/20, and he got Robin Zander from Cheap Trick to sing on it. And a cast of characters, he’s got some pretty good names on there. So, that’s what I’ve been doing in the last 5 months.
2. Donnie recently released a statement saying that he quit the band. Technically, didn’t he quit the band like a year or so ago, and what are your thoughts on that?
Ah, sometimes you say things…..because you’re upset. And then later on you realize it takes time for all wounds to heal. You realize, maybe I just jumped the gun and spoke too soon. He’s not out of the band. He’s still the singer in the band. Right now we’re a 3-piece. It’s like Oasis without their singer. Johnny Monaco really stepping up to the plate. And we’re supporting a brand new album. If he chooses not to tour, that’s up to him. He’s taking care of his personal issues, and I think that people, there’s more important things to worry about than the little squabbles that our band has. We’re all still together, still a band. Just a 3-piece right now. And only the future will tell what’s going to happen. I see us doing another record though. And I always look at everything positively – I look at the glass half-full. And he’s currently got a solo record out. So he’s got that, plus the ‘Welcome to Blue Island’ record with Enuff Z’Nuff. He’s got two albums out right now. He looks like he’s doing pretty good for a guy who hasn’t stepped foot on a tour bus once all year. So, somebody’s smart. In the meantime, you’ll continue to see Enuff Z’Nuff playing dates around the country. Look for a European tour in late November through December to support the Enuff Z’Nuff ‘Favorites’ record.
3 . In the "Welcome To Blue Island" CD booklet, it says Enuff Z’Nuff is managed by Obi Steinman. Haven’t you guys burned enough bridges on your own? Why do you need him around doing the same thing?
Well Obi seems to have a pulse right now on bands at our level of success. With quite a few bands that are actually a lot bigger than we are. Came out and seen the band. Donnie lives in Los Angeles. We all sat down and talked about it and decided maybe it’d be the best thing to have the management based in Los Angeles. Helped Donnie a lot out there, setting himself up with living and recording. ‘Cause Obi does a lot of different stuff for his bands. And maybe he has pissed off some people. But we’ve all worked together to help keep Enuff Z’Nuff in business right now. And currently, Obi Steinman, along with Tom Feeley, who’s worked with Enuff Z’Nuff for the last 6, 7 years, are working with the band in a management capacity. And I think it’s better for us to have somebody helping the band as opposed to the inmates running the asylum, which is how it’s been. I tried to hold the team together as long as I could, by me doing it. God knows I learned a lot from Doc McGhee and Herbie Herbert, 2 great managers. And also Lisa Vega, who’s the Osbournes’ publicist who managed the band for awhile. Taught me a lot. Uh, but the artist doesn’t manage himself. He might have ideas but he needs somebody to get in the driver’s seat. And I think that Obi and Tom Feeley have both done a great job for the band, helped keep us alive during this time. ‘Cause it’s not like we’re the flavor of the month, and it’s not like we’re setting the world on fire with singles. But I certainly feel that our music is strong and there’s people out there that echo that sentiment.
4. 21. If Robin Zander fell in the forest, what would it sound like?
Huh? If Robin Zander fell in the forest what would it sound like? Umm. (Long pause). Robin Zander falling in a forest. Robin Zander falling in the forest.
5. Which do you prefer and why:
1985 or Peach Fuzz = Neither. That’s like our first album and our second album, before we actually had a major label deal. They’re early songs that we wrote, and we were real proud of them. They show growth, those two albums. But they aren’t my favorite records by all means. But nonetheless I still think they’re nice little pop songs, and it just goes to show how we started and where we are right now.
One-hitters or water bongs = (pause) One-hitters.
The Dan Ryan Expressway or Stony Island Avenue = That’d have to be the Dan Ryan – it’s a little safer.
Bowling alleys or Arcades = What’s the difference? Arcades are where you basically play games, pinball and all that stuff. Bowling alley, you bowl and there’s cocktails and usually there’s trim there. So probably the bowling alley.
Steve and Gary or Little Tommy and Uncle Lar = Who’s Little Tommy and Uncle Lar?
Jim Bob: "Animal Stories" from WLS, Tommy Edwards and Larry Lujack. Back in the 70s through the early to mid 80s.
Gary it would have to be.
JB: Steve and Gary?
Yeah Steve and Gary, because they left and indelible mark with a couple of different generations.
Rubber Soul or Abbey Road = (Chip sounds like he’s hacking up a lung!) You can’t go wrong with either one of them. Abbey Road if I had to make a choice, but they’re both brilliant.
Herbie Herbert or Tom Feeley = Herbie Herbet, no disrespect to Tom Feeley. Herbie, everything he’s touched – except for Enuff Z’Nuff – has done great. Santana, Steve Miller Band, Journey, Roxette, Mr. Big, and then. he had Enuff Z’Nuff. Out of all the bands he managed, I just seen him last month, he told me out of all the bands he’s ever managed, his favorite and best band of all time was Enuff Z’Nuff. Unfortunately, didn’t have the same success. Different times, politics, whatever it may be. Music-wise, out of all the bands I just mentioned, we’ve put a lot of records out there, and those bands have been together a lot longer than we have. So, I think because of the bulk of the music and the songs and the style of songwriting, Herbie was always. Herbie always embraced that. And so did his bands for that matter. All the guys he managed, they all loved us. So, Herbie taught me a lot, plus he showed a lot of love. And Tom Feeley, he’s new on the picture, but he’s family nevertheless. But to be Herbie Herbert, well, there’s only one Herbie Herbert in the world and he can’t be replaced.
The Illinois Entertainer or the Midwest Beat = You know, on these kind of questions, you know you’re always going to take an ass-whoopin’, because there’s friends in both places. The Midwest Beat, obviously, Tom Lounges. We go back a long ways. Enuff Z’Nuff actually played at his wedding. Him and his wife, his goddess wife Julie, are great. And it’s a small publication. He tries to get out as much information about all the local bands as he can. The Illinois Entertainer, oh my God, they’ve been really good to the band too. We’ve had the cover three or four times, and that’s a bigger magazine than the Midwest Beat, so, just because I have to weigh both, use it as a barometer, I’ll have to go with the Illinois Entertainer because it reaches more people. But I’m probably closer friends with Tom Lounges. a friend. Although, like I said, proof is in the pudding. Four times on the cover of the Illinois Entertainer, one cover for him. And I didn’t play in anybody’s wedding at the Illinois Entertainer.
House Of Blues or Hard Rock Caf? = Oh, you gotta go with the House of Blues. That’s one of the better rooms around the country. Michael Yerkey, who books the place, has given Enuff Z’Nuff plenty of shots to play to thousands of people, and we’ve always done really well there. The Hard Rock Caf?, on the other hand, we just played at a couple of them on this Metal Sludge tour, and they treated us great. Uh, a little wilder actually at the Hard Rocks. A little more piss and vinegar. I seen a lot of trim there. Really promiscuous women. Everyone’s dressed really provocatively. They’re trying to be hip and cool – and they were! It was a good time. But if I had to pick one or the other, it’d be the House of Blues, just because of the ambiance and vibe there. Great PA system too. House of Blues’ PA kills!
Pretty Boy Floyd or BulletBoys = (long pause) Well there’s gonna be jagoffs out there in both bands that are gonna want to fistfight after the answer, because you can’t give a good answer there. For sure, BulletBoys because Marq Torien’s a great singer and a great writer. There’s no denying that. I don’t care who he’s beat the shit out of. The guy’s a star! On the other hand, Pretty Boy Floyd, you know, that’s an old time rock and roll band, they get in your face and they put on a real good show and people are real impressed with what they do. But song for song – and Steve, I want to mention, the singer from Pretty Boy Floyd, showed me a lot on this Metal Sludge tour. We played Houston and he was kicking ass. He came up with, uh, Steven Adler, we did a couple of Guns ‘N Roses songs and he was real strong. The whole crowd was standing on their chairs. But I have to go with the BulletBoys. Just the sheer pipes of Marq Torien, he’s got a great show too. He’s a showman, he’s a rock star, and he’s one of the better singers out there. They’re both strong; I gotta go with BulletBoys. When it comes to substance abuse and promiscuity, it’ll be Pretty Boy Floyd though.
Oreos or Chips Ahoy = Well, they’re both fattening, but I’ll probably have to go with the Chips Ahoy. As long as there’s 2% milk with ice cubes.
Jim Bob: Ice cubes?
Yeah, I like ice cubes. I like my milk. I like a couple of ice cubes in my milk.
6. How out of control was Pretty Boy Floyd during our MSX Tour?
Uhhh. (long pause) Caligula meets the Dead Boys. They were out of control. Uh, but that’s what a rock band’s supposed to be. And they lived it 24 hours a day. They came out with the regalia on, they rocked hard every single night. At the end of that night, the concert continued in the bus, or whatever hotel room we went into. And I admire their strut. Uh, but I know I couldn’t live that hard. I’ve seen my guys. I know a lot of bands can really dance for a long time without getting tired, but those guys got more energy than I’ve ever seen in my life. A quart of Jack Daniels every single night. Pablo Escovar would show up around 9:30 with a Brinks truck, with a bindle like a coffin, and the guys would partake until 3, 4 in the morning, and still be ready the next day to go and play another show. The bus, the old Nirvana bus, was so polluted when they came and picked us up, and by the end of that tour that bus was just totaled. We switched busses at the end of that tour. Had another bus company come out, but that bus was just as bad. So, transportation-wise, that tour was really difficult for the bands I’m sure. But Pretty Boy Floyd, they were so pickled, that it didn’t bother them at all.
7. You produced the band Sixty-10. What’s their story?
Well, they’re managed by Bill Aucoin, who managed KISS. They got some nice inroads with some people in the industry that are very influential. They sent me a tape out, hired me for 5 days. In 5 days I produced the record. I really thought there was some star power in the band. I really like the singer Randall and the guitar player Ramone. Strong writers and strong musicianship. They’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think they got a chance just like anybody else and they should continue to do what they’re doing because eventually they’ll get their shot.
8. What’s the most amount of damage that Enuff Z’Nuff has done to a dressing room, hotel, or tour bus?
There’s too much mention, but if I showed you the receipts, you’d die a thousand deaths. The first thing that comes up when you say that is Matthew and Gunnar Nelson loaning Donnie their 1964 Mustang, totaling that. I get a bill at the house for about 15 grand on that car. I remember one time, the band, with the old management, Bob Brigham who was our day to day guy, him and Donnie were sleeping in a hotel room in Peoria and Ricky Parent took a fire extinguisher and sprayed their room and choked everybody out, of course. Brigham came out of his hotel room in his underpants and grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to shoot it in our room but I had pillows and blankets and towels under the door so it stayed in the hallway. The whole fire department was there, all the police, we were all thrown out of the hotel. $1700 in damage. What for, I don’t know, but it was pretty bad. A lot of people had to get out of the hotel.
The last thing I remember is that we were staying in Baltimore at one of the finest hotels we’ve ever stayed at. Maybe I shouldn’t mention their name…..Harbor Court. Donnie pulled about 20 fans into the hotel lobby elevator to come up to the 6th floor, 7th floor, whatever floor we were staying at, and broke the elevator. That cost us about $3700 dollars.
They sound like a lot, but they’re just little bills compared to the bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen, those guys, they wreck stuff. Now up to the new bands of today, Stone Temple Pilots, Metallica. They all like to cause a little bit of trouble. That’s good. It’s all rock and roll, just as long as you don’t hurt anybody. I’ve always admired those bands for their attitude, even if I wasn’t a huge fan of their music, just for the way they carried themselves.
Jim Bob: I’ll have to put that on my list of things to do. Trashing a hotel room.
Just don’t hurt anybody!
9. Did you witness Donnie, Vikki, and Frigo performing "New Thing" at the Viper Room and what were your thoughts on it?
Yeah, I seen it. My thoughts were, I was happy to see the guys all up on stage. Foxx looked great. Frigo looked better than ever and was playing just as good as he ever did. Probably one of my favorite, and not just me, but this statement’s been echoed by tons of people. But one of my favorite guitar players, for sure, in the world. And of course you got my bro up there, who’s one of the top ten singers of the last couple decades. He’s really got strong pipes. But it was nothing that, I mean, I didn’t feel bittersweet or anything about. If there’s ever a time to get back together, all of us, it will happen. That night wasn’t the night for sure.
10. The Last of Chip Z’Nuff:
Last new CD you really liked = Of any band?
Jim Bob: Any band.
Isn’t it funny how it takes this long to answer? (long pause)
Jim Bob: Focus. Take your time.
Because I live in the past, although I listen to everything that’s out there, all the way up to, there’s not a new band I don’t know about, something that’s really tripped my trigger, in the last, like, what, year, you’re saying? Uh, the last Johnny Cash record. Thought it was really good. The last Nine Inch Nails record. Strong. There’s some great stuff on there. The Boards of Canada. Really enjoy their style of music. It’s kind of avante garde. Techno, but real soft. Kind of Floyd-esque a little bit. There’s quite a few good bands out there, I’m sure I’m missing something. Of course, the last Weezer record. The guy writes good pop songs. (Another long pause.) You can go on and on. There are so many different bands. New stuff that’s out there right now. I always liked Jellyfish. Jellyfish aren’t together anymore, although their keyboard player’s playing in Beck’s band right now, which I think is kinda nice. I always liked that band Shudder To Think too. They’re on Epic. Another real strong band. But for newer bands that are out right now, I like that band Rooney. They got some interesting stuff. There’s another new band coming out now called Downstep. Really strong. Singer’s a star. Uh, great pop stuff. For sure you’ll be hearing about that band. Uh, Swizzletree. New band just coming out of Chicago. They just finished their record, record just came out last week. On a small independent label but nonetheless still good. And that band Ivory that I’m in the studio producing right now. (Looks around.) There’s nobody here to hear me talking about them, so….real proud of that ’cause I think they got nice little sound, something kind of unique. People will be pleasantly surprised if anybody hears the stuff. That’s a big pop band sound the likes of Weezer, Enuff Z’Nuff, Foo Fighters. You’ll be happy to hear some of their stuff. Actually I’ve been coming up with a lot of tunes all the time, and playing with different styles. Of course I’m always going to do what I do best, or what I feel comfortable doing. I’m actually recording some stuff, about 8 songs into the record right now. And it could be another Enuff Z’Nuff album, or it could be another project. I’m not mentioning any names right now, but I’m kicking around a lot of different ideas and I know a lot of people interested in hearing what I’ve been doing. Which is kinda nice, since there’s a lot more things to worry about than some jagoff like me writing songs in a studio. But I’m pretty happy with the music and it’s therapy and it’s pretty much a labor of love for myself anyway. And I still see people out there that wanna hear the stuff. I just hosted WXRT here in Chicago, a call-in hour on the show. Going on Mancow next week. And there’s more to follow for anybody out there supporting the band. Whoever likes rock and roll music, support all your favorite bands. ‘Cause then you can be sure they come back to your town again and play. And check out our new record ‘Welcome to Blue Island’ if you haven’t heard it already.
Last concert you watched from the audience = Cheap Trick at Rockford on the Lake. On the Riverfront, I think it’s called. On the River? Yeah. Stood out in the crowd and watched the show. Got thrown out of the backstage area.
Jim Bob: What’d you do?
Nothing. We just walked in to enjoy show. It was me, Mark Dimateo, Billy McCarthy, you know, from D’Molls, and Big Ron who used to work for Metallica. He’s best friends with Jason. We all hang out, we go to all the concerts, he always takes care of me. Last week I was at Bruce Springsteen hanging out with the guys, then I go see Cheap Trick in Rockford before anybody even shows up for the show, before they even do soundcheck, we got thrown out of the backstage area. Unbelievable, isn’t it? But no one’s going to stop me from my love of Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, and the rest of Cheap Trick. I love the band. They were great like they always are. They should be bigger than they are. They should be saying "Cheap Trick" in the same breath as Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and all them other bands. Nonetheless, I was happy to see the show, I was happy to go out. That was the last show I saw from the crowd besides the Springsteen show, which was great! Little Steven came out and hung with us all night. It was a real fun night.
Last time you went a full day without smoking pot = Oh, that could be any time, but the last time that probably happened was long ago, too far back to remember.
Last time you saw Ricky Parent naked = That was 6/21 in Orlando, Florida, on the Metal Sludge tour. The back of the bus at about 5 in the morning.
Jim Bob: That’s nice.
From behind, he looks just like Prince.
Last celebrity you shook hands with = (pause) That would have to be Rick Nieslen and Robin Zander last week. A couple of days before that was Little Steven Van Zandt. Been shaking hands with pretty good company!
Last meal you cooked = Last meal I cooked? Uh. Chicken Ichiwa. Chicken Ichiwa it’s called. Kind of a Chinese, uh, kind of a Japanese play on chicken. It’s got chicken with, uh, grilled onions, green peppers, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup noodles – just the noodles – poured over the top of it, and parsley, and a little bit of garlic. Fantastic. It’s called Chicken Ichiwa.
Last time you trimmed your pubic hairs = That’s, uh, I do that quite regularly. I recommend all men and women – both sexes – do that. No one likes a ZZ Top beard.
Last theatre production you attended = The Cavemen. Down at the Schubert Theatre last year. It was really good too.
Last time you hit someone in anger = Oh, that’s too far back. Me and my little brother Rick back when we were kids. I can’t remember the last time I really hit someone in anger. Oh actually, yes I can. ’91, uh, Derek Frigo and I, but I was just defending myself. He threw a cigarette, he flicked a cigarette butt in my face. A lit cigarette, ’cause I was sitting, talking to his girlfriend in our rehearsal spot, and I remember I got up and we tussled and I threw him down on the ground, and everybody jumped on top me because they didn’t want me to kill him. But I really didn’t throw any punches. I just grabbed him and threw him on the ground. That’s about as bad as it’s gotten. Uh, I’m a lover, not a fighter. If I have to cha-cha, yeah, I can go back to when I was younger, and there were a few times I danced with somebody in school. But for the most part, I’m more into peace than I am into the violence. Plus I’m an older guy and I’m big now too so, people get hurt when they get hit from as big as I am. I’d just assume talk things out. It’s safer. I’m a little sharper, a little smarter in the long run now.
Last gift you purchased for Michelle = (long pause) I got a bunch of stuff when I was on the last tour. Just trying to think of what I got that was really great. Oh! It was a journal from (pause) uh, Egypt or somewhere like that. Beautiful pages in there, and great graphics and writings and great colorful drawings. From India or Egypt or one of them beautiful foreign countries where you really don’t get a chance to get their stuff. That was the last cool thing I think I got her. An old, old journal, from like Jerusalem or Egypt or somewhere like that. Really beautiful. Something very rare that you don’t see that often. You can scribble your notes or songs in there, whatever you want to do. I liked it too when I first saw it and thought ‘yeah, this is a real nice gift.’ She can scribble stuff in there about how much of a jagoff I am. It will come back to haunt me later on. (Chip snickers.) But yeah, I thought it was a real nice gift. That and a small little guitar. Golden guitar on a chain. (Pause.) My presence is her present!!
11. What’s the deal with Andrew Walker and Drama Queen Die? How did you hook up with him and what’s that all about?
Guy calls me on the phone, wants me to play bass on his record. Gives me a demo of his stuff. The cat looks great, sings great. Sort of like a Zakk Wylde-type vibe, but a little more pop. I liked his disposition. I went down there, learned the songs, and played for him as a favor, ’cause I’m not no big rock star jagoff. I like to play music just to play music, have fun. I didn’t know he was gonna put my picture on the front cover, and I don’t think in the big picture, in the scheme of things, he should do that. He should push himself, not push me. But that aside, I thought he wrote a bunch of really good songs, got a nice voice, I was glad to be a part of it and help him out any way I can, ’cause he deserves it. And, uh, his band’s called Drama Queen Die. And I predict that within the next 6 months, he’ll have a record deal, and his record will be out in the stores, and people will be going to check him out, ’cause he’s the real McCoy. He sings and plays his ass off. He’s like 24, 25 years old. He’s got a lot of good things happening for him, and I was glad to be a part of it. Totally different than Enuff Z’Nuff. If you’re expecting Enuff Z’Nuff, you’ll be, uh, sad.
Jim Bob: I’ve heard some of it; it’s kind of – kind of old school.
Yeah, he’s very old school and he knows it. He doesn’t pull any punches. He’s from the 80s mentality where the guitars are up front and he does nice pop songs, very melodic. There’s a lot of people that like that stuff from the 80s. When you look back even at SoundScan, hundreds of millions of records were sold in the 80s. I think bands were selling more records back then than they are right now. The Internet wasn’t so prevalent back then. People weren’t stealing and downloading everything. Those 80s bands consequently have sold millions of records and are still packing up stadiums. The Whitesnakes and the Poisons and the Motley Crues, uh, Warrants. They’re all doing great; they’re all out on tour playing the big, they’re playing sheds and arenas. Where it takes 10 bands on OzzFest, or 15 bands to do that. These guys are doing 3-4 bands a night. People like that kind of music, you know? You can’t question the audience. You can’t question their integrity. You can’t question your own integrity or your own music, because then you’re questioning the fans, and they’re the ones out there purchasing the records and supporting it. It that’s what trips their trigger, go with it. Be grateful. That’s what I say.
12. Compared to the last few Enuff Z’Nuff tours when Donnie was in the band, is it more enjoyable now touring without him and his bitching? Or has Monaco taken over for Donnie in that department?
Well, you always like to have the whole gang together. But it’s actually been a lot easier in the last year. Just touring as a 3-piece. Less trouble. I’m always worried about Donnie and his health. What he’s going to say and how the show’s going to be perceived. You know, it’s part of the territory. All the bands, everybody worries about each other. I think now, with a 3-piece, much smoother. Much easier. Of course you want to have the whole fucking gang. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t. But I’d be a liar to say the band’s not better….it’s better now than it was before. We really worked our asses off to be up to where we are now. Shows are serious, there’s a continuity, no one’s bitching about what songs we’re going to play. We mix it up every single night. Much easier though right now. Not to say there was never a time when it wasn’t easy, because it’s always been difficult from day one to present. But it has been smoother now. And I think the reason is because there’s less stress, when you’re worrying about the main guy and whether or not he’ll make it through the fourth quarter every night. It’s a tough gig. Uh….and I’m real proud of us being able to pull this off because it’s pretty difficult to wear those shoes. Talking about one of the better singers out there. Just goes to show how strong Johnny Monaco is. He’s a strong fucking singer. He does great live.
Jim Bob: And playing lead at the same time!
Yeah, he’s no slouch. He’s having fun too right now. We’re having fun playing. And if Donnie gets things together, it will be great again, having things the way we were. But right now, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had in a while. Because uh, less stress. I got enough problems on my plate as it is. Not having Donnie with us………Having to do interviews, all the radio stuff, every single interview myself, advance all the shows because we don’t have a tour manager, a lot of stuff we have to do on our own. And, uh, as much as I miss Donnie, it’s bittersweet. ‘Cause every single night we get out there, I know it’s gonna be kickin’ ass and the audience is gonna be liking what they’re hearing. And no one’s mad at us for continuing. No one’s said, "You don’t sound like the band." We wouldn’t go out there and do this and slander the name Enuff Z’Nuff and all the great things Donnie and I felt we’ve accomplished up to this point, but people have to remember, Ricky and Monaco have been in the band 8, 9, 10 years. They deserve some credit too.
13. Has Chip Z’Nuff ever:
Had a 9 to 5 job = Yeah, I work for Jeff McClusky & Associates. Before that, before Enuff Z’Nuff, I worked for M.H. Construction in Crete, Illinois for a guy named Mark Hackle. Picked me up every morning at 8 o’clock in the morning, we’d do paint jobs in Chicago Heights and anywhere he could find work for me. Great guy, really helped me out in the early days. And I worked for South Park Plumbing, Larry Gutner. He’s, uh, commissioner here in Blue Island and Cal Park inspector of plumbing. So I had a regular job, and before that, I worked with my father at U.S. Steel, the South Plant at 99th and Commercial. I’m not a little pussy that didn’t have any jobs or anything. A little discipline never hurt anybody. I worked for, uh, Midwest Mechanical for Billy Faucett and Jimmy Faucett, the Faucett Family. Tommy Faucett. And, uh, that was my last job I had. And then I went out with Enuff Z’Nuff, and we signed with Atco Records. And now for 20 years or so I’ve been playing music and writing songs and producing albums. And just recently, Jeff McClusky hired me over in his office. I worked the last Tri Chromes record. Consultant for radio. Tri Chromes was my first project which is the guy’s, uh, from the Grateful Dead. They were on tour last year with the Dead and I worked that record for about 3 months. And then, uh, I went back out on tour with Enuff Z’Nuff. So indirectly, I still have a 9 to 5 job, even though I don’t show up at the offices there. I work out of my own offices. And I have my own record company too of course, which is Stony Records.
Gone a day without smoking a cigarette in the last 5 years = Absolutely. Uh, had a bad hernia operation.
Jim Bob: Ouch!
Had a hernia that was 14 inches long. I’m actually in the record books.
Jim Bob: That’s bad.
Yeah we kept going out touring and playing and in Clinton, Iowa at the Pig Pen, playing with, uh, Dee Snider, and I jumped over the drums at the end of the set, over Ricky’s drum set, and landed kind of awkward, and tore the tendons or whatever’s down there in my area, down in the groin area. Ripped ‘em all out, it was really bad, I gotta be honest with ya. And I went home and the next day, went to the doctors, and they scheduled the surgery for me. It was like a 13 ?, 14 inch hernia, and I couldn’t smoke for maybe a week. But it was no big deal. No, ’cause I was so jacked up on them vicadins they gave me that it didn’t matter if I smoked or not. And then I realized after 2 days that I hated vicadins, ’cause they hated my stomach. My body’s not used to pills. It just didn’t sit right with me. And, so, I had a 2 day addiction to the vicadins. Wasn’t very good. Nothin’ to brag about. Kids’ stuff.
Had your photo taken with a live snake = Yeah.
Caught a ball at a Cubs game = Uh, not a Cubs game but I caught 2 balls at 2 White Sox games.
Smoked pot with Paul Gargano = Yep.
Barfed during sex = Barfed during sex? Never.
Caught a band member jacking off in the bus bunks = No comment.
Been embarrassed when telling someone your name is "Chip Z’Nuff" = Never! Of course not.
Had someone knock your hat off on stage = More than I can count. Not just knock it off – take it off. Just rip it right off. Frigo’s walked up being mad at me and taken the hat and thrown it out in the crowd. It’s no big deal, but if you take the hat off it’s not like I look like a jagoff or anything. I still got hair.
Hugged Jim Bob Dwarf =
Jim Bob: Yes, you’ve hugged me before. I’ll answer that.
14. Did the quantity & quality of your female following decrease after Vik Foxx left?
I never really noticed it, but looking back in hindsight, maybe a little bit. But it’s not just Vik leaving. It’s a combination of that and getting less support on MTV. Maybe a combination of that and a changing of the guard so to speak with Nirvana and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam coming out, that whole new scene. All them things combined hit us a little bit. But I don’t think it’s anything substantial ’cause we’ve always been a band that’s had both sexes. Men dig the band, so do women both. Our songs are real. And they’re about everyday experiences that we went through that maybe those people, new people have went through too. And usually there’s nothing bad that comes out of songs like that. Those kind of songs, I thought, when I was younger, were timeless. I still listen to those kind of songs, instead of just rhyming and saying words because they fit.
15. Give us a touring memory about the following cities:
San Francisco = Home of our management company, Herbie Herbert, and the San Francisco 49ers. And, uh, probably the best pot in the United States.
Philadelphia = Just spoke at the Midwest Music Conference, uh, the Philadelphia Music Conference. That was quite an honor. And just produced this band called Ivory out there recently. I’ve always been fond of, uh, what do they call that? ‘Philadelphia Freedom,’ right? Beautiful city. Sang the National Anthem last year with the boys for the baseball game. I love it out there.
Atlanta = Tough little town out there. We just played The Masquerade out there. They treated us well. Good rock ‘n roll venue. Close to Florida, kind of humid out there but nonetheless, a good rock ‘n roll city and you gotta go through there if you’re gonna go to Florida and tour.
Tokyo = Uh, just a city that never sleeps. Just a whole different set of rules and regulations in Japan and Tokyo. We can learn a lot from those people. One of the cleanest cities I’ve ever been too. Really embrace the rock n roll bands. If they like you, they’re really supportive. One of my favorite places to play.
Boston = Last time I played out there was Tyler’s place…no, there was that thing with Poison, I forgot. The Glam Slam Metal Jam Tour. Before that, we played Mama Kin’s, Tyler and Joe Perry’s place. Boston, for some reason, we have a great following out there. Packed everytime we’ve played there. I love Fenway Park too. One of my favorite ballplayers, Carl Yastrzemski. It doesn’t get any better than him.
London = Probably where all my favorite bands have come from. Beatles, Queen, Mott The Hoople, Bowie, Sweet, T-Rex. Abba! Love Abba. Actually, that’s Sweden. Love Stereolab, I think they’re from Scotland though. I just love London though.
Toronto = I just played out there. We played on National Gay Week on the Metal Sludge Tour. I bought a dress in Toronto. A bought a dress, went to the gig, wore the dress on stage, and nobody got it. I was just doing it to tease, no disrespect at all. I thought it was a cute little gesture paying homage to National Gay Week. Instead if backfired.
Indianapolis = We haven’t had that good of luck last time we played there. A couple of Indianapolis Colts got up onstage and just disrupted the whole concert. It turned into a big fiasco.
Tampa = Lot of good looking chicks in Tampa. And shopping. Good pot too. A good rock n roll town. Some strong bands out there. Sevendust, Downstep, and a couple of other bands.
(Note to Chip: Sevendust is from Atlanta)
16. Tell us a good story about whatever you want. This is your chance to share a tale with us about anything. Have at it.
Well I won’t mention any band members but it was a certain couple of ‘rock stars’ that I caught at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, between 1 and 1:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday purchasing paraphernalia right in front of Governor Jeb Bush’s house, uh, office. I wish I could’ve got a picture but I was in one of the tour busses looking through the window and it was a one-way mirror. Couldn’t see inside the bus but you could see out. (Laughs) Watching these guys securing their deal. And looking over just a few feet away and seeing governor Jeb Bush, governor of Florida Jeb Bush’s office, and I thought that was kind of ironic.
Jim Bob: This was recently?
Yeah. It pretty much spoke volumes about how that tour was.
17. Who’s idea was it for you to sing "Yankee Rose" on the Vai/Satriani CD, and how stoned were you when you agreed to do that?
Well I got forced into it to be honest with you. Of course I’m not going to sing the tune if Donnie’s available. But he kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off until it got down to deadline. The guy was going, ‘look, I gotta have the track.’ So I went in there and sang it. Quite frankly it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do – trying to sound like David Lee Roth. But, uh, I’m happy with the album. I thought it came out pretty good. And I wasn’t really stoned at all. I was freaked more than anything else! Having to sing that song! I work with one of the best singers in rock and here he’s not available. It says Enuff Z’Nuff and it’s gotta be my pipes now. I sing on every Enuff Z’Nuff album, but I sing most of the harmonies with the exception of a couple of songs. So to get picked up to do lead vocals on a song that’s not something that Donnie or I have written was a little concerning, but I think we did a pretty decent job, and I hope we didn’t offend anybody. And if it did, fuck ‘em!
18. Donnie’s doing a solo CD that sounds like Enuff Z’Nuff. Now you’re doing a solo CD which will probably sound like Enuff Z’Nuff. Does the world really two need solo CDs from Chip & Donnie that both sound like Enuff Z’ Nuff?
No, I won’t put a solo record out. I’ve been doing this for the last 20 years of my life. I’ve written solo records with Donnie in Enuff Z’Nuff. So do I have to feed my ego to hear my voice, which I can’t stand as it is singing all the songs? Not at all. But I do write songs. I do produce records. That’s how I make a living. I’m going to continue to go out and write and sing and play. But you won’t see a Chip Z’Nuff solo record unless somebody throws a Brinks truck full of money at me, which I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon. But I do know there are people who want to hear what I’ve been writing and I’m going to put it out. But I’ll make sure it’s something special and unique. It won’t just be me singing songs. I don’t want to speak too soon about the record because I want to finish everything first, and when I’m done, I’ll talk about it then. Right now, I’m just scribbling notes for my novel. I don’t think they’ll ever be a Chip Z’Nuff solo record because I’ve pretty much did that for the last 20 years.
19. You guys went from Spitfire to Perris. Why not just forget dealing with record labels and just sell everything yourself online?
Because there are a lot more people we can reach without having to do that. And also, on these records that we’ve made, even with Spitfire, we funded all these records on our own. We found ourselves in incredible debt, so to offset these debts, I just took these records and licensed them to another label that had better distribution and can help us. It’s a business deal. It’s helps pay some of the debt on these records. We own our records. We own all our records. We just do a licensing deal with them. Spitfire, Caroline, doesn’t matter who the label is. They’re all nice. We own our music. I think that means a lot these days. We’ve always been pretty sharp about watching our material. Hundreds of songs are published.
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We give you a name and you give us your thoughts.
Butch Walker = Talented singer.
Ted Nugent = Bad motherfucker.
Brent Muscat = Jagoff fuckin’ head. That’s his alter ego by the way.
Bill Aucoin = Can talk a dog off a meat truck. Great manager.
The Wildhearts = Lovely. Lovely band. Big fan of Ginger’s.
Tom Petersen = I hail him. I hail him, and a big influence.
C.C. DeVille = A true brother. And a rock star. 24 hours a day. Even when he’s sleeping in the fucking bunk.
Obi Steinman = Proven himself to be quite a fighter. Likes to scrap. Loves his rock ‘n roll. And I think he’s a good manager.
Steve Goodman = (Chip looks puzzled) Oh, Steve Goodman! God rest his soul. Great songwriter. Loved Steve Goodman.
Taime Downe = He’s a real rock star.
Thanks to Chip for always supporting Metal Sludge and doing our tour last Summer! And of course, thanks to Jim Bob for creating all the magic!
For more info on Enuff Z’Nuff, you can visit their website at www.EnuffZNuff.com.