• Rocking and Ruling

    July 20 2014

    Cleveland, Ohio, USA

    My first check in from the road on this journey known as Let Rock Rule. And what a journey it has been thus far, brothers and sisters.

    We started in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire at the legendary Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom doing our own two hour headlining set. None of us could possibly have known what to expect. We hadn’t collectively been on stage together in some time. I can say that we locked into a familiar groove that created a slip stream of effortless chemistry for the next two hours. Those opening nights can be trouble. Kinks to be worked out both musically and technically. There was the odd technical snafu but to me it felt as if we had played the House Of Blues in Las Vegas the night before. Truth be told that gig in Las Vegas was almost a year ago. That monumentous night was the final night of the Apocalyptic Love (or as I affectionately called it the Apocalyptic LIVE) tour. Oh, how time flies.

    Of course in the interim we had impregnated the world with a bouncing baby boy named World On Fire and it was to be delivered in it’s entirety in September. The single of the same title is out there in the mainstream consciousness as I write this. That song is an animal. It is unrelenting. It is angry and. pardon the obvious pun, fiery. Some time ago I had mentioned that the new album sounded sleazy, dangerous and this is one of the songs I was referring to. It grabs you hard and doesn’t let go for about 4 minutes. I’m proud of that one. You can hear me shouting along with Mr Kennedy at full volume. Loud and ever so proud!
    Needless to say that opening show was a triumph. I felt very good about it. I was a shattered mess afterward but I still made a point of saying hello to as many people as possible. Thanks to all who came to crash that bottle over the hull of the good ship SMK&C.

    We got to play some, as of yet, unreleased songs from the new album. The aforementioned World On Fire as well as Stone Blind and 30 Years To Life. That’s 3. There are still 14, that’s right, 14 more songs to hear on the new album. We’ve also added You Could Be Mine from the Use Your Illusions GNR days. The Conspirators have been lobbying for that one for a while. I consider it’s inclusion a victory.

    Things have panned from very relaxed to completely surreal since then. The very next day we found ourselves from one beach scene to another. Jones Beach, New York looks and feels a lot like the town in the film Jaws. I suppose Hampton Beach did too. I have stated before that I’m not much of a beach guy but if there were a killer shark about I’d be up for it. As a spectator.

    I wasn’t here to put zinc oxide on my nose and burn anyway in the warm…New York sun. I was here to do my part in our portion of the Let Rock Rule tour with America’s greatest Rock N Roll band, Aerosmith. What a trip.

    Not enough great things can be said about Aerosmith. They truly are outstanding considering how long they’ve been around. Steven Tyler hasn’t missed a step. His voice is impeccable. A lot of the older guys lose a bit here and there. Not Steven. In fact from the audience he looks exactly the same as he ever did. Actually in person too. It’s astounding. I will never have his energy. Ever.

    Our set in Jones Beach was great. It’s always weird readjusting to the opening slot but at sound-check it was extremely cool to see Brad Whitford side stage with legendary producer, Jack Douglas. Jack, of course, produced everything from Rocks and Toys In The Attic by Aerosmith to Double Fantasy by John Lennon and even the second Snakepit album. Brad Whitford is the coolest dude ever. I hope I’m half as cool as him as an elder statesman of rock.

    During our set it was hard not to notice Steven Tyler way off on stage left bopping along to Da Conspirators. A younger me would have been completely distracted by that. The NOW me has a job to do and I did it to the best of my ability. It was fun tearing up the stage for the second night in a row. Our set was shorter than our headlining show but that Jones Beach air was humid and heavy. We were drenched with sweat as if we’d played twice as long.

    After our show I got taken to school watching Aerosmith for the first time in a long while. Damn they sound good. Though Steven and Joe get most of the love the initiated know that not one member of that band is replaceable. It’s fair to point out that Aerosmith is one of the only heritage bands out there with full original lineup. I can’t think of many others…ZZ Top? I’ll have to think on that.

    Absolutely genius show. Apparently Liv Tyler was there though I didn’t see her. I hung out with Gav and Victoria from the Ginger Wildheart camp. Amazing to catch up.
    The man himself, Eddie Trunk, had made his way to the beach for some Rock N Roll and the gem that he is chose to wear his DAMMIT shirt. What a sweetheart. Supporting the home team! Good man! Always a pleasure to hang with the only man more knowledgeable than me about the most trivial things possible. And I say that with the utmost respect.

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    EDDIE TRUNK AND THE CONSPIRATORS (avec DAMMIT shirt! :)

    Our good friend, Jimmy Webb, from Trash And Vaudeville in St Marks Place, New York City made the trip to Hampton Beach AND Jones Beach with us. He is part of the family. When you are next in NYC tell Jimmy Dammit sentcha!

    We were back on the steel horse to the Motherland, the great white north, Canada directly after the show to make the Bluesfest in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, the next day. That show featured Canadian legends, the Barenaked Ladies. It’s always good to be back in the land of my birth. The show was HUGE. The audience was especially voracious. It was an amazing show. We really had a great time. The band was truly gelling like we’d never been away.

    From Ottawa we were back on the bus for a day off in Toronto where I caught up with my brother, John, from AOE and SIS. Always good to see him and his Missus.
    Watched Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, which was pretty damned awesome if I do say so myself. I’m a huge fan of the franchise. They are doing this 21st century version correctly. It was about 30 minutes too long for me but it was really great.

    Then we were off to Kitchener for the Big Music Festival with Aerosmith, Kim Mitchell and Big Wreck. I stood side stage to watch my friends in Kim Mitchell’s band. Some of you may remember that Fitz and I both sat in with Kim years ago. This time I was approached while watching the band and asked if I wanted to sing Battlescar. For the uninitiated Battlescar is the greatest song you’ve never heard. It is the clashing of two titan bands in the most glorious way ever. Rush VS Max Webster and the listener is the winner. I didn’t hesitate and ran out to sing the Geddy Lee part as loud as I could. It was truly EPIC! These are the dreams of small town Canadian boys come to life.
    Sure enough Steven Tyler showed up side stage to say hello to Kim. I’m sure Max Webster, Kim’s old band, probably opened for Aerosmith back in the day.
    I said hello to Joey Kramer in Slash’s trailer. He’s the legendary drummer from the Let Rock Rule tour headliner. Good man.

    Afterwards as I was digging through my wardrobe case a voice came from behind me, “Hey man, is Slash around here?”

    I spun around and was standing toe to toe with Steven Tyler. You just kinda KNOW that voice. We hugged and said hello and I directed him to Slash. It is not lost on me for an instant that Steven feels we are on a man hug basis of intimacy. Hey, I’ll take it. I’ve been imitating all aspects of Aerosmith since as far back as I can remember. A real trip.
    Our show was amazing in Kitchener. The crowd was huge and very into it. Oh, Canada. We stand on guard for thee!

    From there we were off to the birthplace of Aerosmith, Boston. Truly one of the great American cities. So much history. The architecture alone is breathtaking. Took advantage of some downtime to really walk around and take in some history in Beacon Hill and beyond. And sure I returned to my fave spot, Newbury Comics.
    Even went to Cheers, the inspiration for the NBC sitcom.
    Nobody knew my name.

    The homecoming show for the ‘Bad Boys From Boston’ was to be at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. That was a great night. The people of Boston were especially good to us. It’s truly awesome to see people singing along with World On Fire. It only just came out! Very exciting!

    Backstage was homecoming mayhem for Aerosmith. The lovely, Mia Tyler, was in attendance as well as the families of virtually every member of the band. The unassuming guy in the corner in the blue glasses looked familiar. Oh shit, Edward Scissorhands/Jack Sparrow himself, Johnny Depp, is in the house. what a trip. I’m a fan but I wasn’t gonna nerd him out. He was too jump up on stage with ‘the boys’ later but we’d already be back on the bus.

    Also to join the lads on stage would be our fearless leader, Slash. He asked me for a DAMMIT shirt so I gave it to him. Seeing him performing with Aerosmith was a trip. Seeing him do so while wearing my shirt was beyond surreal. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is seeing Slash play with those guys. When Slash was a boy he drew impressive pictures of Aerosmith. They were HIS band. The band he was obsessed with and inspired by. Seeing him share the mic on Mama Kin with Tyler/Perry was a thing of Rock N Roll beauty. It was a real thrill.

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    BROTHER STEVEN, BROTHER SLASH and THE shirt!

    So then we spent another day off in the amazing city of Boston. Went to Fenway Park to watch the Sox and the Kansas City, Royals with my co-Conspirators. Amazing experience. Serious history in that building. We actually got to witness two home runs by Boston. Pretty impressive.

    Here I am now in another great Rock N Roll city, Cleveland, Ohio. Tonight we finally play another headlining set at Hard Rock Live. We are so due for a full 2 hour show. Can’t wait. Tomorrow we will attend the AP Awards at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame where Slash was inducted as part of some band he used to play with…That should be a blast. Some very cool people performing and appearing there. I’ll report on that later.

    I have been obsessed with some crazy documentaries that I have to recommend on Netflix.
    The Impostor will blow your mind.
    The Woman Who Wasn’t There will have you going ‘whaaaa?’
    Dear Zachary is almost un-recommendable as it is so troubling but it is truly brilliantly done and a crushing story.

    I am currently obsessed (again) with the bizarre life of Michael Jackson. Ever since the 5 year anniversary of his death I’ve been back to being fascinated by the genius of his music and the madness of his life. It is truly unfortunate how his life turned out because he was so unimaginably talented. His grasp on reality clearly slipped far out of reach. Really a shame. A shame for so many affected.
    I’m reading Untouchable-The Strange Life And Tragic Death Of Michael Jackson by Randall Sullivan and I cannot put it down. It is like 700 pages or something. It is the most in depth account of his life I’ve ever read.

    It’s one of those things about THAT kind of fame that I have no interest in. Not like it’s really a choice. People get a certain level of power and just lose touch with reality. Being a musician is a very unrealistic life in the first place. We are all dreamers and not the most reliable people on the planet but I’m happy with my coffee and vinyl shops. I don’t want to collect actual Batmobiles and build my house to look like the bridge of the Enterprise (because you know that’s exactly what I would do with unlimited wealth). It’s good to always have something to reach for.

    People are always telling me make DAMMIT lunch boxes or DAMMIT travel mugs. I’m not interested. I’m happy that people wanna wear the shirt. It really touches me to see the shirt from Atlanta to Australia and all points between. Hey, I’ve gotten to see Eddie Trunk and Slash in ‘em lately.

    Funny story-Slash was looking at photos from a performance we did at the Wiltern Theater we did in LA some time ago. He was casually flipping through pictures on an iPad when he said, “wait a minute. Go back.” So someone scrolled back and Slash said, “Look at all the DAMMIT shirts in the audience.” We all laughed. It was a pretty amazing feeling to have all those people representing. Many in from Vegas. That is a gesture not lost on me in the least. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

    If you’re interested please check out the merch page-

    http://tinmanmerchandising.com/index.php?cPath=612_613&sort=3a&gridlist=grid&tplDir=ToddKerns

    Even the cds are on there. More to come on that soon…

    I’ve had a couple people tell me recently that I need a hair cut. Let me reply with-absolutely not. I am one of the lucky people that doesn’t have to do a damn thing anyone tells me to do and it would be a real lack of faith in myself and how I wanna display my freedom to feel I have to look, dress or act a certain way other than exactly how I wanna.
    And that’s just what I’m gonna do, thank you very much.
    It’s funny cuz a friend was saying to me not that long ago how tired she was of people staring at her because of all her tattoos and punk hair and crazy clothing and I was like ‘what are you talking about?’

    We all dress this way or get tattoos or wear makeup or wear our hair crazy to be different from everyone else (and yes, like each other). Getting looked at is part of the deal. You have no idea how crazy it was to wear your hair long or have a mohawk or even have an earring at one time for a guy. I had become so accustomed to rednecks calling me ‘faggot’ that I accepted it as a badge of honor to not be anything like them. Being different is to be celebrated. Sure I could cut my hair, throw on a casual outfit and blend in but I choose to appear this way. People who are born different have no choice. They should be free to be themselves too. Unfortunately it is some kind of primal thing to lash out at something different or something you don’t understand but we are not simple animals. We have the power of judgement and reason and logic. Why on earth would I want to live on a planet where everyone looks just like me? What a boring place that would be.

    You will see. Someday aliens are gonna come down and say ‘all humans are alike’. They come in different colors or whatever but they’re basically all the same. Bipeds. Some are male, some are female but essentially the same. Then we’ll feel pretty stupid for all these ‘differences’ we’ve found in one another.

    I like all my different friends. Keeps life interesting.
    So to summarize I’m gonna wear my hair the way I wanna. So should you.

    Tommy Ramone died. The last of the original Ramones to go. All so young. All too young. I cannot stress the impact The Ramones have had on my life. They are the reason I play music. The reason I started and the reason I continue to. I had the audacity to say aloud that I liked The Ramones more than Led Zeppelin in my youth and it was heresy until I found like minded cretins. To be fair I love Zeppelin I just adore The Ramones. They speak to ME. The me inside of me. The Ramones have always been my argument when people ask me why I don’t have punk rock hair since I love punk rock so much. Joey Ramone always had long hair. Iggy Pop too. And the Dolls. And the MC5. Music is in you not the clothes you wear and not in the way you wear your hair.

    The Ramones taught you that with three chords and the truth you could take over the world one city at a time but you gotta love to work. The Ramones weren’t ‘American Idol’. They were 4 kids who made a horrible racket together until it was a pretty damned good racket and then a majestic and life changing one. There are 4 kids somewhere right now making a horrible racket in a basement or a garage that will one day take over the world while you’re watching ‘stars’ on TV. We have The Ramones to thank for that.
    There are some incredible reunion shows going on in Rock N Roll Heaven right now.
    God bless Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy. The greatest Rock N Roll band in the world.
    Big love to Marky, CJ and Richie too.

    My Mother says I’m wearing too much eye makeup these days and that I look like Alice Cooper. I take that as a giant compliment (insert devilish grin)

    Alright, I’ve rambled enough.
    See you tomorrow night, Cleveland!
    Big love, brothers and sisters!
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit



  • Day One : Here We Go

    Re-Posted from – July 9th 2014
    Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

    Day One : Here We Go

    I have no excuse for the lapse in time since my last post. I attribute it mostly to life. Possibly a need to hold on to the moments and preserve them in memory rather than in text form. Like the difference between taking in and enjoying the moment rather than taking multiple lo res photos of it. I am constantly at war with this side of modern life. I think back on all the concerts I’ve seen in my life and I’ve never once regretted not having video or photos of them. They would be some awesome videos and pictures because I’ve seen some amazing shows. I’ve never been big on taking pictures of my food or my beverages. I’ve never felt the need to expel my thoughts on religion or politics to a mass of strangers. I’ve never felt the need to burden the rest of the world with my problems.

    But that’s just me.

    Here’s an experiment-go back to your last 10 Facebook posts. If 3 of them are in any way negative that is too much. There is much to be negative about in this world but to me these are things I rarely see represented on the personal posts of my ‘friends’ via social media.
    There’s the clandestine ‘you know who you are’ messages. There are the exorcisms of daily minutiae, ‘traffic’, ‘flat tires’.

    I get it. It’s the 21st century and almost any thought that enters our head or any experience is not worth having unless shared with the entire world. It is something I struggle with. I’m struggling with it now as I ’share’ this. I look at the generations before us with real struggles of equality and justice. We create our own struggles now even when equality and justice are still there to be fought for.

    My Mother said the same thing your Mother probably did, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.”

    Luckily for musicians and artists we get our complaints and anger out through those vehicles. It is my belief that there needs to be more art out there and less ‘woe is you’. Life can be beautiful. It really can but it requires hard work. Like a good diet and exercise it’s not easy. It requires constant work and attention but you would be surprised what comes back to you if you face the world with kindness. Maybe it’s naive but that’s how I’m gonna live my life.

    Or maybe this is all just an excuse because I’ve been too lazy to write about the last couple of months. I’d accept that as partially true. Truth be told I only started writing these for my own exorcisms. The fact that anyone ever enjoyed them came as an unexpected surprise. Now I write for them. And, I suppose, for myself.

    I think of myself as just another ant in this anthill. Everyone has a story. 9 to 5 then bowling on Wednesday. That’s a story. There’s a story there. There’s a story about the wants and desires of that person. The disappointments, the bliss in unexpected things. I don’t believe in the false pedestals we’ve created in our society. There was a time when actors and musicians were the lowest of the low. Traveling from town to town, village to village putting on shows. Now they are our royalty. Our monarchy. And I get it as a loyal follower of music, film and art. It just so happens that all of my interests fall into those categories. In the way that some worship athletes I will always have great admiration for the arts and the artists. We need our heroes. I’ve never understood the machiavellian need to build up only to tear down. That we should celebrate but only just enough before those celebrated be reminded they are no better than us. The germans have a term, schadenfreude, which refers to taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. I think that is amongst the darkest traits of our evolved state. If we are so evolved shouldn’t we recognize this as a deplorable trait? Anonymously leaving negative comments online is the very definition of cowardice but it happens every day. Multiple times. It’s happening now. Humans are terrible to one another. The worst part is we know better. We are not simple animals with the excuse of instinct. Kindness is the most important trait and should be moved to the top of your list of importance. Regardless of what one another’s beliefs we should be able to engage one another in the simple act of kindness.

    That’s what I hope for. That’s what I dream about.

    There’s my exorcism. I guess that’s my ‘back to the internet’ vent. I think this year you will get a little more ‘me’ rather than just general accounts of tour scheduling. Apologies in advance.

    After months working on the album that is now titled World On Fire we find ourselves, once again, in the beautiful resort town of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. The kind of place my girlfriend would love and I would falsely lament only because of my being what Jim Gaffigan calls ‘indoorsy’. I don’t do beaches or camping. I like urban life just fine. I like coffee and movies and all the things that the city has. I also like fast internet and multiple channels of delicious distraction. I know…it’s a problem. But I’m not here for the beach or the sun. I’m here for the rock. The first day of the rock. Tonight we play two full hours of blistering volume. We will play songs that have never, ever been performed live. We will play songs that can be heard nowhere else by no other band.

    This band is rehearsed and ready. We have been chomping at the bit to get on stage. Tonight that is finally a reality. The last official Conspirators show was July 25th 2013. That’s almost a year ago. No wonder I’m kicking like a mule.

    Tomorrow will be day one of the Let Rock Rule Tour with Aerosmith. This is a childhood dream realized by every member of our band. Even Slash. Of course he is on a first name basis with everyone in Aerosmith but he is amongst their biggest fans. The fact that he is a part of their bill on his own, with his band, is no small feat.
    We will be in each other’s pockets for 12 weeks with Aerosmith. I can’t tell you what a thrill that is for me. Though I just denounced the need for ‘heroes’ above, Aerosmith has had one of the biggest impacts on my life as a musician. They continue to be an inspiration. Always have. Always will.

    These next 12 weeks will be the high water mark of the 4 years I’ve been playing with Slash. After that we will be set free on our own to take this experience to new levels beyond. 2014/2015 will be the most important chapters of our careers. It will set up what follows. I plan to make the most of it. By 2016 we will all be different people. For better rather than worse, I think. Knowing that the nadir should be celebrated not lamented for fear of what lies on the other side. I have no fear. I am the wolf. I am hungry. I plan to take a big, juicy bite out of this life.

    But first Hampton Beach, New Hampshire with your pals Slash, Myles and some Conspirators. Many of you will be reading this after the show has already happened. I bet it was awesome.

    Thank you for being a part of the most important year of my career.
    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit



  • Confessional

    May 6 2014
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Well, brothers and sisters I can honestly say that these are very exciting times. I have been living with the mixes from the new SMK&C (Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators for the uninitiated) and I can say that this record goes beyond any expectations I could have had. There is so much I am biting my tongue about because these things are to be announced through formal channels-album title, song titles, artwork etc. Suffice it to say that it has grown to be a sprawling and diverse journey of an album. I’ve taken to calling it our Physical Graffiti due to its weight, size and diversity. In the coming weeks so many things will be revealed. I believe it is the boldest thing we could have done. All to be revealed soon enough.

    I can say that we will be doing photos sooner than later as our scheduling is always dependent upon the availability of Mr Kennedy. While Myles is globetrotting with the fabulous Alter Bridge the rest of us are putting the final touches on the record and preparing ourselves for battle. Living with the record, sharpening our senses and honing our attack so that day one of rehearsal will be a mere formality. My intention is to be battle ready long before a stage is in sight.

    The Let Rock Rule tour with Aerosmith has long since been announced taking us across the US and into Canada. We are filling in holes between Let Rock Rule dates taking us to Vancouver, Cleveland, Kansas City and more on our own without the mighty Aerosmith. Steven likes to take a day or two between shows. The Conspirators do not. So while the headliner rests we will be raiding and pillaging on our own before returning to the mothership. I’m chomping at the bit!

    So here we are in the familiar holding pattern. The record is mixed. Next up is mastering. Simultaneously artwork is underway. Photos will be an important part of the puzzle then once everything has fallen into place a song will probably be released to the hot little ears of our brethren the world round to carry us through the summer and into September when the album will be released. I’m only speculating. Never hold me to anything I say here. This is my little domain and the tales woven here can be rife with fact or riddled with misleading fiction.
    But then again maybe not.

    On July 10th 2014 we will unleash Hell at Jones Beach, NY and we will continue till 2016 if I have anything to say about it. If Slash has anything to say about it we will never stop. He is an animal of the road and it all trickles down from there. We are all cut from the same cloth. Myles Kennedy lives ‘on the road’. If he’s not with us he’s with AB and back and forth and back and forth perpetually. No one knows how he does it. He is a machine.
    As Myles sang in We Will Roam from Apocalyptic Love

    “And stil we roam now forevermore,
    Tread the night on steel and stone,
    And still we roam never asking more,
    Where we are will be our home”

    There is heavy truth in those words.

    In the meantime I have my own fish to fry. Just announced was the release of Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas, my live album recorded September 2nd 2013 at Count’s Vamp’d in Las Vegas. This will be released as a full download of 17 and 1/2 songs exclusively at www.pledgemusic.com on May 26th 2014.

    http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/bootlegconfessional

     

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    The show featured dear friends of mine who joined me for the fun. Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris from SMK&C plus Doc Ellis and Zachary Throne, my brothers from the Sin City Sinners and the amazingly talented Cian Coey from the legendary Meat Loaf’s band. It was a magical night and I’m so happy that we captured it.

    Todd Kerns-Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas

    1. The Devil In Me
    2. The Maker/Indian Summer
    3. You Can Always Go Home
    4. It’s Always Been You
    5. Hideous
    6. Let My Love Open The Door/So Scandalous (Featuring Doc Ellis)
    7. Wicked Games (Featuring Doc Ellis)
    8. Nothing Personal (Featuring Doc Ellis, Cian Coey and Zachary Throne)
    9. This Changes Everything (Featuring Doc Ellis, Cian Coey and Zachary Throne)
    10. So Close/So Far
    11. The One
    12. Heathrow 4am
    13. We Are The Champions (Featuring Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris)
    14. Stairway To Heaven (Featuring Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris)
    15. It’s Not You It’s Me
    16. Space Oddity (Featuring Zachary Throne)

    Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas also includes the never released song, The One. Performed only once ever that night and only available on the live recording. The casual and impromptu performance has been preserved in its original form though some of the banter was cut down due to time. There tends to be a great deal of chatter at my shows. We try to make it fun.

    So in honor of the release of Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas and as the unofficial one year anniversary of the release of last year’s Borrowing Trouble we have booked a show at the very scene of the crime, Count’s Vamp’d on Sahara in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Count in the name of the club is the one and only, Danny Koker from Counting Cars on A&E. It’s Danny’s club and his amazing wife, Korie is always so good to me whenever I’m there. It is the best rock venue in Vegas. Ask any Vegas rock fan and they’ll tell you the same.

    May 26th, which is Memorial Day-a Monday-is the day of the yet another awesome acoustic show at Count’s Vamp’d. People always ask why I book these shows on Sundays and now a Monday. I booked it on Memorial Day cuz it’s a holiday. It’s an acoustic show. I make the show early and I make it all ages so anybody of any age can come share in the fun of live music. Music is my drug of choice and I am a complete junkie. I’m a pusher too. I’m an enabler. Tickets are selling fast and it warms my heart to know that people are coming from all over to come enjoy the last acoustic show of 2014 before I head out on the good ship Let Rock Rule with SMK&C and Aerosmith!

    There are packages at www.pledgemusic.com for downloads, downloads plus tickets and even a VIP package where you can come hang out with us for the day. I can’t wait. It is going to be a major celebration. I hope to see you there!

    As always we are trying to our best to raise money for a cause along the way. This time proceeds will be going towards Cancer research. Most of you know that Borrowing Trouble was in part inspired by the passing of my dear friend, Greg Verdusco. I dream of a day when we won’t have to raise money for such a thing anymore. Until then we have a long way to go. I thank you in advance for being such a big part of something so near and dear to me.

    In the interim I’ve been sitting in with my brothers in sin, the Sin City Sinners, here and there. I will be at the Showroom at South Point Casino this Friday night with the lads. These are rare appearances with all five of us, Brent Muscat, Doc Ellis, Zachary Throne, Rob ‘Boom Boom’ Cournoyer and myself appearing for the first time all together for a full two hours. These have been a great deal of fun.

    Since I’ve been home I invited myself over to the Ellises (Doc Ellis and Cian Coey) for tacos (as made by Doc. We call them ‘Doc-os’) and stayed up late making Cian watch KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park with us. For the uninitiated KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park is the greatest cinematic experience in the history of film. In the history of man, really… Maybe not. It’s a cheesy movie that KISS made in 1978 that all of us were the perfect age to have loved every second of. So now we watch it with our tongues firmly planted in cheek and basically Mystery Science Theater our way through it savoring every moment.
    If you know it like us you know the quotes- “What’s his trip?”

    “His trip’s a trap”
    “Let’s spring it!”
    Cian, the trooper that she is, endured all 80 minutes of it and laughed at us quoting along with the four lads from NYC.
    I highly recommend and strongly urge against viewing it at the same time. It is our proud guilty pleasure or our guilty pleasure we watch with pride. I’m not sure. It’s a complicated relationship but rewarding just the same.
    Last night Zachary Throne came to my house to borrow a guitar. He came at midnight and stayed till 4am watching old Simpsons DVDs and talking about the great English band Squeeze from the 80s.
    It has been good fun being a Sinner these past few weeks. Hope to see you Friday night if you are in the great city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

    I devoured Paul Stanley’s book, Face The Music:A Life Exposed so we’ve all been on a bit of a KISS kick around here. To be honest a lot of us are kinda always on a KISS kick. It’s a great book. Probably the most telling of all four of the original members. It has a lot of inspiring elements to it about his being deaf in one ear (actually missing his right ear altogether) and those guys having the balls to turn the most seemingly ludicrous vision into an enduring success story for these past 40 plus years and going, The comedian Brian Posehn said it best when he said that if KISS caught you at the right age they had you for life. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but truer words have never been spoken. I always enjoyed the danger of being a KISS fan because not everyone was or is a KISS fan. There are many of us. We’re millions strong (Crazy Crazy Nights) but there were always people who didn’t ‘get it’ and that’s ok. It made it ours. It made it exclusive.

    I love Led Zeppelin but there’s nothing dangerous about liking Led Zeppelin. Everybody loves Led Zeppelin. No one takes a stand and says they love Led Zeppelin. Everybody else in the room would just agree with you.

    Unless your friends are militant punk rockers like some of my friends. They didn’t like anybody. Well, they loved punk rock but found the rest of it bloated and silly. In many ways I don’t necessarily disagree with them.

    I have always felt very fortunate to have found gold in so many different genres. This is why I can talk at length about everything from Slipknot to The Clash to Adam And The Ants. I generally just don’t hear what doesn’t grab me. It’s not that I dislike it. It’s that I just don’t hear it. I have always tried to live by being perfectly ok with liking what I like and that goes for music, film, books and even people. Like what you like and enjoy what you enjoy. Never let anyone tell you you’re wrong. If they don’t get what you like then that’s their problem. The cool thing is if you’re into something you will find a whole community of people who are into it too.

    Anyway, I am trying to enjoy the experience of being in MY house, on MY couch, in MY bed before I am whisked off around the world a gazillion times again. I’m ready. I’ll be honest, I have enjoyed the time off but I’m ready. My viking blood calls to me. Valhalla I am coming!

    Watching-
    Game Of Thrones
    Vikings
    Mad Men
    Bates Motel
    Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D
    Fargo

    I am an unashamed television addict. I always have been. There is so much garbage on tv that I am thankful to see good writing and good acting in the above shows. Unless, of course, you do not share my love for the above shows and take exception to my referring to Honey Boo Boo as garbage. To each thine own. The spice of life and all that.

    Reading-
    KISS:Nothing To Lose, a bio about, you guessed it, the hottest band in the world, KISS! A Christmas gift that I figured was the best follow up to Paul’s book. I have a library of books to get to but as I mentioned above we’re all on a bit of a KISS kick though, to be fair, I’m one of those people that’s always on a bit of a KISS kick.

    So in closing-
    May 26th Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas released at www.pledgemusic.com May 26th Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas release show/Borrowing Trouble One Year Anniversary show at Count’s Vamp’d, Las Vegas, Nevada Sinners-Friday SMK&C coming sooooooon!
    Let Rock Rule coming even sooner!

    2014/2015/2016 are going to be amazing.

    See you Friday
    See you May 26th
    See you on Let Rock Rule
    See you OUT THERE!

    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • IT NEVER STOPS…AND THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT

    April 8th 2014

    I find myself back at Chateau Dammit on MY couch with MY TV after living for a stretch in Orlando, Florida where we finished the new SMK&C album. And WHAT an album.

    I only wish I could tell you in depth how exciting this new collection of songs is but I’m sworn to secrecy. I would have my tongue cut out and be forever hobbled.

    Suffice it to say that it is a powerhouse. I was quoted and requoted (and probably misquoted) in every magazine and website reporting on our in studio activities. I had called the album ‘raw’ and ‘dangerous’ and a little bit ‘sleazy’. Now in its finished state I can tell you that I nailed it right on the head. Am I the Nostradamus of Rock and Roll? Hardly. I just think I only verbalized what we set out to create without anyone actually trying to verbalize it at all. For a starter Slash is renowned for create music of this type and it all trickles down from there. Myles Kennedy, who is one of the kindest and gentlest souls I’ve come across in this cesspool (and I say that with all the love of a Sinner and a Conspirator) of a business, manages to spit actual venom in a couple of instances. The boy can summon a demon or two when the red light goes on. He is a skilled melodist and can weave a rhyme scheme with the best of them.

    I mentioned in the past that I was as concerned as anyone that we would have a tough time crawling over the wall we built called Apocalyptic Love but with that wall so far behind us now I can confidently say we have surpassed it tenfold.

    I will admit to some false modesty on my part. A lot of ‘golly gee I hope we can do as good as last time’ knowing full well that we would decimate anything we had done in the past leaving it all in our wake.

    I went into this new chapter with the utmost confidence that we would achieve that very thing and then some. I knew that we are still hungry and still have things to prove whether to ourselves or otherwise. I believe there is always motivation to outdo what you’ve always done. Otherwise what’s the point of doing it? I knew this going into the new record. If we couldn’t top it what was the point? Challenge met. Dragon slayed.

    ***I just took a moment to listen to the first mix that was JUST sent to me as I was writing and I can tell you it is huge! Now I’m even more excited.

    We spent a couple of months in Los Angeles rehearsing at our rehearsal space in North Hollywood before relocating to NRG Studios about 5 minutes away where we began principal recording. Drums and bass were all captured there. Everything is such a whirlwind now to look back on. It seems like it was over a couple of weeks or a couple of years at the same time.

    There was a brief break where I appeared with the Sinners a couple of times, including a jam with Tracii Guns, then it was off to Orlando to knock this mutha out!

    Orlando is fascinating as it is home to both Disneyworld and Universal Studios creating a bizarro alternative to California which houses DisneyLAND and Universal Studios. On top of that we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel which, of course, is bizarro reminiscent of Las Vegas’ namesake except there is no casino downstairs at all.

    Adding to the sense of surrealism was the fact that we had landed in Florida – the heart of spring break-Florida style! Your imaginations may have had us wading through hordes of drunken, scantily clad college girls but quite the contrary. Orlando is the home of family fun so we tended to be wading through just that-families. Lots of Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt families having the times of their lives.

    So there’s me floating around the hotel like an anime ghost all in black sticking out like a sore thumb amongst all the garishly vibrant. Then I would wander off to City Walk, Universal’s area of restaurants and retail, 100% failing at blending in. That’s ok. Let me pass on that you should never fit in. Never ever. Be you. You are you. You are not everyone else. Let them be them and you be you! I highly encourage this.

    My days were spent drinking obscene amounts of coffee (what else is new?) and singing along with my brother, Myles. He would sing a song at night and I’d sing the harmonies the next day for that song before Myles came in to sing the next one. And so it went.

    Many people have been asking about the Slash-Real to Reel videos we’ve been shooting from the studio. In Part 2 you can see me and Slash fucking around and Slash nearly spits up his coffee from my shenanigans.

    Well, prepare for the epic tale to be spun here, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t expect anything too ‘epic’ but I shall solve that mystery for you all.

    If you watch that video you can see brother Slash taking a sip of his coffee as I say ‘I’m sorry i was soloing in my head’ and then Slash stands as he is convulsing on his Folgers. Then I cackle like the Wicked Witch of the West!

    And here is what you missed-

    They edited out a part of what was said. We had just listened to a recording of a song and then Elvis, our producer, was explaining this and that about the arrangement to which Slash replied, “I didn’t really notice I was soloing in my head” meaning he was thinking about the solo he was going to play in the solo section of the song.

    That’s when I said “Well, that explains a lot. I’m sorry I was soloing in my head”

    Slash laughed because he is often accused of not listening or being distracted by friends and family. I think this explains it all. He’s always soloing in his head.

    See not that epic a tale. Well, we thought it was funny.

    A lot of people, bless them, have asked if I would be singing a song on this upcoming album. I have to be honest that I never even thought of that. Myles Kennedy is the lead singer for the Conspirators and that’s as much thought as I’ve given it. Myles is the best singer in modern rock if you ask me. He has feel, soul, chops, originality and is unimaginably consistent. Keep in mind he jumps from Alter Bridge to the Conspirators and back again without a hitch. That is very impressive.

    It truly warms my heart that anyone would even ask if I were to sing a song but you can hear me screaming all over this thing. Myles and I have a great chemistry that way. I hope you dig it.

    So just like every other amazing experience this one had to come to an end. Myles went home April 4th and I hung back to sing harmonies on the last song. It is a very special honor to be the last person to perform on the record. It was not lost on me. i savored every moment of it.

    There is a great deal of depth on this recording. A very twisted journey. Many of the songs straight up rock like never before and then there are songs that have a real vastness to them. Slash is playing better than he ever has. It is an inspiring thing to see a man with nothing left to prove still pushing himself every time he picks up the guitar to find new terrain to conquer. And succeed! I think people are going to be blown away.

    So with that I took my leave from the land of fun in the sun and made my way to…the land of fun in the sun…wait! What?

    I’ve been a very fortunate man to have avoided one of the gnarliest winters all over north America. I bounced between Nevada, California and Florida. Not too shabby! I’m not bragging. I grew up in that shit. I feel your pain.

    I spent a few days in Los Angeles dealing with taxes-yuck! Is there anything less fun? I mean probably but yuck right? Good to get that out of the way nonetheless!

    Now I’m back in the great city of Las Vegas getting ready to reunite the Exile On Fremont lineup of the Sin City Sinners this Thursday night at the Palms Casino on West Flamingo. Gonna be a blast! Hope to see you there.

    I would like to take this time to announce a special anniversary show at Vamp’d May 26th-Memorial Day. It will be almost a year since the release of Borrowing Trouble and we’d like to celebrate one last time in Vegas before I get whisked off to do the Aerosmith tour with Slash (more about that in a minute).

    Page1

    To commemorate the anniversary of Borrowing Trouble’s release we will be releasing the live album Bootleg Confessional:Live In Vegas as a downloadable album via Pledge Music for a limited time for a steal before it moves on to iTunes etc.

    The album was recorded live September 2nd 2013 at Vamp’d in Vegas and features 17 songs plus guests like Brent Fitz and Frank Sidoris from the Conspirators, Doc and Zach from the Sinners and Cian Coey from Meat Loaf. I’m really proud of it and I hope you enjoy it!

    This May 26th will be a huge blow out of a show as it will be one of the last Vegas acoustic shows for me at least until 2015. I’m hoping to get some friends up on stage again. I’ve been picking my brain to come up with some fun songs to play and for some fun friends to play with!

    So come on out to Count’s Vamp’d in Las Vegas May 26th to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Borrowing Trouble and the birth of Bootleg Confessional:Live In Vegas. It’s going to be an amazing night.

    The whole ‘Bootleg’ concept to me was a play on the cassette tapes of live shows my friends and I would pass around as kids. KISS bootlegs etc that you knew as well as any of their albums. That was wayyyyyy before the days of downloading so piracy was truly piracy back then. It includes a crazy rendition of Zep’s Stairway To Heaven by me and my co-Conspirators. Check it out.

    So the other big news in our life is the Let Rock Rule tour featuring Aerosmith and Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators (or as we are affectionately abbreviating these days-SMK&C). I can’t tell you how excited we are to be doing this tour. I mean to springboard out of the recording of this album onto any stage would be exciting enough but to do it in the company of our heroes, Steven, Joe, Brad, Tom and Joey? That is mind boggling. If you would have told me that would be a reality when I was 15 I would never have believed you.

    Earlier today Slash joined Aerosmith at the Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip to announce the Let Rock Rule tour and it has created a crazy buzz.

    We are all busting. It’s still 2 months away but we are all GOOD TO GO! We’ve been off the road for a while and it’s time to get back out there. My sword is ever sharp and my thirst for battle never satiated. Let’s do this!

    Well, there you have it. Recording finished. Mixing commencing. Sinners on Thursday. Acoustic show May 26th. Live album May 26th. Let Rock Rule tour will be here before you know it!

    Exciting times, brothers and sisters! Exciting times indeed!

    Expect the new single this summer but you didn’t hear that from me ;)

     

    Big Big LOVE to all o’ y’all
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit

     



  • Halftime

    March 3 2014
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Whew…where to begin…

    This blog is titled halftime as I am currently in a holding pattern between bass and drums being completed and guitars and vocals firing up. By the time you read this Slash will be in the great state of Florida on day one of recording Gibson Les Pauls through Marshall Amplifiers. Myles Kennedy, currently down under, will be coming ‘up over’ (think about it…give it a minute…), joining the team to do that thing that he do! I will be joining them soon to do that thing that I do as well. It has been a most joyous experience and I can say now, fully invested in every step of this process to this point, that you will not be disappointed. This album rocks. I honestly believe that this record is going to be even better than the last. It has all the elements that I look for in my favorite records. It’s catchy with gnarly riffs and loud as hell. It’s aggressive, confident and not interested in taking any prisoners.
    You’ve been warned!

    I’ve been essentially living in LA since the fall of 2013. We hunkered down in North Hollywood and began molding clay and chopping wood to build the music you will be rocking out to in mere months from now. We broke for the holidays and then really dug in. Slash, Fitz and myself pulled songs apart, put them back together, pulled them apart again, like we were creating the perfect Frankenstein killing machines. An unholy army of the night. An army of songs to attack senses.

    Then the process would begin all over again with the arrival of Myles Kennedy. This can be better. This could be altered to make this melody really pop. More aggressive. More dangerous. More nasty.

    Then our producer, Elvis came along and shit got real. We got even more serious. We had created an armory of weaponry and now we were going to make them indestructible. Make them fool proof and deadly precise. Mortally efficient. No stone left unturned. No riff left in the cold. No kick drum left unfocused.

    Though it sounds like an inordinate amount of work, and in many ways it can be, I think we trusted our instincts even more this time. Not feeling so held down by the confines put upon us by the 3 minute pop song. Gone are the restraints of a ‘radio friendly’ industry that has eaten itself. Make music that feels right. That feels effective. That feels honest. That feels authentic.
    I know we have done that.

    Of course I’m saying this without hearing any final recorded guitars but come on…it’s Slash. He’s the best guitar player on the planet. That part is a no brainer. Myles Kennedy is the best singer in rock today. He has an uncanny ability to conjure a bulletproof melody wrapped in a clever rhyme scheme. For it to be anything but awesome would come as an extreme surprise to me. Since I’ve heard everything to this point I think it’s my opinion we’ll be trusting here.
    The most important thing to us was that we make a record that our audience wants to hear. In turn I believe it is the record we have always wanted to make collectively and individually.
    Myles is looser and easier like a seasoned professional. He has gone 8 rounds with the best and held his own. There is a quiet confidence in having the output of several hit records behind him. What’s one more? Don’t be fooled by that kind Spokane boy thing. There is a wolf in there that he lets out and we’ve all heard it. And none can howl like he can.

    So what about the drums and bass? The drums and bass were knocked out in record time at NRG studios in North Hollywood. Brent Fitz played things he didn’t even know he could play. He was challenged and met that challenge time and again. The drums are big and aggressive and full of attitude. It is the best performance of his career. I think he’ll tell you the same.

    As far as the bass goes Slash and I talked in depth about the most recent Motorhead album, Aftershock. Lemmy’s bass tone was gnarlier than ever but still had that fatness in the bottom end. Let’s do that, we agreed.

    This is the most aggressive bass tone to date for me. Anyone who knows me knows the bass players that I love and most of them aren’t about flair they are about attitude. I think that is the perfect mixture for me. Just the right amount of technique with a heavy dose of attitude. I think Fitz and I built an impenetrable wall for Myles and Slash to climb atop and do their thing.

    Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette is an incredible producer with a contagious energy. In the short time I’ve known him we have become super tight. I think he is the man. I’m stoked to get out there and get singing!

    Our engineer, Jef Moll, is a magician. A wizard. With them behind us we couldn’t lose. We are an army and we are sharp and trained and ready to kill.

    BUSH was recording next door. Gavin Rossdale introduced himself to me one day randomly and was ever the English gentleman I remember him to be. Back in the 90s my band, The Age Of Electric, opened for Bush and Veruca Salt. Didn’t get much bigger than those two in the 90s. That sprung us to a whole other level. Gavin was a good guy even back then.

    It’s funny I always try to remind myself to stop and really take in all that’s going on around me. It’s always such a whirlwind that it’s often hard to focus on all that’s swirling around you. This time in the studio was no different. It seems a practice in controlled chaos. In our world there are always cameras around. Things being filmed for this company, photos for another, exclusive pix for this magazine or that. There are always a lot of humans around. That tends to add to the chaotic energy but I’ve always kind of enjoyed that aspect of it. It’s not a regular job so one should never expect anything ordinary ever. I’m always pleasantly comforted by the tornado of activity and not at all surprised by it.

    And so just like that its over. At least the first half is over. First you’re in the studio every day, all day. You live in Los Angeles. You drive it’s streets. You know it’s turns and your fave spots. You are a local. You belong there. This is home.
    Then it’s over. That chapter closes as quickly as it opened and you go back to your ‘reality’ as seamlessly as you’d left it. Admittedly my reality is pretty goddamned surreal. It shouldn’t be any other way.

    I went to a screening of the new Godzilla film with Slash which was bizarre as it was incomplete. Stock music, unfinished CGI in many scenes. A very cool experience for a film nerd like me. They even had a sheet of likes and dislikes to fill out afterwards. I look forward to the final version. I love me some Godzilla. All of these things are regular occurrences on Planet Slash. On Planet Dammit not so much.

    So as things have always been there will be no rest. Far too wicked. I hit the ground running upon my return to the great city of Las Vegas, Nevada. And man was the ground running.
    Doc Ellis from the Sinners and I went to watch his beloved, Cian Coey, appear with the legendary Meat Loaf over at Planet Hollywood Casino. I could not be prouder of Cian. The first time I saw her perform I knew she was a star. Beautiful and talented. She is the whole package. When they told me she was up for the part I knew she’d get it and it was nice to see I was right.
    The show was amazing. I’d seen it once before but it was even better with little Cian up there doing her thing. I was blown away.

    We went back after the show and Mr Loaf gave me a hug even though I’d never met the man before. He was adorable and super talkative.
    In my mind I kept thinking, ‘His name is Robert Paulson. His name is Robert Paulson’ from the film Fight Club in which he appeared with Pitt, Norton and Leto.
    Ol’ Meat is a hell of an actor too.
    All in all an amazing night. So proud of you Cian!

    As a local (I’ve been in Vegas for 7 years. I’m local!), we all know or know of the world famous chef, Kerry Simon. A brother in arms struck down by a terrible disease called Multiple System Atrophy. Extremely aggressive it has hit him hard and fast. A benefit was put together to help raise money to fight this monster that has a hold of him. Kerry’s powerful friends assembled the heaviest of the heavy and the biggest of the big to make this thing happen.

    My brethren, The Sin City Sinners were to be the backing band for an army of musicians and singers there to do their part. In my opinion there is no other band that could do it. I was asked to sit in with the guys and assist. I happily obliged.

    The list of performers on this thing was mind blowing. Brother Slash (my two worlds colliding in the most beautiful way), Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Vince Neil, Todd Rundgren, Matt Sorum, Billy Duffy of the Cult, Kip Winger, Lisa Loeb and JD Fortune of INXS. All of that is impressive enough but most of us were floored by the appearance of one of my all time favorite comedic actors, Bill Murray. I was completely knocked out by that.

    To be fair we had been told in advance that Bill was going to be there. I don’t think most of us believed he’d show but as it turns out he was very close with Kerry and had known him back in his earliest days.

    It seemed so odd as Harold Ramis had only just passed away and Bill and the entire Ghostbusters phenomenon was still on the tips of our tongues. Harold is missed.
    In anticipation of his appearance we were told that he sometimes liked to sing so we learned one of his favorite songs, Brandi, You’re A Fine Girl by Looking Glass. I would never have actively learned such a song unless one of my favorite personalities was going to sing it.
    At the event Bill Murray walked up to me and shook my hand completely unexpectedly. I asked him, ‘You gonna sing a song with us tonight?’

    He dramatically reached for his throat and said, ‘Warming up. Warming up.’ And with that he took his leave.
    Super super surreal. I mean Caddy Shack, Groundhog Day, Meatballs, Scrooged, Ghostbusters, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore…the list goes on and on and on. The man is a legend. We were all floored by his being there.

    Even more unexpected was Bill introducing us after his hilarious speech to Kerry. Then he continued to introduce all the guest artists for the remainder of the evening. To the point that it became perfectly normal that Bill Murray just happened to be hanging around.
    My life is so weird.
    He never did end up singing a song.

    We did One Way to Rock, Can’t Drive 55, Mas Tequila with Sammy (who is a gent) then Slash joined us for the Montrose classic Rock Candy. Matt Sorum joined us for the last two songs too. The two drummers thing is always a blast.

    JD got up and did the INXS song Pretty Vegas and the Doors song, Roadhouse Blues.
    Lisa Loeb nailed her classic song Stay which was the hardest one for us to learn. I swear we learned it in 3 keys before settling on a fourth. She is a very sweet lady. I met her at some record company party in Vancouver back in the day. She was a doll then too.
    Todd Rundgren did a set of songs and our bro, Kip Winger, played bass. He also played bass for the Alice Cooper set. Kip played bass for Alice back in the 80s.

    Alice did No More Mr Nice Guy, Eighteen, Brown Sugar by the Stones and School’s Out which Slash joined in on.

    I sang Love Removal Machine by the Cult with Billy Duffy and Matt Sorum (who played in the Cult too) and had a blast. I am a massive Cult fan. Billy is the man. One of my faves.
    We closed with one of the kings of Vegas, Vince Neil. Wild Side, Live Wire, Girls Girls Girls. An absolute blast.

    And then bang it’s over with everyone taking the stage to do Come Together by the Beatles together. Even Bill.
    I got to say hi to a lot of good friends after and brush shoulders with some of our guests. Bid Slash adieu as he would be heading to Florida where I would meet up with him in the coming weeks.

    And that, as they say, was that.
    I believe the evening was quite a success and I hope we can make some kind of difference for poor Kerry. It’s such a terrible thing.
    If you wish to donate please follow this link. Thank you so much.

    http://www.keepmemoryalive.org/ways_to_contribute/attend_an_event/upcoming_events/2014/02/27/kerry-simon-says-fight-msa

    From one benefit to the next. Yesterday I found myself at yet another charity event with my brothers in Sin, the Sinners. The St Baldrick’s Foundation raises money for kid’s with Cancer which is so heartbreaking. That is very hard. The Sinners do this every year. This year Zach Throne had his head shaved in solidarity with the kids fighting this awful disease. He’s a good man. I jumped up and played a couple of songs with the boys-It’s Not You It’s Me and Going To Vegas.

    A lot of credit must go to the Sinners for doing two charity events in one weekend. A lot of credit has to go to the heart and mind behind our participation in the St Baldricks event, Sinners’ manager, Jason Green.

    So now here I am. At one with the couch tonight enjoying the Oscars. McConaughey won best actor- Alright Alright Alright.
    Love me some McConaughey. I knew he was gonna get it. he is my current favorite. I think he’s such a character. A real original.
    Speaking of Matthew I am currently obsessed with True Detectives which I devoured the second last episode of right after the awards. He is intensely awesome in that show. Woody is an underrated actor. He deserves some love.

    Then I get my zombie on with Walking Dead then talked about it with Talking Dead. That show is so popular it has a post show.
    It’s so funny because as a show wraps up like Breaking Bad a bunch more spring up. Vikings is back. Loved the first season of that one. Bates Motel is back tomorrow which i was obsessed with. Game Of Thrones will be back before you know it.

    Am I a television addict? Maybe but let me say this-in a day and age when I had pretty much given up due to the reprehensible dross that is reality television I have to say how lucky we are to have quality programming like AMC and HBO to save the day. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire etc are in my opinion the highest of quality. Especially in a time where most television executives are saving money by not having to pay actors or writers by creating fake reality shows about everything and anything. Trust me I have been involved in a few reality shows and there is no reality going on. I find it depressing. My friends call it mindless entertainment. I think more of myself and my mind.
    Hard to be a snob about something so stupid as television but I don’t get it. I’m just a big fan of good writing, good acting. How it should always be.

    The live album is finally coming out very very soon. The final touches are being put upon the artwork and audio as I write this. Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas will be out hopefully before the new Slash album is even finished recording. That is very likely. It was recorded September 2nd at Count’s Vamp’d in Vegas. There are almost 20 songs on it including an unreleased song called The One that I wanted to play exclusively for that show. Fitz and Frankie from The Conspirators make an appearance as do Zach and Ellis from the Sinners along with the lovely Cian Coey from, of course, Meat Loaf. It is a lot of fun. If you were there you know how much fun we had.

    So now here I am. Kicking it in Vegas. Appearing this Friday with the Sinners over at Southpoint on the south strip in Vegas. Working on Bootleg Confessional : Live In Vegas and trying to enjoy the calm before returning to the second half of recording the new Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators album. I think y’all are gonna be very happy.

    Everyone should immediately check out Horns And Halos by Michael Monroe, Dregen’s solo album, Ginger Wildheart’s brilliant new cd Albion and the Butcher Babies’ Goliath. I love Rock N Roll…put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

    To Kerry I say, ‘thinking of you brother’
    To the kids at St Baldricks I say, ‘you are in my kindest and warmest thoughts’
    To Matthew McConaughey on his big win I say, ‘Alright Alright Alright’
    And to you, brother and sisters, I say, ‘BIG LOVE’
    THE BIGGEST!

    PEACELOVEMETAL

    Alright Alright Alright
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • Get In The Ring

    January 16th 2014
    Los Angeles, California

    So here we are. Like prize fighters training and training for the fight of our lives. Now the big fight is upon us. We are lean. We are mean and we are, most assuredly, fighting machines.

    I have to admit that conceptually I felt that Apocalyptic Love would be a tough act to follow but I can say with all the confidence in the world that we are more than armed and ready. Not only do I feel that the material surpasses Apocalyptic Love I think we are ten times the band we were when that album was recorded.
    The material on this album is more serious and more fun at the same time which is a tough balance indeed. The songs are sleazier, tougher and more dangerous. Exactly where I feel most comfortable. We are all very excited to unleash the monster upon you as soon as we can.

    We enter the studio early February and will work through the next few months. No plans as to when anything will be finished. It’ll be done when it’s done. I know we all hope to be back out on the road sooner than later but we’ll see.
    A lot of things are bizarrely familiar. Frankie, the camera guy, is there filming and snapping away at everything as of this past week just like 2 years ago during the making of Apocalyptic Love. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. I’m sure that footage will surface somewhere along the line.

    Our work with Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette has been a blast. He’s been a lot of fun to have around and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty within the pre production process. All of the songs have taken on a new life under his whip. I’m enjoying every minute of this. Our engineer, Jef Moll, is a genius. This is an amazing team.

    Gonna be monstrous!

    Since last I joined you 2014 came along and replaced its predecessor. Funny how seamlessly that happens.

    I spent the holidays with my family in Vancouver and enjoyed a much needed break. The best thing was that I had only been there a few weeks earlier doing an acoustic show at The Roxy which was amazing.

    I ate wayyyy too much food (my parents are on the west coast now too-Mom cooking!) but that’s what ya do during the holidays. Saw a lot of movies.
    American Hustle-Great. Great cast. Great performances. I didn’t know what to expect but I really enjoyed it.

    The Hobbit 2-surprisingly great even in spite of all the added characters, plot line etc. Whatevs. It was a blast.

    Anchorman 2-Ridiculous fun. It was amazing to see with my family. We are all such fans. Can’t wait to have all the dialogue memorized.
    I saw Wolf Of Wall Street and thought it was an amazing film. I thought the performances were outstanding. Leo is one of the best. It was a difficult film to enjoy in that I wasn’t cheering for the protagonist at all. I mean the anti hero isn’t a new invention. This is the new way from Tony Soprano to Walter White. I think the fact that those two people I just mentioned are fiction is what clinches it for me. The people depicted in ‘Wolf’ are based on actual people who are flat out terrible people. The worst representation of human behavior or at least my least enjoyed type of behavior. It’s so much of what is wrong with us as a species. Greed, self satisfaction at the expense of everyone and anyone.
    No lesson is learned in the end. No check and balance. No debt paid (I mean, yea, kinda…). It’s what you can get away with and how much you can play a system built to protect you. In the end those kind of wealthy criminals don’t get punished like regular folk. That is the true crime.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s brilliant. Marty Scorsese is a genius. Leo is at the top of his game. The story is completely over the top and completely insane. Jonah is great. McConaughey has a scene stealing moment early on. Great, great film.

    I just dislike the kind of people represented in the film. They exist and they are the worst. There is no Shakespearean retribution.
    Hey, even Tony Montana got his.

    After Christmas I got back to Vegas and rang in the New Year with the Sin City Sinners which was a blast. It’s the 6th year in a row I’ve done so. I can’t see why next year should be any different or the year after that. It is always great fun to play with the guys and to see all my friends. People flew in from all over the world. South America, Germany, England…totally awesome. It was a true honor to welcome the new year with everyone.

    The next thing I knew I was back in North Hollyweird making myself deaf with my co-Conspirators. At first just the 3 – Slash, Fitz and I…then Elvis and Jeff…and finally…Myles Kennedy. Now we have been working these songs up since October and they are getting better and stronger every single day. By the time we press the RECORD button in February we will have carved out a nasty machine of Loud, Ugly, Beautiful, Unrelenting RAWK.

    The other night we tagged along with Slash as he jumped on stage with Lita Ford at the Whiskey A Go Go.

    It’s always a trip being at the Whiskey. The first and only time I played there was in 1991 with the Age Of Electric. We opened for the Zeroes. As I entered the Whiskey on Lita’s night who do I run into but Danny Dangerous from the Zeroes. What a trip. Danny also played with my dear friend Greg Verdusco in the Slow Time Mondays. Danny is an amazing guy and a Hollywood legend. It was really great to see him there.

    Backstage we hung out with Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis, who played with Guns N Roses on the Use Your Illusions tour back in the day. Great guy and one talented Mofo!

    Slash jumped up and jammed with Lita and Cherie Currie, both of whom were part of one of my favorite bands, The Runaways. I’ve had the good fortune to jam with both of those ladies as a part of the Sinners. A great honor. I’m a nerdy fan. It was a blast to watch Slash do Cherry Bomb and Black Leather with the ladies. Truly awesome.

    So now, as I write this, I am re-watching The Walking Dead with Slash. We are currently in Season 3. He’s getting caught up. I’ve seen it all before but enjoying revisiting. Then off to bed. Still have a couple weeks of pre production then recording is a go! Stay tuned!

    Reading-Dr Sleep by Stephen King. Loving it. I’m hoping they don’t screw this up when they make the movie.

    Listening to-Michael Monroe’s Horns And Halos as well as Dregen’s solo album. Really inspiring!

    Well, brothers and sisters of the DAMMED I will do my best to keep y’all informed and abreast.

    I’m excited. I only hope we live up to your high expectations. I think we are going to deliver!
    Yes, I’m that confident.

    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • CANAFORNIA

    December 11 2013
    Los Angeles, California

    Isn’t he clever? He mashed Canada and California together. A delicious ‘word sandwich’. It seemed fitting as I have been bouncing back and forth between these two destinations as of late. A little Las Vegas now and again when I can but mostly Canafornia.

    We have just completed several days of preproduction here in LA with producer Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette and I have to say that I am beyond excited for the new album. Apparently I was a bit premature in announcing to the world that Elvis was gonna be producing what I affectionately refer to as Apocalyptic Love 2. I suppose that should have been saved for some official type press release but I blabbed and it’s out there now. I didn’t know what to expect but I’ve already geeked out with Elvis over some deep KISS cuts that only the true fan can appreciate. As it turns out-he’s my kinda guy.

    We have an arsenal of giant, monolithic powerhouses with working titles like ‘It Puts The Lotion On It’s Skynrd’ that Myles has turned into truly great songs. It’s no secret that he happens to be very good at that. He never ceases to impress. He’s also one of my favorite humans (that should be read ‘Hu-Mons).

    We have expedited the entire schedule. It looks like we will be tracking as early as January which puts us about a month ahead of when we thought we were going to be able to do so. As you can imagine we are working around the busy schedule of the mega successful Alter Bridge which is no simple task. Basically Myles has zero rest whatsoever. He bounces from one world to the next seemingly seamlessly (seem…seam…).

    So I suddenly find myself at home in the great City Of Angels on loan from a City Of Sin. LA starts to get more and more familiar and more and more comfortable. I’ve not made that leap to have California license plates or an 818 prefix on my phone # but…ya never know.
    For now Vegas has my heart. I have good people there and I miss them dearly.

    I am only just returned from the country of my birth, Canada which was one of the most enjoyable experiences for me in a great, long time. My co-Conspirator, Brent Fitz, and I found ourselves bouncing from one city to another in a fun little project called Coverboy. Joining us was a familiar cast from our ‘Justice Beaver’ ‘Canadian cover band’ that we do to raise money every year for charity. Cory Churko from Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson on guitar and the amazing Spider from Loverboy and Streetheart on bass were with us again as well as our new pal, Chris Jericho who is very well known via his years crushing skulls in the WWE. Chris has his own band, Fozzy, who are on tour with Steel Panther in Australia as I write this.
    We found ourselves in Regina, Saskatchewan which was ground zero for the Grey Cup which is pretty much the Canadian Super Bowl. We played a benefit show which was extremely enjoyable. It had been 9 years since I was last in Regina. I lived there for a couple of years wayyyy back pre Age Of Electric days.

    There is no reminder as effective as that of a Saskatchewan winter! Eeep! Man, that is a whole other level of cold. It’s really mind blowing to think that I went from growing up in that to living in the desert. Seems almost TOO unlikely but it BE.

    We had a blast playing music that only a person from Canada could truly appreciate. All of it great music that is a complete crime to be basically unknown south of the border (the Canada/US border, that is).
    I got to catch up, albeit it all too briefly, with people I hadn’t seen in a looooong time. An amazing time.

    From there we went to another city I lived in wayyyy back directly after leaving Regina which was Calgary. I’ve spent a lot of years playing in the great city of Calgary. I’ve made many, many friends over the years. It very much has a ‘HOME’ vibe to it, too. I love returning there time and again.

    Cory Churko couldn’t do the Calgary show as he had prior engagements so my dear friend, Reed Shimozawa, trooper that he is, slid seamlessly into the guitar slot and was amazing. Reed, in many ways, is one of my favorite guitar players of all time. He can play anything. He is wayyy knowledgeable but can ‘garage’ it with the best of us.

    That last sentence seems like gibberish but if you follow my vernacular you know what I mean.
    He’s also one of my favorite humans on this planet. I’ve known him since 1989. You do the math. He is basically family at this point. In 2014 we will be release the new album, TKO, which Reed and I spent the past 10 years working on. I’m thrilled to see it released. More on that later though..

    In writing this it must seem bizarre that I have called so many of these places home but it be true.

    I was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada which only claim to fame I can refer to is the footage on youtube of Mick Mars being knocked down by some dufus on stage there. I’ve only ever returned there briefly a couple of times to play gigs. I’d love to have gotten to know it better but my family moved before my first birthday wayyyyy north to Lynn Lake, Manitoba which is about as far north as you can go before the towns become just ‘settlements’.
    I have known me some winters, my friends.

    It was a tiny town built in frontier land around a nickel mine where my father found work.
    I was there for 12 or 13 years. Learned to play guitar there. Formed bands with friends with names like The Wraiths (which I suppose, in full nerd disclosure, would have been named after the ring wraiths from the Lord Of The Rings) with song titles like 95 Foot Suicide, Death Rider and the ever so adorable, Slut. Oh, the lyrical subject matter of pre pubescent boys. You know, only slightly more intelligent than say…Crazy Bitch :) From there I spent my junior high and high school years back in Saskatchewan in the town of Lanigan, 70 miles east of Saskatoon.
    I have known me some winters, brothers and sisters.

    We were moving up though. From 2000 people in Lynn Lake to 2500 people in Lanigan. Lanigan was only an hour and a bit from ‘the big city’ of Saskatoon where Lynn Lake was like a 2 day drive to Winnipeg.

    So back in the province of my birth for those crazy, formative, teenage years. I formed bands like Buzz (replete with marijuana leaf logo which is mostly amusing because I don’t think we even knew what weed was yet) and The Infants (which despite us looking like girls was originally titled the much more threatening, The Wicked Infants. Not threatening at all, really) The Infants actually went on the road and lead me to such friendships as Cory and Kevin Churko from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan who would go on to be world famous musicians and producers and whom I’ve maintained friendships with ever since.

    Through that band I landed in the capital of our province, Regina, where I lived for a couple of years where I met, Kurt and Ryan Dahle and would one day form a little band called Electric. A couple years later we put The Age Of in front of that.
    Through my years of constant touring I landed in Calgary for about three years. As you can see I’m progressively moving west and to exponentially bigger cities. In Calgary I made lasting friendships with people like Reed Shimozawa and that continues today and forever.
    When AOE formed we eventually made our way almost all the way west to Vancouver, which in many ways truly was home for a long time. 15 years or so. Those were the big years of really becoming the quintessential Age Of Electric. A big city with a music scene. A repressed one but a a music scene none the less.

    Then in a random act of insanity I found myself in the US in the most mad center imaginable, Las Vegas, Nevada, where I would form the wonderful Sin City Sinners and reconnect with an old acquaintance named Brent Fitz who would wield a very powerful key to my future.
    And that, so far, is that.

    All of that said I have spent so much time in so many cities that I can’t help but think of them as home as well. Places like Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, of course Toronto, New York City even and, as we can see now, Los Angeles, California. Places like London, England and Paris, France are become scarily familiar enough to fall under that category soon to :) I have said it before and I’ll say it again-Planet Earth is my home. I only wish more people saw it that way. You’d realize how much you have in common with people if you thought of them as your neighbors because they really truly are. This planet is vast and expansive but it’s also very small. The fact that these very words will be read on every continent on the globe proves that.

    So it would seem fitting that after the two Coverboy shows I would hang back in Calgary with my good friend, Reed and do a Borrowing Trouble acoustic show on Grey Cup Sunday. The Saskatchewan Roughriders won, by the way which is a big deal for the people of Saskatchewan. It’s our only national team. There are no better fans in the CFL than the Riders fans. That is a fact known across the country.

    The acoustic show was pretty magical actually. What started as a fun afterthought ended up being a massive success. My pal, Chris Jericho, came down, on zero sleep from our gig the night before, mind you. He had been celebrating ever since. It was a trip to see Chris wearing his TK Borrowing Trouble tee shirt and taking home a copy of the vinyl. What a blast. He got up and sang some Canadian classics with Reed and I which really capped off a magical night. People came down from Edmonton too and that was extremely rewarding to me. Thank you to all my brothers and sisters that were there that night.

    Coincidentally Miss Janette from Todd Kerns USA on Facebook made the long trip north in a Canadian November to help sell merch. Thank you, Miss Janette. You are the best.

    From there I was off to Winnipeg where I had the not so great fortune to play on the night of a snow storm but it ended up being an amazing night anyway. Brent Fitz came up and played some piano as he was back home visiting the folks. We played a Streetheart song for Kenny Shields who was the singer of that band and a great hero to both of us. That was very surreal for me. For some reason we sold a ton of merch in Winnipeg. That was a pleasant surprise. What a good time.

    Next up I went back ‘home’ to Vancouver to raise some money for the hungry and the homeless. It was a last minute surprise show and I really didn’t know what to expect with such little lead up but it ended up being one of the most successful nights of my trip to Canada. One of those great nights where everyone is singing along and having a great time. I even did the Band Aid Xmas song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’. That’s how celebratory it was. It was a very special night and I never wanted it to end.
    It was my dream to make Borrowing Trouble then grab a guitar and a car and stop in every city from Victoria to St John’s and sing for the people of Canada. That still might happen one of these days!
    I’d love to do it elsewhere…Australia, Europe, UK, South America…USA….we’ll see.

    And then BANG I was back in Los Angeles making racket with my besties but this time with the delightful, Myles Kennedy in tow. My ‘Heaverly Brother’. Then the newest addition to our family, Elvis, came along and we are full steam ahead. By April we will be doing the rounds of promo. Maybe a little Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? Late Night with Seth Meyers? How crazy is that? So much awesome change ahead.

    Then we’ll be going around the world a few thousand more times.
    By the time the new album comes out this band will have been together in one form or another for 4 years. Mind blowing when I never expected the tour for the first solo album to be more than a few months. By the time we come off the road from touring the album the band will have been together for 5 years. That is a significant chunk of my life. Half a decade. Crazy.

    On December 4th we went to hang with Slash at a charity party put on by Adam Sandler which was completely insane. I found myself backstage amongst the most insane collection of people imaginable. Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, Jerry Cantrell from Alice In Chains, Ann Wilson from Heart, Joe MFING Walsh from The Eagles, Marilyn Manson, Jack Black…it was crazy weird. No Matter where you sat it was mental. Manson came over and drunkenly got some laughs. He’s the new school Dean Martin now. I never got to meet Adam Sandler cuz he was on stage the whole time. He sang everything and nailed it. He did Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door and did it verbatim like Axl. It was awesome. It was a pretty magical night.

    The next day was my birthday which we spent together as a small affair. I wasn’t about to cancel rehearsal just cuz it was my birthday! Frank Sidoris surprised me by appearing for my birthday. Man, I love that guy. He’s the best. Thank you to all who were so good to me on my birthday. Really more than I deserve. Thank you thank you thank you.

    I will be making my way to Vancouver for Xmas to be with my amazing family to eat way too much and enjoy myself far too much to be fair. I will hopefully take in The Hobbit 2 and of course ANCHORMAN 2! It is here. I cannot believe it.

    After that I’ll be back with the Sin City Sinners doing New Year’s Eve at The Lounge in the Palms Hotel in Vegas. Come down. It’s going to be a blast. We have ourselves some fun. They are my Vegas family.

    This is a hard time of year as we lost one of my best friends, Greg Verdusco, to cancer one year ago on December 15th. Four days before his birthday. It was an incredibly hard pill to swallow and to be honest I think I’m still swallowing it and probably ever shall be. He is missed every day and so much has happened that I wish I could have shared with him. He would have loved that the new Anchorman is coming out. That was one of his dreams to see that. It’s a real crime that he couldn’t fulfill that. The new Star Wars was another big dream of his. No one would have enjoyed all this as much as he would have.
    The Replacements reuniting was a massive deal too. He would have never believed that happened in his absence.

    Life is a complete mystery, my friends. We are here for a while and then we are gone. You never know when its comin’ either so make the best of every single day that you can. I mean it doesn’t have to be grandiose. If you really enjoy having a cup of coffee with good friends then do that as often as you can. If you like going to movies see as many as you can. If you want to climb a mountain do it!
    The one thing we all have in common is that this all ends and there is nothing pessimistic about that to me. I have accepted that I’m not going to be here forever but I’m going to do everything I can to make what I have left as good as it can be. I recommend you do the same.

    Coming soon-
    Todd Kerns-Bootleg Confessional Volume I : Live in Vegas (Live album recorded June 2nd at Vamp’d in Las Vegas) Todd Kerns-TKO : 10 Years In The Making. Epic. Amazing. Some of my proudest work.
    Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Title to be determined. Summer 2014

    Listening to – Dregen’s solo album. I loved the Backyard Babies and this album does not disappoint.
    Reading – Rod Stewart’s autobiography. I love me some Rod the mod. Can you believe the Faces are doing a reunion tour? I’m busting! Busting!
    Watching – Well, Man Of Steel, of course :) I’ll soon be watching Anchorman 2. I foresee that being a multiple theater going experience. CAN’T WAIT!

    Live, brothers and sisters!
    Life is meant to be lived!
    Eat, drink. be merry and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em cuz life is meant to be enjoyed not squandered!

    Big Love
    Your brother from another Mother
    Todd Dammit=



  • Canada Bound

    November 16 2013
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Today is my youngest brother, Ryan’s birthday. In the weirdest way he was always the oldest of the Kerns brothers. There are three of us to be exact and we all played together in a band called Static In Stereo which is tattooed on my left forearm to signify it’s importance to me. I also have four cards on my left bicep that are all Kings to signify the four men of the Kerns family with the Ks, my brothers and our father. On the inside of my left bicep is my Mother’s name, Patty, which is also my Grandmother’s name. Two birds with one stone with that one.
    Ryan co wrote a great deal of the SIS cd, Blow Up Doll (which made it’s way to Exile On Fremont Street from the Sin City Sinners), No Reply etc. I remember when he was born and I’m happy to see him enjoying his birthday today. Happy Birthday, lil’ bro!

    We’ve been hard at it rehearsing new songs for the upcoming Conspirators record. The skeleton crew of us have been holed up at our studio in North Hollywood plugging away. We have as many songs as days we’ve been rehearsing. Somewhere in the area of 16-17 songs. By Wednesday there could be as many as 20. It’s fierce and strong and I think it’s going to be even better than Apocalyptic Love and that’s saying a lot.
    Myles will join us in December between Alter Bridge dates and start Myles-ifying them up. No one does it better than him.

    Soon I’ll be heading back to the Motherland of Canada for a string of dates WITH friends and FOR friends. Leaving the warmth of California and Nevada for a November in Canada may seem madness but I couldn’t be more excited.
    For years Brent Fitz and I have been playing Canadian cover songs at benefits in Winnipeg and Calgary to raise money for important causes. It had originated as Coverboy with Brent Fitz and WWE’s Chris Jericho. Both from Winnipeg, incidentally. When I became part of the picture Chris was far too busy to join us. Over the years we’ve had a lot of people come and go like John Angus from The Trews but the guitar spot has always belonged to Cory Churko from Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson. Cory is from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and I’ve known him since he was 14 years old. That’s a long time ago. His brother is Kevin Churko, producer of Five Finger Death Punch and many others. Talented boys.
    On bass we have the greatest bass player in the world. The fact that you don’t know him is immaterial. He just IS. Spider was the bass player for Canadian legends, Streetheart and is currently the bass player for Loverboy (get it? Coverboy? Loverboy? Ah? Ah?) In Calgary one of my best friends in the entire world, Reed Shimozawa, will be playing guitar in place of Cory who has his own bidness to attend to that night. That is going to be a blast.
    So if you are in Regina November 22nd come down to the Artful Dodger for a great cause to help raise money for Kid Sport. Then the next night in Calgary at the Marquee.
    We are doing a bevy of classic Canadian stuff. Real deep cuts from April Wine, Loverboy, Chilliwack, Kim Mitchell, The Guess Who, Streetheart, Kick Axe, Trooper, Bryan Adams…etc etc etc.
    Maybe even an AOE song. Ya never know…
    It’s going to be an amazing time and for a wonderful cause. I’m really looking forward to hanging with the guys. I haven’t been in Regina for a thousand years. I lived there for a few years back in the day. The Dahle brothers from the Age Of Electric are from Regina. I have amazing friends there. Can’t wait to catch up.

    Then from there I am on a string of my own acoustic shows starting at The Trop in Calgary on November 24th. It’s an intimate place and a free show so it’s going to be an epic night. Reed is going to be with me that night so he’ll be sitting in for a few songs.
    From there I’m off to the great city of Winnipeg to spend a day with some students at an amazing music school called the Music Cellar. Brent Fitz has done a lot with those people and they were kind enough to ask me to come down. I’m honored.
    The next night I’ll be at my old stomping grounds the world famous Palomino Club in the heart of Winnipeg, Manitoba. I’ve never done an acoustic show in Winnipeg. That’s gonna be a trip. Can’t wait. Gonna have to relearn some old songs cuz I know my friends will be digging deep with the requests.

    There is still one more acoustic show that is being saved as a surprise announcement but suffice it to say I’m ending my trip in Vancouver…if that isn’t hint enough… I’m really excited about getting to see all my Canadian brethren and getting to celebrate together through the majesty of song!

    So from there I’ll be back in LA with my co-Conspirators writing and rehearsing, then to Vancouver for Xmas then back to Vegas to sit in with my brothers in Sin, The Sin City Sinners for New Years Eve.
    And just like that 2013 will be in the history books. And what a year it has been.

    It’s been a lot of fun over these past couple of months sitting in with the Sinners very randomly and unexpected. I’m happy to make the people who like to talk have to rethink things. The Sinners are family. They are my brothers. We always will be. I sit in when I can. The next time will be New Years Eve at the Lounge in the Palms Casino. Gonna be off the chain.
    Brent Muscat and I started the band 6 years ago and along the way a lot of great friends have come and gone but the ones who stayed have been Doctor Ellis and Rob Cournoyer. And in my absence the great Zach Throne has taken the helm.
    People like to create rivalries where there are none. Zach was at my house last night watching a box of the Simpsons dvds with me. He comes over every Sunday to do so. He is one of my favorite people as they all are. Can’t forget Jason. Without him there would be no Sinners.
    If you wanna see the original SIN see you New Years Eve in Vegas.

    Coming down the pipeline-

    1. Confessional-Live In Vegas (live recording). I was hoping to have it mixed and released before the end of the year. That may be pushed back but it is still priority one!

    2. TKO-An album started 10 years ago!!! Finally being finished, mixed, mastered and released in 2014 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of my first solo album, Go Time!
    I am extremely proud of the TKO record featuring my dear friend, Reed Shimozawa. It is something like 15 songs long and it is some of my favorite music I’ve ever created. Stay tuned.

    3. The book is still in the works. Never a dull moment, friends.

    Anyway, back to reality. Have an amazing American Thanksgiving while I’m in Canada.
    Canada, see you soon!

    big Big BIG LOVE!
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Who?
    Todd Mothafuckin Dammit
    That’s who!

    Don’t be a stranger but by all means be strange



  • The Second Apocalypse

    October 17 2013
    Los Angeles, California

    Hard to believe this year is almost behind us. Seems a crazy thing to admit but its true. I always think once we are into the ‘Embers’ (September-November, December) that the year is pretty much over. Sure a lot can occur in a 3 month span but it slides by so fast that in my mind I’m already preparing for the new year.

    It has been 2 months since I last checked in mostly because I have kept a relatively low profile and don’t believe anyone wants to read about my trip to the coffee shop and the new season of American Horror Story (which is great so far). I’m not one of those people that feels the need to post everything that enters my head or having to document the minutiae of my day to day life. When I have something to say I say it. Not always to the world via the internet.

    It is 5am in LA and I am awake for no reason at all. I have no fields to till or no fire to put out. In the past year my sleeping patterns have gotten more erratic than ever. My whole life I’ve not been much of a sleeper. As a boy my Mother took me to the Doctor for explanation as to why I slept so little.

    Now here, during this in-between phase known as a ‘break’ my body really has no idea what to do with itself. For all intents and purposes I have been off for 3 months. Sure there have been plenty of things to do within that timespan but with no pattern or schedule I think my body lives what we call a dog’s life which is to say you eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired and there may be no rhyme or reason to any of it.

    Yet here I am back in the city of Guns N Roses’ birth in the earliest stages of the birth of the new Conspirators album. So bizarrely familiar that I have to ask myself what day, week, month or year it is. 2 years ago at this time we were doing this very thing. Slash, Fitzy and I locked in a room without sunlight or even the hint of a window volleying music back and forth to one another until it begins to form a solid arrangement. I think we’ve gotten quite skilled at this. I think we had a knack for it the first time we attempted this 2 years ago. It’s something we’ve all been doing all of our lives. Now we do this together.

    The riffs are strong and unrelenting. For my part I find myself referencing John Paul Jones and Bob Daisley. For the uninitiated that would be mean there are hints of Zeppelin and early Ozzy in there but that’s only by my subjective placement within this machine.
    It always starts as a living, breathing foundation for Myles Kennedy to do what he does so very well on top. He turns riffs and grooves into songs. He is a magician, an artisan at this as shown on the new Alter Bridge album which is stellar.

    I can’t be sure when Myles will actually be in the same room as us. December perhaps? He is on the road. It would seem he is always on the road. Perpetually so. He should be commended for his intense resilience. He has gone from recording studio to the road to recording studio to the road to recording studio to the road ad nauseam for the past almost 4 years. A schedule like this could crush a lesser man. It has crushed me, to be honest. I am still putting myself back together from 3 1/2 years of intense work. This past few months has been the closest to a holiday I’ve ever had.

    Over the past 4 years I have been a part of 3 Sinners releases, 2 Slash Albums, a Slash dvd, my solo album plus an EP and the countless shows within all of that. That’s a pretty intense output for such a short time. AND it continues!

    Much has happened since I last checked in. So much that as I sit down to write this it’s all a bit of a blur. I should start making up adventures to see if anyone calls me on them. Espionage, intrigue. I could make things even more interesting than they already are.

    I did my last solo show on Labor Day and it was, again, another magical night. I am still reeling from the fact that people know the words to these songs now. The first show I played, the cd release show, was an amazing night with friends from both near and so very far. This time was intense as people knew all the words and sang them as loud as they could. It is always a surreal thing when words you have scratched onto a little note pad are suddenly sung back to you. It is bizarre and extremely touching.

    Another night with a couple of Sinners to help me flesh out This Changes Everything and Nothing Personal plus the Conspirators to indulge me in playing We Are The Champions for the amazing Karen Wheeler and even Stairway To Heaven. I figured enough time has passed that Stairway should be celebrated again. There was a time where that was a terrible crime to play such a song as it had been so overplayed. I like to do something unexpected. That song was anything but expected.

    Like I said, an amazing night. Truly. I don’t know how many nights like this one can have in one’s life but I’m happy to have had yet another. I cannot thank those that made it so special enough. I’m excited to do another.

    The entire experience was recorded and filmed. I still haven’t wrapped my head around the film side but the audio will be released before the end of the year as a downloadable live album called ‘Confessional:Live In Vegas’ as a thank you/Xmas gift to those who have supported the pledge campaign since its inception. I’m excited for this to see the light of day. I hope you all enjoy listening as much as those of us who were there enjoyed being a part of it.

    I ran off to Canada to enjoy some time before winter comes. That sounds so ominous. Like Game Of Thrones or something. Winter is coming! It’s true. Nice to visit before it gets cold. I got to see my brother, John from Age Of Electric, play and was reminded that he will always be the better bass player. There is a part of me that has always wanted to reform The Age Of Electric just so everyone else could be reminded of this as well.

    By chance Slash came to Toronto for the initial screening of his film, Nothing Left To Fear, so I joined him on this adventure. It was good to see him as it had been a little while. We caught up and then enjoyed his movie. There were some technical difficulties which are not uncommon when screening a brand new project. I enjoyed it very much and was knocked out by the mere fact that Slash had followed through on such an immense project from the ground up and now it exists. It is a complete and finished film. And it’s good too. He is very into this phase of his career and life. The film business is very much a part of his day to day life now. He came to rehearsal after a meeting with the Bad Robot folks. That’s JJ Abrams’ company. I can’t tell you how envious I was that he got to be in the inner sanctum where the new Star Wars is coming to life.

    After a restful trip to Canada we were in talks to begin pre production in LA for the new Conspirators album. To be honest we had been talking about getting together for about a month before we actually did. Slash is a machine. He was ready to start rehearsing July 26th, the day after the last show of the Apocalyptic Love tour. Management had to remind him that he had an intense schedule of work to promote and support Nothing Left To Fear. Slash and Myles appeared on Conan to play the title track while Slash sat with Conan and chatted as well.
    We are currently sitting on about a half an album’s worth of material at the moment. We are still trying to formulate the plan as to where we are going to record the new album. There was a brief time where it looked like we might do it in Vegas which woulda be rad but that didn’t pan out. It looked like we might even go to Florida to do it but I’m not sure where that’s sitting. I would assume that the lion’s share of this record will be recorded in Los Angeles. It would seem weird to do it anywhere else to be honest.

    Just this past weekend I played my first show with the Sin City Sinners since January. People are constantly asking when I will be back with the Sinners or if I’ve quit the Sinners etc.
    The truth be told I will always be a Sin City Sinner. There is no real leaving such a thing. Brent Muscat and I formed that band 6 years ago. I named it. We nurtured it with fun and hard work from the dirtiest little punk rock bar in the city to some of the most posh settings Vegas has to offer. Faces have come and gone and yet it continues to this day without any signs of stopping.
    This past Saturday was the reunion of the Exile Of Fremont Street lineup which is not the ‘original’ lineup but may as well be. Doctor Ellis is, in fact, the band’s 3rd bass player and Rob Cournoyer is actually the 2nd drummer though he has been there long enough to be deemed original by anyone’s standards. That said this lineup was the lineup that lasted the longest and created Exile On Fremont Street and the Broken Record EP.

    I have to say the night was amazing. I had been off stage for a bit so it felt good to get up there. I also had not played loud and plugged in for some time as well so, again, it felt amazing to crank it out with my brothers in Sin.

    With zero rehearsal we pounded out a tight set of good fun just like the old days. With so much down time I had a lot of pent up nonsense to get out so I found myself rambling on the microphone in attempts to crack up my bandmates. That’s one of the best things about the Sinners is how much fun it is. It’s Vegas. It’s fun. I look forward to the next time and I assure you there will be a next time.

    The following night I did a not so secret acoustic set opening for my bros, the Underground Rebels. I’ve known the Rebels from Canada and we have always been in and out of each other’s business. I asked them to open my two acoustic shows and told them I’d return the favor when they released their cd. So I did!

    Was a great night. Dirk Vermin from the A&E show Bad Ink (though he will always be from the legendary The Vermin to me) played with the Rebels, as did Lez from the Electric era of The Cult. On top of my acoustic set I did two songs with the Rebels that I sang on their new cd. The cd is great. Check it out. Really strong songwriting from these guys. Great night. Thank you to all who came to support.

    So that brings us to now. The closing of 2013 will find us locked away creating music as it should be. I’m hoping to get up to some other shows before the end of the year schedule permitting.

    Still chipping away on what will become the book. That is a never ending project as what I’m writing RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOMENT will end up in some publication at some point.
    The live album will be out in November/December.Stay tuned for that.

    The vinyl version of Borrowing Trouble will finally present itself in November which will make for a nice little pre Xmas treat for everyone. If anyone had told me how long vinyl would take I would have adjusted plans. Apparently this is quite common. Who knew? My apologies for the long wait and my great thanks for your patience.

    With winter upon us we finally have the much desired hoodies over at www.toddkerns.com Check it out. Makes a great gift, don’t it. I don’t even have one yet. I gotta get on that!

    hoodie

    As I’ve mentioned before 2014 will be the 10 year anniversary of my first solo album Go Time! There are very interesting things cooking up to commemorate that so stay tuned. More on that soon.

    Alright. Gonna try and catch a couple hours shut eye before returning to the rock mines. That’s a deep, dark, cavernous mine where we dig up rock. The music kind not the mineral.

    Until next time, planet Earth-
    Live Long And Prosper
    May The Force Be With You
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • Shatner, Courtney, Ginger, Affleck, Conspirators, Sinners and Rebels

    August 26 2013
    The Fortress Of Solitude, North Pole

    Just woke up to a video of a dude named Ohyn from the UK playing my song, Nothing Personal, on Twitter. It’s a bizarre thing hearing something you came up with being reinterpreted. Thank you so much, Ohyn. That is a great honor. I’m honored that anyone likes anything I do enough to even spend time listening let alone taking the time to learn the words and chords. Music is a fascinating thing that way. You can go to the other side of the world and share nothing in common with a person but music. I suppose that’s true of someone down your own block. You could be politically diametrically opposed but realize you both love AC/DC. Maybe the Middle East needs more Rock N Roll. What would there be to fight about once both sides of that coin discover The Ramones?

    It has been about a month since the last show of the Apocalyptic Love tour which ended at Las Vegas’ House Of Blues. An epic night as I’ve mentioned before. Since then I’ve been to Canada, to Vegas, to LA and all points between. Very necessary for the brain to find other things to focus on. I’ve been going through my old blogs with the intention to compile them for a book. A lot of it has been a trip cuz it all seems like just yesterday. The past three and a half years have blown by so fast that the passage of time goes largely unnoticed.
    This very passage I’m writing here will probably end up in the book. The follow up book will begin with the making of the next album.

    Fitzy and I took in a Star Trek convention which we will do on occasion. I’ve explained in the past how much I love the world of Gene Roddenberry. It was an amazing day as a lady simply came and brought us backstage to meet William Shatner. Of course, Shatner is the biggest of the big within the Star Trek world. Sure you may dig Nimoy or Patrick Stewart more but Shatner is the Elvis, Mohammed and Ghandi of Star Trek.

    Just before Bill took the stage to do his thing he came over and shook our hands. The man is a dynamo. He is constantly moving. I will never have his energy. I don’t have it now.
    It was an extremely big deal for me. He has been a hero since I was a little boy. Another hero checked off my list. Life is funny.

    My dear friend, Ginger Wildheart, is another human dynamo. He is constantly moving like a great white shark. Just as he releases a cd he has another one coming down the pipeline or he’s on tour with his solo band or he has reunited The Wildhearts for a series of shows or, out of nowhere, he’s playing guitar for Courtney Love. I’m convinced he has clones. I’m thinking at least 2 clones to maintain this workload. I think they are all wired to one another because they all retain the same memories. Whether with a close or the original copy he is never anything but gracious.

    His manager, the amazing Gav McCaughey, contacted me and said that Ginger would be in Vegas with Courtney later in August so I was more than prepared to come watch the show. I have long been a supporter of the whirlwind known as Courtney Love. A lot of people never got it but I thought that Live Through This was one of the strongest albums of the 90s. She has one of those voices that can go from very delicate to tearing the skin from your face. I was there through Celebrity Skin and through the solo album, America’s Sweetheart, and on to the most recent Hole album, Nobody’s Daughter.

    While her erratic behavior seemed to scare people away it, for some reason, just drew me in even more. She really is one of the last rock stars that way. It doesn’t seem an act to me like drunk kids breaking a lamp in their luxury suite. Oh no! No, I get the impression that Courtney’s behavior is so much more damaging. Probably at the risk of herself and those she cares about. But she’s a big girl and she, like all of us, is accountable for her own actions.

    I’m disappointed that she felt the need to attach the name Hole to her last album without anyone from the band included. It’s a Billy Corgan move to simply replace everyone and carry on with the name that has more value than as a solo artist. People tried to make me do that with The Age Of Electric back in the day. I wasn’t having any of it.
    If Courtney wants it to be Hole she should call up Eric and make it happen. I’d be there. I think a lot of people would.

    But anyway…Courtney has a proper solo band and our old pal, Ginger, is playing guitar for her. How this came about is beyond me. I don’t know where the connection came from or how it all fell into place. I just came in midstream and enjoy the ride.
    Gav wrote me and said that the opening act has fallen through and Ginger is going to open the show doing his songs acoustically and would I like to join him. Ginger does acoustic shows in England and there are like 5 or 6 guys on stage playing his songs. It’s funny. It turns into a hippy commune of Ginger-dom.

    I, of course, am an invested enthusiast and know a giant chunk of Ginger’s music. Gave knows me so well. I’m the guy to call in this situation. So what started out as coming up and playing a song or two turned into doing the whole set together.

    What a blast. I did both nights at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Casino. Got to meet Miss Courtney and played Ginger music. The first night I wore a Bloody Villains tee shirt. Bloody Villains was my dearly departed friend, Greg Verdusco’s band. He was a huge Ginger fan so I wanted to share that with him. Beyond that Ginger and I played Answering Machine by The Replacements which was Greg’s favorite band so it all felt very apropos.

    Speaking of which The Replacements played their first show in twenty some years in Toronto yesterday. What a trip. This is yet another thing that Greg would have loved. It seems so bizarre for this to happen when Greg isn’t here to see it. I have a feeling he is more than aware of it, might even have had something to do with it happening from the great beyond. Anchorman 2 is another thing he is missing that would have meant the world to him. Star Wars Episodes 7, 8, 9 too.

    At any rate he was with me in my heart and on my mind.
    Always a blast playing with Ginger. That friendship will sprout something someday. The two of us vibrate at very similar frequencies or at least our frequencies accommodate one another very well.

    On Saturday I sang on the upcoming covers album for the Sinners. I sang Search And Destroy by The Stooges which is a song we actually did back in the Dive Bar days. It was a good day. I have traveled the universe and back but these guys will always be family. I may not be around enough to play Vegas but the Sinners will always be around.
    I need no rehearsal. I know Search And Destroy like the back of my hand. I simply walked in and sang. I was out in minimal time. Zach and I sang some harmonies for the impending Sinners Christmas 2. Good fun.

    There has been much talk of Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman. Must be a slow news week. I love how passionate we are about a fictional character. It really is fascinating. I don’t really know how I feel about Ben as Batman. I mean I definitely wasn’t feeling the Ben of old. The Bennifer days were insufferable. Slowly he began redeeming himself with The Town or eventually Argo. I would have preferred a relative unknown a la Henry Cavill but then again I do remember some people being weird about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker.
    I’m not defending this move. I understand Warner Brothers safe betting on a proven star but I don’t know that it was the best. Christian Bale was and is a proven avant garde actor. A proper ‘actor’. When he steps into a role he seems to become the character where Ben tends to be Ben in whatever he plays.

    That said, it is a comic book. Christopher Nolan was such a rare gem. He took the Batman franchise exactly where it needed to go. Now that he is gone we are left to the danger of Joel Schumacher-isms. We cross our fingers and hope for the best.

    I don’t know why but Marvel just seems to get it more. To make smarter moves. Taking a wild bet on the comeback of Robert Downey Jr or casting relative unknowns like Chris Hemsworth or the tried and true Chris Evans seemed all genius moves but they are all rolls of the dice that may or may not pay off. The Avengers can do no wrong it would seem. I thought Iron Man 3 wasn’t the strongest but it did mega numbers. A lot of that has to be attributed to the charisma of Downey.

    Someday I’ll look back at this blog and by then I’ll know how that all worked out. People think Affleck would freak out at all the negative press but that giant check from Warner softens that blow just fine. Warner also loves all this free press negative or not. It does nothing but attract attention to a project that all of us are going to see anyway. Complain or not we are going to see it. It’s that simple.
    See you in the summer of 2015 Ben Affleck/Batman. Star Wars Episode 7 is going to be the stiffest competition imaginable.

    Nothing makes me happier than seeing Borrowing Trouble and Near Life Experience arriving for everyone. It has taken entirely too long but it is finally making its way into the hands and ears of all the people who made it possible. As always my only hope is that you enjoy it and get something out of it. As I watch Ginger crank out cd after cd after cd it awakens a part of me that wants to dig in all over again and crank bust out another one for you. But it is important to me to let Borrowing Trouble have it’s time to take seed and grow on its own before making that next step. That will definitely happen but not until 2015 or so. For now I have the next Conspirators album to focus on!
    The vinyl is still on its way. Again, I blame my intense sense of perfection but I want it to be right for your ears and eyes. It’s coming. Nothing cooler than you receiving your discs and then the vinyl following shortly thereafter. Can’t wait to get that to you. I appreciate your continued patience. Coming soon!

    The show at Vamp’d in Las Vegas is exactly one week away now. I’m starting to get very excited to play again. It will be exactly three months since the last Borrowing Trouble show and about 5 or 6 weeks since the last Conspirators show. That’s a long time to be off stage. Especially for me. Luckily my pal, Ginger, had me up for a couple of nights to feed the monster inside of me.

    For the show you can expect some of the same and a whole lot of new since the last show. There will be The Underground Rebels opening. There will be Conspirators and Sinners on stage. I plan to play a lot of songs that did not get played last time including most of Borrowing Trouble and a mix of other songs that I can’t believe I didn’t play last time. In a funny way I feel much more confident about this show as the music has been floating around out there for a little longer. It’s more familiar to everyone and can be enjoyed all the more.

    The last show was one of the most magical nights of my career and this one promises to be equally so. If not more so.
    The show is being recorded so I’m encouraging everyone to sing at the top of their lungs and have themselves immortalized on future live releases. I plan to keep the momentum of music moving forward ‘til the end of time now.

    I have every intention of bringing this show beyond the great city of Las Vegas. There are plans falling into place that are too premature to get into but I hope to bring this music as far as I can. More on that as it develops. It’s gonna be a blast. Music is a beautiful thing. A song written one day can live on and become something totally different ten years later. Look at a song like It’s Not You It’s Me.

    Speaking of which 2014 is the 10 year anniversary of Go Time! and I am working on releasing a special edition next year. There are also plans to release a special package of the Static In Stereo cd. There is a full album’s worth of material for Go Time! to get out there and probably as much SIS stuff too. Music never dies. It lives long after the person who created it. Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, their music keeps going and going and going. I hope to be a fraction as lucky as them to have my music floating around out there long after I’m gone.

    I think I’ve yakked enough here. So just to reiterate- Shatner, Courtney, Ginger, Sinners, Affleck, book, Go Time! Reissue, SIS reissue and… Borrowing Trouble!
    Most importantly and immediate another celebration at Vamp’d on Labor Day Monday September 2nd with The Conspirators, Sin City Sinners and The Underground Rebels plus a few surprises. I’m super stoked.
    I really hope to see you there. Please come say HI!

    Big Big BIG LOVE
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit