Donnie Vie Launches New Band As Enuff Z'nuff Regroups

(antiMusic) We caught up with Donnie Vie last week to get the latest on the new Enuff Z'nuff album and ended up learning a lot more. Not only is the new Z'nuff album almost complete, but the band has undergone a major lineup change with a new lead guitarist and Donnie returning to fronting the band full time. Donnie has also started a new group called LA Smogg, which is already hard at work on their debut. And as if that wasn't enough on his plate, he's also auditioning for a major rock band that recently lost their singer.

Donnie shocked fans seven years ago when he more or less retired from touring. Part of his reasoning was his new marriage at the time and relocating to Los Angeles from Chicago. In L.A. he kept busy and released a string of solo projects, but sadly Donnie and his wife split recently. "I apologize to the fans for falling off the face of the earth for seven odd years. But praise God I survived it," Donnie told antiMusic. "With all due respect to Joni Vie, who is wonderful girl, the marriage thing just didn't pan out. But you know me, I gotta try everything."

He told us his "lost weekend" is over and he's back to music 100% and seems to be following the advice of one of his biggest hits by "finding much invigoration" from his new freedom. "As where the past six/seven years I've been learning the ropes of computer recording, obviously I'm not the best at that so I'm gonna leave that to the experts," he joked. "Now I'm living the complete flipside of that record, total music. I'm feeling more alive and stronger than ever and the whole thing is fresh and new to me again. I've beat-off... all my demons. Now I'm getting high on music again."

We asked him about progress on the new Enuff Z'nuff album, "Lost in Vegas" and he let out some surprising details, "At the last moment we totally turned the whole Enuff Z'nuff record around and it's amazing. The reason it's been delayed is that I didn't want to put out another record that wasn't up to z'snuff. It started out with me having to tweak songs I wrote for my solo projects to fit the Z'nuff sound. But we tossed all of that out and wrote new ones in traditional Enuff Z'nuff form. It's in the process of being mixed. And a limited collectors edition will be available at Rocklahoma. We're also planning on filming that performance for a DVD."

Donnie has also been hard at work with his new band L.A. Smogg, a band he started so he could create music that doesn't have to conform to the Z'nuff sound. He found his perfect partner in crime by posting a Myspace bulletin looking for musicians that might be interested in the group. Out of the hundreds of responses, the name CJ Szuter stood out to him, having been a big fan of CJ's work in The Szuters and Magna-Fi. He knew that he and CJ would get along musically, but little did he know that he had found a musical blood brother. "I'm CJ's biggest fan. In Smogg he's the McCartney to my Lennon; we're sharing lead vocal duties and complementing each other perfectly. We also got our Ringo Bonham, he goes by the name of Vic Alfaro," he said before filling us in on the progress in the band. "We got two brand tracks up on our Myspace and some videos. And we're tracking the rest of the album. This is the band I've always wanted to be in. After too many years of compromising by taking it in the ass musically, I'm finally achieving the musical goals that I've always dreamt up. There is strength in numbers here. I know you're gonna love what you hear!"

Then he quickly switched on his Lennon-esq sense of humor to drop a little dig, along with a bombshell, "I have even better news, CJ is also going to fill the small shoes with his big talent in Z'nuff as our new lead guitarist."

He told us that he's planning to reopen his online fanclub to new members within a couple weeks, with the LA Smogg songs being the first downloads. As for that audition we mentioned in the beginning of the article, Donnie is keeping a tight lid on that (for now). You can check out the LA Smogg MySpace to hear the two new tracks and some in-the-studio video clips.

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