Artist: Chip Znuff of Enuff Znuff
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS approx 6.30 pm on the Tour bus outside the NMB, Sheffield, UK, May, 2003
Chip: Hi Glenn. Thanks for coming on the bus. This by the way used to be the old Sepultura bus and before it was Sepultura's it was Nirvana's bus - Now it's Enuff Znuff's bus with LA Guns travelling with us (he jokes)
Glenn: Hi Chip. You've got a new album out. Can you tell me about it?
Chip: This new album 'Welcome to Blue Island' follows on in the tradition of what Enuff Znuff has put out in the past which is what we think strong rock songs, pop stuff - a good combination, a pot pourri of what we've done in the past. The record's a little more aggressive than our previous releases but yet it's never the less it's still one of our stronger albums. It's our 11th release now which is quite an accomplishment and in concert we are playing a couple of the songs once in a while. We're not doing tons of it right now because we have 11 albums and there's so much material but we're trying to mix it up a little bit and throw a few songs into this set. And right now (the new album) has been received very well.
Glenn: How long has it been out?
Chip: It came out in November on Dreamcatcher - the US 'Music For Nations' and that's why we are here right now to support the record but we haven't seen a lot of the records out in the stores out here, which is a little disappointing. Usually I'm pretty positive about talking about all the good things but when you come thousands of miles to tour you'd hope your record company would have your records in the stores. It gets a little disappointing, I know there's a lot of records out there from other bands and there's quite a lot of product and not enough demand but there's no excuse to any band that comes over to another country whether it's a band from Europe coming to the United States and vice-versa, when they come over here to support a record, their record should be in the stores and that's been a big disappointment for the band but besides that it's been a wonderful tour, great crowds and people have been real nice to us and LA Guns are real good guys. It seems to be a nice combination - you get this pop-rock along with the cock-rock all mixed together and it seems to be a nice little picture.
Glenn: Did you manage to get the tour together through having the same Manager, Obi Steinman?
Chip: Yeah, Obi - he manages quite a few bands on the East Coast - Warrant, LA Guns, Prong and he's been working with Enuff Znuff for the last year or so and I know he's quite happy with us. It's a real easy gig - just collect the chippy poos (dollars) when they come in and beat the rest of the band up (he jokes). It works well.
We're in this business to write songs and make records and come out and play for you guys. Anything else is icing on the cake to be asked to show and it's a f*ck*ng great job. You go out there, you play, people wanna give you drugs, chicks wanna f*ck you - it's a real promiscuous business dude. It's very colourful, flamboyant and those are all the things I think our band stands for. I've always admired our strut. (laughing)
Glenn: From the new album which would you say are your favourite songs?
Chip: It's hard to say. I can't really pinpoint one or two songs. There are records I like obviously more than others, but Donny and I have written some really strong songs I feel and none of them are actually closer than the others - they are all in the same family and I couldn't pick one song. I like 'em all, I'm prejudiced. I'm not saying they are all good though - I'm saying I like 'em all (laughs).
Glenn: Is there any reason why you aren't on Z records anymore?
Chip: The reason we aren't on Z records anymore is because it was only a one album deal and the record company guy Mark Alger, we asked him if he was interested in re-newing the deal and he said no, so we went to another label, no disrespect to Mark. We wish Z Records all the best. There's some good bands over there - good musicians - I like those guys - Tygers from Pan Tang, he's got our buddy Doug Aldrich. He's got some good stuff on his label. I like his tastes. He just decided that he wanted to move on that's all - so we moved on.
Maybe because he still owes the band money a little? Maybe he just figured that if he gets rid of us now he can save himself £6000 but we're still chasing Z around and even though he's not around, we're gonna find him - he owes chippy poos to the band. If he pays he may have a Gold record. I'm not afraid of talking about this because we've been stabbed, punched and beaten for so long - I mean, why hurt me? I'm one of the nicest Rock 'n' Rollers. I love people, not just the fans but people, I love coning to your country and I'm welcome with open arms here but I'm not denying that if he's gonna throw punches I ain't gonna kick - we are the peace sign band and we do love one another but once in a while there's a little scratch and sometimes there needs to be a war to bring peace. Oh 'War and Peace', Ricky's old band (we laugh).
Glenn: What would you say have been your favourite shows over the last few years?
Chip: Well we loved the Poison Tour playing the sheds for a few thousand people a night. It's fantastic - you can't ask for more than that. On this tour here with LA Guns, I loved Cardiff - terrific, London of course.
Glenn: What was outstanding about it?
Chip: Well first of all, Monday night in London sold out - it's incredible. I mean you hear about stuff like that in New York, real big cities, but I know London is a big city too but we haven't been here for quite a while and obviously people didn't forgot and they came out to the show in droves. It was ridiculous. One of the most exciting things for me is the fans coming out it's jam-packed without record company support - very little. The magazines have been good out here like 'Classic Rock' and 'Freestyle' or 'Freeform' or whatever it's called - I know those newer magazines are really good and Kerrang will have us in the adverts and that helps lets the people around the country know we are playing but it hasn't been promoted very heavily but it's still selling out almost every single night. That's been very surprising and that's reaffirmed our commitment that there's an audience out here that likes our kind of music. We are gonna come back here again.
Glenn: Excellent. I've gotta ask, how come Donnie's not here?
Chip: Oh you're probably like only one of 5000 people that's asked. It's no big surprise. Donnie's at home in Los Angeles getting better, getting well. He's got some health issues he's taking care of and some legalities he's taking care of. (He's) getting his passport cleaned up so he can come over to your country and that's where we are at with Donnie right now. So say a prayer for him and wish him the best because it's the second tour we've done without him now.
We had to do the United States with Eric Martin- some people say he's got tits but I just see him as a great guy, a great singer. We did a tour with him - 23 cities in North America and Donnie had to miss that too because he wasn't together and he told us before that he couldn't make it but he hopes to be back in the fall (2003) some time near the end of the year - maybe to do Japan, maybe to come back here - you never know. Right now we say a prayer for him, he's the best, we love him - he's one of the greatest singers out there, a great songwriter.
I look at this like an Oasis right now - maybe that's not a good analogy but where Oasis singer Liam doesn't show up sometimes and Noel picks up the slack well that's what's going on in Enuff Znuff. It's a three-piece right now. Donnie's still in the band - when he gets his health back together he'll be back in but in the meantime you are gonna see us a three-piece playing the same songs and there's no reason why we can't do it. We are all together - we've been in the band from the start too.
Glenn: Do you find that it's weird with Donnie and do you just get together and get on with it?
Chip: No, I'm so used to playing with him of course but not weird. I'm onstage with the same guys in the band except for him. The weirdest part is that he's not there. It's not weird that we're a three piece because the band sounds strong and we are real stripped down - not a lot of effects now, not a lot of bells and whistles just Ricky gets on the drums, Monaco gets on the guitar and I get on the bass - the 12-string bass and we go out and play the songs.
Glenn: Cool. I understand that you were possibly gonna be a baseball player?
Chip: When I was a kid my Grandfather played with the White Sox in the 30's. My Father was a ball player all through his life, you know early in his life. I just followed in the same footsteps and in high school I played baseball. That was a way for me to get my education - if you were a good ball player the teachers wouldn't give you an ass-whippin' so it helped me a lot and I was a pitcher and nobody wanted to pitch because in the f*cking arms you'd kill yourself but it was a natural ability I got from my Father I think and it's what I did and it got me through school and it taught me about family, team ethics and a whole framework of getting together and a team winning. There's no I in team and everybody depended on me when I was a pitcher - it's like being the singer of a band and I thrive on it because I don't wanna let my guys down and I think I've taken a part of that element and brought it into the band when I first put the band together - at least I hope I did. I feel I have.
Glenn: What would you say your key is to longevity in Enuffs Znuff - the luck of survival?
Chip: The luck is when preparation meets opportunity and let's not forget the good Lord, bless him, OK? So we certainly wouldn't be where we are at right now if it wasn't for a combination of a bunch of things. It's a blessing from the good Lord of really wanting it 24 hours a day. I remember Jon Bon Jovi saying to me, "Listen, you are not gonna make it in this business if you're not gonna work 24 hours a day" and I really do. We sit up and we talk music all night in the room and it's our lives. It's what we do all the time. We are not 9 to 5 guys and go out and play music to sell and it's quite an interesting life and it's very tough, you gotta leave your family at home all the time and leave all your friends, everything behind but there's a payback at the end of the day - when you play new songs and people accept you and we're grateful for what we've accomplished and where we are at right now.
Glenn: What made you choose to play The Beatles 'Revolution' at the Z-Rock Festival at Penningtons, Bradford, 2001?
Chip: We love paying homage to our forbearers such as Queen - all the great bands that came from here. 'Revolution' is pretty much an old brainer Donnie sang just like (John) Lennon. It's a great song. It's for everybody and we came over here and to Germany full of p*ss and vinegar, real excited, first time with the record company.
Glenn: Do you have any favourite material that you always like to play?
Chip: Favourite material of our records?
Chip: I stick to play the stuff that everybody knows. I enjoy that because people know the words, they can sing along to the songs and that's exciting for me. There's songs that I simply enjoy playing but we play a lot of the stuff that a lot of the people know about - most of the singles are in the set excluding a few of 'em and you know we throw a couple of our favourites in. We'll always play the standards like 'New Thing', 'Fly Michelle', 'Baby Loves You' - the singles but we mix 'em in with other stuff too that might not have been commercially successful - you know like hit radio songs but were nevertheless strong songs on the record that helped set the tone of the whole album like for instance 'She wants more' off the 1st album or 'Vacant Love ' off of 'Peach Fuzz' or 'Day by day' off 1985 - there's a bunch of 'em that we throw in that we haven't been doing a lot.
This tour right here the set's been predominantly rock, the harder side of Enuff Znuff because we are with LA Guns who have a Rock audience - so you don't hear a lot of acoustic stuff, the real ballads - we've just come over here with the title 'Here You Go' because The Wildhearts covered that one - a lot of people like that. We haven't been playing those songs too much on this tour only because of the band we are playing with. We just want to make sure we can Rock with those guys - we don't feel like taking an arse-whipping every night. But those songs are a strong side of the band and when we come back over here we'll mix it up and it'll be quite a pot-pourri of material - pop stuff, the rock stuff and the heavy stuff - we'll mix it up really well I promise you.
Glenn: Will there be plans to do an album just with you and Donnie like you did with the 'Brothers' album?
Chip: You never plan anything out - the old trump calls - the houses is listening - I got a hundred grand - 'Can you guys go back in the studio and make another record', Sure. Right now -no - we're not making any more records right now. Our next album will be our 'Greatest Hits'. I think that we've earned that and this is gonna be our 12th release so it's a lot of studio records so now we are gonna put out our 'Greatest Hits'. I think it's fair to the fans they get to get their favourite singles on the one record and it'll be interactive with a live DVD showing all the videos of the songs - playing 'Baby loves you', 'Fly Michelle', 'Mother's Eyes', maybe some stuff we did on David Letterman back in the States - a great talk show out there like your 'Top of the Pops' or something and we'll figure out maybe our 13th album will be a studio record but right now we're focussing on supporting this 'Welcome to the Blue Island' album that we think is really a great record - a very underground record and then come out with the greatest hits album sometime at the end of the year.
Glenn: Sounds Good.
Chip: Thanks for talking to me.
thanks to Chip, Ricky Parent, their mate on the Tour bus,Chris Tudor-Jones (LTS
Touring), Mark Hobson (DJ Mutley) and all at the Corporation Night-club Staff
and Darren Edwards at Eagle-Rock.