Friday June 15 2013
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Though my first solo album in 9 years is filtering out as I write this in one form or another over the next couple of months a lot of excitement in my clan is focused on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Certainly it could be said that every year around this time warrants a great deal of excitement as hockey is such a prominent focus in a Canadian’s life but this year is specifically prominent as I have family IN the final playoffs. My cousin, Sheldon Brookbank, is playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and they are head to head with the Boston Bruins for the cup. Sheldon comes from the same tiny town I grew up in. He played for Anaheim for a while and now this is his first year in Chicago. Pretty exciting stuff. I’m super proud of him. For him to get a Stanley Cup ring and have his name on the cup would be a massive achievement. None bigger for a boy from Saskatchewan.
The funny thing is I’m not even that big of a sports dude at all but I’m following with much more earnest now that there is blood involved.
I’m in Vancouver doing press and enjoying some down time before Slash, Myles and a few Conspirators take one last run through the US and dip our collective toe into Canada til 2014. It has melancholy overtones but originally the Asian run was to be our last run of 2013. The addition of these US dates are like an extra period of overtime in hockey. Like living on Borrowed Time. For me it’s a victory lap. It’s a ‘run around the US for a massive high five’ before Planet Conspirator gets put into stasis for a while.
If you know Slash at all you know that stasis simply does not exist in his world. There is already talk of demoing and jamming/rehearsing/writing after we’re off the road. He ain’t kidding around. He has so much he wants to accomplish in his life and it is endlessly inspiring to be caught in the wave of a man who has nothing to prove doing it for the pure love of doing it. And doing it for and with the people we love. My time with Slash et al has lit an inspired fire under me and renewed my love of music that comes from the heart and connects with every fibre.
And I suppose that fire as much as several others is both the cause and reason for Borrowing Trouble. It’s been lovely having Borrowing Trouble out there in one form or another. It’s a great thrill having people contact me regarding this song or another from it that they have been touched by. It’s the only reason I saw to release it. It was to be shared with those that I care for. My dear friend, Andrew Treadwell, is using the song It’s Always Been You at his wedding. There is no greater honor.
Of course the least enjoyable part of the creative process is the uncreative side, be that manufacturing, shipping and the like. Unfortunately there have been unforeseeable snags along the way. The cd release of Borrowing Trouble was perhaps a tad premature but we saw to going through with it rather than postponing it until the printing of the EP, Near Life Experience, and the vinyl version of the album to be completed. Because of these manufacturing delays we’ve had to put shipping on pause. These things make me mental. You do what you can to achieve a certain date as your goal with every intention of reaching it only to have unimaginable missteps along the way. As it stands now our shipping has to be postponed with the advent of next leg of the Apocalyptic Love tour making it all the more frustrating. I want more than anything for each and every one of you to have your music now but sit powerless waiting for the product to present itself in order to get it into your ears and hands.
I beg your patience in this matter. You will receive each and every item as soon as humanly possible. We did our best to make the product as high of quality as possible hence delays.
I apologize for the delay. I promise you will all have your music before too long. I only hope you enjoy it!
Upon my arrival in Vancouver I was quickly whisked to the familiar world of Vancouver television. I first appeared on The Rush, once called Urban Rush which I appeared on many times back in the day. I also appeared on CTV morning Live. Both of these film at the unGodly hour before noon when no man should be asked to speak let alone sing! I tend to veer towards The Devil In Me because it is one of the more comfortable songs for me to sing at such a torturous hour.
I know it’s lame to complain about early mornings when so many of you are up doing far more strenuous work earlier than I could ever imagine. It’s just that my voice starts its day at the tip of my toes. Throughout the day it slowly works its way north to the tip of my tongue by showtime. This requires much coffee and yammering to achieve the power of tongue, throat, chest and voice. ‘Warming up’ early in the morning consists of guzzling coffee and shaking the cobwebs out of my brain before finding myself with guitar in hand and microphone at my lips. Open mouth and sing. Meet you at the end of the song. It’s a roll of the dice most singers won’t admit to. Sometimes you surprise yourself. Sometimes it’s more of a challenge than expected. The trick is to never, ever let them see you sweat. The other trick is to never talk about it as I am here but we’re all friends here. I’m not the kind of person who feels the need to put on airs or hide behind the falsities of ‘image’. Hell, I’ve fallen on stage in front of the whole world. Not much left to hide once you’ve done that!
From here I head back to LA for rehearsals then on to Alberta, Canada for the first show of the next leg of the Apocalyptic Live 2012/2013 tour more than a year after the release of said album. I’m looking forward to celebrating the Love that is Apocalyptic one last time before we head back into the Conspirators Lab to cook up a new batch of RAWK for y’all.
Then Myles will be Alter Bridging and I’m so looking forward to finally getting to see him do that. Hard to believe I’ve never seen them live yet. I’ll be juggling my time between Borrowing some more Trouble and cooking up new delectable dishes with Chef Slash and my Conspirator brothers. I have been seriously entertaining the idea of running Borrowing Trouble across Canada in the fall. It’s always been a dream of mine to grab a guitar and just start driving from BC to Newfoundland and playing at every point in between. As long as anyone wants to come out and see that. Of course, I’d love to do that across the States, the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Russia…but one thing at a time. I suppose starting in the Motherland seems about right. We’ll see if anyone gives a damn. Me? I just love to play.
I have to thank you again and again for your support. For making Borrowing Trouble a reality. It has been received with such positivity and that warms my heart. Many people are following suit now to involve the music community at large and I am happy to have inspired them if even in the tiniest bit.
“The highest purpose of art is to inspire”-Bob Dylan My dear friends, The Underground Rebels, have begun a campaign as have the Sinners. It warms my heart to see music inspiring then creating then inspiring again.
The day Borrowing Trouble was released to iTunes I found myself already musing about the next step. The rowdiest hard rock record I’ve ever done. Believe it or not I have always wanted to challenge myself to attempt some form of concept record. This is still something I’m toying with. One must challenge one’s self.
2014 will obviously be another big year in Conspirators land but it’s also the 10th anniversary of my first solo album, Go Time! I’m loosely planning to release a special edition with unreleased material and demos from that album. That album has found a whole new life and it’s a constant thrill for me when people find it.
2014 also marks the 15th anniversary of the Static In Stereo album which deserves a special edition as well. There is some great unreleased material from those years including an amazing cover of the Dream Police by Cheap Trick and an early cover of Ah! Leah which went on to be released on Exile On Fremont Street by the Sinners. 2014 could be a big year for CaiRip Records.
On top of all that I am still planning to release my dearly departed friend, Greg Verdusco’s Ep by his band The Bloody Villains before the end of 2013. This is something I want to dig my teeth into once I get back from the Apocalyptic Live tour and have some time to really focus. I am honored to be a part of that.
It’s a sad irony that so much is presenting itself that Greg would have loved so much. Not only is Anchorman 2 on its way and a new Star Wars trilogy coming in 2015 but now even more unimaginable the Replacements are back. Hard to believe but yet somewhat inevitable. Greg loved them so much. It’s hard to believe he won’t be around for any of this but in a funny way I feel he has been instrumental in all of these things materializing in his own way. I won’t be able to enjoy any of these things without thinking how much he would have loved all of them. I think this will make me enjoy these things that much more for him. Knowing he is enjoying them right along with me from somewhere else. This gives me great comfort.
I’ve been looking at treatments for videos for songs from Borrowing Trouble and that’s been very exciting thinking that potentially there may be music videos for songs from the album coming down the line for you. The medium/art form of music videos has been somewhat lost along the way as the supposed music channels simply don’t cater to music anymore. Youtube has created a whole new avenue for this medium though it is hard to warrant the cost involved. I have always enjoyed making videos especially in the early days of the Age Of Electric where we made them for such a low cost you had to be creative. I’m still proud of videos like Ugly and Remote Control where a lot of the ideas came from us.
Yesterday Man Of Steel opened in North America. I’m seeing it tomorrow and I’m super stoked about it. Can’t wait. Anyone who knows me knows what a huge comic/sci-fi nerd I am. I don’t believe Superman has been done correctly since 1978 though I think Smallville had some interesting aspects about it as far as the lore goes. I have a good feeling about Zack Snyder/Christopher Nolan’s take on the last son of Krypton this time.
Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Funny how I sit down to ‘check in’ and end up all talky talky talky.
Reading-Superman-The High-Flying History Of America’s Most Enduring Hero. An overview of the BigBoyInBlue’s unimaginable 75 year history Watching-It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia-I am absolutely, currently obsessed with this show. It’s taken me too long to dig into it but I’m loving its complete insanity. I’m even learning the songs-Day Man is genius.
Listing to-Clockwork by Queens Of The Stone Age-the return of Dave Grohl to the fold. My favorite drummer Also Watching-Man Of Steel tomorrow. I think this has been one of the hairiest summers of film I can remember. So far-Iron Man 3, Star Trek:Into Darkness, Hangover 3, After Earth…soon Lone Ranger, Wolverine etc etc etc. Bring it on!
Happy Father’s Day, my brothers!
Big love, my sisters!
Your loyal and humble servant,