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June 2018

Interview With Canadian Beats


Todd Kerns, Canadian Icon, promoter of all things Canadian, making a lasting impression on the global community as TODD DAMMIT, Bass Player for International super Group – Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.  Along with the new album hitting stores this fall, and a 2018 tour in the works, Todd is also doing some really great CANADIAN things.  I got the chance to sit down with Todd for a very quick 10 question interview on route between LA and Las Vegas.

Todd, you have so many things on the go, I can count 6 right off the top of my head.  How do you balance recording/touring/gigs/home life?

For whatever reason, I get a lot out of keeping busy. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.

Every time I step up to do a new show I have to remind myself am I playing bass, guitar or singing? I like the diversity of being able to challenge myself every time I step on stage.

You currently have a really great Canadian Superpower group TOQUE that is playing some West Coast Shows at the end of the month.  What prompted you all to get together, and how did it come about that you would be paying homage to some of Canada’s Best Rock from the 80’s!

Yes. We are playing Vancouver on June 30th at the Imperial and then July 1st at Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheater.

Brent Fitz and I both play in Slash’s band. He’s from Winnipeg. I’m from Saskatchewan. An old friend of mine is Cory Churko. He plays guitar for Shania Twain and is from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

We all live in the US but grew up on Canadian music. We always talked about how much fun it would be to re-record some of these songs to present to the people that follow us from all over the world. The next thing I knew we were doing it.

We’ve been playing live shows and they’ve been too much fun.

We put out Giver last year and the 2nd one is coming in November.

What is one of the main differences between the US Fanbase, Canadian Fan Base, and the European or South American Fanbase?

Well, my history with the Canadian audiences goes much deeper as I had a whole other career with The Age Of Electric, Static In Stereo and my solo work before coming to the states but I have a very strong family of people in the US. I’ve been down here for going on 12 years now. Hard to believe.

It was a refreshing reboot to come to the US and start over for me. I recommend rebooting once in a while for everyone.

The European audience has been the lifeblood of SMKC in many ways. Our following is huge there. I’ve been trying to get over there to do my solo thing for years.

South America has the greatest audiences to play in the world. I think most artists would agree with that. The most passionate people imaginable.

Can’t discount the rest of the world-Japan, Australia, Russia and beyond. I am very fortunate to have connections all the world over.

Right now, there are only a select few shows in Canada for SMKC in 2018.  Is there works on a full tour with more dates in Canada for 2019?

We always begin with a warm-up tour which usually involves just a quick run before committing to a much more in-depth tour. My intention is to go everywhere cross Canada included!

Speaking of touring, while on tour, you usually have an amazing blog that you post all of your experiences, will that be happening again soon?

Absolutely. I took a break from it for a couple of years focusing on living life. It’s funny because I find writing very therapeutic but took a short break that went much longer than expected. I haven’t started yet but plan to.

Toque finished recording their SECOND album that will be released this fall.  What is your favourite song on it and why?

That’s a good question. I don’t wanna give too much away as there are a lot of surprises on the album. One of my favourites has a guest singing on her own song. Her name is Darby Mills. If you know her old band you’ll get an idea of what we’ve been up to. I am singing 3 songs on this record originally done by female artists. Challenging but so much fun.

But truthfully my favourite song is the one we wrote. It’s called Never Enough and it’s really strong. I’m excited for everyone to hear it.

You have a very close working relationship with some designers in Canada.  Two that are notable are Prestige Guitars and Agent Royale.  As you have numerous guitar designs and different apparel, we would like to know of each, what is your favourite accomplishment?

For me seeing the DAMMIT tee shirts and designs all over the world has been an amazing accomplishment. What started as a shirt I wore on the Live In Stoke DVD grew to multiple designs in stores and on people’s backs all over the world.

With DAMMITWEAR and partners like Agent Royale out of Toronto, it continues to grow all the time. 2018/2019 will see even more designs.

My work with Prestige Guitars has been super successful. My signature guitar, the Anti-Star VI is an award-winning instrument in the pages of Guitar World magazine. That’s a big deal for a kid who just dreamed of making guitars all his life.

On the upcoming SMKC Living The Dream tour I’ll be playing my Prestige Anti-Star basses as my main instruments. Very excited about that.

On top of that my DarkStar acoustic will be out soon too.


There is no point in asking Star Wars or Star Trek, we all know the answer.  So here is one, FAVOURITE Star Wars movie and Star Trek movie and why?

A New Hope will always win for me because of the major impact it had and continues to have. Back then it was just called Star Wars.

Of course, The Empire Strikes Back is very very close second.

As far as ST goes Wrath Of Khan wins that one. “Khaaaaaaan!!!”

If you could do a soundtrack to any MARVEL movie, which one would you choose and why?

Hmmm. I actually met Tyler Bates who does the soundtrack work for Guardians Of The Galaxy. He produces and plays the guitar for Marilyn Manson. Immensely talented man.

I don’t know actually. Maybe when they bust out Moon Knight I’ll do that one. If they’d have me, that I’d! I’d love to be a part of a whole new chapter.

Interview by: Norma Young

SMKC ‘Living The Dream’ Album In September; North American Tour Announced

SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS will release their new album, “Living The Dream”, on September 21 via Slash’s own label Snakepit Records in partnership with Roadrunner Records. The follow-up to 2014’s “World On Fire” is Slash’s fourth solo album, and third with his band featuring Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass, vocals) and Frank Sidoris (guitar, vocals).

For “Living The Dream”, Slash and his band re-teamed with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (ALTER BRIDGE, IGGY POP, INCUBUS); the group is currently putting the finishing touches on the powerful 12-song collection.

The band will support the disc by embarking on tour of the U.S. and Canada in early September.

The artist pre-sale starts tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time on each stop. Use the password “SLASH18” to fet your tickets at

Tour dates:

Sep. 13 – Whisky A Go Go @ Los Angeles, CA
Sep. 15 – The Van Buren @ Phoenix, AZ
Sep. 16 – Kaaboo Del Mar @ Del Mar, CA
Sep. 18 – The Depot @ Salt Lake City, CA

Sep. 19 – Fillmore @ Denver, CO
Sep. 21 – Paradise Cove Margaritaville @ Tulsa, OK
Sep. 22 – Winstar @ Thackerville, OK
Sep. 24 – Stubbs @ Austin, TX
Sep. 26 – House of Blues @ Houston, TX
Sep. 28 – Louder Than Life @ Louisville, KY
Sep. 29 – Four Winds Casino Resort @ New Buffalo, MI
Oct. 01 – Wellmont Theatre @ Montclair, NJ
Oct. 02 – Fillmore @ Silver Spring, MD
Oct. 04 – Casino Rama @ Rama, Canada
Oct. 05 – Pier 17 at South Street Seaport @ New York, NY
Oct. 06 – Mohegan Sun @ Uncasville, CT
Oct. 09 – Paramount @ Huntington, NY
Oct. 10 – Electric Factory @ Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 11 – House Of Blues @ Boston, MA
Oct. 14 – Aftershock @ Sacramento, CA

Back in March, Slash said that he was “excited” about the material that was written for the upcoming SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS album. “It’s got some cool songs and it’s got a great live feel,” he said.

“I’ve been working with Myles, Brent and Todd for about eight years now. It’s been an amazing ride so far; as a band we continue to get better which is great. With the addition of Frank since the ‘World On Fire’ tour, I feel we have hit a great, creative stride which I definitely think shows on this next record.”

After Slash and the CONSPIRATORS toured “World On Fire”, rumors about the long-awaited GUNS N’ ROSES reunion tour began to circulate and were confirmed in early 2016.

The current GUNS trek — which features Slash and fellow original members Axl Rose and Duff McKagan — launched in April 2016 and has since grossed more than $400 million, with more dates coming this summer and this fall.

Despite the success of the “Not In This Lifetime” reunion tour, there has been no indication that GUNS intends to record a new album anytime soon. The last GUNS studio album, “Chinese Democracy”, came out in 2008 and featured only Axl Rose from the band’s classic lineup. The last album on which Rose, McKagan and Slash appeared together was 1993’s covers set “The Spaghetti Incident?”

Kennedy’s debut solo album, “Year Of The Tiger”, was released on March 9 via Napalm Records.

© 2020 Todd Kerns | A Blackfrog Media Production