A Conversation with Enuff Z’nuff Frontman Chip Z’nuff

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of power pop sensibility with Rock N’ Roll excess there’s one band that’s been doing it better than anyone for over 30 years, Enuff Z’nuff.  They just released their 15th studio album, Brainwashed Generation, and Chip Z’nuff, the man who’s been with them through it all, took some time to talk about the record as well as the past and possible future of the band.

Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws Conversation with Chip Z’nuff:

On building on the momentum generated with the last release, Diamond BoyWe were out on the road with (Ace Frehley) for I think we did like 30 shows with them. Everywhere you want to play, to every House of Blues..up to San Diego working our way around the country. It’s all big theaters where he sold out everywhere…And as soon as we finished up that tour with Ace Frehley I think they gave us renewed confidence. We were right back in the studio, started recording the record and I remember sitting and talking to my wife saying, “Boy wouldn’t be great if we could just get a little spark with this record where one of the publications can talk about it, maybe go on (Howard) Stern or do a big TV show?” And they all happened, everything. The record came out, on Billboard it broke the top 200 at 152, we got another tour going out with Live Nation putting together a Great White/Enuff Z’nuff/Bulletboys tour her and then before you know we’re back again, we’re doing TV shows, we’re doing all the radio stations and from there it’s just bloomed and blossomed for us and gave us a lot of confidence as a band, Enuff Z’nuff, to go back out there and take the world by storm. 1:20
“Broken Love”
On former singer Donnie Vie singing and writing on the new record – I never was fighting, it had nothing to do with me. If you listen to all my interviews, they’re pretty straightforward. As a rock band, we did a lot of things together from the early days, getting signed with Skin Road down to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin making our first album. It comes out, it’s Gold,  hit songs on MTV, doing David Letterman, traveling the country with Badlands and Mister Big, Cheap Trick, we played with all of them,  doing it all, it’s great. He got disillusioned by the business and he had some personal matters he had to take care of and he quit the band for the third time in 2013 and told me if I wanted to keep moving forward as Enuff Z’nuff to sing the songs and I pretty much took his advice. Then years later, after telling everybody that he wasn’t happy and was grateful to be out of the business and not doing it and he just wants to make solo music, he got mad all of a sudden. I wasn’t fighting, I wasn’t throwing any bait in the water and I wanted to be happy. So we’ve had talks, he came over here and his motorcycle…and we talked about this new record and the song “Strangers In My Head” and how the fans are gonna love it. And maybe in the future will release some more stuff together. He’s a solo artist now, he’s a wonderful singer-songwriter, one of the best out there, and I’m carrying on the name that him and I had for a long time. 6:00
“Strangers In My Head” w/Donnie Vie
On bringing original guitarist Alex Kane back into the band –  Just trial and error, We went on the road, we did another tour and then my guitar player, Tony Fenelle, formerly singer of Ultra Vox, wonderful talent, he now sings in a band called When in Rome, was gonna take a break and I thought,  “Well, how am I gonna replace him?”  The guy’s an unbelievable singer/songwriter/producer and I said, “Well maybe I’ll just go back to the old well and grab the original guitar player who quit the band before we had record deal”.  Derek Frigo took Alex Kane’s place in Enuff Z’nuff when we were making that first album. You know a lot of that stuff you hear, a lot of the guitar parts and stuff, that was stuff that Alex created. He left the band to put together Life Sex and Death and then we just took over, got Derek Frigo in the band, and the rest you would say is history. So I thought it was only fitting to have a couple of original guys in Enuff Z’nuff and it would help elevate our perception as a band.  11:34
“Winding Road”
On touring and playing live now versus the old days – We’ve always gone out there and we’ve always been respectful to the fans, that’s for sure. But the shows, you don’t know what you’re gonna expect at those concerts because we weren’t always 100%.  I think nowadays, Enuff Z’nuff’s solid as a rock. We’ve gotten three or four major tours in the last few years, we’ve done 100 shows plus a year. We travel around the country with all the big bands, whoever will take us on, we’ll do festival dates, whether it’s with Dokken, L.A. Guns, going out with Vince Neil playing shows.  I love Tom Keifer, he’s great, there’s so many guys have taken us out, let us play gigs with them and share their audience with us I appreciate that. We give you a great show, we’ll go out there every single night. We’re one of the best support bands that you’ll ever go see in concert. 15:40
“Fatal Distraction”
On a possible upcoming tour – In September, that’s when the tour starts, September 6.  It’s called the 2020 Quarantine Tour and Enuff Z’nuff is going out with Faster Pussycat, remember Faster Pussycat? So you got Taime Downe out there and those guys have done a Brinks truck full of drugs and done way more trim than we have and guess what?  They’re still going strong. Taime’s been straight for four or five years, hasn’t had a cigarette, hasn’t done any drinking and no more loudmouth soup, no more blow. He’s singing and playing better than ever,  looks terrific. We have a 2.5-month tour, we have 48 dates booked right now. I think the people are starving for rock and roll heavy metal…One thing we do as good as those other bands, we know how to party. It’s gonna be a great time and every single show. Those shows I guarantee you will be jampacked as people are sick of being handcuffed and sequestered in their houses. It’s time to open up the world a little bit to back to what we all love and that’s hard rock and heavy metal 19:00
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