January 7, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
At 12:08 am we are officially one week into 2013. Still no flying cars, no vacations on Mars and the world isn’t ruled by damned, dirty apes. Or is it?
2012 was such an amazing year. There were ups, there were downs. It is certainly one that I will remember for a long time to come.
I spent 9 months of it on the road with Slash, Myles and my co-Conspirators supporting our first release as a collective, Apocalyptic Love. That album went on to sell very successfully and end up on a lot of ‘best of the year’ lists. I couldn’t be more proud. The gold albums adorn my walls as I write this. I’m not big on trophies but when you’ve been doing this as long as I have you need to celebrate all you’ve won and remember all you’ve lost.
We went around the world a few more times. Places like Melbourne, Australia and Berlin, Germany and Paris, France and London, England are all familiar territory now. I know where things are there and I know where I’m going when I’m in these places. Pretty much. I mean I know where the coffee shops/comic shops/record shops are.
I had not been off of North America until 2007 and now I have friends all over the world from Australia to South America. Life is amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
With any triumph there is also tragedy. I lost my close friend, Greg Verdusco, to cancer before year’s end and that has had the most sobering yet inspiring affect on me. Like most of us that knew Greg well, none of us are taking this life for granted anymore. There is so much to live for and so much I still have to do. I know Greg would be telling me now to live every moment to it’s fullest. Smile and laugh and be with the people who make you happy as much as possible. Stop sweating small things. It’s always funny how a personal problem that seemed like the end of the world in the moment is eventually barely remembered at all.
Greg taught me so much while he was with us but he continues to teach and inspire now after he’s gone. Not a day has passed that I haven’t picked up my phone to text or call him only to stare at my phone flatly in cold reality. But I have chosen to now look at the time we did have together as an immense gift. I don’t think Greg would want any of us to have been affected negatively by his presence in or absence from our lives. It is too easy to live in the dark. I choose to live in the light and there is great light where Greg is in my life still.
For him I have already begun the process of putting together an EP of his band the Bloody Villains to release hopefully in the spring. We haven’t fully formulated the plan but it will see the light of day in 2013. This I swear.
In the great irony that is life only a couple of months before Greg’s passing I was given the great gift of a nephew. My first one. Finally a boy to carry on the Kerns name. Ronin Kerns enters the world as a good friend leaves it shortly after. Life is such a crazy rollercoaster that you really have to be a thrillseeker to survive it. There’s no filthy carny to let me off this rollercoaster. It just spins and spins til it spins no more. Me, I’m ok with that. I say, ‘let it spin!’ Better to spin than sit. Life is too fast and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Such is the beauty of life. We welcome new players into our ever growing cast and we bid adieu to those who’s part has been fulfilled. Life is a river and it never stops moving. Just because you stop paddling doesn’t mean you have stopped moving. The river takes you where it will. We have very little control of where it’s going to take us. Sometimes it is a rolling rapids. Sometimes it is serene and calm. Either way we ride it until we meet our river’s end. I’m riding my river all the way.
My river at the moment is a project dubbed Hello Cruel World which has been floating around my brain for years but suddenly jostled loose by my friend getting sick. It was then that I told myself that there are too many reasons to NOT do something. We say to ourselves, ‘someday I’m gonna do this’ or ‘I always wanted to do that’. Why can’t today be that day? Because, without being too esoteric, none of us really knows what tomorrow holds. Is tomorrow my last day? Next month? Next year? Would I live any differently if I knew how much time I had left? I think we all would but the beauty is not knowing and we have no one to blame but ourselves for the things we ‘meant’ to do while we had the chance.
Trust me, I need to kick myself in the ass as much as the next person. I have songs I’m recording that I haven’t completed lyrics for. I tell myself to sit down and do the work but I’ll be damned if that ‘not that there’s anything wrong with that’ Seinfeld rerun is on. I mean, I gotta watch that! Sure I’ve seen Kill Bill a thousand times but I think a movie or a tv show is like a song. You didn’t listen to Jumping Jack Flash once in your life and say, ‘I really enjoyed that’ and never listened to it again. If you’re like me you listened to Jumping Jack Flash over and over and over again and when it comes on the radio now you crank the shit out of it! Well, that’s Star Wars and Dark Knight Rises and the Walking Dead for me too. I get a lot out of entertainment. Sue me! Life is short. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding great value in an amazing cup of coffee. I think sitting at your favorite coffee shop (currently Holley’s Cuppa on Blue Diamond-amazing!) and enjoying a slice of caffeinated heaven is living just as much as mountain climbing in my book. Not to knock mountain climbing. My adventures are a little cozier.
My point is that life is full of distractions. Delicious, amazing distractions. I think they have to be indulged as well. I think that’s the best part of ‘living’. Enjoying all what there is to offer.
I have made the excuse that even if I’m going through periods of not being productive creatively that I am still being creative by living. It’s an ‘excuse’ I believe very deeply in. How can one write about heartbreak if one has never had their heart broken. How can one convincingly write about loss or joy if one has not experienced it’s dizzying heights and agonizing lows. Life is to be lived. That is your research. Now sit down and make it true. Take the listener/reader/viewer on a ride.
As writers sometimes we’re successful sometimes we miss the mark. There is not one great creative individual that hasn’t had a misstep but I think ‘failure’, for lack of a better word, is far more important than success because it shapes who you are. It gives you character. I have so many scars and bumps and bruises from this life but I wear them proudly. I have lived. You’re not supposed to ease into death like a warm bath. You are supposed to crawl there with not an ounce of gas in the tank left. Your vessel was well used. You got every drop of life out of it.
I don’t mean to ramble like a new age Tony Robbins. I am just inspired and have once again taken heartbreaking loss and tried to find inspiration in it. I believe I have been successful this time. I only hope some of the things I say might make somebody get up and do something they’ve always wanted to do.
Like an acoustic record. People say, ‘why an acoustic record?’ I say, ‘cuz I always wanted to do one and I like the challenge of it’. As I mentioned there are always reasons to not do something. Will people like it? Will people care? Will anyone buy it? Will critics rape it? None of those things really matter to me. Yes, I would love for everyone to enjoy what I do but I learned a long time ago that you can’t please everyone. I like to think of it like this. If I were a chef and I had a dream to open a restaurant would I be discouraged by the fact that McDonalds sells a gazillion hamburgers a day? How can I possibly compete with that? No. If that were the case there would be nothing but McDonalds but it wouldn’t be called McDonalds. It would be called The Restaurant because it would be the only restaurant in the world. No one would open any other restaurant because how could an independent David battle such a giant corporate Goliath? I’m not talking about Wendy’s or Burger King either. I’m talking about that amazing Italian restaurant you love so much or that greek place that always has a line out the door.
Those kinds of things have never scared me. So I don’t have Nickelback’s sales. So what? I still got something to say and I like saying it. If I’m lucky enough that a few people like listening to what I have to say then awesome!
Don’t be afraid of John Grisham if you wanna write, don’t be afraid of Michael Bay if you wanna be in film. Do it cuz you love it. We need the Wes Andersons and the Chuck Klostermans as much as those guys.
We are in pretty good shape with my acoustic record. What started off as a little seed of an idea is growing way beyond my skills as a gardner. We are at 140% of our goal before the first month of our 3 month campaign is through. This has blown my mind. I cannot thank everyone who has supported this project enough. I am simply speechless.
For the acoustic record I have taught myself how to play ukulele and am going to teach myself some banjo. I don’t know if I’ll use either of these instruments on the record but once in a while I’ll think, ‘a banjo would be cool here’ and since I don’t know anyone who plays banjo I take it upon myself to be jack of that trade as well. King of very few but jack of a lot.
Your support is beyond appreciated. At this point my goal is 200% I guess. I never considered it before but now that we are beyond our goal we may as well take it as far as we can. We have some cool new exclusives up there and will be adding some things from the Apocalyptic Love tour.
If you feel like sharing in a Canadian boy’s dream click here and join me on my wild ride!
Big love to you. The biggest.
I did the holidays with my family in grey and rainy, Vancouver, Canada, one of my favorite places in the world. While there the Age Of Electric had breakfast together. We broke up officially 15 years ago this year. How bizarre is that? The band was formed officially 24 years ago. Now that is totally messed up! Well, the truly bizarre thing is that during the holidays we recorded 3 brand new Age Of Electric songs. I have no idea what that means nor do I have any idea what will come of them but it has certainly been an exciting journey. Anyone who follows me knows that my schedule is such that taking on any other project, especially something as daunting as a reunion, seems crazy but as you’ve seen above-crazy doesn’t scare me in the least. I’m not saying or promising anything but I will say this and only this- ‘Ya never know…’
New Year’s Eve with the Sinners was a blast. My new home of Vegas has been so good to me. I am with the Sinners through January so if you are in Vegas come say hi! We have a bunch of exciting stuff happening.
2012 saw so much political polarization in the US. I really have no opinion as a guest in this country but I will say that I am excited to see the world changing before our eyes. Our grandchildren will live in a world where the color of your skin or who you fall in love with will not be something to be judged by. A man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman will be as commonplace as heterosexual divorce someday.
Weed will not be seen as the demon it’s been portrayed as. Speaking as a sober person I would much rather deal with a pothead than a drunk. A pothead doesn’t wanna fight me over religion or politics. A pothead usually just wants to play Halo. I’m so sober these days I bore myself. No substances. No Halo either for that matter.
People like to talk about the world so negatively. Not me. I’m super hopeful for humans. I like the Gene Roddenberry idea that someday everyone’s gonna get along and be accepting of our differences. Hopefully they’ll have a handle on all the horrible afflictions like cancer as they do on Star Trek. This is a future I look to for my grandchildren’s grandchildren. Maybe they’ll finally have the flying cars and vacations on Mars. It might take interstellar domination by the Klingons to bring us together mind you. Let’s hope we get there before we are taken over by those damned dirty apes.
How badass was Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, huh? Damn. They finally got it right. I’m stoked for the sequel.
I bought myself Dark Knight Rises for Xmas and I have to say it is genius. Christopher Nolan did such an amazing job with all three of his films. I love that Bane hasn’t an ounce of humor to his character. We all loved watching Heath do the Joker. He was amazing. Bane is not fun at all. He is terrifying. His voice is amongst some of the film history’s best ever if you ask me.
If you wanna make a good film you load it with the best actors in the world. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson (in the first film-brilliant), Heath Ledger, Tom McKay, Christian Bale. Outstanding talent. I honestly believe that Michael Caine’s performance in Rises is one of the best of his career and that’s saying a lot cuz I love Michael Caine.
How amazing was he as Nigel Powers, huh? Austin Powers’ father? Come on. That was hysterical. Caine is the man.
I am excited for Man Of Steel. I’m skeptical, yes, but the trailer is breathtaking. I’m a sucker for the big boy scout! Can’t wait. Nolan and Zack Snyder. Promising!
Star Trek-Into Darkness. Come on. I spoke to JJ Abrams at Conan for all of 30 seconds and told him he ruled. The new movie is gonna kill.
I’m reading Peter Criss’ book. I am enjoying. I have Pete Townshend and Rod Stewart’s books on the rock bio, xmas gift pile next up! I love rock and roll…put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
I have exhausted your attention enough. Please visit http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/toddkerns
If you’re in Vegas come say HI!
As for the rest of the world-we will see you in February-Dubai, Moscow, St Petersburg and more and more and more. Can’t wait!!! I’m itching for it!
I hope 2013 is your best year yet! I’m going to do everything in my power to make it mine!
Big love. The biggest
Your loyal and humble servant