You can’t really have a discussion about Hair Metal without adding Enuff Z’nuff to the conversation. Chip himself is quite the charming if not a little eccentric addition to the Hair Nation Tour backed by Sirius XM and Live Nation. I say eccentric only because he does not seem to care about what the cookie cutter 80’s metal band member should look, act or dress like. Chip is definitely his own person. From his now becoming trademark pink sunglasses to his collection of head wear and crushed velvet pants, he exudes personality without saying a word. Fortunately for us, he is also a talker.
I asked exactly three questions in the entire interview and let him roll. What follows is a scaled down version of our extensive interview recorded outside of a smoothie shop near the bar he and his band played as a pick up date separate from the Hair Nation. Its is edited for length only not content, with some detail for context.
“We are slaves, but we are grateful for it, taking dates wherever it is.” Referring to the smaller bar date in contrast to the larger crowds on the tour. “(We) Are always excited about playing for an audience.” When asked how the current album Diamond Boy is doing he couldn’t say enough about it. ” Came out of the box strong. First time charting in twenty something years. Seems to be doing well. Stations are playing it. (It) was recorded in Chicago the old fashioned way on two inch tape. Songs were live (and we) passed on processing and auto tune. (The) people have spoken and it is doing very well. We are trying to stay out as much as we can for the rest of the year and then maybe take it to Europe the end of January (or) first of February. ”
” Lots of people want to hear Rock and Roll (and it’s) certainly thriving. If we take it easy and just pick and choose (dates), it is a disservice to what Enuff Z’nuff is all about because we are out the playing and because of Live Nation, there are plenty of opportunities. Metal is doing very well right now. There’s a changing of the guard. Greta Van Fleet’s new record is coming out. (It is) going to be terrific. Rival Sons is another great band. Bands that are established are going to be fine. Rock and Roll, I don’t think, is dead. If it was you wouldn’t see bands like us in the Billboard top 200. People want to hear Rock and Roll. They want to hear metal. There’s plenty of outlets out there.” He gives a shout out to Sirius XM for playing all kinds of music.
I mention trying to go ahead and let him eat his late lunch/ early dinner. “We eat once a day. In the old days, we’d be on the tour bus with a Brink’s truck of pillie-poos. A rolling pharmacy, numerous other substance abuse things as well. We’d cloud our memories. Lot’s of stuff to get through the day, but it’s a different age for us. Really focusing on really great shows. Staying as focused as we can because it’s really difficult out there. When you’re in a rock band, or any band, there are lots of sacrifices. You have to leave your family behind. You gotta leave your friends and it’s the price that you pay going out there to find success in whatever you do in life. Being in a rock band’s certainly a challenge. I’m up for it. Been doing it for a long time and I feel good. I eat fairly healthy on the tour.”
“The fans have been great on this tour and I’m really grateful Live Nation took a chance on us. The show was offered to (Names a few bands) and they passed for one reason or another. This is really a gift for us. We aren’t traveling out on a tour bus as we did in the old days or flying on planes. Most of it is in a van with a trailer and that really humbled all of us so, what does the future holds? Just know we have some good things on the horizon and this is a wonderful chance with all the fans and radio stations supporting this record. If you like rock and roll and you want to hear a good 70’s record go out and get Diamond Boy. I think you’ll pleasantly surprised.” I commented: “Everything old is new again?”
“What Clive Davis said to me years ago, ‘Chip, if it’s twenty to thirty years old, it’s new again so it’s all recycled’. When we were in the studio, next door was Kanye West and Chance the Rapper. Across the hall was Jimmy Buffett, a potpourri of defined artists and that set the tone for us. Very creative at that time. (We were) working in a studio where Nirvana and Led Zeppelin recorded. Maybe we caught a little ghosts of the past.” I replied well I think you will be around for a hot minute- a Southern US term for quite awhile as I explained. Chip likes the South, “and I like Southern girls”. We like him back. I highly recommend you giving Diamond Boy a listen and maybe even catch up on some older material. If the Hair Nation Tour is coming your way, grab a ticket and enjoy a great time. Tour dates are below: