• 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).

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    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



  • Back to the DAMMIT-Cave

    August 7 2013
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    As I look back on the past 3 1/2 years it is a blur. A blur of flashing color and bright light. I never knew what to expect signing on for a term on Slash’s interstellar starship but it has taken me around the world multiple times, into the stratosphere and beyond the milky way.
    And though there is much fan fare about endings and moving on and stopping it does none of that. Nothing ever stops. Especially the Conspirators.

    Already the waters, just stilled, are stirring. As if one storm is survived only to prepare for the next. And that, brothers and sisters, is just the way I like it.

    Though we head underground there is much activity in our seeming absence. Work is commencing sooner than I imagined. Writing sooner. Recording sooner. A new album sooner It will seem an eternity but it will be here before you know it. Myles will be on Planet Alter Bridge and the rest of us will be writing and demoing. Myles will be in and out, as he usually is, and lo and behold there will be a new record in our midst.

    And it’s gonna be a good one. We are all focused on blowing Apocalyptic Love out of the water. A bigger, heavier record. I, for one, can’t wait.

    I’m just back from Vancouver where I attended my brother, Ryan’s wedding. Ryan, the guitar player for Static In Stereo. Co-writer of some of my fave’s like No Reply and Blow Up Doll. He’s always been the most sensible Kerns brother. And the wildest in his own way. I welcome his bride, Shelly, into our coven.

    Now I’m here in Vegas for a few days overseeing the shipping of the long overdue Borrowing Trouble cds. These will be in the system before the weekend. I apologize for your long wait. Your patience means the world to me. I only hope you enjoy the album as much as I enjoyed creating it. It has been one of the great pleasures of my life.
    Then I’m off to another wedding Thursday, then Friday in LA at Chris Stein from Blondie’s photography show (Debbie will be there!), then the Roger Daltrey concert Saturday. Looking forward to all that. Then I will find some new adventure to jump into.

    I last checked in from Denver, Colorado where we were simply chillin’ for a travel day off. That means we had such a far drive we landed in Denver for our bus drivers to sleep and for us to wander aimlessly. We celebrated Slash’s birthday in Denver. Some surprise friends showed up including our old pal, Clifton Collins Jr, who joined us in viewing Pacific Rim, a film he is IN. I had to laugh to myself sitting in a Denver movie theater full of people unaware that one of the guys on the screen was sitting amongst them. Slash, Myles and some Conspirators too for that matter!

    We ate ourselves stupid and had a blast with our crew and friends while showering the top hatted one with gift after gift. He’s not one to attract this kind of attention and I think we all enjoyed making him kind of uncomfortable. In the nicest way possible, of course.

    From Denver we hopped the bus with some extra friends for the long trip to Utah. Park City to be more exact. A long drive filled with watching the Evil Dead remake complete with Clifton’s commentary to bring some levity.

    Park City is a lovely little community reminiscent of Aspen. Our show there was mental. Once again with our pals, Hillbilly Herald. It was an interesting venue with our dressing rooms located in a house next door. In fact the entire house was ours to do with as we saw fit.
    The crowd was great. Always nice to see a DAMMIT shirt or two out there! I want to thank all of you who show up in DAMMIT shirts at our shows. It means the world to me and I wish I could thank each of you personally but, of course, this machine moves so fast I rarely have time to do so. So THANK YOU and BIG LOVE!

    We had a blast in Park City. Lovely city, great crowd. See you next year!

    There is only one word I can use to describe our first ever headlining show in Las Vegas and that word is triumphant. It was the perfect end to a mythical journey to furthest reaches of space and back. For me it was the full circle of beginning my journey in Vegas, landing in Los Angeles, flying around the world a few times and landing back where I began. This time returning with the scars of war like trophies or medals. Hardened and battle ready. Taking that stage knowing that those who came for a casual evening of music were to be taken by their jugulars and shaken free of their comfort zone. Unless your comfort zone is the killing floor of Rock n Roll like mine.
    It was odd to reach my new home of Las Vegas and sleep in my bed with my head still ‘on the road’ while resting upon MY pillow.

    The House Of Blues show in Las Vegas was one of the most important shows of my life. It was the culmination of agonizing yet rewarding hard work. To land there and play to all those familiar faces who had so many questions about where I’d vanished to all these years and why. I believe most of those questions would have been answered before the opening song, Halo, was finished. We had been to war. We had conquered every corner of the Earth. I have nearly lost an eye along the way. I have blown out two knees, crippled my feet, wrenched my back and tweaked my neck but I am here and I am out for blood. Las Vegas is my home and it felt good to know that even if it was the last night of the tour we played like it was the last of our life. I would have pitied any band that would have followed us though none ever could. I left blood on the stage that night. I left all of me there. I was an empty bag of bones with nothing left to give afterward.

    It was all simulcast online. I have seen some but I rarely watch live footage anymore. I sometimes watch if it’s something I’ve not seen us do before like We Will Roam just to see how it’s sounding. I assume the video of this show will surface somewhere sometime. Dvd perhaps? I dunno. I sure hope so. It was a magical night.

    A lot of people would think we should have guests or surprises for our final show of the tour but not us. We simply sharpened our weapons and went out there and did what we do the best we can do it. The music itself is always the focus. It is always the most important thing. No screens, no pyro, no fireworks, no pre recorded backing tracks, no horn section or background singers just real music played by red blooded, living, breathing men.

    It was really heartwarming to see so many faces out there. It really meant the world to me. It felt like coming home.
    I can’t understate how important of a night it was for me.
    People came all the way from Australia for it. That is not to be taken lightly. That’s the other side of the planet!

    David Koechner came from LA for the show. He’s Champ Kind from Anchorman. I never got to see him but I was stoked to know he was there. I am soooo stoked for Anchorman 2! But I digress… After the show I got to say hi to friends which added to the amazing homecoming feel of the evening. Unfortunately the celebration would be cut short for me. I had an early flight to be part of my brother’s wedding. Which was fine with me. I would sooner leave the party early than overstay my welcome.

    So then I was off to my beloved Canada for the wedding, time with my family and basic relaxation. Well, the best I can relax anyway. My mind is already reeling about the book that these blogs will be compiled into, the next Conspirators record and the next solo record which I’m already well into having written. It will be the heaviest solo record yet. For now the record is simply to be titled DAMMIT. Probably not until 2015 at this point. We’ll see…First the book, then the Conspirators record. So much to look forward to. I also still have every intention of getting the Bloody Villains EP finished before the end of the year. As you may remember the Villains were my dearly departed friend, Greg Verdusco’s band and they whupped ass!

    So as quickly as it started it’s over. No more tour bus. No more deli trays. No more guest lists. No more room service.
    Not sure how I feel about any of that. There is a weird phenomenon that occurs where you can’t wait to get home once you’ve been on the road for a while and then once home for a while you cannot wait to return to the road. Like a pirate’s call to the sea! A pirate’s life for me.

    So here I am. Currently home at Dammit Manor, or Disgraceland if you like. Shipping of Borrowing Trouble is underway as I write this. To be honest I didn’t trust any of it to go on in my absence and made the difficult decision that I would make my kind and understanding friends wait til I returned for shipping rather than having it done incorrectly while I was away. I’m not as hands on as it sounds but at the same time I do my best to oversee everything as it is.

    My biggest concern has always been everyone getting what they asked for and this will happen come hell or high water. There are guitars to ship and Skype calls to make in the coming weeks. This Pledge experience has been a very enlightening one.

    Two of my current favorite albums are CJ Ramone’s Reconquista and Ginger Wildheart’s Hey! Hello both on Pledge.
    Hey Hey My My Rock And Roll Will Never Die!

    I cannot thank you all for being a part of this journey with me. It has only barely begun. There will be new things to look forward to. Just wait and see!
    I am close to a special announcement right around the corner. I’m biting my tongue (or my keyboard) at the moment but within in the next week I will open my big mouth. Stay tuned.

    Well, that’s all for now. Though the Apocalyptic Love chapter is to a close the book continues to be written.
    Life is a river and though we pull our paddles into the boat the river still carries us where it will. I have asked the river to carry me a while until I’m ready to put my paddle back in take over. That won’t be long.

    A dear old friend, Sxully, passed away last week. It was a shock to us all. Far too young. Sxully did all the artwork for Five Finger Death Punch and was in an amazing band called Uzi Suzi from Winnipeg that was wayyy ahead of the curve back in the day. We had fallen out of touch as adulthood sometimes causes and I regret that. He was a great spirit and a bundle of creative energy. I’m thinking of him a lot these days.

    My heart goes out to the people of Russia who face persecution for being gay. We have taken so many steps forward that we take it for granted. The color of your skin, your beliefs or who you choose to love is no one’s business especially your government. We still have so far to go. It’s heartbreaking but we must stay hopeful that others will follow our lead. It’s 2013 for God’s sake. It is the 21st century. The future is here. The future is now.
    Love.
    Don’t hate.
    Love is far more powerful.
    Big love to you, my brothers and sisters of this big green and blue ball we call home.
    Thank you for your support all these years.
    Let me leave you with a line from a kid named Todd Kerns from a song called Supersize in 2004- “Now here I go again with an army of new friends and we’ll still be here while your heroes fade away”
    That sentiment is stronger than ever almost 10 years later. An ever-growing army of new friends and we aren’t going anywhere. We are here for the long haul.

    Next I’ll be checking in from the limbo between shows and recording. I’ll be floating around. Filled with the helium of the ‘in between’.
    The Todd Dammit uniform gets put away in the Dammit-cave and I resume my secret identity as Todd Kerns, mild mannered get about. Don’t tell anyone. That’s between you and me. I know my secret is safe with you.

    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • Doors Closing Windows Opening

    Denver, Colorado, USA
    July 23 2013

    So much has transpired on this tour that I should be chastised for not checking in sooner. No one to chastise me but me and that’s just weird.

    Did 14 hours on the steel horse (tour bus-thank the poet, Jon Bon Jovi, for that one) from St Louis to Denver and that is an incomplete trip. We are only here to break up the trip to Utah. Madness, I tell you.

    Last night part of the gang went out to dinner the other part went to see the horror film, The Conjuring. I decided to stay in, order room service and check in with you lot. Being a night off if I didn’t check in more would transpire that I will report foggily on and that’s not good. I’m foggy enough as is.

    I’m a big movie guy, as most of you know, but I just am not all that excited about seeing The Conjuring. I like me a horror movie but I find most modern horror films just aren’t what they are supposed to be-Scary! Sure they are gnarly but I’m just not that interested in watching people get tortured. I miss The Exorcist, The Shining, the Romero movies, the original Evil Dead etc etc. Once in a while they come up with something cool but for the most part I find myself feeling like I was on an unsatisfying roller coaster by the end credits. I hear good things about this one but I don’t know…

    Today we are going to Pacific Rim which is obvious summer movie fare. Kind of a must see on the big screen kinda movie. On top of the fact that we’ll be seeing it with one of the film’s actors. A friend of ours is coming as a surprise for Slash’s birthday and since this blog won’t be posted til later today I guess I can mention at least that.

    We are celebrating Slash’s birthday today. That will be fun. I don’t even remember my last birthday. Weird. The one before that we were recording Apocalyptic Love and I didn’t do a damn thing for it. We’ll make sure Slash’s is a little more memorable than that.

    When last I checked in we were getting ready to do the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Michigan which turned out to be a lot of fun. Our good friends the great, Canadian Monster Truck were there and literally tore the roof off the place (figuratively, of course. There’s no roof at festivals). You gotta see these guys if you haven’t. Just great meat and potatoes Rock N Roll. Very classic but very contemporary at the same time. Really an amazing band. They make me proud to be Canadian.

    Sevendust were great as always. One of the true road warrior bands. Great buncha people in that camp.

    The show was stellar for us. Michigan is one of the great Rock and Roll spots in America. I have bootleg shows from the 70s of KISS in Lansing. Look at what came from Michigan-from Seger to the MC5 to the Stooges to the White Stripes to Alice Cooper and even Kid Rock to Eminem. A fertile ground of music.

    See you in 2014, Michigan. Thanks for the good times!

    From there we made our way to the great city of Dallas, Texas to be part of Gigantour featuring a host of the loudest of the loud.

    I started my day enjoying the mighty return of Jason Newsted’s new group entitled simply Newsted. Good, straight up, old school thrash metal in the vein of say…old school Metallica? I have to say, as a bass player, Jason is a big influence on me. I watched his entire set and hoped to get a chance to say hi but, alas, it was not meant to be.

    Jason had Mike Mushok from Staind playing guitar who stood side stage and watched our entire set. That was cool of him. I didn’t get a chance to meet him either but I recognized him.
    I watched all of Hell Yeah’s set from side stage. Vinnie Paul is still one of the best metal drummers of all time. On top of that he’s a great man and a good friend. I never need to remind myself that he is a legend. Especially around parts like Texas. He is royalty. Vinnie also stood side stage and watched our whole set.

    David Draiman’s side band, Device, played after but I missed them. I was busy being entertained by Nick and JD from BLS as they recounted their favorite scenes from the hockey film, Slap Shot. Highly recommended if you haven’t seen it. Draiman of course is the lead singer from Disturbed. I hear they were great.

    BLS was up next but we were distracted getting ready for our set. Quick catch up with That Metal Show’s Jim Florentine who is a great guy and it was suddenly time to go on. We had visits from Sean and Dave Ellefson from Megadeth before taking the stage. I know Dave Ellefson from his sitting in with the Sinners a few years back. He is a true gentleman and I’m really happy to see him back where he belongs-in Megadeth.

    Our set was intense and sweaty. It was a quick one hour set but I still got to sing Alibi and Jungle. Slash likes to keep things heavy when we are sandwiched between BLS and Megadeth. Understandably! The Texas metal crowds are insane. What a great time.

    Megadeth took the stage and had a jam session with Slash, Zakk, Newsted, Draiman and Vinnie doing Cold Sweat by Thin Lizzy. It was an epic thing to witness. Made me happy to be able to enjoy that as intimately as I did.

    Afterward we had a great hang with Vinny and the Hell Yeah guys. Those guys live hard and big. God bless ‘em.

    Thanks for such a great time, Texas. See you in ’14!

    Next up was our own, full, 2 hour show in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Joint in the Hard Rock Casino. Oddly familiar considering how much time I’ve spent in the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.

    Our pals, Hillbilly Herald, opened and always do a great job of riling the crowd up.
    It’s always nice to do the full 2 hour plus show. You get the full arc, the full dynamic of that size of a show. The highs, the lows. Entirely too much fun. The Tulsa crowd was amazing.
    Thank you, Tulsa. See you next year!

    Next up was Gilford, New Hampshire with the mighty Def Leppard. I really had no idea what to expect from Def Leppard. I’d last seen them when I was but a lad during their Pyromania tour. That is a looooong time ago. About 30 years, in fact. Jesus. Wow. That’s crazy. They were, of course, awesome back then. They were the hot new kids on the block. Skinny, young, full of energy. Rick still had 2 arms and Steve Clarke was still alive. The ‘new’ guy, Phil Collen, had just taken over for, original guitar player, Pete Willis. Their High And Dry record was a fave of my friends and I. Like a lost AC/DC album. Mutt Lange took these young upstarts and turned them into a well oiled machine. By the time they got to Pyromania they were reinventing the wheel completely. I really believe that that record opened the doors in a big way for 80s metal. Suddenly metal was on the radio. Clearly they have made their mark and continue to work and deliver.

    That said, they had been off my grid for some time. When the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas announced Def Leppard as their new residency I didn’t know what to think. They had had Motley and Axl’s band do it previously and now Def Leppard. I was taken aback by the amount of excitement surrounding their arrival. Awesome to see people excited about their arrival. I never saw their performance there but from all reports it was a giant success.

    So I went into this show with no expectations whatsoever. I had nothing but respect for the guys and what they’d achieved. Immediately I was shocked how forthcoming and friendly they were. Rick Allen was the first to come say hello and a nicer fella he couldn’t have been. Joe Elliot, at 6’3″, at least, is a big, boisterous personality and immediately makes you feel you are round the pub with lads having a laugh. They made such a point to make sure we were comfortable and that is never usually the case when you are opening for someone. Of course, it helps when Slash is the guitar player in your band. Joe had gone off to South Africa with Slash and Myles recently to play some shows so they all have a great friendship going on.

    I spoke with Phil Collen and Joe about how in their Vegas show they opened for themselves. They called themselves Dead Flat Birds and played deep Def Leppard cuts which I’d like to have seen. I asked if they were good to their opening act and they jokingly told of how they gave the opening act little stage room and limited lights. Funny stuff.

    Our set was great. We played a limited set which was quick and to the point. I got to scream Welcome To The Jungle which was especially fun to yell it at the people who didn’t feel like standing. I think I did a pretty good job of scaring them to their feet.

    Watching Def Leppard were very inspiring. They were rock solid, tight as hell and high energy. I was knocked out at how professional they were yet it didn’t have that ‘going through the motions’ thing you see in highly rehearsed acts. I have to admit they made a renewed fan out of me. I hope I’m still half as good as them in 10 years!

    photo copy 3a

    So then we were off to lovely Bethlehem, PA. Lovely little quaint place. A lot of our New York and Jersey friends came out to visit including the great Eddie Trunk. It’s amazing to see Eddie’s rise to fame. A guy who loves music so much he gets into radio then some stuff at VH1 and now he has a world renowned show in That Metal Show which is a show that basically shows what me and my friends have been doing for years. Sitting around talking about music. This is why Eddie and I get along so well. We can sit and talk rock for hours. Fitz is in there too. Eddie is an amazing guy and a great supporter of music. He just texted me moments ago to let me know he received his copy of Borrowing Trouble and will listen to it soon. Hopefully he enjoys it.

    Bethlehem was another full 2 hour show with Hillbilly Herald opening. An epic evening which found Far And Away making an appearance in the set. Slash is good at knowing what to add and what to take out based on when we were recently in the area and what we played last time.
    Afterwards was one of those marathon after show hangs with so many good people to say hello to. I am always shattered after a show so people probably think I’m tipsy. I don’t know any other way than to give 110 % and in doing so I’m usually a disaster after. I pull it together enough to say hello then I am off to the bus to veg out to a movie. Those party days are behind me. The party for me is on the stage. It always has been.

    That was an amazing show. Always good to see Eddie and his assistant Katy. Great great people. Make me miss NYC. Hope to be back there sometime for vacay!

    Then we found ourselves back in the orbit of our new friends, Def Leppard. This time I got to say a quick hello to Vivian Campbell who replaced the dearly departed Steve Clarke. Steve was my fave with the low slung Les Paul. Viv has been the ‘new guy’ for about 20 years or so. Viv is going through a tough time facing health stuff but you’d never know it. He seems strong as an ox. I’m pulling for him. I hope everything turns out great.

    I had a great conversation with Joe Elliot about his side project he and Phil had with Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodsmany, who were David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars back in the day. Joe took my address right then and there and has since emailed me about sending me all the cds they did together. What a gent. I mean he’s true to his word. “I’ll send em to ya” and sure enough that’s just what he did. This is what I mean by what amazing guys they are. They were super complementary about our show and Myles and I singing together. The Def Leppard guys are no slouches themselves. They have no vocals on tape and everyone knows those Def Leppard harmonies are huge. They are all really great singers. Anyway enough of my gushing.
    Our set was a blast. Jimmy Webb from New York City’s greatest store, Trash and Vaudeville, came out for the day and rocked out with us. He’s more rockstar than I’ll ever be.
    Our set was another short but sweet one. We tore the lid off the place and then Def Leppard tore the place to the ground. It was an amazing night. I hope this won’t be the last time we cross paths. The only one I did not meet was Rick Savage.

    I have to admit it was weird playing our show and looking over and seeing Rick Allen, Phil Collen and Joe Elliot watching us. I mean I remember those faces from the earliest days of MTV. Crazy. Great buncha dudes.

    This is truly growing into an epic affair isn’t it. I never mean for these to turn into War And Peace. It’s my belief that people should read more. I will only date a reader. And not of, like, Cosmo or something…

    What an interesting mix of acts on our next bill in Walker, Minnesota. Bachman and Turner (I don’t know what they did with the Overdrive) and Blue Oyster Cult. Wow. I never got to see either band but that woulda been a blast from the past. We didn’t even go on until 11 at night which is late for a festival. We played into the wee hours tearing up that vast Minnesota sky. Great crowd. Really great show.

    Next up was probably the biggest show of the tour for us because we would be back on the same stage as KISS again. We hadn’t been on the same stage as them since Germany and Spain in 2010. This was gonna be a fun day.

    Gene Simmons’ tech, Jason, took me around and showed me all Gene’s gear. Got to see all his Punisher basses included the chromed out one as well as the Axe basses included an all gold one. Always a thrill for me to get to walk around the play field of the Gods. Got me some guitar picks and got out of the way. Thanks a lot, Jason. That was a real trip!

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    I watched Hell Yeah again in the punishing sun. Those guys killed it. Always good to watch the great Vinny Paul play!

    We were up next and played another half show for us which was a blast. It’s always interesting taking the stage while the sun is still up. Puts a whole new perspective on things. By the time our set was done the sun was gone and the stage was set for an evening of rock. We had a blast. Good, sweaty rock n roll fun!

    I can’t tell you what a trip it is to look over and see Gene and Paul watching you play. That blew my mind. I have to admit I dug a little deeper just for their pleasure. Eric was very kind about me singing lead vocals. He’s always been encouraging that way. I actually think he’s a great singer too. For a lifelong KISS fan this is a big deal.

    While Megadeth played we were visited by the great Doc McGhee. He is currently KISS’ manager but over the years he has managed everyone. He brought to the world groups like Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. He has seen and done it all. He is an exceptionally gracious man and said, ‘come get your picture with the guys’ and so we did. Frank, who was raised a lifelong Alice Cooper fan, had never had a KISS photo. I rectified that. The funny thing was we were just hanging out and then just landed in line with everyone. It had been such a mad day that I hadn’t been able to catch up with Eric too much so we said a quick hello while we were doing a photo. Paul was shirtless and Gene fist bumped us. Tommy came over after and made a point to say hello. Tommy is a really great guy too. I could nerd out with him about how much me and my friends loved Black And Blue back in the day. What a great time.

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    Then we all stood side stage and went to school as KISS took the stage. I stood there with all of Megadeth and the Conspirators and watched how it’s done. Pyro like crazy in the first song, Psycho Circus. Now THAT is a Rock N Roll show. The guys sounded tighter than they had in recent years and Paul sounded strong. I’m a fan for life. Life long card carrying member of the KISS Army. We could only watch the first 4 songs and BANG we are back on the steel horse. Miss me some KISS.

    Another big night-the 26th anniversary of Appetite For Destruction. We celebrated last night in St Louis. Now St Louis is a big part of GNR history in and of itself, of course. There was the notorious riot there on the Use Your Illusions tour. In 2013 rather than cutting Rocket Queen short (and storming off stage) we choose to play it twice as long as it’s recorded length. That’s how we do it. Less talk, more rock. 2 hours plus of all music, no bs. No drum solo, no bass solo, no extended raps, yes there is an extended guitar solo in Rocket Queen but when the guitar player in your band is one of the greatest living guitarists that should be a prerequisite!
    Last night’s show was one of the best of the tour. St Louis was a hungry Rock audience. One of the best in America. We really had a blast. An amazing time. I am nursing a Rock N Roll hangover today. I do not know my limits at all.

    Thank you, St Louis. See you in 2014!

    Somewhere along the way Miss Janette from Todd Kerns USA brought me a book with pictures from all my friends around the world with kind little messages. It is hard to express how much this means to me. It wasn’t that long ago most of these familiar faces and names were strangers and now we are intertwined on this crazy journey called life. My biggest love to all of you. There is still so much ahead!

    So now here we are. Denver, Colorado. In stasis between two worlds. We shall spend the day celebrating Slash’s birthday. I’m glad we get to share it with him. Its a nice way to wrap up this tour.

    Only two shows left now. Park City, Utah and ending, fittingly, in Las Vegas. Of course in classic form I won’t be able to celebrate too heavily our end of tour as I will be flying to Vancouver early the next morning for my brother, Ryan’s wedding. Ryan, co-writer of some of my faves like Blow Up Doll and No Reply, is finally taking the plunge. I’m happy for him.

    The Vegas show will be streaming online. Stay tuned via Facebook and twitter for further info on that. It’s going to be a huge night for us. The final show of 2013. The final tour of the Apocalyptic Love/Live Tour.

    So when next I check in the Apocalyptic Love/Live Tour 2012/2013 will have come to a close. Another chapter behind us. Myles will be back on Planet Alter Bridge and I’ll be on Planet Borrowing Trouble. Slash will be on Planet Nothing Left To Fear, his horror film which I am looking forward to attending the premiere of. Fitz has a drum clinic tour coming up and Frank…I’m not sure what Frank has but I’m sure he has something.

    It has been such an amazing experience. It seems as though Apocalyptic Love has been out so much longer than just over a year. In so many ways it seems as though we’ve been on the road straight since 2010. When I was home I was playing with the Sinners so I was totally non stop. I had to slow it down as of 2013. A man has to know his limits. I still don’t know mine.
    I have no immediate plans after the tour and that’s how I see fit to keep it. I will spend the first bit in Canada with my family as I always do. In the meantime all the Borrowing Trouble orders will be fulfilled and it will be officially available everywhere. It has weighed heavy on me not getting the Borrowing Trouble orders sent before now. But now with the tour soon behind me all focus can fall to that.

    I do intend to do some kind of support for Borrowing Trouble. I’m in no hurry to do so just yet. I plan to enjoy the one thing I’ve never known how to and that is take some time off. At least time from touring. It is good to get some perspective. I plan to spend that ‘down’ time preparing all of these blogs into a book. My plan is to have it encompass the past 3 years. It will lead right up until the making of the next Conspirators album. The new book would begin there with the beginning of that next chapter.

    I have lived several lives since joining Slash on his wild adventures and I have documented most of those lives here in this blog. We’ll see. I’ve always got so much going on but the book is something I’ve always wanted to do.

    At any rate. I’ve rambled entirely enough. Though this door closes windows are opening everywhere!
    Thank you for being a part of this journey with me!

    Big love,
    Todd Dammit



  • Manson, Superman, Tonto and the Stanley Cup (now that’s a formidable team)

    July 9 2013
    Birmingham, Michigan, USA

    I’m told Jack White is in our hotel. Well, not OUR hotel but the hotel we are currently staying at. Allison Mosshart from the Kills, too. A new Dead Weather chapter perhaps? Mark Wahlberg, as well, doing Transformers 4? All of this information could be completely incorrect but this is what was just put to me on my entrance of the building.

    Why this motley cast of characters in Birmingham, Michigan is beyond me. Why we’re here is beyond me. I surmise there is some logistic reason as we are playing a festival in Lansing tomorrow. Why are we not in Lansing then? These are questions I cannot answer.
    We visited a guitar shop earlier and were told that Brian May from Queen had popped in. What bizarre nexus of the universe is Birmingham, Michigan? Most interesting.

    We are 5 shows in on the final leg of the Apocalyptic Live 2013 tour. They have each been amazing thus far. I’m trying my hardest to take in as much of the experience as possible. The final quarter of 2013 is currently unwritten though I know it will fill with more activity than I could ever imagine. I used to worry about projected down time. I have learned over time that there is no such thing.

    In my last blog I didn’t get a whole lot of time to dedicate to the cd release show we did over at Vamp’d in Las Vegas June 2nd. It was such a magical night. I really cannot thank the people involved enough. The fine folks at Vamp’d made an amazing night of it. I had the Conspirators on stage, I had the Sinners on stage and I played a bunch of songs from Borrowing Trouble for the first time ever. It was a great time. The audience was amazing. We really had the best time.
    The biggest love goes out to Fitzy, Frank, Doc and Cian, Zach, Rob and, of course, Mr Muscat.
    I managed to forget words on stage for a Jellyfish song with the Conspirators in such an epic way that I had to actually break out my phone to google them. All in the name of Rock N Roll. At least this way we constantly prove that nothing-NOTHING-is on tape!

    I’m sure that added to everyone’s memorable portion of the evening. As I mentioned on stage if I had any sort of ego that woulda been rough but I love those bumps on the road. Those make it real.
    Music, or life for that matter, is not supposed to be perfect. What a boring life that would be.

    After a nice ‘other kind of’ RnR in Vancouver I made my way to LA for rehearsals with the lads. The Vancouver trip also included a great deal of press which continues to this day for the promoting of Borrowing Trouble. Back to the big room at Mates Rehearsal Studio where Slash pointed to one corner of the stage and said, “I made up the riff to Slither right there.” Pretty cool.
    It’s a tribute to Slash’s stamina that I underestimated him upon his arrival from South Africa. He only landed the previous day in LA and I assumed he’d be fighting some form of jet lag. He is normally impossible to keep up with and tirelessly focused at rehearsal. Jet lag has no effect on the man. This time would be no different. We rehearsed every single song we’ve ever played since this whole thing began over three years ago plus a stack of new ones to spruce up the new set. He was in Africa, half way around the world, a day ago and was still ON. I can’t keep up. This is just rehearsal. Live our show is like a Ramones show. No breaks. Maybe the odd, quick ‘thank you’ or ‘hello’ but then we are off and running. It is challenging. Athletic. I am NO athlete but I love to rock. I pay the price nightly and every morning but I can’t help myself. I bite off the biggest piece of rock I can and gladly suffer the consequences.

    So off we were to start our tour in, of all places, Gibbons, Alberta, Canada. We stayed in Edmonton and made our way to the West Edmonton Mall for the first time in a long time for me. I’ve spent a lot of time in Edmonton in my day.

    The show in Gibbons was great. The almighty Boonstock has been put on there for years. Godsmack was there as was a reformed Headstones. We had a killer set though not nearly long enough. Saw so many familiar faces in the crowd it seemed a shame to have to leave so quickly. I got to scream ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ to all my fellow Canadians the day before Canada Day (Canada Day Eve?) which was beyond an honor.

    From there we stayed in the country and headed east to Thunder Bay, Ontario. We had been to Thunder Bay a year before and were excited to return.
    Though it was Canada Day we didn’t do much to celebrate it. That said it was extremely pleasant to actually be IN Canada for it.

    I caught the Lone Ranger the day before our show which was fun. The show was really great for us. We’d only played about 75 minutes at Boonstock. Now we could play the full 2 hours. We played Let It Roll by Velvet Revolver for the first time ever as well as We Will Roam from Apocalyptic Love. Let It Roll has not been performed live since VR broke up back in 08. The only place you’re gonna hear songs like that is at a Conspirators show. The exciting thing about playing We Will Roam is that it was the only song on Apocalyptic Love not performed live. We even performed the two bonus songs live-Carolina and Crazy Life. I can’t think of any other artist that’s been around as long as Slash that is performing every single song on his new album. Granted we don’t play all 13 songs in one night but we could. We Will Roam sounds awesome live if I don’t say so myself. Myles and I sing the shit out of it. Myles did such a great job on the lyrics to that song. It’s essentially about us. About those of us living life on the road

    And still 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

    That really speaks to me. Myles is an immense talent. He really is.
    Thunder Bay was an amazing show. I love the auditorium there. Great room. We also played the Immigrant Song by Zeppelin for the first time ever as an encore. We just jammed it out at soundcheck and added it to the list. It’s been in the encore every night since.
    I got to scream out my mini set of Dr Alibi and Jungle. I was happy!

    From there we caught up with our bus after flying from Edmonton to Thunder Bay. Now we would tread the night on steel and stone to Chicago. One of my favorite cities ever.
    Sleeping on a bus is a bizarre thing. I imagine back in the day a guy could sleep quite soundly after a buncha beers like pirates on a ship after some rum. But dead sober it really is like riding a ship through a hurricane while scrunched into a coffin like pod. I used to detest them. I’m too big for comfort in them. I’m not normally claustrophobic but they were unpleasant initially. I’ve grown accustomed to them now though I don’t think I sleep soundly on them. I always feel like going right back to bed upon reaching our destination.

    Don’t listen to any of this. I rode happily in a van for years and years. To complain about tour buses with satellite tv and wifi is inexcusable. To be fair I’m not really complaining. Just illustrating life of eternal camping on the road. A bus is much preferable to having to be in an airport every day. Trust me!

    In Chicago Slash, Cheryl, Jr and I went to see World War Z which was a blast. I have been running down my list of movies to see this summer. I’ll go through them in more depth later.
    It was the 4th of July and the streets were lousy with humans. I came out of an apocalyptic film with people running wild in the streets only to find myself surrounded by people running wild in the streets. I immediately called back the survival training from the film ‘Zombieland’. ‘Double Tap!’. If you’ve seen Zombieland you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t you should. It’s a blast. The Bill Murray scene alone is worth it.

    As it turns out the people running the streets of Chicago were not zombies but just people celebrating the anniversary of the country’s independence. Either way I was prepared.
    It was most amusing to watch people stop and stare at Slash and then shake it off with a ‘nah, can’t be’ expression. Slash always looks like Slash. He casually walked the crowded streets completely unaffected.

    Upon returning to our hotel we were met by Twiggy from Marilyn Manson. They were playing the following night at the Rivera Theater which we’ve played a number of times. It was good to meet him. I’ve been a long supporter of Manson. Much of my thoughts these days would end up being inflammatory to his fans but I have to say that I wish there were someone around Manson himself that could set him straight. He is visibly not in good shape. He’s coked out of his mind all the time. He is, by all reports, unpleasant to work with. It’s really a shame because I think he had a really brilliant mind and probably still does.

    There was a time when i thought he put on one of the best shows in the world. I’d first seem him on the AntiChrist Superstar tour and no one was doing shows like that at that time. Not in the rock world anyway. You have to remember this was the very self conscious 90s. It was uncool to take oneself too seriously.

    I had his back through Mechanical Animals, a bit of a misstep with Holywood, then got me back with the Golden Age of Grotesque but lost me after that.
    His band was great. I liked all the players. Every time they came around there was someone new in the band. John 5 was a welcome addition. Losing Twiggy was a big one but the Golden Age album was strong. After that it became as I had expected it would. Like Alice Cooper. It was not about the band anymore. It was about the man.

    I love Alice Cooper but my favorite chapter is and always will be the original band-Buxton, Smith, Dunaway and Bruce. They were a band then. You knew each member. Once it became Alice the solo artist it didn’t matter as much who was behind him.

    The same thing occurred with Manson. By the time I’d first seen them they had already burned through a few members including Daisy Berkowitz who was pretty key. There was a brief period of a fill in guitar player named Zim Zum before settling on the lineup of Manson, Twiggy, John 5, Pogo and Ginger Fish. Then Twiggy was replaced by Tim Skold who went by Tim Tim. He had played in a band called Shotgun Messiah back in the day. After that I completely lost track of who was or wasn’t there. Twiggy came back but I don’t know who else is there. Twiggy plays guitar now rather than bass. I know he had played a lot of guitar on the records anyway.
    I saw Twiggy, or Jeordie as he was known then as he switched back to his birth name, with Trent and Nine Inch Nails. That was a great version of NIN though I still love the Downward Spiral lineup best.

    In a funny twist of irony last year Manson was on the road with Rob Zombie. Zombie has John 5 and Ginger Fish in his band, both ex of Manson. I’m sure that must have been interesting. From what I’ve heard he didn’t treat those guys all that great but that’s just what I heard. What the hell do I know?

    I just wish someone could show Manson that there’s nothing cool or dangerous about being a bloated, drunken coke head. If you want to impress put all that focus into your music again. into your art. Into your audience. I say this with the utmost respect for him as one of the most important artists of his time.

    Probably the most dangerous thing he could do today is show up in tee shirt and jeans and just play music. I love a show. I really do but music first, everything else second. Second-the show. Bloated drunken cokeheadness should be waaaayyyy down the list. In fact there’s no room on the list for that. There’s nothing cool about putting on a subpar show. Nothing cool at all.
    I know Manson would just scoff at someone like me saying any of this but it’s from a genuinely good place that I say it.

    That said, Twiggy was drinking a pineapple juice in the bar with friends. He seems like he’s got it together and takes his gig seriously. Take what you do seriously just never take yourself too seriously.

    Then again, who am I to judge? If Manson is happy then he can do what he likes. I just miss the Manson that when he opened his mouth all the parents and higher ups were shocked by his intelligence and thoughtfulness. It was the most shocking thing about him.
    Now it’s all rock cliché tits and blow job talk. Your better than that, sir. Can a reality show be far behind? I’m hoping there will be a U Turn back to reason at some point.
    In the end I have supported him by buying all the albums along the way. There are moments of brilliance in there. I’m sure I’ll buy the next one too. I’m a fan.

    Well, never intended for that to be an open letter to Marilyn Manson. He’s gonna totally kick my ass. Oh well. John 5 is a great dude. Amazing talent. He’s doing soundtracks and albums with Rob. He’s doing great things. Good for him.

    I saw Rob’s last movie and it was ok. Lords Of Salem. I’m a fan and have loved his work. That one was a bit of a misstep, I think. It seemed more of a personal piece and I can appreciate that as an ‘artist’ myself. I plan to see it again and maybe I’ll get more out of it then. Had some great Polanski moments to it. I hear his next film is gonna be a hockey one. Cool.

    Wow. I am really meandering here. Apologies…

    After a day of some fave sightseeing in Chicago at Chicago Music Exchange(amazing guitar shop), Piece (Rick Neilsen from Cheap Trick’s pizza joint) we made our way to Naperville, Illinois for our set at the yearly festival Ribfest. We come crashing into these festivals just in time to play and then are whisked away. The show itself was amazing. We busted out Let It Roll again and the Immigrant Song of the newest songs added. As an amusing oversight we missed doing Standing In The Sun earlier in the set and so stuck it at the top of the encore creating a 3 song encore.
    Then some quick hellogoodbyes (which is what you say to someone you haven’t seen in a while-you see them briefly then you are gone again) then off to Chicago for the night before driving to Peoria the next day.

    *As I write this I just got a text from Frank saying he just ran into Mark Wahlberg in the lobby of the hotel. A polite exchange of nods. Myles was in Rockstar with Wahlberg. Maybe we can get him to come sing some Steel Dragon hits with us. “Stand Up And Shouuuuut!!!”

    Peoria introduced yet another new song to the set. I have to hand it to Slash he likes to make sure people are getting something new all the time. We are constantly talking about songs to add. I would love to add some Use Your Illusions songs. Maybe in 2014.

    For the Peoria show we added a great song Shine from the Snakepit album, Ain’t Life Grand. As far as I know this song has not been performed live since 2001.
    Peoria was awesome. It saw the return of our friends, Hillbilly Herald opening for us this leg. These guys have an amazing work ethic and consistently deliver a high energy show with catchy as shit songs. Jimmy is a great front man. He looks like Charles Manson and sings like Bon Scott. Good fun.
    Peoria rocked. Another example of how Slash is constantly looking to play places we have not before. I expect 2014 to be very interesting.

    Our return to Boston’s mighty House Of Blues was as momentous as ever. Boston is one of the great American cities though I never seem to get enough time to hang out there. This was a big night for us as Joey Kramer from Aerosmith was there to watch. We never got a chance to say hi but he was up there on the side rocking out. I’d met him back in 2010 when we played with Aerosmith at Download in England. That was a big day for me.
    Boston audiences are some of the rowdiest in the US. A lot of energy going on out there. It was a huge show. It was crazy hot. The hottest one of the tour so far. We were all completely spent by the end of it.

    After the show we managed to hang out with some people out by the bus and they were extraordinary. They had come from all over, had seen us multiple times and were full of love. It was a truly energizing experience to re-meet all these people and to hear how much positivity we had brought to their lives. If they only knew how much they had brought to ours. Hopefully they read this so they can know how much they have brought to mine!
    Can’t wait to get back to Boston.

    So now here we are in Birmingham, Michigan. We play a festival in Lansing. I know Sevendust is going to be there. They’re cool dudes. Beyond that I’m not sure who else is playing. Either way I’m good to go!

    Since my last blog the Stanley Cup playoffs have come and gone. My cousin, Sheldon Brookbank, and his team the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup in Boston. It was a manor thing for all of us. He comes from the same tiny town in Saskatchewan as my family. We are a very close family and I couldn’t be more proud of him. There is no greater accomplishment for a Canadian than that. Winning the Cup would equal winning a thousand Grammys. If they bring the cup to Saskatchewan I’m going to see it!

    It’s been the biggest movie going summer I’ve experienced in a looooong time. I know I’ve rambled about what I’ve seen thus far so I’ll try not to get too long winded.

    I finally got to see Man Of Steel. In fact I’ve seen it 3 times now. I’m a big multi viewer. Still need to see Star Trek-Into Darkness again. Here’s the thing with Superman. I’ve really come to think that Superman is such a big character that it’s always going to be about the character regardless of who plays him. Iron Man works so well because of Robert Downey Jr. I don’t think anybody else could make that character work nearly as well as he can. Robert is bigger than Iron Man. Superman will always be bigger than any actor who plays him.

    That said, the impossibly handsome, Henry Cavill, did a tremendous job embodying the last son of Krypton. It may be heresy to say but even as a boy I remember thinking that Superman was supposed to be bigger than Christopher Reeves. Of course Chris will always be the definitive Superman for all of us but Henry Cavill is anything but small. He’s as big as the comic book representation of Superman brought to life.

    I like that they used his Dark Knight-esque handle, Man Of Steel. Very Christopher Nolan. Where Nolan is big on subtlety and mood Zack Snyder, who directed Man Of Steel is much more heavy handed. I have heard that the ending sequence alone would have caused somewhere in the area of 700 billion dollars worth of damage to the city of Metropolis. Thank God it’s a fictional city. There has been a lot of attention paid to this which can only be countered with the fact that there is no such place as Metropolis or Smallville. It is unsettling to watch buildings fall wondering if it’s a Sunday and everyone is off work. Otherwise I don’t want to estimate how high of a casualty count this would have caused.

    I think there was some clever work done here with the mythology of Superman. A lot of which that has been explored on Smallville for the past 10 years. Man Of Steel is much more of a sci fi story than any previous incarnation which I suppose makes sense as he is from another planet. He is an alien living among us. His costume is some kind of regular Kryptonian uniform. I suppose we can accept that explanation. All of this seems as acceptable as it can be within the realms of our suspended disbelief.
    He comes from another planet. Our sun and our atmosphere makes him able to do amazing things. Sure. Why not?

    *Spoiler alert*

    I even accept the complete 180 to have Lois Lane know that Clark Kent IS Superman right from the beginning. This immediately does away the whole disguise consisting of a pair of eye glasses. Never very convincing. It does change a lot of the tone of the Superman mythos but I’m accepting of that.

    I read some reviews complaining about the origin story. How it wasn’t necessary. Everyone knows Superman’s origin. I think that is the incorrect way to think. In order to reintroduce Superman you have to start right at the beginning. Go back and look at how sublimely well done Batman Begins was done. Nolan knew what he was doing and it set everything up. Batman is a much easier tale to tell than Superman because Bruce Wayne is a man who just happens to have an unlimited amount of money.

    The Dark Knight films took liberties with Batman’s mythos as well. The Joker didn’t wear makeup. He looked like that due to an accident. Ra’s Al Ghul was some kind of black magic dude. Bane could pump himself up to unrealistic proportions. But all the changes Nolan made worked within the restrictions of making it believable. Well, as believable as possible.
    Superman is a tougher sell from the get go because of all he can do. I think the introduction of Zod from the first film was a good choice. If Snyder is smart all of this sets up the next film. The destruction of Metropolis and Zod’s attack in the first place is all on account of their being a Kal-El living on Earth.

    *Spoiler alert*

    The fact that Superman killed Zod at the end is a debate between fans though I am told that this is to be Superman’s step towards not killing. Batman was the same way. Most superheroes are. Death is something to avoid.
    All in all I enjoyed the film. I wouldn’t say it was 100% but I’m happy that it did well enough to warrant a sequel and if they do that correctly they can create a healthy franchise and maybe even spin that Justice League film.
    Word on the street is they will be rebooting Batman next. That makes me mildly nervous. We’ll see.

    I enjoyed the Lone Ranger. I’ve been hearing some bad reviews but I don’t know what these critics expect from a big popcorn flick about a guy in a mask in the wild west. I loved the tv show when I was a kid. Like Johnny Depp I always gravitated to Tonto. Johnny totally revamped Tonto’s appearance which I dug a lot. His look is based on an amazing painting called I Am Crow by Kirby Sattler. I thought it was quite striking.

    Johnny plays it with all the quirkiness of his best roles. I’m a sucker for westerns. I love horses. I have Cherokee blood in my veins just like Mr Depp. There have been complaints that he shouldn’t have been playing a Native American but they forget that he’s got native blood. I saw Tonto as a hero, not as an empty sidekick. I hope that native people will see the good in the character Johnny created.

    If you go to it for some light fun and popcorn you will enjoy. I don’t know who goes to these kinds of movies expecting their life changed. Me I love going to the movies. It’s amongst my favorite things to do.

    I’ve seen This Is The End which is amazing. Iron Man 3 was great, not the best of the three but, hey, we love Downey. Star Trek-Into Darkness is fantastic. JJ will be missed on the next one but I truly believe he is a welcome addition to the Star Wars franchise. Mark my words.
    I saw The Heat tonight with the gang. Melissa McCarthy is the funniest woman on the planet. It was alright. Not my choice of films to see. I was shooting to see Lone Ranger again.

    From Michigan we make our way south to Texas where we will be playing with Megadeth and Hell Yeah. That’s going to be a most Metal day! Fun Fun Fun

    We will be winding up this epic journey known as Apocalyptic Love soon. After that anything is possible. There may be another Las Vegas show in September to kick off the fall. We will have vinyl by then and I will do my best to make it as big an event as the last one. From there I am still toying with the idea of touring across Canada. We’ll see.

    I know that Slash will have the Conspirators in writing mode while Myles takes Alter Bridge around the world. Before you know it 2013 is going to be over. I don’t like thinking that way but I know this tour will be over by August. August is filled with all kinds of duties to promote Borrowing Trouble then it will suddenly be September-autumn-the fall. Suddenly we will be in the back quarter. Crazy how fast life goes.
    Enjoy every single day of it, brothers and sisters.

    I, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your patience waiting for your copy of Borrowing Trouble and Near Life Experience. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and it has really been inspiring. Every one of you that has written kind things about the recordings have really made the whole thing feel so worth all the work put into it. I cannot thank you enough. I promise you the hard copies will be in your hands soon. I only hope you enjoy them.

    Well, I hope to see you somewhere on the Apocalyptic Live trail. If not come to Vegas in September to Borrow some Trouble. Or maybe in the fall somewhere in Canada.

    Until then live every day letting those you care about know that you do.
    Take one more step towards that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
    And never let the bastards drag you down.

    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit