Tag Archive | "chip znuff"

Enuff Z’nuff To Release “Diamond Boy” On August 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Enuff Z’nuff To Release “Diamond Boy” On August 10th Via Frontiers Music Srl

Enuff Z’nuff are the living, breathing example of what a rock ‘n roll group should be. Now centered around bass player and vocalist Chip Z’nuff, Enuff Z’nuff are still alive and kicking with a legion of loyal fans, who can’t get enough of the band’s power pop melded with hard rock stylings. They have proven this once again with the release of their upcoming album “Diamond Boy” which is set for an August 10th release via Frontiers Music Srl.

Today the first single from the album entitled “Metalheart” has been released. It is available on all streaming services as well as an instant download with digital pre-orders. Listen to it HERE.

“This song is about bullying, mentally-abusive relationships. The song provides the answer on how to overcome adversity and move forward from a bad situation,” says Z’nuff.

Pre-order the album & stream the single here: http://radi.al/DiamondBoy

This record is the first Enuff Z’nuff release where Chip handles all of the vocal duties, which was quite a task, but one he was certainly up for:
“(Singing on the entire album was) very challenging. I’m taking the place of my brother who I consider one of the greatest singers of our generation. The songs on this record are solid as a boulder,” says Chip.

He describes the album as “It’s a fresh new chapter that should have been written a long time ago. Picture David Bowie & The Beatles fighting and Cheap Trick comes in to break it up.”

In addition to Chip Z’nuff, the band features longtime guitarist Tory Stoffregen, ex-Ultravox singer/guitarist Tony Fennell, and Chicago native Daniel Benjamin Hill on drums. Enuff Z’nuff continues to tour and record relentlessly and this new record shows once again what a truly gifted hard / power pop act they are. With no shortage of hooks and awesome songs, “Diamond Boy” is another gem in Enuff Z’Nuff’s crown!

Track Listing:
1. Transcendence
2. Diamond Boy
3. Where Did You Go
4. We’re All The Same
5. Fire & Ice
6. Down On Luck
7. Metalheart
8. Love Is On The Line
9. Faith, Hope & Luv
10. Dopesick
11. Imaginary Man

Band:
Chip Z’nuff: Singer/ Electric bass guitar
Tony Fennell: Guitar
Tory Stoffregen: Guitar
Dan Hill: Drums

Catch Enuff Z’Nuff on the “SiriusXM Hair Nation Tour”alongside Jack Russell’s Great White and Bulletboys. Presales are currently underway and the general on sale is set for Friday June 8th. A complete list of dates can be found below.

+ SiriusXM Presale: Wednesday, June 6 @ 10am local(Password=SIRIUSXM)
+ Ticketmaster Presale: Wednesday, June 6 @ 10am local(Password=ROCKER)
+ Live Nation Presale: Wednesday, June 6 @ 10am local(Password=GOODVIBES)
+ Live Nation App Presale: Wednesday, June 6 @ 10am local(Password=COVERT)
+ Local/Venue Presale: Wednesday, June 6 @ 10am local

– All Presales End: Thursday, June 7 @10pm local
+ Public On Sale: Friday, June 8 @ 10am local

“SiriusXM Hair Nation Tour” Featuring Enuff Z’Nuff W/ Jack Russell’s Great White and BulletBoys:
9/12: San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
9/14: Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
9/15: Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
9/18: Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren
9/20: Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
9/21: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
10/5: Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues
10/6: Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live
10/11: Asbury Park, NJ @ The Stone Pony
10/12: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10/14: Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
10/16: Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
10/18: Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall
10/19: Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
10/21: Fort Wayne, IN @ Clyde Theatre
10/22: Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
10/25: Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
10/26: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
10/27: Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
11/2: Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
11/3: Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues

More on Enuff Z’nuff:
Originally formed in 1984 in Chicago, IL, the band received their big break in 1989 when they to Atco/Atlantic Records. Founding members, Chip Z’Nuff and Donnie Vie were joined by guitarist Derek Frigo and drummer Vikki Foxx and they commenced work on their major label debut. The self-titled album was a monster hit and spawned two evergreen singles, “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle”. Both received constant airplay on radio and heavy rotation on MTV, spending over 60 weeks in the Top 10. 1991 saw the band release their sophomore album, “Strength”. The album had more of a hard rock overtone and sustained the success achieved on the first album. The band made high profile television and radio appearances on the likes of David Letterman and Howard Stern and were featured in Rolling Stone’s Hot Issue as ‘The Next Big Thing’. The band soldiered on during the new musical climates of the ’90s and went on to release another 12 studio records.

For More Info Visit:
www.enuffznuff.com
www.facebook.com/EnuffZnuffOfficial

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Zen From Mars (ZFM) Enters The Mixing Stage On Highly-Anticpated Debut Album

Zen From Mars (ZFM) Enters The Mixing Stage On Highly-Anticpated Debut Album

Zen From Mars has officially begun mixing their long awaited debut album. Posted by Richard Easterling, who is mixing the record, a behind-the-scenes teaser has emerged from the studio! The band features vocalist Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy), the legendary Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff) on bass and backing vocals, guitarists Brynn Arens (Flipp) and Drew Fortier (Bang Tango), and Kate Catalina (The Showgirl of Rock) on keyboards. The debut album is tentatively set for a 2017 release.

Connect with the band on social media via their official Facebook page.

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BACK IN TIME: Chip Z’Nuff On Raiding The Vault For Enuff Z’Nuff’s ‘Clowns Lounge‘

BACK IN TIME: Chip Z’Nuff On Raiding The Vault For Enuff Z’Nuff’s ‘Clowns Lounge‘

chip-znuff-2016-3

Enuff Z’Nuff landed on people’s radar in the summer of 1989 with the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. Their first single, “New Thing,” tore up the radio airwaves and solidified itself in rotation on MTV. In response to its national and international success, the band followed up “New Thing” in 1990 with the release of the bittersweet rock ballad “Fly High Michelle.” The song elevated the band to gold status and in 1991 had Rolling Stone magazine naming Enuff Z’nuff as “one of the more exciting and gifted bands on the scene today.” In the decades to follow, the band created 20 albums, garnered legions of loyal fans and earned the respect and acclaim of peers and contemporaries.

In 2016, the band has gone back to the vault to unearth amazing unreleased material. “Clowns Lounge” is a collection of rarities and early demos that were reworked and re-recorded by the band and was released December 2 via Frontiers Music Srl. The songs are as powerful as the music in their catalog. The exceptional collection, penned by Donnie Vie and Chip Z’Nuff, also features a guest appearance from the late Jani Lane as well as an appearance from James Young of Styx. Serving as the glitter-rock record fans have clamored for, “Clowns Lounge” showcases Enuff Z’Nuff as they were in their creative peak as they continue to rock today! With every album and live performance packed to the brim with rock/pop perfection, there are no signs of the band slowing down.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Chip Z’Nuff to discuss the making of Enuff Z’Nuff’s new album, “Clowns Lounge,” the challenges he faced in bringing it to life and what else is lurking in his music vault. He also offers an update on his highly anticipated autobiography, Enuff Z’Nuff’s plans for 2017 and more!

You created an impressive body of work. What turned you on to music and set your life in music in motion?

Listening to my mother and father’s record collection had a big impact on me. They had a huge record collection with everything from Black Sabbath to Jefferson Airplane to Sly and The Family Stone to Queen. My family was very diversified when it came to music. We also used to have some great programs like “Midnight Special” and Don Kirschner’s “Rock Concert” where you could see bands like Alice Cooper. That had a huge impact on me in the very beginning and I think that’s what really tripped my trigger and got me into writing songs. At the time, I was playing sports but I became more excited about writing a song. It was more challenging than throwing a curveball, I guess! [laughs] Listening to those bands from the past really stuck with me and left an indelible mark. I really enjoyed a lot of the English music and found it challenging. It was stuff like The Who, Mott The Hoople, Sweet, Queen, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie. I always love the bands that had images outside of the music. It was hard to put a face to the music until you see what they look like. Those are the bands that left a mark on me and Donnie Vie as well. We’re both struck by that English stuff. We love the early Squeeze stuff. I think those bands were a very important part of our early fabric when we were putting together Enuff Z’nuff. When it started offer us, we were a pretty lucky band because when we came out the other bands at the time were Poison, Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses. We weren’t really listening to that stuff. Even though they were great bands, we were more living in the past. I think inspiration for us came from us finding a common ground of writing songs where we found our own style. If you show me a band without influences, I’ll show you a band that hasn’t written one note and doesn’t have a record deal! [laughs] We had some great influences and I think we got lucky in finding our own niche and not listening to our contemporaries. Coincidently, a lot of those bands that I mentioned I would go on to work with. I worked with Steven Adler from Guns N’ Roses and the guys from Journey. I got a chance to make records and recordings in the studio and play shows with Cheap Trick and Smashing Pumpkins. I think those were all contributing factors to our sound.

You stepped into the lead role in Enuff Z’nuff a few years back. Looking back, what was the biggest challenge for you in making that transition?

Right there, you just said it! I never wanted this fucking job singing in a band. I love the company of my brother. I feel that my bro will go down as one of the greatest singers of our generation. When I go around the country and run into guys like Steven Tyler, the guys in Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters or Green Day, they all have nothing but wonderful things to say about us and are very kind. They love the band. For me to get in the front fare and have to sing the songs is a challenge in itself. I feel that I co-wrote the songs with my brother and I know the songs well. You look at bands like Journey, Styx, Foreigner, Stone Temple Pilots and a bunch of others out there, they go to different ponds to find a different singer to take over. My template was that I looked at all the bands that were out there then I couldn’t think of one band where the singer left and one of the guys in the band took over, except for Genesis. When Peter Gabriel left the band Phil Collins took over. That is the template I chose to take and I found some great musicians to help me out. I’ve got Tony Fennell from Ultravox, who was the singer who took Midge Ure’s place years ago. I got him to come in, play guitar and sing background vocals with us. I went out and got Tory Stoffregen, my old guitar player, who also has a band called The New Black 7. He’s a great singer. I also got Daniel Hill to play drums. I was lucky enough to find great guys who believed in the vision and believed in the legacy that Enuff Z’nuff has left. I think I put together a really strong band and the fans have spoken loudly and seem to like it. I pick a lot of stuff from the earlier records that were commercially successful for us and I’m focusing on that. Once I see how things go, I will listen to what the fans have to say and lay it on to the set list to mix in stuff from the other 17 albums we have recorded. Right now, I have just been focusing on the first three records to be honest with you. It’s been a lot of fun! The shows have been strong! We just got off tour with KISS on the KISS Kruise. It was great! Doc McGhee and the guys in KISS were out in the crowd, along with the guys from King’s X, Skid Row and all these different bands that we grew up. The all came up to me and were very complimentary, especially Doc McGhee. He came up to me and said, “Why weren’t you doing this 10 years ago?” So, I have been pleasantly surprised and flattered that people have accepted us as the band is right now. I have dedicated my life to this band and to this music. Obviously, I have worked with other groups but I’ve never given up on Enuff Z’nuff. I’ve never taken any time off except to tour with Adler’s Appetite or Missing Persons. For the most part, my whole life has been dedicated to Enuff Z’nuff.

Enuff Z'Nuff's 'Clowns Lounge'

Enuff Z’Nuff’s ‘Clowns Lounge’

You have a new album out. What got the ball rolling on “Clown’s Lounge?”

It all came back to the same guy who discovered the band back in 1989, Derek Shulman (Gentle Giant). He used to have an imprint called Polygram Records. He signed Cinderella and Bon Jovi. He did so well with those bands that Atlantic Records gave him his own imprint, Atco Records. Our first record came out on Atco. It had the hits “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle.” Twenty-seven years later, I get a telephone call at my house in Blue Island, which is also a recording studio. He says, “I want to do another Enuff Z’Nuff record. I know Donnie’s not touring with you guys right now but I would love to have him on the record. Do you have any material with Donnie singing along with you?” I said, “I might have some stuff. Let me see what I’ve got.” I went through the catalog and I have a plethora of material sitting at home. I have a whole catalog of stuff that remains unreleased. I went through and pulled out three songs and sent them to Frontiers Records. They loved it and said, “Let’s do a record!” That’s how it started. It’s really a miracle for us. We didn’t expect to be on another major label at this point in our career. I’m just totally shocked. I’m surprised that out of nowhere the same guy who discovered the band came back years later wanting another record. I gave him a 12 song record called “Clown’s Lounge.” I think it is chock full of strong songs. It’s a great rock record. A glitter-rock record actually! It has pop-overtones and shows the best elements of Enuff Z’Nuff. Donnie’s voice sounds terrific. It really shows the band as it was then. It’s an archival record. It shows the original band as it was then and as we are today.

What were the biggest challenges you faced on bringing “Clown’s Lounge” to life?

Trying to make a record that sounded modern was a big challenge. Listen, a lot of bands put records out and they say it’s a brand-new record but the songs were written 10 or 20 years ago. It’s no exception here with us. There were songs that we had that just slipped through the cracks. We were so prolific back in the old days, not to sound immodest. Donnie and I would write tons! That is all we did! As much as we had warts, scars and tattoos from hard partying in those early days, we came up with some really strong songs. So, the biggest challenge for me was to make the record sound modern and today. I had some great musicians/producers to help work on the record. I got Chris Shepard, who has done some great stuff with Smashing Pumpkins, Flaming Lips and Elvis Costello. I also went to Chris Steinmetz over at Stonecutter Studios in Chicago. He has worked with Styx and Ozzy Osbourne. These guys were able to help me put the record together so it sounded sonically like an album from today. We certainly weren’t trying to sound like anyone else. I wanted a strong, hard Enuff Z’nuff album but I wanted to make sure that sonically it was a record that that we were capable of reproducing live. I think I nailed it! It’s a strong record that shows the best elements of Enuff Z’Nuff and the die-hard Enuff Z’Nuff fans will be pleasantly surprised when they hear this record. For the new fans, who don’t know much about us will hopefully hear it and say, “OK, maybe this is something I can sink my teeth into.” I’m proud of it. We made this record for ourselves and we are very grateful that we got the opportunity to do this one more time!

You also have material on this record from James Young of Styx and the late Jani Lane (Warrant). How did that material come about?

I grew up with Styx, obviously, being a Chicago band. I got to be really good friends with JY, who I still consider not only a great musician but a class act. He played on the “Paraphernalia” record, which I think was our eighth album that we put out back in 1997. We had Billy Corgan, along with JY and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick on that record. We really develop the great relationship from those early days. When JY went out to do his solo record, he asked if he could do a couple of Enuff Z’Nuff songs and we gave him permission. I thought that was very kind of him to want to record some of their songs. He loved our sensibility. We also worked in those early days playing gigs with Warrant. Jani Lane always seemed to love Enuff Z’Nuff’s music and the pop side of the band. When the opportunity arose to have Jani come down and sing on a song, I jumped at it! He obviously took a different approach to it. He didn’t want to sound like Warrant. He said, “I want to sing it like David Bowie.” I said, “Go right ahead. Sing it anyway you want to!” You can tell it’s Jani Lane as he has his own timber. The guy was a great singer and songwriter. Having those two together I think really help to elevate the record. It’s not necessarily an Enuff Z’Nuff track because Donnie’s not on that song. However, Johnny Monaco, who used to front the band, is on the track singing. I think it shows the best elements of what Enuff Z’Nuff is about which is pop songs played aggressively. JY, as soon as he plugs his guitar in, you know right away who it is! He’s the balls of Styx! It was a nice overtone on the record. When I played it for the label, I think they were surprised and they didn’t think I would give them a song like that. It really elevates the perception of the band having guys from Styx and Warrant playing with us. It’s also special to the fans of Styx and Warrant, who get to hear Jani on one of the last recorded tracks he did before he passed away.

What is your relationship with Donnie Vie? From what I read, he seemed pleased with this record and what you created together.

Listen, I love my brother. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this position right now. That’s both good and bad both. I love him dearly and I always look at the good in things. I view the glass half-full as opposed to half-empty. I don’t speak with him much but when we did the record he liked the energy of the record. That’s what he told me and he seems to be happy. Obviously, we would both like to do a fresh, brand-new album but right now he is taking care of his medical conditions and getting better. Maybe he will do another solo record but he’s not ready to come back into the fold right now. I think he’s happy that I’m fronting. I’m going out there and playing shows. As long as I keep sending mailbox money, he will be smiling!

Enuff Z'Nuff

Enuff Z’Nuff

You mentioned going back to the vault to bring these songs to the fans. What else do you have hiding out in there?

Bro, I’ve got so much material but, on this record, I wanted to make sure I had the best recordings. All of the stuff that you hear on this record was recorded on 2-inch tape; analog recordings. Nowadays, it would cost $80,000 to $100,000 to record a record like that. There wasn’t much Pro-Tooling on this record. It’s a real, live record with very minimal overdubs. I probably have another four to five albums in the vault right now. However, I’m not so sure recording-wise that it is up to snuff when it comes to what Donnie and I want to put out. We want to make sure that the records we put out there are as strong as anything you hear on the radio sonically. I may have another album in the can of 2-inch stuff; solid analog recordings. After that, the rest of it is all demo stuff. It’s all quality as all the songs are strong. I have a two-album deal with Frontiers. I think the next album will be a mixture of some of the classic stuff that we have and the rest will be new material.

I’m sure you learned a lot from each project. What lessons did you learn this time around?

What it took away from this experience was that it’s nice to have the band in the same room playing together. That’s the best way to make a record. That’s how these songs were recorded; we were all together at the same time we are making this record. It’s a special thing. Nowadays, you can just send tapes back and forth. You can have guys play a part of a song and have them send it back to you and put it all together but I prefer to be in the room with each other when we are being creative. Those early Enuff Z’Nuff albums came from us being together all the time. We were tracking at the same time and that’s why those records were so special. To any band out there, if you guys want to make a record the right way, hit the same room together and hash out the parts to make a quality record.

What are the best and worst parts of being a working artist these days in the ever-changing music industry?

The best parts of it, if you’re lucky enough and blessed enough to make a record, are the plethora of opportunities that open up. Nowadays it seems like there’s plenty of product but not enough demand. If you can come up with a nice 11 or 12 song record, the opportunities that come along with it are unimaginable; there’s everything from movies, soundtracks, TV shows and commercials. By branding your song well, you can constantly stay out there working. The worst part about it is that you have to leave your family and friends behind because it is a big sacrifice. If you’re not after a 24 hours a day, find another business. Rick Nielsen said it best to me. He said, “Chip, we’re not all built to do this but the ones that are have to take advantage of it and do it all the time.” I have dedicated and sacrificed my life to this and this is what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I’m going to make records and go out and tour. Hopefully, with good health, you can have a long run. I’m looking at musicians like the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Cheap Trick. God only knows how long these guys have. How long can you rock? Until you are 70 or 80 years old? It gets tiring because it’s a very difficult job. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so take advantage of it now. Get out there! Play! Tour! The opportunities that will fall in front of you will outweigh the grief.

Last time we spoke you were working on an autobiography. What’s the status of that project?

I have finished the book. I had some great people working with me. I had Jodee Blanco, who’s had a few books that were New York Times best sellers, working with me. I also had James Reardon, who wrote “Break On Through” about The Doors, along with me. He also worked with Oliver Stone on “The Doors” movie. Right now, we are just trying to find a deal for a publisher, otherwise we will put it out ourselves. I think the book is a great story of, without sounding immodest, Enuff Z’Nuff showing all the warts and scars of what we went through. It’s not sugarcoated at all. Every single thing went into the book. It focuses on the beginnings of our career where we played clubs and opened for Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Cheap Trick, playing for no money at all, to us signing a major album deal with Atco/Atlantic Records and having a half million dollars thrown in our face. It also has the trials and tribulations of going on tour with Badlands. It has all the meetings and stuff that broke the band like Howard Stern, David Letterman and everything in between. I turn the pages on everything. I’m free to show myself in an unfavorable light. It’s a real book that shows a real rock band that started from nothing, worked their way up, got a break and had some success.

Chip Z'nuff on stage at the M3 Festival - Photo by Dave Steckart

Chip Z’nuff on stage at the M3 Rock Festival – Photo by Dave Steckart

You are never one to slow down. Where are you headed next?

The record came out on December, 2, 2016. We just shot the video for the first single, “Dog On The Bone.” Starting on January 17, 2017, we start our tour with Ace Frehley from KISS. We go out for a month-and-a-half to two months with him. Then we are going to jump on a European tour and then we will do the Rock Never Stops tour. I can’t tell you who the band is going to be but it’s going to be big! To be honest, we are booked up until September of next year. We are pushing this album full-time, playing in front of every single audience out there and not missing any nook or cranny! We are playing clubs, theaters and some sheds! [laughs] We are really focusing on this album and showing what the band can do live! We are taking it to the streets, bro! Just like they used to do! That’s the only way to do it nowadays! If you sit home and wait, nothing is going to happen! You have to get out there and work!

Earlier in 2016, I caught up with Drew Fortier to discuss a new project you are a part of called Zen From Mars. What’s happening with that band?

That’s a pretty great band! You’ve got guys from Flipp, Bang Tango, Kik Tracee and Fear Factory! It’s a miniature all-star band and all of these guys can sing, play and write! The record is almost finished. The singer from Kik Tracee (Stephen Shareaux) was auditioning for Stone Temple Pilots but we are finishing the record and it will come out next year! It’s a great 10 or 11 song record. I don’t know much more about it and I don’t want to get anybody’s expectations up except for the fact that the record will be out next year. As far as touring goes, that’s up to the record company and what they want to do. I’m definitely interested in going out and playing!

What’s the best lesson we can take from your journey as an artist?

The best lesson you can take from me is that if you want it, you have to work hard for it. You have to work on it 24/7. Listen to all the styles of music that you love, pick out what you enjoy doing and focus your attention on that. Also, try to stay away from the drugs.

Thanks for your time today, Chip! I wish you continued success!

I appreciate it, brother. I appreciate the love and respect because without people like you and the fans out there, I am just another guy playing music at his house! Happy holidays and I will see you out there next year on the road! Bring your peace signs and paisleys!

Get the latest news and tour dates for Enuff Z’Nuff at the band’s official website, www.enuffznuff.com. ‘Clowns Lounge’ is available now via Frontiers Records. Pick it up on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify or Google Play.

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Legendary Rockers KIX To Release Documentary DVD/CD Set On October 21st

Legendary Rockers KIX To Release Documentary DVD/CD Set On October 21st

KIX-2014-4

Platinum-selling Maryland hard rock icons, KIX will release CAN’T STOP THE SHOW: THE RETURN OF KIX, a two-disc DVD/CD set, October 21, 2016 on Loud & Proud Records.  The 71-minute film is an in-depth look into KIX’s decision to record their first new album, 2014’s Rock Your Face Offin almost 20 years.

kix-cantstoptheshow-2016-1The DVD – WATCH THE TRAILER HERE – also features the making of the album from bassist Mark Schenker’s studio, interviews with the band as well as notable rock artists such as Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Jeff LaBar of Cinderella, Share Ross of Vixen, Shannon Larkin of Godsmack, and more, key music industry veterans such as radio personality Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic as well as Luc Carl and Keith Roth of Sirius/XM.  It also includes a rare appearance by producer Taylor Rhodes (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, KIX’s Hot Wire).

The CD, CAN’T STOP THE SHOW (LIVE) offers never-before-released live KIX tracks recorded over the last three years.  A bonus KIX logo sticker is inside the first manufacturing run, a special treat for KIX fans around the world, and each band member offers his own special contribution to the package’s booklet including vocalist Steve Whiteman’s rigorous exercise routine, cartoons by guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe, an essay by bassist Mark Schenker, a gear rundown by guitarist Ronnie “10/10” Younkins and a favorite recipe from drummer Jimmy Chalfant, aka “Chef Chocolate.”

“KIX is proud of the band’s legacy, but equally proud of our new chapter,” says Schenker.  “We had an opportunity to work with some great film makers, so we just let the cameras roll everywhere, and had so much fun putting the project together. There was a true outpouring of love and admiration from our fans and our peers after the release of Rock Your Face Off and luckily, we had documented the recording sessions on film. Now we are excited to share the process of making the new album with our loyal fans.  KIX thanks everyone involved and hopes everyone loves it as much as we loved making it!”

In 2014, KIX released their seventh full-length album, Rock Your Face Off (Loud & Proud Records) their first studio effort since 1995’s Show Business. The album debuted at #1 on Amazon’s “Hard Rock and Metal “chart, in the Top 50 on Billboard’s “Top 200 Albums” chart, #5 on the “Independent Albums “chart, #11 on the “Top Internet “chart, #17 on the “Top Rock Albums” chart, #27 on the “Indy/Small Chain Core Stores” chart and #33 on the “Physical” chart.  It also garnered rave reviews from publications such as Stereogum who said, “KIX have made an album with all the spirit and joy and craftsmanship that they always brought, an album with a hooks-per-minute ratio enough to grab you even if you never heard of them before reading this review.  The band plays with a sense of rhythmic push-pull that reminds you that people used to dance to this stuff, and that they still could, if they were so inclined…Its mere existence is an inspirational thing, and it’s a reminder that sometimes exploring new musical space isn’t the most important thing. Sometimes, songs are the most important thing.”

KIX will be performing select shows for the rest of the year, including a home town release event show in Baltimore, MD at Rams Head Live on September 24.  All tour dates can be found on the band’s website HERE. Pre-order CAN’T STOP THE SHOW: THE RETURN OF KIX through Amazon HERE.

CAN’T STOP THE SHOW: THE RETURN OF KIX CD TRACK LISTING:

  1. Wheels In Motion (Live)
  2. Rock Your Face Off (Live)
  3. Cold Shower (Live)
  4. Mean Miss Adventure (Live)
  5. You’re Gone (Live)
  6. Cold Blood (Live)
  7. Can’t Stop The Show (Live)
  8. Girl Money (Live)
  9. Love Me With Your Top Down (Live)
  10. Blow My Fuse (Live)
  11. Love Pollution (Live at Sirius/XM)
  12. Midnite Dynamite (Live at Sirius/XM)

DVD INTERVIEWS:

Eddie Trunk (radio personality)

Taylor Rhodes (producer)

Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)

Lzzy Hale (Halestorm)

Luc Carl (Sirius/XM)

Keith Roth (Sirius/XM)

Share Ross (Vixen)

Shannon Larkin (Godsmack/Wrathchild America)

Jeff LaBar (Cinderella)

Don Jamieson (Host of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic)

Jaime St James (Black N Blue/Warrant)

Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff)

Alex Kayne (L’Amour)

Kevin Butler (Hammerjacks)

Steve Kicas (Hammerjacks)

Scott Spelbring (producer)

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ZEN FROM MARS: Drew Fortier Offers A Glimpse Inside The New All-Star Band

ZEN FROM MARS: Drew Fortier Offers A Glimpse Inside The New All-Star Band

ZFM-groupshot-2016-1

Over the past several months, rumblings of an all new all-star band were just beneath the surface. In early August, music fans were teased with a mysterious video featuring intriguing new music. The video posed the question — “Who is ZFM?” At long last, the cryptic group stepped out of the shadows! ZEN FROM MARS (ZFM) features vocalist Stephen Shareaux (Kik Tracee), drummer Mike Heller (Fear Factory, Malignancy), the legendary Chip Z’Nuff (Enuff Z’Nuff) on bass and backing vocals, guitarists Brynn Arens (Flipp) and Drew Fortier (Bang Tango), and Kate Catalina (The Showgirl of Rock) on keyboards.

ZFM joined forces more than a year ago and worked on a full-length record in secrecy until now. Ready to introduce themselves to the world, the band released a video for their debut single, “New Leaf,” which can be seen below. “New Leaf” will be available for purchase this Friday, August 12, 2016 on iTunes and Amazon through Thom Hazaert’s THC Music, a subsidiary of David Ellefson’s EMP label. The song was mixed by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More).

As very few details are known about Zen From Mars, Icon Vs. Icon reached out to guitarist Drew Fortier. As a result, he offered insight on the formation of the band, their songwriting process and what the future may hold for them.

How did the members of Zen From Mars cross paths to form the musical force we see today?

All I can say for right now is that a whole bunch of different situations and circumstances lining up perfectly snowballed into ZFM forming over a year ago.

Where does the name Zen From Mars originate?

The name actually came from Stephen [Shareaux]. I remember when we first started demoing songs, I was at one of Chip Znuff’s shows in Chicago, and Kate [Catalina] was there as well. Stephen had texted me with “Zen From Mars … band name?” We all loved it!

The band worked in secret for more than a year. What made now the time to reveal it to the masses?

We all just knew it was the right moment really. We had actually shot the video for “New Leaf” back in January. With the way everything lined up and had been completed, we felt that there is no better time than right now.

When working together, what was the moment you found the chemistry and realized this would work?

The first time Stephen sent one of my acoustic instrumentals back to me with vocals on it. It was absolutely a surreal moment. Ironically, the first song was “New Leaf.” The acoustic demo still gives me chills to this day. I’d love to get it out there some day because I think people would dig it a lot. Also, the music I created for “New Leaf” actually dates back to when I was in high school! So, I guess technically “New Leaf” is 12 years old! The music for it at least. [laughs] But the way the songs came together was truly amazing and it felt so natural for everyone. The dynamic in the band is almost too perfect, especially when we’re in the same room playing these songs.

There is no shortage of talent with this project. What have the other members brought out of you in a creative sense?

Every member of ZFM has brought something absolutely unique and amazing to the table — Mike Heller’s brilliant drumming, Kate’s beautiful and otherworldly keys, Chip’s incredible Beatle-esque bass lines, Brynn Arens’ out of this world guitar parts, and Stephen’s beautiful lyrics and melodies. Combining all of these elements has just been the most amazing thing. It’s almost hard to explain, but you will hear the whole picture soon enough!

zen-from-mars-feature-2016

What made “New Leaf” the song to introduce the band?

It was actually the first song finished a little over a year ago now, and just the message in the song was perfect to make our initial statement as a band. Launching a new project is never easy.

What are some of the challenges you faced?

The challenges at first were the fact that the band is literally scattered all over the country, but we found the perfect solution to where we were all able to record our parts individually, so technically we all produced ourselves. Aside from that, everything has been unfolding naturally in the most perfect way.

What has the songwriting process and recording process been like?

It all starts with me and Stephen, I usually create a fully structured instrumental on acoustic, then I send it to Stephen, and he adds his words and melody to it, turning it into a song, then we send it to Mike to lay down final drums, then I lay down my final guitar parts, Chip and Kate lay down their bass and keys respectively, then we give it to Brynn to add his personality and character to the song, which is truly the cherry on top. Then BAM! A ZFM song is born!

As soon as I heard the song, I loved that “New Leaf” pulls from past eras but sounds fresh at the same time. This song is the sum of its parts and everyone’s past experiences. With that said, is that the overall vibe with the material you created or are we in for some surprises along the way?

Thanks so much man! I am so glad you’re diggin the tune! And let me tell you this, each ZFM song is a completely different shade of the band. True individuality as a cohesive unit. “New Leaf” is a cool hard rocker with some pop vibes to it. The next song we plan on putting out still gives me chills whenever I hear it. It’s called “Aflame.” The best way I can describe the song is if “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak made love to the music of “Waterfalls” by TLC while Type O Negative watched! [laughs] That’s the best way to describe it.

Fair enough! “New Leaf” is a taste of what you have planned. Where are you in the process of completing a full album?

We are close to finishing up recording, we are just taking our time with it and going at our own pace, and loving every single minute of it!

Check out the video for Zen From Mar‘s debut single, “New Leaf,” below. Connect with the band on social media via their official Facebook page.

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STRANGE TIME: Chip Z’Nuff To Release First Solo Album On February 3rd

STRANGE TIME: Chip Z’Nuff To Release First Solo Album On February 3rd

Chip Z'Nuff's 'Strange Time'

Chip Z’Nuff’s ‘Strange Time’

On February 3, Deadline Music (imprint of Cleopatra Records) will release STRANGE TIME, the first solo album by Chip Z’nuff.  The 10-track record marks a departure from the trademark Enuff Z’nuff trip-pop sound, with heavier guitars and more psychedelic elements.  

In addition to special guest appearances, the album includes a bonus 5-track EP collaboration with Steven Adler (Guns ‘n Roses).

“It’s a stoner rock record,” said Z’nuff, matter-of-factly.  “What I have with Enuff Z’nuff is special, but this is a labor of love.  I started these songs while going through every type of hard time – family, finances, relationships – and found moments of clarity while writing.”  He also called on some tour buddies and long-time friends to guest on the record.  

Having played bass for both Dale Bozzio (Missing Persons) and Adler (Adler’s Appetite), Z’nuff knew they’d contribute something truly unique (Z’nuff calls Adler’s drumming “incendiary”). Home state  legend Robin Zander lends his pipes to “All Day and All of the Night.”  Geezer Butler’s son, Biff, sings on “Rockstar.”

STRANGE TIME was recorded at Chicago Recording Company in Chicago and Abbey Road Studios in London.  Brendan Jeffrey produced all tracks except “Rockstar” (produced by Johnny K) and “Strange Time” (produced by R. Rubin).  Mixing was done by Jeff Luif and engineering by Chris Shepard (Elvis Costello, Smashing Pumpkins), Johnny K (Disturbed, Plain White T’s), Rob Pozen, and Ron Lowe.  Daniel Stout mastered at Colossal Mastering.   Performers include Z’nuff (vocals, guitar, bass), Adler (drums, percussion), Biff Butler, James Morrison Jr., Steve Ramone, Sir Ashley Scott, Robin Zander, and Scott Faukes.

The EP was recorded at Chicago Recording Company and Chip Z’nuff Studios in Blue Island, IL.  Brendan Jeffrey produced, Jeff Luif mixed, and Bob Ludwig mastered.  Z’nuff and Adler performed all the music, with Bozzio on vocals and a Slash sample solo on “Tonight We Met.”

STRANGE TIME TRACK LISTING:
~ all songs written by Chip Z’nuff except where noted ~

  1. Sunshine
  2. Rockstar
  3. Strange Time  (written by Chip Z’nuff and Trent Reznor)
  4. Dragonfly
  5. Still Love Your Face (written by Chip Z’nuff and Wendel Rey)
  6. F..Mary..Kill (written by Chip Z’nuff, Howard Stern, and Steve Miller)
  7. Anna Nichole (written by Chip Z’nuff and Syklopps)
  8. Strike Three
  9. Hello To The Drugs
  10. All Day And All Of The Night –  featuring Robin Zander & Steven Adler (written by Ray Davies)

BONUS EP: STEVEN ADLER & CHIP Z’NUFF

  1. My Town
  2. Yesterday (Another Wasted Day)
  3. The Game
  4. Tonight We Met (And Now We’re Going To Fuck) –  featuring Slash & Dale Bozzio
  5. The Pain Is All On You (written by Chip Z’nuff, Steven Adler, Paul McCartney)

Enuff Z’nuff has a west coast run in February.

Feb. 19 – Vamp’d – Las Vegas

Feb. 20 – Whisky-a-Go Go – Los Angeles

Feb. 21 – Fulton 55 – Fresno

Feb. 22 – The Boardwalk – Sacramento

Feb. 24 – El Corazon – Seattle

Feb. 25 – Tonic Lounge – Portland

Feb. 27 – RockBar Theater – San Jose

Feb. 28 – TBA

STRANGE TIME will be available at record stores and online retailers including iTunes (http://tinyurl.com/n3mlwje) and Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/ohduxhy) on February 3.

In addition to a career in broadcasting as a go-to guest on Howard Stern’s radio show and co-host of “Mancow TV,” Chip is writing his autobiography.  It will chronicle, in part, his three decades in EZ. In 1989, Enuff Z’nuff released its self-titled debut, and the hit singles “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle,” which earned them the first of two Gold records, huge credibility in the music video landscape, and legions of fans from the pop, rock, hippie, metal, and glam communities.  Rolling Stone, David Letterman, and Howard Stern have all been continued vocal supporters of the band.   A new record of Enuff Z’nuff originals is planned for 2015.

Connect with the band at enuffznuff.com and facebook.com/Enuff.Znuff.Official.

 

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Music In The Blood: Chip Z’Nuff On His Career, ‘Covered In Gold’ And New Music

Music In The Blood: Chip Z’Nuff On His Career, ‘Covered In Gold’ And New Music

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On August 19, Cleopatra Records will release COVERED IN GOLD, the first covers album ever recorded in the 30-year history of Enuff Z’nuff. The 14-track record honors the diverse influences that inspired the band, and includes fan-favorite songs often heard in the band’s live sets.

From reverent takes on classics from The Beatles (“Run For Your Life”) and Nirvana (“All Apologies”) to surprising takes on Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and the blistering “Stone Cold Crazy” from Queen, Enuff Z’nuff demonstrates the core reason for its longevity in music: taking cues from exceptional and broad role models and creating an accessible but unique sound around them. To that end, the band takes a pop TV theme song, “Believe It Or Not” from The Greatest American Hero and turns it into a refreshed pop gem.

In 1989, Enuff Z’nuff released its self-titled debut, and the hit singles “New Thing” and “Fly High Michelle,” which earned them the first of two Gold records, huge credibility in the music video landscape, and legions of fans from the pop, rock, hippie, metal, and glam communities. Rolling Stone, David Letterman, and Howard Stern have all been continued vocal supporters of the band. Founder Chip Z’nuff continues to be the cornerstone, keeping the group active on stage and in studio with fresh musicians coming into the fold as change required. Twenty albums and countless concerts later, Enuff Z’nuff continues to deliver melodic, accessible rock.

In addition to a new career in broadcasting as a go-to guest on Howard Stern’s radio show and co-host of “Mancow TV,” Chip is working with Steven Adler (Guns ‘n Roses, Adler’s Appetite) on two albums to be released this year. Both THE DEATH OF JOHNNY ROTTEN JR. and ADLER’S ENOUGH will feature guest artists like Robin Zander and Dale Bozzio. A new record of Enuff Z’nuff originals is planned for 2015.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Chip Z’Nuff to discuss his decades in the music  business, his evolution as an artist, the recent release of ‘Covered In Gold,’ the new music he has on the way and what the future might hold for him and the band.

Chip Z'Nuff

Chip Z’Nuff

Let’s go back to your formative years. What are some of your earliest memories of music?

I remember watching Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” and “Midnight Special” with my father. He would let me stay up late at night and have the chance to see bands like Alice Cooper, Queen, Mott The Hoople, Led Zeppelin and a lot of the old English stuff. That was really the first thing that tripped my trigger, stuff like Pink Floyd, Sweet, The Who. Those are the first bands I fell in love with. I was bitten and I had the disease! I said, “This is something I really enjoy!” At the time I discovered those bands, I was probably around 11 or 12 and I was playing baseball. I was pitching. By the time I got a little bit older and had some success in sports, it just seemed to me that writing a song was more challenging and exciting than throwing a curveball or a slider.

Was there a particular catalyst or moment that made you know music was the right path for you?

Oh yeah. I was playing a gig on the Southside of Chicago. Peter Cetera from the band Chicago came out to see the band. It was one of our first gigs. He came up to us and was very encouraging. He said, “Hey, you guys are working hard. Keep it up and you are going to go places.” I thought, “Here is a big rock star and he is telling me I have a chance!” That was one of the beginning motivations. My aunt lived outside of Los Angeles in a little town called Norco, Calif. She told my father she would take me in for the summer after I graduated. I was 17 years old. I went to her house and I had a band called Degeneration, the original Degeneration. We had some big management people following us. We were young dudes in what was like a punk rock band. That was very inspiring for me because I realized I was out there playing, doing it every single day and hanging out at places like The Whiskey A Go Go watching Motley Crue play. I thought, “If they could do it, so can I!” I think that was the catalyst right there!

You have been in music for a very long time and have been very successful. What is the secret to your success and longevity?

Chip Z'Nuff on tour in Germany.

Chip Z’Nuff on tour in Germany.

I will tell, luck is the residue of design but preparation meets opportunity. When I first met Bon Jovi, he said, “If you want to be huge, you have to want it 24 hours a day.” He’s not exaggerating. You have to dedicate your life to it. There will be ups and downs and you have to be prepared for them. More than anything, you can’t give up. You have to be determined beyond belief. It is tough out there. It is a big playing field and there is only so much room that is out there but if you write good songs, you are true to yourself and you stay as clean as you can you have a chance for a little career. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve been blessed! We have good people around us and had some great management in the business. When I think of a man who believed in our stuff, I think of Doc McGhee, who used to manage Bon Jovi and now he manages KISS. He was our first manager, along with a guy named Don Bingham. Our second manager was Herbie Herbert who managed Mr. Big and Steve Miller. Our last manager was the late, great Bill Aucoin, who managed KISS earlier in their career. We have had a chance to have some wonderful management and that certainly helped us set the tone for our career but more than anything it was songs! Donnie and I really hustled, built a lot of tunes in the house and recorded them all. That was our catalyst, come up with songs and compete against our idols. There is also a little bit of luck thrown in there as well! You have to sprinkle that in! We worked every single day. That was our job 24 hours a day. We pushed aside our family and friends and that is the hardest part of this business. You really have to focus on the band to be successful, it is almost like a marriage. I think all of those elements, mixed with a little luck, gave us the opportunity to have a career.

Looking back on your life in music, how did you evolve as an artist?

I don’t want to sound like I am immodest but I can definitely play with any band in the world. I have worked very hard at my craft. I play a few different instruments, I sing and I can write songs. I think those tools right there, along with the blessing of The Lord, has helped me. I’m not trying to be religious at all but let’s face it, there is higher power out there and someone is watching over me. Although I feel all the hard work has paid off, I am still unsatisfied but I am grateful. The band has been through a lot of ups and downs. We lost our drummer, Ricky Parent, who passed away in 2007. Before that, we lost Derek Frigo, who was a great guitar player. Don’t think I don’t miss those gentlemen because their contribution is immeasurable and I can’t put it into words. They were terrific musicians. I get a chance to listen to the CDs and see the DVDs and videos and see them. That is something I can keep forever, those amazing memories. No one can take those away from us. Besides that, there are my broken marriages and family strife. Through it all, we have stuck together and worked really hard. That is why I still do what I do. I have dedicated my life to it. As far as being a musician goes, I learned all different styles of music in my early days. I have been playing for such a long time that I have produced and played on over 50 albums. I think my musical contributions speak for themselves, without my trying to sound like I am immodest.

Enuff Z’nuff is putting out a covers collection titled “Covered in Gold.” What made this the right time for the release of this album?

Enuff Z’nuff - 'Covered In Gold'

Enuff Z’nuff – ‘Covered In Gold’

It was our management. Todd LePere, over at PRG Nocturne, has taken the band under his wing. We haven’t had a North American label in 15 years. I’m signed with King Records over in Japan and Enuff Z’nuff is with Rock Candy over in England but we had nothing here in the United States for the longest time. Everybody wanted the record for free. Finally, we found Cleopatra Records. They called me up one day and said, “We licensed your greatest hits record, ‘Favorites,’ and it has done very well for us. I always liked working with you, Chip. Do you have any music?” I told him we didn’t have a lot at the moment, just demo stuff but quality record stuff. It is very important to have music that is going to hold up sonically. I said, “I do have a covers record I am thinking about putting out. I would like to take all of these cover songs we have done in our career and put them on one record. Maybe we could record three or four extra songs for it. Would you be interested in that?” He said, “Absolutely!” I sent him the record and he nailed it! It was the perfect time. It’s like I said earlier, preparation meets opportunity. He had the songs and wanted to put the record together. I went over to Chicago Recording Company on the north side of Chicago. They were nice enough to give me the studio for a week. I put the songs together and I think there has been a resurgence with Enuff Z’nuff. We have certainly been helped through radio and TV. I host a TV show here in Chicago called “Mancow TV.” I think that has helped where people have seen us and know the band is still alive and playing shows. That whole combination made it a great time for this to come out. The record came out and it was at 54 its first week on Amazon and shot itself up to number 28. It has been pretty good for us so far! I think the way to sustain that would be to go out and tour a little bit this year and then come out with a brand new record next year. That is my goal right now, to put out some fresh new music for the fans in 2015. They certainly have been very loyal to us. Our audience has always bought our albums and passed them around to their friends. If you go to a record store, you don’t see us in the used bins because people keep our albums and we are really proud of that! I would definitely like to see a brand new, fresh record out. I was a little concerned about doing it because it is a different lineup right now but the fans have spoken! Next year I am looking forward to putting some fresh new music out and hopefully “Covered In Gold” will hold everybody over.

Chip Z'Nuff backstage before a gig.

Chip Z’Nuff backstage before a gig.

Where are you in the process of creating the album of new material for Enuff Z’nuff? Are you the type of artist who is always writing?

No, I’m not always writing because I am always in the studio producing other bands and helping other artists that need a helping hand. It is very challenging to find a new group and have them say, “Hey, we want to pay you to come into your studio to record our songs. Will you help us?” I give them everything I’ve got, all the bands that come in. I have produced over 30 albums at my house. It is very gratifying at the end when you see how happy they are. They see how it is done and I can really help them in a lot of ways because I have been making records for all these years. That feels really good. As far as songs go, John Lennon said it best, “All the great songs have already been written. It is up to us as artists to bring them down and turn you guys on to them.” There are a bunch of songs that we have, so that is the least of my worries.

Being in the music industry as long as you have, you have seen it go through many changes. What are some of the surprises the industry has thrown your way recently?

Music In The Blood: Chip Z'Nuff and Ace Frehley

Music In The Blood: Chip Z’Nuff and Ace Frehley

The music has changed a million times. In some ways it is better today because of social media where you can reach millions of people instantly. You couldn’t do that in the past, however, the playing field is so packed. There are so many bands and, since there isn’t a lot of room, you really have to have something special. It’s hard to not have a name and get out there to push a new record. You need a tour, you need a video, you need to try and get it out virally. You have to hit all the states and play shows with as many bands as you can and steal their fans. It is really tough out there for all artists. That being said, it is a great opportunity for us. Quite a few people are following us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and on www.enuffznuff.com. That will certainly help us in the long run. Listen, we have been through so many tough times and overcome so many obstacles that right now for the new record, as encouraging as all that is, will certainly be a challenge. My manger from the old days, Bob Brigham from PRG Nocturne, said “It’s like bandaging a gunshot wound.” It will take a lot for us to get back into the game, so we are not fooling ourselves but there are enough people out there who do like Enuff Z’nuff that one song could change things. You never know, a director or producer could want to put a song on their next movie soundtrack or a commercial or something and we are back in the fuckin’ game again. That is how it is for every single band out there. We are all one hit away from being back in the game again. I encourage those out there who are making songs to never give up and try to get the songs out there. We are all on the same playing field and you have a great chance out there. There is a book out there called “As a Man Thinkith.” Basically, what the book says is that if you wake up in the morning and it is pouring rain outside, if you are thinking it is going to be a shitty day and you aren’t going to get anything done then you aren’t going to! You have to wake up every day and say, “I am going to make things happen today. It’s going to be a positive day. I’m not going to lose.” If you go in there with great vibes, then you have a real chance. Every single person out there has a chance!

Is sharing your life and experiences in the form an autobiography something that is in the cards for you?

Yeah, I have been working on it for the whole year actually. It takes a lot of time. People think that you simply put a book together and put it out! No! It is trial and error. It is a bunch of stories and you have to find someone to help take your words and put it together in a way that is cohesive. I have this guy named James Reardon, who wrote “Break on Through.” He wrote the book on The Doors and worked with Oliver Stone when they did The Doors movie. The whole movie is based on his book. I just got him involved to help me put this book together. I have another person who is on The New York Times Best Sellers List named Jodee Blanco, who wrote “Please Stop Laughing at Me.” Those two are helping me put this great story together. It is all true, no phony stuff. It shows the warts, scars and tattoos I have acquired through the years with my band, Enuff Z’nuff.

chip-znuff-2014-2

Did you have any reservations about putting yourself out there in that capacity?

I did at first but when I knew I was going to bring up some other people … I am not talking about other bands and their substance abuse or promiscuity. I am talking about my life and my band. I really had to let my hair down on this, for lack of a better term. I wanted to talk about the problems, trials and tribulations of being in Enuff Z’nuff and the very first days of substance abuse this band carried with us through the years. Even though we had issues, we had great songs and four guys who really knew how to play together and had a great chemistry. Along with the good stuff, I wanted to show all the bad stuff like the drug abuse and promiscuity, on both sides of my marriages, and my band’s relationships. I also wanted to focus on the people in the record company, in the very beginning, thinking that was the way to go to vibe with everybody to shows where band members weren’t up to snuff at gigs and we doing less than desirable shows with a great band. We were just not in the condition to play as great as we were on the records. We went through bankruptcies, signed with Clive Davis over at Arista and sold a couple hundred thousand records, which is considered a failure back then! Nowadays, I would be hailed for seeing over 200,000 records! We had two gold records and were in debt three quarters of a million dollars. There are embarrassing moments in there as well. I talked about all those things because I wanted to be honest. I have to be honest with ya, some of it hurt. It wasn’t an easy ride or an easy book to start putting together. However, I am cleansing my soul! It’s kind of like Steven Adler from Guns N’ Roses, when he wrote his book. I was with him when he was writing the book. When it was finished, he had the first copy. I was so proud of him for putting all of that stuff down on paper. He went over and lit the fireplace. He threw the book in and said, “OK. This story is done. Those chapters of my life have diminished. I have the memories and my fans can remember these if they want to but I am on to the next thing!” That is how I look at the book I am working on.

chip-znuff-2014-1

Chip Z’Nuff continues to rock crowds around the globe.

Speaking of Steven Adler, you have been working with him again. What can you tell us about what you have going on there?

There is one record that is already out called “Adler’s Appetite.” It’s an EP on Down Boys Records, which is a label the guys from Warrant own. I think it is a great record, a hard rock record, of course. It is very reminiscent of the Guns N’ Roses sound. Then, Steven flew out here from Los Angeles to Chicago in 2012 and we recorded a five song EP at my house, “Adler’s Enough.” He stayed here for about a month. Every single song that we write together, he played drums first before there was any music or anything. I just gave him an idea and a drum beat. He would go into the room and play his drums. From there, I would write songs around it. There are five tunes and I am really proud of this record. Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons is also on this record. We used a couple of Slash’s guitars from samples because we couldn’t get him down here. I think it is a strong record. I am singing and playing everything on the record, along with Steven. We are hoping to release that sometime this year because I think fans really need to hear it! We did the record in 2012, went out on tour and I brought about 400 copies with me. We sold them out in two weeks on a little small club tour we were doing in North American.

Chip Z'Nuff and Steven Adler

Chip Z’Nuff and Steven Adler

The management company said to me, “Chip, ya know what? People are going to be confused by this record and Adler’s Appetite band, so stop selling them.” I said, “No problem.” When I left Adler’s Appetite and went back to Enuff Z’nuff full-time and started doing the TV show, I was playing the songs for people. Everyone kept saying, “This is a great record. Why don’t you do something with this?” Steven and I deserve to have those songs out there. There could be a movie director, producer or somebody out there who might say, “I like these songs. I want to use them for my next project.” I want to get those songs out there for us. I was lucky enough to cut a deal with Cleopatra Records where I can release that record along with my solo record, which is a different band called Johnny Rotten Junior. That record is a 10-song record. It is all done on two inch tape, analog, here in Chicago. I think it is a strong record but I tried to do something a little bit different than Enuff Z’nuff. I wasn’t trying to write hits. I was just trying to put together a cool stoner rock record. I think I achieved that.

What is the best advice you can give to aspiring musicians looking to make music their career?

Spectacular success is when you can thoroughly deal with problems without letting them pull you down. Don’t stop. Stay positive. You are only one song away from being recognized!

We appreciate your time today, Chip! We are excited to help spread the word on all that you have going on!

Thank you for your time, Jason! God bless you and your family! Cheers!

Be sure to follow Enuff Z’nuff on FacebookYouTube and Twitter. Visit the newly relaunched website of the band at www.enuffznuff.com. Click here to purchase ‘Covered In Gold.’ 

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Review: Steven Adler’s “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses”

Review: Steven Adler’s “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses”

"My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses"

Every misunderstood celebrity should write a tell-all book. I’m not being sarcastic. It’s a great way to give their fans and enemies a chance to see their side of the story with no interruptions. It’s also an inside look at the life of the celebrity/rockstar, with horny groupies, screaming, obsessed fans and non-stop attention.

In Steven Adler’s “My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns N’ Roses,” he attempts to set the record straight, from his rough childhood to getting kicked out of his house as a youth and later as a part of one of  the most successful hard rock bands ever, GNR, and his notorious battle with drug abuse.

Before starting his story, Adler addresses why he decided to write a tell-all: to come clean and tell his side of a story that has been twisted across media channels over the past 20 years. He also makes it clear that the book isn’t a stab at his former bandmates, who he still loves, or else, including family and friends.

Adler’s story starts at his beginning when he was born in Cleveland in 1965. Soon the wild ride begins, featuring an abusive father, a quick move to California, being adopted by his mother’s boyfriend/future husband and later getting kicked out, and Adler’s days as an extreme wild child.

Adler’s motivations can be described in three words: sex, drugs and music. “And nothing focuses me or gets me going like chasing tail. Money, fame, status, power … nothing comes close to the pursuit of pussy.”

Although women are a big part, drugs, starting when he was first introduced to the drug culture in 1977 at age 12, take center stage, slowly sucking his life force dry.

Highlights of the book include his meeting Saul “Slash” Hudson in junior high and, of course, the forming of GNR. “That night, we all just happened to walk into one another’s lives, with no idea what lay ahead. I wish I could say that it was like lightning struck, but the truth is that it was just a random get-together to see what could be germinating.”

Germinate indeed.

“We never did anything the sane, sensible way. We never went by the rules and never conformed to an accepted path to success. The way we came up with our songs, insisted on total artistic freedom, the way we practiced and played — no one did it like we did.”

Steven Adler

When he talked about forming GNR, I flashed back to my youth, sitting in a room with the shades drawn, MTV blaring “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and my sister screaming at the top of her lungs, “I love you Axl!” I loved Adler’s behind-the-scenes view, blurring the glamour and media-fed image and sharpening it with his view from behind the drums. GNR “carved their own path to glory” and performed songs that described their lives, what was going on in the late ‘80s L.A. culture.

As the story continues, chock-full with non-stop sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll, Adler is the first to admit that all his mistakes, from overdosing 28 times, to being a zombie/junkie, to going to jail … everything was his own doing. “I’m the undisputed all-time booze-chugging, pill-cobbling, drug-shooting, Katrina-caliber fuckup. Throughout my wretched life there isn’t a friend, family member or fantastic opportunity that I haven’t shoved into a blender and mutilated.”

Throughout his drug haze, doing everything from shooting up heroin to smoking crack and pot, Adler recalls it all. Everything that the media has been obsessed with, from substance abuse to drama with the infamously difficult Axl Rose, is covered. Adler also discussed his meetings with other rock gods, including Alice Cooper, Steven Tyler, and Tommy Lee.

Adler’s story ends with his public stints on “Celebrity Rehab” and “Sober House” with Dr. Drew and his never-ending battle to stay clean. Maybe he’s trying to make a quick buck. Maybe he’s trying to stay relevant in ADD Hollywood or feed his ego. I don’t know. What I do know is that this book is a page-turning, raw look into ’70-‘90s rock-and-roll culture and an inside look at one of the most iconic rock bands in the world.

Maybe it’s all lies. Adler sure has a good memory after all the drugs he’s done; nonetheless, his story is compelling, tragic and funny. This book is a good read for all the lovers and the haters out there and also for the younger population, to see the real side of the often glamorized culture of celebrity/rockstar. There’s nothing like reading a play-by-play of Adler OD’ing on heroin to make you feel better about your life. People are quick to tell you about their highs, but what about their lows? — Kate Vendetta

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My Appetite For Destruction: Steven Adler Discusses His Past, Present and Future!

My Appetite For Destruction: Steven Adler Discusses His Past, Present and Future!

Call it luck, call it fate, call it whatever you wish but in the early eighties, a perfect storm of musical forces began to align in Hollywood, CA that would  give birth to the world’s most notorious rock ‘n’ roll band. Boasting an amazing mix of larger than life personalities, an undeniably powerful sound and a heaping helping of attitude, Guns N’ Roses wasted no time carving their own niche into Los Angeles’ highly competitive music scene. When Guns N’ Roses released their legendary album, Appetite for Destruction, it would change the music scene for ever. It is one of the rare, iconic albums that would come along to a generation and serve as a benchmark for all albums to follow. Not only would the music effect people around the world, it would also take many who were at ground zero of the phenomenon on a roller coaster ride to superstardom. The members of this extraordinary band are living proof that some people merely listen to rock n’ roll and some have it coursing through their veins. Such is the case with drummer Steven Adler. As part of Guns N’ Roses, he provided the crushing backbeat to one of music’s landmark albums, rose to the heights that most people can only dream of and became the poster boy for rock ‘n’ roll excess. Today, after twenty-eight overdoses, three botched suicides, two heart attacks, a couple of jail stints, and a debilitating stroke, Steven Adler is sober, standing tall and ready to share his story with the world. Steve Johnson of Icon Vs. Icon sat down with the infamous drummer with the infectious smile to discuss his shocking new autobiography ‘My Appetite for Destruction: Sex, and Drugs, and Guns N’ Roses’, the future of Adler’s Appetite, his love for W. Axl Rose and much more!

How did music first come into your life?

I’ve been a fan of music since the age of 4 when I heard my first album, which was Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  The song was “Working My Way Back to You.”  There was something that clicked in my heart and in my soul.  The sound of the guitar, and the groove of the drums, and Frankie’s voice.  My grandma used to tell me that when we were driving around I would turn the radio up pretty loud and I’d just be dancing and singing in the back seat.  How’s that for how times have changed!  I wore no seat belt!  I was 4 or 5 years old jumping around in the back seat of a car that was driving around!  How’s that?  Times have definitely changed! [laughs]

Your work has inspired so many. Who do you cite as some of your influences?

Musically … Roger Meddows-Taylor from Queen.  Everyone from KISS.  Boston.  John Bonham.  Keith Moon.  A lot of English drummers.  I was really attracted to the style of the English drummers.  They were jazz schooled players, but went into rock.  The drums weren’t just basic AC/DC.  One, two, three, four … IIt had a shuffle.  It had a groove.  I like that!

How do you think you have evolved as an artist (drummer) since you first started out?

When I first started out … I hadn’t taken a lesson up until five months ago.  Throughout my whole career in music I had never taken a drum lesson.  So five months ago I started taking lessons.  I started cleaning myself up and getting my life together, and I wanted to be a better player.  So I started taking lessons.  It’s the best thing I have ever done.  It’s helped my show.  It’s amazing how it has helped me.  It’s made playing so much easier and so much more fun.  Having a clue of what I am actually doing, instead of just doing it because it feels right.  Now it feels right and I know what I am doing.  It’s even a bigger high performing live and recording.

What has kept you inspired through the years?

I wasn’t inspired for the last 20 years.  After two years of working with Dr. Drew I got satisfaction to be a part of my life again.  I really wasn’t inspired by anything.  I didn’t want to do anything.  It took me 20 years to admit and realize that I blamed Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Axl for my downfall with the band and all the drug abuse I went through after that.  I blamed them.  When I started working with Dr. Drew … I realized that I thought they let me down, but it wasn’t them who let me down, it was me who let them down.  Being able to face that … if you read my book “My Appetite for Destruction,” in the beginning of it I talk about the sexual abuse that I went through when I was a young teenager.  That happened with an older teenager and an older man.  At the time that it happened, how do you tell your grandparents or your friends?  You can’t tell somebody that happened to you.  When I was 12 years old … so with working with Dr. Drew I realized that if I don’t get this out of my system and keep stuffing it down, I am going to keep relapsing and I’m not going to be able to move forward in my life.  I finally was able to have a discussion with people who understood and people I could relate to.  I thought if I said those words out loud for other peoples’ ears to hear I would feel even worse and that they would batter me.  It was the complete opposite.  When I said it, it was like this big weight off my body and my chest.  It was just like, WHEW!  Doing this book has been mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healing for me.  Dr. Drew has been a huge help and a mentor to me.  I watched the show after I was on the show.  The season before and the season after.  Everybody has the same opportunity that I had to get the most out of it.  I needed to get these feelings that I just described to you out.  Before I started “Celebrity Rehab,” I told them I don’t think I could do it to the best of my ability and get the most out of it if I don’t get to talk to Slash.  Like I said, I blamed them.  I thought they let me down.  So we had a meeting.  No cameras.  Nothing … I got to apologize to Slash and he apologized to me.  I said, it was really me who let him down.  Just being able to apologize … the next morning when I woke up my whole body was so sore.  Like when you work out too much.  I was so sore from the weight, pressure, and pain I let off my body by apologizing to him.

Speaking of your autobiography, “My Appetite For Destruction,” did you have any reservations about putting that together?

After the months I did in rehab and the two years I’ve been working with Dr. Drew, I felt that it was time for me to do it.  For me, the purpose of the book was to write my answers to all of the people that I have wronged and to myself.  When I get home off tour I am going to build myself a big bonfire and I’m going to throw that book right into the fire.  I want to leave the past behind.  I want to move forward.  I don’t hate anybody.  I don’t bash anybody in my book.  I don’t put anybody down.  I don’t talk bad about anybody.  That’s not what it is about.  I love all the people that were in my life and people that are a part of my life.  No one is getting put down.  I’m laying my heart on my sleeve with this book.  It’s for all of my friends, colleagues, fans, and people that can benefit from my rough history.  I’m here to show the underdogs that you can survive and you can succeed.  My life has been a rollercoaster, I have accepted all of the consequences, and I can move on.  I’m going to live my life one second at a time, one breath at a time.  I’m finally starting to show myself and I’m finally getting recognition for the work that I have done on “Appetite,” “Lies,” and my work with GNR.  I want those guys more than anybody to read my book.  If they read my book, I know they’ll realize that what we have is so special and so rare for that to happen. They’ll realize that we’re all brothers.  The five of us are brothers and what do goofy brothers do?  They fight with each other!  That’s what brothers do!  It’s been 20 years of fighting.  Enough is enough.  Let’s move on.  I know if I could get the five of us in a room together, not even with instruments, just a room … no chairs or even a table.  All we would do is say hi to each other, shed a little tear, and we would start talking about moving on into the future and doing something new.

You are currently on tour with your band, Adler’s Appetite. How did the current lineup shape up?

I’ve been doing Adler’s Appetite for like the last eight years.  There have been different people involved.  Just like Guns ‘n’ Roses, we’ve played with other people throughout the years.  This was a fun lineup that just clicked together.  We have a new single out called “Alive.”  “It’s Good To Be Alive” and it is good to be alive.  If you buy the book, you can download the single for free.  We debuted the single on The Howard Stern Show when we did the show.  We play it live.  Basically the live show … we open up with “Reckless Life” and we end with “Welcome to the Jungle.”  So we do that and everything that’s in between.

As you mentioned, the band’s new single “Alive” is out now. Are there any plans for a full length release from Adler’s Appetite in the future?

Yes!  We have some shows at The Whisky.  We are going to do a video for this song first.  We’re going to film it at The Whisky and at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, which is all right there.  In the middle of September we are going to go back over to Anthony Focx’s studio, where we did the first single.  We’ll have two weeks in L.A., so we’ll probably run through another five songs.  We’ll put it out single by single.  That’s the way the market is now.  You put out a single, people will download a single.  So we have this single that’s out.  In about three or four weeks we’ll have a new single and we’ll go from there.  We’re just belting them out and having a great time doing it.  I love all of the fans I have been meeting at the book signings and at the shows.  I love when they bring their GNR memorabilia.  I love meeting everybody and signing stuff.  Everybody has been so great.  I appreciate all of their prayers and all of their wonderful thoughts.  It’s a really wonderful trip.

You started your career in one of the biggest bands of all time and have a very well documented career. The public eye has been fixed on you from the time you were very young and continues to this day. What do you think is the biggest misconception about Steven Adler?

I’m going to tell you there is no misconception.  If you read my book, nearly everything is right there.  That’s all I have to tell you!  There is no misconception!  My heart and soul are on my sleeve! [laughs]

Steven Adler

It seems, especially in the “rock media,” they tend to focus mainly on soundbites from you that paint Axl Rose in a negative light. Does this ever put you in a bad spot or become a bit of a burden?

No.  Axl is one of the most wonderful people I have had in my life.  He is an amazing singer.  He’s up there as one of the top singers/entertainers.  You have Freddie Mercury.  You have Robert Plant. You have Steven Tyler.  You have Axl Rose. It’s been a blessing being able to work with that guy.  I want him to be a part of my life.  He’s my brother.  Like I said earlier, brothers fight.  Enough with the fighting.  Let’s move on … I want to finish what I started with him and the guys.  I’m pretty sure they feel the same way.  Axl has been nothing but a wonderful influence and a wonderful person to me.  I love him and I want him to be a part of my life more.  I’m thankful I have a history with him.  No bad animosity.  All love and respect.

What do you consider the defining moment of your career so far?

I have to say playing with The Rolling Stones at the L.A. Colosseum.  That was the biggest!  Oh yeah, and Donnington!  I’ve had a few.  We played with Aerosmith and Ozzy Osbourne.  I have to say the main one was the Colosseum with The Rolling Stones.  That was like a dream come true for all of us.

That’s one band I haven’t seen, I would love to go see.

Oh man!  It’s amazing! And they’re still doing it!  I love it!  This is like the 10th time that they’ve said this is the last tour they are doing!

It sounds like KISS!

You’ve got to hand it to them!  You’ve got to give it up!

Being in the music industry as long as you have, are there still surprises?

The surprise is that there is no record industry.  I was lucky enough to catch the ending of what was the entertainment world, where you worked hard, you did shows, you played anywhere, and you sent your tapes in.  You did everything you could and you were a rare breed.  The rare few got signed and got to make a record.  Nowadays everyone is making a record.  They’re doing it in their bedrooms.  Then again, if you look at these bands that are coming out … I don’t know … it used to be you could see someone walking down Sunset Boulevard and tell the difference between a blue collar guy and an entertainer.  People cared about how they looked.  I watch these videos of bands out nowadays and I swear they’re the same guys who I just got a burger from at Burger King.  You know what I mean!  They don’t care about how they look!  Shave your face!  Look good!  Comb your hair!  Do something!  It’s entertainment!  That’s just how I feel.  I was lucky to catch it toward the ending of when it was real.  It wasn’t a costume, it was a performance.  Nowadays there are bands out there playing with tape!  What the hell is that? [laughs]

As far as I am concerned progress peaked at “Appetite For Destruction!”  That album is phenomenal!

It was live!  That was live and that’s the truth!  At the end of the song there was none of this, “Let’s take this part of the song … that sounded better than this part of the song … let’s put it there … ”  We went one, two, three, four.  We played the friggin’ song and how it came out, that’s how it came to be.  After we played every song, we’d go back in the listening booth and we’d listen back to the song we just played.  We just looked at each other and said, “We just made the greatest record ever!”  We achieved what our goal was.  I just want to finish what I started with them.

Lightening up a bit …you have played tons of shows. Ever have a “Spinal Tap Moment” where something totally unexpected happened?

Well, we were playing with The Cult and it was our last show with them.  They came out and started taking my drums away piece by piece.  There have been a couple of those, “Hello Cleveland! Where’s the fucking stage? Oh!  It’s right over here!  Hello Cleveland!”  There have been a few of those!  That and the Motley Crue guys poured flour all over us like it was cocaine falling from the sky.  Trust me, flour and sweat don’t mix well with hair.  I was pulling dough out of my hair for weeks. [laughs]

What is the best piece of advice you could give to those who are just starting out and considering making a career in the music industry?

Practice as many hours a day as you can.  Play with every other performer/musician.  Everyone you can play with … get yourself out there.  Play the bars.  Play the clubs.  Get yourself known.  That’s what we did.  We hung out on the strip.  We played everywhere.  We made sure people knew who we were.  We practiced!  You want to go out there and you want to be great.  We would go into rehearsal two hours before the other guys would get in just so the bass and drums, which is the rhythm section, was good as we could be.

After this tour, what’s next for you?

We are going to do some recording and some videos.  We’re going to Europe. Iceland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Australia … we’ve got a world tour ahead of us until this time next year.

Anything that you would like to add or say to the dedicated GNR fans around the world?

Thank you for all of the wonderful prayers and thoughts.  The e-mails, texts, and tweets.  I love meeting all of you.  More than anything I love  giving hugs to everybody.  Be prepared, if you meet me, you’re going to get hugged!  I even hugged a big, stinky, hairy guy in Canada! [laughs]  He had no business wearing a tank top! [laughs]  None!  The store who sold him the tank top had no business selling this guy a tank top!  That’s how hairy this guy was!

Jesus! [laughs]

Exactly! [laughs] Be sure to check out our website at www.adlersappetiteonline.com.  You can check out if we’re coming to your city in the next couple of weeks.  We still have a month of touring in the states.  You check out pictures, videos from the shows, and the book.  Log on and say hi!

Thanks for your time Steven and best of luck!

Thank you for your time!

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Alex Grossi Talks Adler’s Appetite & Paul Reed Smith Road Show

Alex Grossi Talks Adler’s Appetite & Paul Reed Smith Road Show

feature-alex_grossi

Hailing from a musical family in Connecticut, Alex Grossi picked up a guitar at the age of thirteen and never looked back. Almost two decades later, all of his hard work and determination have paid off in spades. At 32 years old, the rock guitarist has accomplished more in his career than many guitarists will accomplish in a lifetime. His musical prowess launched him into the limelight, and along the way he would take the stage with some of the hard rock genre’s biggest names and his boyhood idols. Grossi has kept his musical momentum building through the years by working with Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow, Guns N’ Roses’ Dizzy Reed and most recently, served as a driving force in Adler’s Appetite as he travels the land alongside legendary Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. Alex Grossi shows no signs of slowing down as he makes his mark on the music scene. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently had a chance to sit down with Alex Grossi to discuss his current tour with Adler’s Appetite, his upcoming summer trek with the Paul Reed Smith Road Show and all of his upcoming projects.

How did music first come into your life?

I was born into a musical family. My dad was a musician for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra where he was a conductor and my mom owns a dance studio in Connecticut, which is still open for business. It is called the Grossi Dance Academy. Through those things, I was kinda born into it and I started out playing french horn when I was in second grade. It started from there and then I started seeing Motley Crue videos and that seemed like a lot more fun than playing in the Symphony, so I got a guitar and here we are! [laughs]

alexgrossi4What drove you to make music your career?

My Mom dances for a living. She is 60 years old and in better shape than anyone in the band! It keeps her young and she really loves dancing. A wise man once said that “If you love what you do, then you never have to go to work.” I really love playing guitar and I really don’t like going to work. [laughs] I figured that if I could find a way to make a living doing it, move to the right city, meet the right people and be a pro about it, then it would happen. There is a lot of risk involved and there are a lot of people who want to do it professionally. I just thought, “How cool would it be to get paid for doing something that you love?” Thankfully, I have been able to do something that I love as a career!

You mentioned Motley Crue. Who were some of the influences that have helped shape you, the musician, that we know today?

Growing up, it was Guns N’ Roses. ‘Appetite for Destruction’ was my first record. I am a big fan of KISS, Aerosmith and all the bands of that genre. I never really got into the whole guitar virtuoso, shredder thing. I liked bands that had attitude, image and were a little bit dangerous. I also liked the fact that a lot of bands had their own sound. For example, Slash (of Guns N’ Roses). You can hear a solo on a Guns N’ Roses song or him guesting somebody else’s song and you can tell that it is him. Anyone like that has been a big influence on me. I have literally gotten a chance to play with a lot of the guys that I grew up listening to so far in my short professional career. Well, actually I guess it is not so short as I am 32 now, I am starting to get up there! [laughs] It has really been great!

I know you have done some songwriting in the past. Is there a typical songwriting process that you employ or does it vary depending on who you are working with?

Ya know, it is really contingent on what type of band that you are in. If you are hired just to come in and play lead guitar or chord guitar or whatever. In that case you just come in, they hand you the song and you just play over it. For example, I just recently worked on Dizzy Reed’s (Guns N’ Roses) solo album. I went in there and he pretty much had all of the guitar parts mapped out and I would just put my own sorta thing on it, contributing a little bit here and there. With a band like Beautiful Creatures, where I came in as the guitar player, replacing DJ Ashba the main songwriter, I literally had to write from scratch with four other guys, what became ‘Deuce,’ our second record. It really depends on the situation, Adler’s Appetite is planning on going into the studio in late July and we have already started working on some stuff. Chip Z’Nuff, Steven Adler, Michael Thomas and myself will get in a room and just start banging out ideas and roll tape. Hopefully by the end of the year, you will have a new record from us.

Great news! For those how might not know, how did you get involved with Steven Adler and Adler’s Appetite?

I have been working with Steven on and off for about five years now. I initially got contacted by Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot, to do some solo show before Quiet Riot reformed in 2004, that turned into the ‘Bad Boys of Metal’ tour. It was a summer package that featured Joe Lesté of Bang Tango, Jani Lane of Warrant, Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses and Kevin DuBrow, with me playing guitar for all four bands. I was literally on stage for four hours a night. During that time, Steven and I became really good friends and after the tour we kept in touch. I did some solo shows with him and after his stint on ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’, he decided to reform the band and called me. The rest is history!

alexgrossi1Adler’s Appetite parted ways with one singer and now you have brought Rick Stitch in to handle the vocals. What does Rick bring to the table?

It is really, really difficult when you are trying to emulate something that people are so familiar with. ‘Appetite for Destruction’ sold well over 30 million copies worldwide and people know every note from that album. We just played over in Argentina. They don’t speak English but they can even sing the guitar solos! So, we needed someone who can be true to the music but we also don’t want to be a tribute band. The drummer in this band, Steven, wrote a fifth of the music playing on that album. When we made the singer change, a lot of people would contact me or Steven through Myspace. They were wearing the bandanna and one even went so far as to have the fake Axl Rose tattoos put on. That wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a guy who can hit the notes and do the stuff but at the same time is not a clone. We’re not Steel Dragon, ya know! [laughs] Rick has been great. It is nice to have a guy who is on the same page off stage as he is on stage. What people don’t realize about a touring band that works as hard as we do is that you have to live with these people twenty four hours a day. You may have two straight days off in the middle of God knows where or Iowa and you have to be friends. Certain people get along, certain people don’t but that is the nature of the beast. Instead of being married to one person, try being married to five or six! That’s basically what it is like.

This summer you will be taking part in the Paul Reed Smith Road Show, how did you first join up with Paul Reed Smith and what has that experience been like for you?

I got my first Paul Reed Smith when I was fifteen years old. I started playing when I was thirteen and I progressed pretty quickly to the point where I got a job at a music store that sold Paul Reed Smith, and as soon as I had fifteen hundred dollars in my pocket, I bought one! I have been playing them since then. When I was nineteen years old, I joined a band called Angry Sal while I was attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. We got a record deal and the first thing that I though was “Well shit, I want to get an endorsement.” So, I wrote a letter to Paul Reed Smith and said “Can I play your guitar exclusively?” and they invited me out to the factory. I went down there and I have been with them ever since. Every band that I have been in, they have always hooked me up with the right guitar for it and Paul has been great. The thing about Paul is that he is probably the only guitar manufacturer that puts out a really good product that you can get anywhere, that is consistent. I could have all my gear stolen, walk into a Guitar Center wherever I may be in the world and have it sound like the one that I have been playing on stage. I really mean that. As a company, they have always taken care of me at the NAMM shows. They are not like Gibson or Fender that are these huge corporate conglomerations, they are still very much a family run business. I am really looking forward to doing the clinics with him. I believe that it is July 14th in Manchester, Connecticut at their Guitar Center location. It’s funny because Paul will be taking about all these different types of exotic woods and my job is to show up and tell stories about playing with all of these crazy rock stars! It should be really cool! I am really happy to have been with them through the years and I really don’t ever see myself playing another guitar.

You mentioned recording guitars for Dizzy Reed’s solo debut and I know Del James is serving as producer on that release. What can you tell us about this project and any idea on when it may hit stores?

alexgrossi2 I have no idea about it’s release date. I know that they are mixing it right now. Once ‘Chinese Democracy’ came out, I am sure it took a little bit of a back burner. Working with Del was great. For a guy who doesn’t really play an instrument he has a really great ear. He will walk into the room and say “No, no! Do it more like…” and then throw out some crazy analogy that ends up making perfect sense at the end of the day! It was really great working with those guys. As a Guns N’ Roses fan, and I am sure not too many people will be a fan of me saying this, but it is cool to work on every end of the spectrum. By that I mean, I am working with a guy who was there at the very beginning, Steven Adler, all the way up to the guys who are in the band now. Whether that ties the two things together, I can tell you 100% that it does not, but it is really cool to hear the stories and the history of the band. If you think about it, as far as I am concerned, they are the band of my generation. You had The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles for previous generations. As far as rock bands and anyone that is in their early thirties to forties, our band is Guns N’ Roses or Nirvana but definitely one of the two.

You have worked with so many icons from the industry in your career. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you along the way?

The best piece of advice was given to me by Kevin DuBrow, and it was to always go out and play your show as if it were your last. He didn’t say it in exactly in those words but I have seen Kevin play in front of forty thousand people and I have seen him play in front of forty people. He would go out there because he genuinely enjoyed doing it. The day it stops being fun for you is the same day that it stops being fun for the audience. When you are up there, no matter how big the crowd is, no matter how good the sound is, no matter how bad the sound is, if you are having fun it is infectious. It goes back to the audience and right back to you and everyone has a good time. People pay their hard earned money to get in to see you. I won’t mention any names but there are guys in that particular genre that just show up and are only doing it for a paycheck, not because they love playing. You can tell when people care and when they don’t. That was the thing about Kevin, he always cared. I will never forget that. Even right up until our last show. It was November 4th, 2007 at a small club and he still played it as if he would have been playing Madison Square Garden. He still brought it every night! A lot of guys from that genre don’t do that anymore.

alexgrossi3Have you had a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’ on stage?

[laughs] This entire tour has been a ‘Spinal Tap Moment’! [laughs] The most recent one was about a week and a half ago. We played a show called ‘Cornstock’. It was held in a huge corn field. Big, big show! Tons of people, great show! However, when we got there the promoter came onto the bus and said “Fellas we have a little bit of a problem here. See that there inflatable beer can?” because it was sponsored by Budweiser and they had one of those giant fifty foot beer cans. They had to tear down the entire stage and move it around this beer can. All I could think about was Stonehenge! It was what Stonehenge should have been if it were a can of beer! We had to wait four hours in the sun due to a giant inflatable beer can, so that was very Spinal Tap. Whoever wrote that movie must have been in a band or followed a band around because they were dead on. They actually predicted the future in a lot of ways. They always say watch ‘Spinal Tap’ and then go on tour for ten years and then watch it again, you will be laughing so hard your ribs hurt! [laughs]

What should we be on the lookout for from you in the coming months?

Definitely the new Adler’s Appetite record! Right now, I have a song out in the new Sandra Bullock movie ‘The Proposal’, so if you feel like hearing a song by Beautiful Creatures in a Walt Disney picture, a family movie, that was written by a very un-family band, check that out! [laughs] It is pretty cool! Also look out for possibly some more Paul Reed Smith Road Show dates and a ton more of Adler’s Appetite dates, that’s for sure!

We will be on the lookout for you!

Thanks!

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Want more of Alex Grossi and Adler’s Appetite?

Check out all the latest happenings with Alex Grossi by visiting his official site at www.alexgrossi.com or on Myspace at www.myspace.com/alexgrossi.

Check out the official Myspace page for Adler’s Appetite at www.myspace.com/stevenadlersite.

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