Johnny was the lead guitarist of Enuff Z’Nuff then became the lead singer when Donnie Vie decided to take a reprieve from the band for a while. After leaving a 12 year stint with Enuff Z’Nuff in 2008 Johnny continues to front his own band and released his debut solo CD, “Overrated”. Edgy, sharp witted power pop for the 21st century with a flair for sugary choruses & the ultra catchy melody.
Rock Show Critique: What are you up to these days? Fill us in on your current activities and plans.
Johnny Monaco: I just started a new cover band in Chicago called Almost★Famous. I play weekly with that band and i’m also playing solo acoustic gigs & writing tunes for a new CD.
RSC: So what happened that caused your tenure in Enuff Z’nuff to come to an end?
JM: Donnie wanted to return to the band and didn’t really want me involved. And I actually didn’t wanna continue anyway if it was gonna sound like it did right before we started the 3-piece.
RSC: Just for the record I thought you did an amazing job when you took over on lead vocals. How did that all come about? Was that something you and Chip arrived at or were other singers considered?
JM: Well that’s very kind, thank you. Chip had booked a tour with the Eric Martin Band and Donnie was living in LA at the time and was going to meet us in San Antonio for the first gig. The day before we left Donnie had decided he was done with EZN for now and didn’t wanna do the tour. Chip didn’t want to cancel and asked me if I’d wanted to try and front the band. I was reluctant but thought it would be pretty challenging, and I love the songs, so I’d thought I’d try it. I learned most of the lyrics & second guitar parts on the bus ride there. That turned into a 7 years.
RSC: Obviously the Beatles appear to be one of your main influences, who else is there that influenced you?
JM: I’m kind of all over the place with that but of course I’m a big fan of the classics like Queen, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Rush, Fleetwood Mac, Bowie, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, Hall & Oates, Jellyfish, etc… but i also like a lot of newer stuff from bands like The Strokes, Radiohead, Weezer, Oasis, MGMT and a bunch of guitar players & dance music.
RSC: Do you listen to any newer bands these days. If so who sticks out in your opinion?
JM: Yes I try to listen to as much new music as possible. I think Butch Walker, Head Automatica & The Red Walls have a bunch of great tunes and more recently i’ve been listening to MGMT.
RSC: What memories do you have from playing here in Buffalo? Anything that sticks out.
JM: Buffalo ’66. Being there reminded me a lot of that movie. Was freezing cold and has a certain edgy vibe to it there. One of my favorite movies.
RSC: What concert that you played would you say stood out or was the most special in your career?
JM: I really can’t say but I believe going to Japan would be in the tops for sure. The whole Glam Slam Metal Jam Tour with Poison was great too.
I’ll be on tour in the UK in October with my original band The Traitors. I’ll post dates soon as I get them.
Thank ya’ Joe!
Thanks for your time Johnny!!