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 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.
Your loyal and humble servant,