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Non-Prog Interviews

Enuff Z'nuff

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview With Chip Z'Nuff from 1999
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.


How has your run of shows been going?
It's been, I think, very successful, for the most part. We play 3, 4, 5 shows in a row, fly into 'em. Play two hours, go to the next city, do the same thing again for 5 nights straight. Then, come back home, back to Chicago, our home base. Cool out for a week, or so, then go back out and do it again. That's what we've been doing pretty much the whole year, excluding June and July, when we went out on a full-fledged tour. We had the tour bus, hitting every single town, every single day, no days off. That was a good one. I think it's been very good for us. We're elevating our perception. Sometimes we play clubs, sometimes we play stadiums, sometimes we play theaters. We just want to reach as many people as possible.
MSJ: What's up next for the band?
We're in the studio right now, downtown Chicago, CRC with Chris Shepard who manned the boards on the last couple of records. Right now he's mixing our new album. It will be titled "Ten". Ten songs, our tenth album, it all makes sense. At least to us it does.
MSJ: Are there any spinoff projects in the works?
My guitar player Monaco plays with his own band. They're called "Low Tek". He plays gigs all around the country doing that, too. As far as Donnie and myself and Ricky go, no, it's Enuff Z'Nuff. Ricky plays in Low Tek, too. I didn't get that gig. I auditioned, Monaco wasn't happy with the way I was playing.
MSJ: Does it get a little strange going from club gigs to arena gigs?
No, it doesn't at all because we've had a taste of all three ends of it. I don't know which one we're more comfortable with. We've play more clubs than we play theaters or stadiums, but we've all touched on the stadiums, and it's good for your ego.
MSJ: How has the new album been doing for you?
Well, Spitfire's pushing us. We're going around the country touring in support of it. It's too early to tell how good the record has done. We have a VH1 special on "Where are They Now". We have a single that's out now called "Ain't It Funny". We're doing what every other band is doing, getting in a van or getting in a tour bus, and hitting every town and city they can trying to reach as many people as possible. It's a cliché, but it's the truth. Today we're here at LT's in Rockford, next week we're at that Allstate Arena with Def Lepard. It's a finnicky business, and my advice to any bands out there, any musicians or any artist is "enjoy the run, while it lasts".
MSJ: On the new album there are a lot of guests. How did that come about? Where they friends of the band?
All friends of the band, and they're all from Chicago, so it made sense. Let's get the three biggest guns in Chicago to come down and cameo with us. We asked Billy Corgan. He was kind enough to come on down and play. So was Nielsen. Nielsen played on three songs. From there, I talked to J. Y. from Styx. I said, "We've got Nielsen and we've got Corgan on the record. I'd love for you to come on down and play on a couple songs." He was nice enough to come on down and participate. Collectively, those three guys have sold 100 million albums.
MSJ: Are there any other musicians you would like to work with?
Sure, I'd like to play with a lot of cats.
MSJ: Anyone in particular pop to mind?
Yeah, but they're all dead. All the bands that I love are pretty much broken up now, Led Zeppelin, Queen. For the newer groups that are out there that I enjoy, like Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots, Stereolab - they have their own little spot, but I think the older bands are what left the indelible mark with us. That's why when you hear Enuff Z'Nuff music, it kind of brings back some of that stuff, because those are our roots. It's where we came from, that era.
MSJ: Do you vary your show from night to night or is it pretty much the same?
Every night it changes. We might open with the same song for a couple of weeks, but we change it up, put new songs in the set all the time, so we don't get bored. There's quite a bit of material to look back on and pick from. It gets boring night after night playing the same stuff over, so we try to switch it up.
MSJ: What's been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
There's too many to mention. Tonight. Tonight was a big one. We played in Milwaukee last night. Our truck broke down. All the gear was stuck in the truck. We couldn't get it back out here. Thank god the club was nice enough to set us up with backline so that we could perform and didn't have to cancel. There's been worse ones, but we better not print them.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought?
Montrose-Paper Money. That was the last album Sammy Hagar did with Montrose, before he went off on his own.
MSJ: What was the last concert you attended?
The last show that I saw was Cheap Trick in Rockford. That was terrific. You can't go wrong with a Cheap Trick show. Robin Zander, one of the best singers in rock. Great songs, great band. I'm really proud that we even got a chance to play on the same stage, and share the same guitars.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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