• Don’t Be A Dick

    Moscow, Russia

    November 24 2015

    We have seen more extremes here on this final run of the World On Fire Tour than any other I can remember. The sweltering heat of India to the winter wonderland of Moscow. I don’t remember a tour being more rife with highs and lows. Seems fitting for it to be essentially ‘the end’. At the same time 2015 comes to a close not long after the tour stops. For me nothing really stops. I am the Great White Shark from the Great White North. Never, ever stop. Always moving. Always have another project to move your focus to. To stop means death. Death of the creative mind, heart and soul. Never stop living, brothers and sisters. Living is not just breathing in and out. Living is finding your passion. It is fulfilling that passion to it’s fullest and as often as possible. Live. So many people have lost that option. Do not waste your opportunity to make the most of your short time here.

    Which brings us to Paris. Not long ago I remember writing that just once I wish I could sit down to write one of these that didn’t have to include mention of some horrible tragedy. Yet it seems now so close to the end of the World On Fire World Tour 2014/2015 and to the end of the year Two Thousand and Fifteen we face one of our most affecting tragedies in recent memory.

    We are constantly reminded that there are those on this planet that face tragedies of this proportion on a day to day basis. That those of us in the cushy western world have no concept of what true tragedy is. I completely agree with this and it breaks my heart to live in a world where a spoiled socialite scolds a high school student for the inaccurate temperature of the Cafe Latte she ordered while people suffer true injustice not so far away.

    It breaks my heart daily. I find myself avoiding the news. Avoiding the vitriol of my own FaceBook news feed. But I never want to be uninformed. I only want to be informed by the truth. Of course the truth is always colored by the person telling their version of it. So there is no such thing as truth. All you can do is take in information and let your mind and then your heart calculate as best they can.

    Let me start by saying I am not a religious man. Not in the least. I have always, since my youth questioned everything. I have studied and read as much as I can about most of the major faiths out of my own fascination and respect for the people I care about who practice them. I only believe in unification. I reject the theme of separation. Of ‘us’ and ‘them’. There is only ‘WE’. Naive as it may seem I believe we all come from the same race and inherent faith. Kindness and compassion should be number one but I rarely see it practiced.

    I had the pleasure of spending time with the son of Hindu priests in India and we spoke at length about faith in that religion and all others. Mostly regarding Hindu, Sikh, Christianity and Muslim as the prevailing religions in India. I was uninformed. I was under the impression that it was mostly Hindu but it is as colorful a tapestry as any other culture on the planet. After speaking at great length he derived at the poetic big picture theme- ‘Don’t be a dick’. He used the C-word so I’ve editorialized for the faint of heart. That C word gets thrown around a lot everywhere except in North America. That word is reserved for the fringes of the extreme back home.

    At any rate it speaks volumes in it’s simplicity. ‘Don’t Be A Dick’. We all know what that means. Don’t steal your neighbors bike cuz that would be a ‘Dick’ move. Don’t cheat, lie, steal, murder or sleep with anyone else’s somebody because then you are a ‘Dick’. Now most of us have broken some or a lot of those rules. Everyone has the ability to be a ‘Dick’ or a ‘Sinner’ in the more common tongue. You are supposed to learn from your ‘Dickness’ (mistakes) and not be a ‘Dick’ anymore. Or, at least, really try not to be a ‘Dick’ anymore.

    Children can be ‘Dicks’. You ever watch a kid walk up and snatch something from another kid? It causes all kinds of havoc. The other kid screams and then they often lash out in primal rage. Some would say this is human nature. That we are all animals and I would 100% agree if I didn’t have this brain in my head which isn’t that different from the brain in yours or hers or his. We are unique creatures in that we are supposed to be able to process what is right or what is wrong. Of course if we have never really been taught what is right or wrong or were raised by ‘Dicks’ then we have a problem.

    That child snatching a toy from another kid is the same as those guys fighting in the parking lot over a parking space. It is downright embarrassing. That ‘I’m not letting this guy get away with this’ mentality is a losing proposition. How about ‘That guy is a Dick’? Just find another parking spot and let the ‘Dick’ be a ‘Dick’. A ‘Dick’ will be a ‘Dick’. Most of them are irretrievable. It’s not even their fault. They were probably raised by ‘Dicks’. They probably come from a long line of ‘Dicks’. Born a ‘Dick’. Die a ‘Dick’. Some people can’t be saved.

    The trick is to not let ‘Dicks’ make you a ‘Dick’. Do your best to not raise future ‘Dicks’.

    I mean ultimately who cares what people do? If Bruce wants to be called Caitlyn now, who cares? Reginald Dwight wanted to be called Elton John so that’s what we called him. Gordon Sumner became Sting. We call John Lydon-Johnny Rotten. Bruce Wayne-Batman. Peter Parker-Spider-Man. Saul Hudson-Slash and sometimes Todd Kerns is Todd Dammit.

    Who cares? How is it affecting you personally? Everyone relax. On both sides of the conversation.

    There are a lot of things about my own personality that could use a ‘Dick’ intervention. A ‘Dick’ exorcism, perhaps. And that’s something I work on on a daily basis. Sometimes my initial reaction is to lash out at the guy who flips me off but there is great comfort in knowing that that guy is a ‘Dick’. ‘Dick’s’ do ‘Dick’ things. They can’t help themselves. Gotta think back to your Mother telling you ‘You’re better than that’. If you’re Mother never told you that then feel free to use the words of my mother. Good parents are full of wisdom you don’t often understand until you are older. Always listen. Hit that ‘save’ button and refresh that info at a later date. It’s priceless.

    I certainly have no intention of minimizing what occurred in Paris on Friday the 13th. I just refuse to kowtow to the perpetrators of the attack. It was an unforgivable act by an extreme wing misrepresenting a much larger group of people. I refuse to let that behavior alter my faith in the human spirit. I truly believe that people can be good but I also believe that we all have the propensity to do terrible things. It’s that brain up there at the top of our heads that is supposed to separate us from the behavior of animals and I plan to use mine to keep me on point. My brain is hard wired to my heart. I feel as much as I think. I think we all do. Sometimes we act out in emotion. That can be good. That can be bad. Our basest instincts are sometime not the correct ones. You gotta run it through the mother computer a few times before reacting. I have been as guilty as anyone else of reacting without thinking. It’s what we do sometimes. That usually plagues me with an ongoing guilt. It’s one of the main reasons I live as a sober dude now. I tend to act on pure instinct and emotion if removed of my reason. It never led to many good decisions and so that program was deleted completely. Now I am in a constant struggle between instinct and reason but at least there is a struggle. It was a pretty one sided war before.

    That said, I don’t care what anyone else does. Drink, enjoy. Have fun. Don’t hurt other people. I recommend you don’t hurt yourself. Life is meant to be lived. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Destroy, rebuild, destroy (to borrow a phrase) until you’ve built the best you you could imagine. We are all a work in progress. I am heading into my 48th year and I still consider myself ‘Under Construction’. It’s part of the fun of growing up. Not getting old just growing up.

    Taking responsibilities for your actions. Trying to do more good than bad. Trying to leave behind something better. That’s the only thing I hope I can accomplish. If even in the tiniest way.

    The Bataclan in Paris, France is a holy alter of Rock N Roll. One of the many on the planet. SMKC played back there in 2010 before there was an SMKC. There was just an S. I suppose SMK. Or as they were sometimes humorously referred to S&M. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy. The rest of us didn’t have a name. There was no Frank yet either. Once there was Frank we were Conspirators.

    I have been a long time admirer of the Eagles Of Death Metal. I followed them when Josh Homme from Queens/Kyuss introduced us to them. They were fun. Grohl and Jack Black were part of the club. Seemed like a fun club to be a part of. I can’t imagine what these gentlemen had to experience that night in Paris. I can’t imagine the survivors’ guilt. Knowing that people who spent their hard earned money to come and have  good time with the band ultimately lost their lives. And those who survived will live with horrifying images till the end of their days. Music is supposed to be an escape from anything like this not the setting.

    It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone should have to endure such a thing. Especially at a Rock N Roll concert. It has certainly touched those of us in the touring community more than we could imagine. We were comfortably enjoying India when this atom bomb was dropped on the world. At the time I could do nothing but grieve the unimaginable cost. It wasn’t until later that we had to imagine the effect this would have on those of us that travel the world bringing with us the image of escape and inherent joy that music is supposed to. That effect has yet to present itself. We will see what the future holds. In the meantime it wasn’t going to stop us from finishing what we had set out to do and go where we had set out to go and see those we had set out to see.

    I had to go back and look at the footage of us playing at the Bataclan in Paris and it sent a chill down my spine to think that some of the people at our show may well have been in attendance at that fateful night with Eagles Of Death Metal. I hope someday those that may have attended both could be revealed to us. I can’t imagine surviving such a thing. I can’t imagine not surviving such a thing. I simply cannot imagine any of it.  It is simply unimaginable.

    My heart goes out to the entire city of Paris as it was not only the Bataclan that was attacked. It is absolute madness. All in the name of what? I don’t fall for the intention of a small band of radicals trying to alter this big world to turn on one another. THEY don’t change a thing about the way I think. Call me naive, that’s fine. I still have a great deal of faith in mankind. I still look ahead and see a unified planet. Even moreso in times of strife. These things divide us or bring us together. They kill us or make us stronger. We weather these storms to a better destination. One can only hope. And isn’t hope all we have anyway? Hope and the vision to make it so.

    On to brighter things. Things like India. There is so much I could say about India. Up until the Paris attacks happened I felt surrounded by light and love in the embrace of such an amazing place. The group of people assembled to work with us for our stay in India were the best. Ashish, Rafael and Saneeya became family immediately. Ash so much so that he immediately became an official Conspirator. He is the one I spoke of above, the son of Hindu priests. A bonding session of music and the animated series Rick And Morty immediately fell in to place and we all became fast friends. From then on Ash was 100% on Team Conspirators.

    Mumbai is an incredible place. It is impossible to really put into words what it is like. Anyone who’s experienced it first hand knows what I’m talking about. I’ve never experienced the size and speed of a city like that. The surge of humanity. The traffic. Senses on overload.

    We took in as much as we could see. Temples and markets galore. I’ve never done as much sightseeing as I did in India. I knew it would be like nothing I’d ever seen before.

    Like many foreign countries you are advised not to drink the water. That’s simply traveler’s common sense. Frank and I dove head first into Indian cuisine and I was in heaven. Fitzy was no slouch either. There was a great deal of paranoia in our camp regarding what to eat and what not to. It’s always funny to me to go to a foreign place and order food you would eat at home. The whole reason to go abroad is for new experiences. A Budweiser and a hamburger seems a little unimaginative but I totally get it. The comforts of home and all. I indulged. I’m a big Indian food fan and I’ll never have any as good as I had in the Motherland.

    For the record a lot of the ‘hamburger and American beer’ crowd got sick. I didn’t. Interesting.

    The show in Mumbai was insanity. The audience was breathtakingly animated. Some of you may have seen the footage going around online of them singing Sweet Child O’ Mine with us. That was only one example of how ravenous they were. We had been warned not to expect too extreme of a reception. That they may respond to some of the back catalog more than the rest but I have to say that from the 1st song, 2012’s You’re A Lie, had them singing along to every word. The audience was a wide range of ages but mostly young people. Very reminiscent of our experiences with South American crowds. That high level of intensity. The show was extremely moving and I know I speak for all of us when I say we can’t wait to return. The show was an MTV India Xtreme presentation so there is a chance the concert will appear in MTV/VH1 from somewhere in the future.

    From Mumbai we moved to our second Indian show in the great city of Bangalore. They seemed as different from one another as New York and LA (Toronto and Vancouver for my Canadian friends). Certainly no shortage of similarities but different nonetheless. Bangalore seemed a bit more sprawling and open where Mumbai definitely had that big city vibe.

    The Bangalore concert followed the day after the attacks on Paris and couldn’t have juxtaposed our experience more. I had found the entire Indian experience joyous and celebratory only to have it all reduced to the stark reality of what can happen in the darkest of hearts. Here I was playing a triumphant tour with my best friends, I had announced my upcoming appearances with Michael Monroe in Finland as well as the release of my upcoming project, TKO, but now suddenly everything moved to a distant second to the suffering of the people of Paris. To be honest it left a darkness over us that could only be lifted, if only for the moment, by the celebration of live music. As if to say you can’t stop us from celebrating together in the joy of music. And that’s just what we did with the fine people of Bangalore, India. With people we had never met before. People we had never had the opportunity to play for before. And we came together for those two hours and did our best to heal one another and pay homage to those affected by the events in Paris. Nothing will ever heal that wound but I only hope we can regroup the strength to carry on.

    Just as the audience in Mumbai had before them the people of Bangalore rose to the occasion and raised their voices with us in defiance of terror. Music is the great unifier and it cannot be silenced.

    While in Bangalore I watched them film some kind of Bollywood style music video from the window of the hotel. The Indian film community is a multi billion dollar industry. I asked Ash and Saneeya to take us to a proper Bollywood film. I wanted it to be in Hindi with the big lavish musical parts. The whole experience. They obliged. Somehow I roped my Co-Conspirators into it with me. We ate popcorn and enjoyed the alien experience of watching a film, complete with intermission, in a language we didn’t understand complete with lavish scenery with musical dance scenes. I loved it. It was just one of many experiences I keep with me from my time in India. If our time in India hadn’t been marred by what happened in Paris it would have been a picture perfect experience but I suppose in life we have to accept the dark to appreciate the light. Trust me the light is appreciated. We have all had enough darkness. For the people of Paris. For all of us. Enough.

    We bid adieu to lovely India for the familiar stomping grounds of eastern Europe. To begin with Budapest, Hungary. There had been some trepidation of carrying on through Europe considering what had occurred but to the credit of our brave crew we decided to soldier on in spite of it. So did the fine people of Budapest.

    We found ourselves wandering the streets of Budapest taking in the sights. Ending up at a guitar shop where Frank managed to leave with a free guitar. He has the uncanny ability to enter a facility and leave with a free guitar. It’s quite impressive, really.

    We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe that night with our friends Brian and Gayle Cairncross all the way from Scotland. They take good care of us there. We don’t always hit HRC’s but we managed to go to one in Bangalore as well where one of Brent Fitz’s old drum heads adorns the wall from his days playing drums for Vince Neil. Pretty cool. I don’t have anything on the walls of any Hard Rock Cafe’s! Maybe one day.

    There were DAMMIT shirts a plenty at the show in Budapest as well as DAMMIT flags to boot. I will always be tickled to look out at members of the ‘Dammily’ wearing the shirts and flashing the PeaceLoveMetal sign. It means the world to me. I hope you always know that.

    Weird story-the morning of the show I was enjoying breakfast, as I always do, with my family, the Conspirators et al. While eating and conversing Frank looked at me and said, ‘I swear I just saw Mr Bean’. ‘Okayyyyy’, I thought. Weird. I carried on telling whatever story I was telling to our security man, Kimo, when just over his shoulder I caught the very familiar face of actor, Rowan Atkinson over by the buffet. I looked at Frank and said, ‘Yup. 100%’. Don’t ask me what Rowan Atkinson, the man who plays the beloved character ‘Mr Bean’ was doing there but it was most assuredly him.

    The show that night was as intense as I expected it to be. Great Rock N Roll people in Budapest. Another middle finger in the face of oppression through the beauty of Rock N Roll.

    From beautiful city to beautiful city. Prague, to be exact. I never get enough time in Prague. We seem to breeze in and out. A ship passing in the night. No fair. One of these days we’ll get more time there.

    While there I got to meet up with new friend, Petr from Esh Basses. I had been in contact for some time regarding my interest in a signature bass Esh had from the late Peter Steele from Type O Negative, one of my great inspirations. I had been drooling and obsessing about this piece for some time and was thrilled to get the opportunity to play it in person. I’m happy to announce that my very own Esh Stinger Peter Steele edition will be in my house in the new year. I’m very excited about that. Thank you so much, Petr and Esh Basses.

    The show in Prague was incredible. We had friends come in from all over Europe. Finland, the UK, Japan as well as France, who we are happy to say are ok. It is always a bit of a Dammily reunion when people come from all over. It was truly a celebratory night.

    Interestingly enough the song Bad Rain from our 2012 album, Apocalyptic Love, found it’s way back into the set. I missed that song. We have an animated video for that song that was really cool. It has managed to stay in the set for a bunch of shows of the run.

    On to Lodz, Poland. I don’t know what it is about Poland but they sure love SMKC. They are entirely too good to us. We had been to Katowice and Krakow before but not Lodz. The people of Poland always plan amazing surprises for us. Most of the people in the audience were wearing top hats when we came on stage. For our second song, the GNR classic Nightrain, they all tossed their hats into the air. It was quite a scene to behold.

    Since the attacks Myles had been introducing Starlight as a tribute to the people of Paris and it has retained an air of heaviness ever since. During Starlight that night almost every person in the place lit up their cell phones and held it high. It was a heavy thing to take in. A sign of support for the people of Paris from their neighbors in Poland. It was a very emotional thing for all of us. You can see it in our faces on any of the video that captured that moment. It really showed a great deal of hope for what had seemed so very hopeless. Thank you to all that attended and partook in that simple act. It meant a great deal to those of us that had found difficulty crawling out from under the heaviness of those attacks. I will admit that I was one of those people and my brothers and sisters in Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belarus, Russia, India, France and beyond have helped to get me back on the hopeful path. Strength and big love to all of you.

    Yet another place we’d never played before-Minsk, Belarus. The second last show of the 2014/2015 World On Fire World Tour. Crazy to imagine but there it was coming to a close. The 156th show of the tour. Madness. If it were up to Slash we would never come home. If it were up to Slash you would never get rid of us. The man is relentless. He loves the road. He lives for the road. He loves all of you so much. He never wants to leave you. I am with him on all of that.

    Minsk was a blast. A beautiful venue that looked like we were playing in Vegas or maybe a concert hall owned by Prince. Either way it was a good time. Again I was shocked how many people knew our music. You never know in these new places. Obviously they’ve heard the GNR stuff but they knew the newer material, too. I was blown away. What an amazing time.

    When we left the venue the crowd outside the bus was singing super loud. Clearly great Rock N Roll people in Minsk. Looking forward to returning to there.

    And now here we are in Moscow, Russia. Again! As many of you know the first time I came here I was sent home after 24 hours without playing the Moscow or St Petersburg gigs due to my detached retina. Long story short-I survived with both eyes intact. Brent Fitz played bass for those two shows and our drum tech at the time, John Douglas played drums. It’s unimaginable that they could pull that off but I knew they could. Talented people in our family. Ironically we are staying in the very hotel where my unfortunate eye dilemma came to a head. Slash kept asking how I was feeling with a smirk on his face. I’m fine! I’m fine! Nice to know he’s worried about me but I’m a soldier of rock. I ain’t going anywhere. This tour may end but I’m still swingin’!

    Kimo and the Conspirators wandered Red Square as we do every time we are here and enjoyed it immensely. It’s Russia cold out there tonight and we were completely underdressed for it but it had to be done!

    Afterwards we had our farewell dinner with band and crew including openers Raven Eye. I cannot say enough good things about the fine lads in Raven Eye. I think they are an amazing band full of great talent, great songs and great energy. On top of all that they are some of the best people imaginable. I highly recommend you see them if you get the chance. I call them ‘The New Wave Of The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal’ though they are not really ‘Metal’ per se. They are a very aggressive and energetic rock band and they kick serious ass.

    It is now 2am the night before the gig (or the morning of…whichever you like) and I am going to turn in. After the gig (the 154th and final gig of the 2014/2015 World On Fire World Tour) I will finalize this entry. I, for one, never want this party to end but to be honest it never will. We have a great many things planned to come…stay tuned.

    November 25th 2015

    Moscow, Russia

    What can be said about playing for the fine people of Moscow. I always remind myself that there was a time when people like us may not have been welcome at all in this great country. But here we are rocking the hell out of the place with thousands of friends who know every word.

    Moscow is big Dammit country. Lots of Dammit shirts and flags. There was a time I couldn’t have imagined even going to Russia let along having my name printed on a Russian flag. Life is a funny thing.

    We celebrated Myles’ birthday tonight even though it’s a few days early. We won’t be together for his actual birthday so we presented a cake to him on stage.

    We added 30 Years To Life to the set for no reason at all. Why not? It’s the last show.

    As it turns out our production manager and sound guy, Quake, says we have done 157 shows on the World On Fire Tour. Frank Counted 154. I haven’t bothered to but I think Quake may be more qualified to make that claim so let’s call it 157. That’s a lot.

    Just now SMKC were in the hotel elevator post show going to our rooms and Slash mentioned how it just seems like yesterday we were in Elvis’ studio recording World On Fire and now here we are saying goodbye to 17 months of supporting the very album. Life is a funny thing.

    In fact this is what Quake sent me-

    157 shows

    36 countries

    5 continents

    17 months

    Wow. That puts things in perspective.

    Moscow was incredible. I knew that it would be. I think it’s an amazing thing to go so far from home and find a world of wonderful, kind people who care a great deal about you. Truly a wonder. I can’t wait to come back.

    For an early birthday present a bunch of my friends got together from all over the world via the internet and recorded a version of my song This Changes Everything from Borrowing Trouble. It is one of the most moving things anyone has ever done for me. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much Guila, Stratton, Leonardo, Lion and Andrea for this beautiful gift. I cannot thank you enough!

    As always there is so much to announce. SMKC winds down from the stage though nothing really changes. We have a writing session in early December before I wing on over to Finland to play with the amazing Michael Monroe band. SMKC is about halfway through writing the new album and the material is sounding better than ever. That’s a big statement considering how much I love Apocalyptic Love AND World On Fire but I really believe that SMKC III is going to be the best album yet. 2016 will be a a long year of cooking up the new record as a new Alter Bridge record will be released and toured before we get SMKC III into your hot little hands.

    I think that’s very exciting. Myles’ return to AB has opened up many doors that I’ve had to keep checked for a long time. Starting, of course, with Slash and the Conspirators further writing in early December (and into the rest of 2016) followed by my heading to Finland to play with Michael Monroe, as mentioned above. As I’ve said before it has been a life long dream of mine to play with Michael. There are very few people I would have left the comfort of my Vegas life to play with. One of them was Slash. The other is Michael Monroe. You all know what a massive fan of Hanoi Rocks I am and now I will get to stand on stage with Michael and Sami Yaffa from that very band. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Add to that my Canadian brother, Rich Jones and the amazing Karl Rockfist on drums and I’m over the moon. I’m only sad that Steve Conte won’t be there. I’m standing in for him while he and his beautiful wife expect their second baby. I couldn’t be more excited for them.

    If you have any inkling of coming to see any of these shows please come say hi. They are going to be game changers for me. I can’t wait December 11th Pakkahuoune Tampere December 12th Rytmikorjaamo Seinajoki December 18 Finlandia-Klulbi Lahti December 19 M/S Viking Grace

    Throughout all of this my new pledgemusic.com campaign for the 15 years in the making project TKO will go live in early December as well. A sort of birthday present to myself to make music available to all those people I care about out there. As mentioned before this is an album of 13 songs, some of which were originally released on 2004’s Go Time! album. Those songs have been remixed and remastered to a much higher standard than before. There are songs on this album that I cannot believe haven’t been released yet-All Systems Go, True Romance, Now Hear This, You Know What You Did, 21st Century Bonnie And Clyde…the list goes on and on. I’m excited for you to check it out. Please stay tuned for all of this coming very very soon.

    ***For the first time RIGHT HERE I am very excited to announce that I will be appearing with my brother, Brent Muscat at the Hard Rock Cafe for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, Nevada with his Las Vegas All Stars. I don’t want to say too much but there are going to be a lot of very cool guests appearing. I give too much away but let’s just say if you’re a Faster Pussycat fan like I am you really should get your ass there. It’s gonna be a blast!

    Most of you know that Brent and I have been playing together since as early as 2006/2007. I’m extremely excited to stand side by side with brother Brent and do what we do best. Also joining us on the drums will be Rob ‘Boom Boom’ Cournoyer who played with us in the original Sinners since 2007. This is a bit of a family reunion for us. A ‘Dammily’ reunion, if you will. It’s going to be a real blast. If you don’t have plans this New Years Eve get your butt to the Hard Rock on Paradise in Las Vegas for a very special once in a lifetime event. I am beyond excited for this!***

    In January I will be making an appearance with Prestige Guitars at the 2016 NAMM show in Anaheim, California. You should come by and say hello there too if you happen to find yourself at this event. It is going to be a blast. We won’t quite have the brand new signature Anti-Star bass we are working on to show off yet but you should come by nonetheless. I always love to say hello!

    Keep in mind that Star Wars : The Force Awakens opens in less than a month. That is mind-blowing. It seems only yesterday it was announced that JJ Abrams was on board to direct. Now it is upon us. I will be in Finland when it comes out but I think I’m going to wait and see it with my family upon returning to the US. I plan to see it many times in the theater. I promise it’s going to be great. If not feel free to curse me out but I’m quite confident it’s going to be wonderful.

    On top of all the other tragedies Philthy Animal Taylor, the original drummer for Motorhead passed away. Very sorry to hear that. The man was a legend.

    So there you have it for now, brothers and sisters. The SMKC door closes (kinda) and yet there are windows wide open all over the place. SMKC III, Michael Monroe, Brent Muscat Las Vegas All Stars New Years Eve, TKO, NAMM…it never ends for the Great White Shark from the Great White North! Gotta keep movin’. Movin’ and groovin’!

    As it has been since the incident occurred my heart and mind are pointed in Paris’ direction. Just the other day someone brought up the chilling prospect that it’s probably more likely to die in a school shooting in the US than a terrorist attack but I am of the mind that we should be bringing all of these tragedies to a close. I have no idea how that is to be done but I’m certainly open to the conversation. I’m tired of being sad for my fellow Earthlings. We are so much better than all of this. There is you and there is me. Let’s just watch out for one another. I got you.



    Don’t Be A Dick!

    Your loyal and humble servant,

    Todd Dammit

  • Michael Monroe, TKO And the real life Spinal Tap

    November 6th 2015

    Mumbai, India

    I’m the wrong guy to ask but it had to be 24 hours of travel time to get to Mumbai. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Vegas to LA, LA to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Mumbai. Gotta account for time in customs plus rides to and from the airport. Makes for a crazy amount of time in transit but then you end up in an amazing place like Mumbai, India and it makes it all worth it.
    Went around to a couple of temples today. A truly wondrous experience. A lot of people had really tried to freak us out about coming here but I have to say that it has been nothing but amazing. I’ve only been here for one delirious day but it has been amazing so far. Seeing cows and goats in the street is a new experience. The traffic and the influx of humanity is overwhelming but nothing I wasn’t expecting. It’s fascinating to me that anyone would travel disappointed by the absence of their creature comforts. Every day is a new home for us. The lack of routine becomes my creature comfort. You grow accustomed to seeing new and unique realities. It opens one’s eyes. Even your third one.

    I had every intention of wrapping up the last tour before this one started but life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, to quote John Lennon. I have really made a point of trying to live my life as much as possible outside of the black mirrors of my phone and computer. Not for any other reason than I just feel I have fallen into a habit of neglecting life as it is happening around me. I find myself unable to watch a movie or television program in it’s entirety without looking at my phone at the same time. I find myself looking at my phone, as so many of us do, in the middle of a conversation with another person. I’m really trying to be as present as possible rather than looking off into the distance of whatever parallel universe my phone is attached to. It is a difficult task for we, the people of this 21st century. It will be even more interesting for those growing up with this technology as the norm plus what is still coming our way. I, for one, am trying.
    That said, it is foolish for one to remove oneself completely as my whole world is attached to me through the umbilical cord of the internet. My family back home, my friends abroad plus my people around the world and beyond. So during a week off it’s ok to unplug so that once reattached one can still be present in whichever reality one finds oneself in. I hope you follow my meaning. I mean I mostly typed this on my laptop while looking at my phone…
    Though it does seem pointless to ‘wrap up a tour’ when the tour just goes on and on and on. Like this one. It seems that the last leg just wrapped up in California only to suddenly find myself in India with a show tomorrow night. It never really ends. Except that it does. Quicker than I’m ready for you. How bout you?

    Apparently I last checked in from Minneapolis almost a month ago. Man, time flies. I mean it’s November. That’s crazy. It doesn’t seem that long ago that 2015 just started, right? Now it’s almost over. The future is right around the corner. I mean the future is a progressively growing idea isn’t it? I mean what I’m typing right now is already the past by the time you read it. Trippy, huh?
    So I would have left you before we got to ‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada’. I like saying it like that because as kids we used to watch Stampede Wrestling on tv out of Calgary and all the wrestlers would address the audience as-‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada’. Calgary was always rich wrestling territory. The Hart family was from there. Bret Hart and his little brother, the late, Owen Hart. I believe Stampede Wrestling was eventually swallowed up by the WWF (now the WWE). I’m not sure. Discuss…
    Calgary is always amazing for me. I lived there for a couple of years on my exodus west and eventually south. The Age Of Electric played there a lot. It was pretty much home base for a long time before we landed in Vancouver.
    I, of course, have no shortage of family in Calgary so that was in full effect. My TKO partner, Reed Shimozawa, lives there too so there was much business to discuss, most of which is in motion now, as most of you are aware but more on that in a bit.
    I have played Calgary many, many times in my life. Maybe more than any other place though Las Vegas might rival Calgary by now. We played at a casino I’d never been to before in a gigantic open room. It was, in a word, epic. So many familiar faces and such a good time. Keep in mind this whole time we have friends following us from the US, Japan and beyond. I hope my Canadian brethren showed our traveling friends a good time.
    The only difference I see in the setlist is that we apparently added Ghost to the set just to change things up. Ghost has been coming and going from the set since 2010. It opens both the Made In Stoke AND Live At The Roxy DVDs strangely enough though You’re A Lie has opened the majority of the World On Fire Tour.
    Calgary was a great time. It always is. I will be back there sooner than later. Probably sooner…he says with a sly grin…

    Then off to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I spent a lot of time in Edmonton as a kid. My father’s family is all in that neck of the woods. I was sent there as a kid to take art lessons. I was big into drawing as a kid. I had only started to play guitar so my parents decided to enroll me in some guitar lessons as well. By the time I got home I had stopped drawing completely but never stopped playing guitar. You see where that led to. The moral of the story is ‘never let your kids play guitar’. Just kidding. If your kid shows any passion for anything you should encourage that. Life is better with passion.
    We played the amazing Jubilee Auditorium where, I have mentioned many times before, I saw my first concert-A touring Beatles tribute called Beatlemania. They did three sets. The lovable mop tops, Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road. I loved it. It is surreal to stand on that stage, look up at the balcony and imagine my adolescent self there watching with aplomb. Only one of the surreal things about my life as an adult.
    In the above title I have mentioned the mighty Spinal Tap. If you know anything about the film, This Is Spinal Tap, you know that they are a rock band plagued by every cliche known in the circle of touring and recording heavy rock. If you don’t know anything about the film I feel sorry for you. In fact, I’m a little bit worried about you. You must see this immediately. It has been a life long obsession of mine and others of great taste in comedy. I don’t blame you. I blame your friends. You need new friends. No true friend would let anyone go without seeing This Is Spinal Tap. Shame on them.
    Now the reason I’ve mentioned these hard luck minstrels is as follows-
    I have played Edmonton a gazillion times in my life. I’m not sure if gazillion is a real word but I’m taking it to mean ‘I have played there too many times to count’. Probably rivaling the amount of times I’ve played Calgary or Vegas.
    I have played there a gazillion times, I have stayed there a gazillion times, I have been there a gazillion times. There is no excuse for what follows.
    On that stage in front of a crowd filled with family, family, friends and friends I walked up to the microphone as I was about to sing Dr Alibi and referred to the city of Edmonton by the unforgivable name of ‘Calgary, Alberta, Canada.’ This is an unforgivable offense and I still haven’t forgiven myself. I probably never will. Even still I wake up in a cold sweat chastising myself. In my defense there were a number of friends who had traveled up from Calgary for the show so perhaps that made me temporarily insane. Perhaps I had left my brain at the last gig. Perhaps I was caught in a continuous time loop worthy of a Rod Serling script. In reality it’s just what could only be referred to as a Spinal Tap moment though I don’t remember them ever making that error.
    I’ve had a few moments on this tour. I fell (again) on stage in Louisiana, I called one of my favorite cities by the wrong name and at another gig I played the first few songs with my fly down. Yup, the hits just keep comin’. Oh well. When you play as much as we do you are bound to drop the ball once in a while. Or your zipper.
    We trip, we fall, we get back up. We break our zipper, we repair our zipper, we move on. We call a city the wrong name, you punish yourself, you try and move on. Life goes on. The sun sets and rises just the same.
    Apologies to the great city of Edmonton. It was one of the best shows on the tour. It always makes me happy when the guys in the band comment on how amazing the crowds in Canada are. I couldn’t agree more.

    Next up-Vancouver, BC, Canada. There’s no place like home. Vancouver was the last Canadian date of 2015 so it had to be good. And damn was it.
    As most of you know I have no shortage of family in Vancouver. I lived there a long time before moving south to the US. It will always be my home in many ways. I grew up in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. I lived in Alberta and spent a lot of time in Winnipeg. I have roots growing all the way across Canada and consider it’s entirety my home though Vancouver’s roots run the deepest in many ways.
    The Age Of Electric really came into it’s own on the street of Vancouver and my children were born there so it holds so much of the best and some of the most challenging times of my life. It’s streets hold so much of my history.
    My parents retired there from the prairies making those roots even deeper. My brother Ryan and his family live there, too. They recently had their second son, Quinn Patrick Kerns. Between he and his older brother Ronin there are two boys to carry on the Kerns name.
    So Vancouver remains a very important part of my story. The Queen Elizabeth Theater does too. I saw Bauhaus there. I saw the Black Crowes there. I saw a lot of shows there. So to be standing on that stage, yet again, it is never lost on me how significant an experience that is.
    I felt a deep desire to make up for my onstage blunder in Edmonton. Perhaps I should have called Vancouver Edmonton. Just stay one day off for the rest of the tour offending city after city in some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque tragic comedy act.
    The show was amazing. I love that theater. Afterwards I caught up with so many friends. Ryan Dahle from the Age Of Electric came down as did Mike and Adrian from Prestige Guitars. We are hoping to have my signature bass ready for the tour of the next record. That’s exciting.
    Always amazing to catch up with old friends in such a warm environment. I have to admit I wasn’t in a hurry to move on but such is the life of a pirate. A pirate is always moving on.
    And so…

    We move on to Seattle, Washington. Back in the USA. I do love Seattle. So much great music has come out of there. Duff McKagan comes from Seattle as well as a host of other bands most of which you are more than familiar with.
    We played at the legendary Moore Theater famous for being the setting of early Pearl Jam videos. I recognized it right away as the place Eddie Vedder is climbing around in the Evenflow video.
    My good friend, Jeff Rouse, from Duff McKagan’s Loaded came down for a hang. Such a good dude and pretty much family at this point. We are all family in this extended, bastard step children branch of the mighty Guns N Roses tree. Always good to see Jeff. Sad we didn’t get to see Mike from Loaded.
    The Seattle show was amazing. Last time around we were out at the Gorge with Duff. The time before that we were at the legendary Showbox. I like that we are playing bigger venues. It’s a sign of growth.

    Salt Lake Ci-tay! I love Salt Lake. Did I mention our amazing opening act for this run? Raven Eye from the UK made a lot of long lasting friends while in the US with us. They were consistently impressive night after night. People constantly rave about them. I’m so happy for those guys. Hopefully they get bigger and bigger and bigger. They deserve it. If you haven’t heard them you should check them out. They are incredible.
    Salt Lake was a great time. It always is. It always has been and it always will be. Again our friends came from far and wide to hang with us. Hopefully they had as good a time as I did.

    Off to Denver, Colorado. When doing a run like this we are trying to hit as many markets as possible. Some of these drives were craaaaaazy. Tours are normally routed to avoid such long drives but this one had some challenging ones.
    Totally worth it for Denver though. People often mention that the higher altitude affects breathing but I never notice too much difference. I run around like a fool on stage so I’m usually out of breath. I don’t usually notice that until I’m off stage though. On stage is too much fun to notice anything else.
    Denver was great. The Fillmore Auditorium is an awesome venue.

    Driving from Denver to San Francisco was madness though it’s hard to complain when I was hardly the one doing the driving.
    Back at the Warfield after 5 years. What a beautiful venue. Last time we were in San Francisco we were on the Let Rock Rule tour with Aerosmith. Aerosmith cancelled so we booked a last minute SMKC show at the Fillmore which turned out to be an amazing show.
    The Warfield is a beautiful, classic, Rock N Roll venue. I love it.
    My friend Dave Rude from Tesla came down to say hi. Love Dave. Phil Demmel from Machine Head came down, too. Love Phil.
    We always love San Francisco. What a great town.
    The show was incredible as it always is. Can’t wait to come back.

    On to Chandler, Arizona. Another casino in the desert. How very familiar for us desert dwellers.
    Had a great time in Arizona. It was a unique show for us as we only played like 75 minutes. That’s a blink of an eye compared to the 2 plus hours we normally play. It was a really fun show though.
    It’s awesome to me when people bring their kids to the shows. We always give the kids guitar picks and setlists. I like the idea of leaving a lasting impression on what must be a lot of these kids’ first shows ever. I remember a number of young people being at this show in particular. Even though it was in a casino.
    The show, though all too brief, was awesome. I think a lot of the people who were following us from gig to gig were a bit thrown by how succinct our set was but God knows they’d seen plenty of our 2 hour shows before and would see plenty after…

    …Like the gig in Anaheim, California! House Of Blues right in the heart of Disneyland. I’m not kidding. Weird, huh?
    I love these House of Blues gigs. The more intimate the better. This place was jam packed. Friends all the way from Italy and Japan. The show was a good long one to make up for the 75 minute show in Arizona. Slash always plays a long solo after having a day off from playing Rocket Queen. That’s the first song to get cut if we do a shorter set because we have managed to turn that song in to a 20-plus minute behemoth.
    We took a wander through some of the Disney shops before the show. What a blast. I always forget that Disney now owns Marvel and Star Wars. This makes for fun shopping though it can get expensive..
    The show in Anaheim was really great. It was a bit surreal as we were winding down to the end of our US dates. These were to be some of the last shows of the World On Fire tour in the US.

    Our next show was in the heart of Hollywood, California. The legendary Palladium on Sunset Blvd. I had never played the Palladium and was very much looking forward to it. So many legendary acts had played there that it was almost imposing. Almost. The stage is my home. nothing can keep me off of it.
    The show was really intense. So many people had come from all over for it.
    Wolfgang Van Halen came with our producer, Elvis Baskette. Always good to hang with those guys. Fred Coury from Cinderella was hangin’, too.
    The show was really great. We’ve been very fortunate to not be met with the standard big city attitude of impossible to impress. We’ve been lucky enough to host a crowd that is actually into it. It really was an amazing time.
    Getting to play LA is always a treat. Getting to play the Palladium is a very special treat indeed. It is a legendary venue that is absolutely stunning. That is a show I will keep on the mantlepiece in my brain for years to come.

    Our last show of the run was in Temecula, California at a casino called Pechanga. We played there once before. There was some concern from the international traveling entourage that was accompanying us on this tour that the show would be shorter like the Arizona show but not to worry. We played and played and played. To Slash’s credit he loves to play. That’s why the show is always two hours plus unless another designated time has been arrived at. That time would never be by anyone in our camp. Especially Slash.
    Casinos are funny. Their mentality is to get people out to a concert or event mostly in hopes that you will gamble before or after. They are hoping you will make a night of it. You will come early, eat there, gamble before the show, watch the show then drink and gamble into the wee hours. The idea is to make the show as short as possible in order to spit those people back out into the casino where they can make their real money off of you. This is why the Phantom Of The Opera in Las Vegas is something like 30-60 minutes shorter than any other version. Bring the people in, keep them seated for a bit then spit ‘em back out and make some real money off of them. It’s the casino way. I live in Vegas. The house never loses.
    That said our show in Temecula was it’s usual two plus hour set. It was our final US date of the 2015 World On Fire tour. It had to be.
    It was a very special night as those traveling alongside us for much of the North American run all joined us to say goodbye. Except for those that choose to join us on some of these Euro dates we are about to partake on.

    All in all it was a very satisfying North American run. We really managed to play some truly great places and got to see a lot of friendly faces. That’s what this Rock n Roll thing is all about. I cannot thank those who follow us from show to show. Sometimes showing up in the craziest, out of the way, off the beaten path places. You are inspiring. We love what we do and you are why we do it. They call themselves Co-Conspirators. I call them my Anti-Stars. I call them The Dammed. Other than these upcoming Euro dates that chapter is over for a while. If I didn’t have the opportunity to do so in person then let me do so now-Thank you. Without you we are nothing.

    So somewhere along the way I started to get messages saying that a fake Todd Kerns was out there chatting up the ladies on FaceBook. What a bizarre thing that is. I think I have so passionately held on to being the best me I can be (a work in continual progress, I assure you) that I have never understood the need to pretend you are someone else. To be honest I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for that person. Maybe it’s the compassionate Canadian in me. That person was chased away. It is one of the creepier side effects of having a slightly elevated profile. I will never consider myself anything more than on an equal playing field as the person standing in front of me whether I’m on stage or in line at the grocery store. If anything all I’ve ever hoped to do was inspire. To motivate.
    My friends started calling me Todd Dammit when i came to Vegas. It was as if Todd Kerns was left behind in Vancouver and Todd Dammit took over. From that a tee shirt with a very simple logo was created. From that every day I see a new creative application of that logo created by someone somewhere on this beautiful little ball we call home and that means the world to me.
    In 2014 I started using an inverted red star as a very simple logo for myself and called it Anti-Star. I have watched that same image grow and blossom every single day with someone’s simply inspired creation. That stuff means the world to me. It means that if even the smallest way someone has been moved to create something. That’s all that ever mattered to me. I don’t consider myself a ‘rock star’. I consider myself a musician. A blue collar one at that. I am a soldier. I hit the stage mostly to show that anyone can. That everyone should. Maybe not a concert stage but maybe to write that script they’ve always wanted to or that novel that’s been swimming in their brain for years. I know the challenges well. I don’t have the time. What if it’s terrible? What if someone ridicules me for it? If you try to do anything different than being the worker bee you were selected to be people will laugh at you but they are laughing at you because you scare them. It is their instinct to keep you down with them. You should simply be an example that they don’t have to be a worker bee either. Be a butterfly, my friends. Stretch those wings out and soar. That worker bee position will always be there if you fall. You owe it to yourself to fly a little.

    So now that I’ve touched on the ‘Spinal Tap’ reference in the above title of this blog it is time to touch on the rest.
    It hasn’t been formally announced yet but will be very soon that your pal, Todd Dammit, will be playing guitar for the legendary Michael Monroe in Finland for 5 shows this December. That’s right. It was bound to happen at some point. Michael and the men from his band have become some of my favorite humans on the planet. I have known guitarist, Rich Jones, for eons back in Canada. Guitarist, Steve Conte, will be unavailable for these dates in December so I got the call. I could not be more thrilled. Anyone who knows me knows what a gigantic fan I am of Michael and his previous band, Hanoi Rocks. I remember sitting in my room as a kid staring at the cover of albums like Two Steps From The Move dreaming of playing alongside these gypsy minstrels. Now all these years later I will be playing alongside two of the characters on that album cover-Michael and the legendary. Sami Yaffa. The third person on that cover now plays drums for John Lennon in the great beyond. RIP Razzle.
    I have knows Sami for a long time, too as we jammed together in the Dive Bar days in Vegas. We have always maintained contact. He’s another hero of mine.
    It has been a very important awakening in me to bring back to life the guitar player in me. Playing Steve Conte’s parts has completely reinvigorated my brain. I feel dormant cells springing back to life. I feel old ninja skill firing back up. It is good to challenge yourself. Do something different once in a while. I am a big believer in saying yes to challenges that you initially want to say, ‘absolutely not’ to. One day someone walked up to me and asked if I wanted to act in a film. My knee jerk reaction would have been ‘hell no’ but I decided to see that through. Though it never really took root in my soul I have always been thankful that I treaded in waters out of my comfort zone. Life is all about experiences and I’ve had every shape and color.
    I am very excited to be sitting in with Michael, Sami, Rich and Karl. Steve Conte is one of my favorite guitar players and it’s been a blast learning his chops to these legendary songs. Maybe I won’t be saying goodbye to the Co-Conspirators/Anti-Stars/Dammed just yet.

    From there we need to touch on the subject of TKO. An album that will be appearing in pledge form very soon.
    There will be a much more detailed explanation for all of this but let me explain as succinctly as possible as this piece has grown and grown as it is.
    Over the past 15 plus year my friend, Reed Shimozawa, from Zuckerbaby (the band that opened for AOE in Calgary earlier this year) have been writing and recording songs for no other reason other than the act of the pure love of music. Some of those songs appeared on my 2004 solo album Go Time!
    In 2014 I was intending to release a 10 year anniversary version of Go Time! which opened up the discussion of all the other material that was to make up the TKO album. Once we opened that door there was no way to really close it again. Then and there we decided to try and finish up this behemoth and release it. Now it’s going on two years later and we are still putting the final touches on it.
    The final TKO album will contain 14 songs. We have decided to include the ones used for Go Time! but everything has been remixed and remastered and is far superior to any other form you’ve heard them in. Once we got talking about it I couldn’t believe that songs like All Systems Go, True Romance, Now Hear This and 21st Century Bonnie & Clyde had never been released before. How could this be? That has to be rectified immediately.
    Once the pledge goes up you will receive the first single, All Systems Go as a free download with your pre order of the TKO album. Further into the campaign there will be a song called Gotta Go available only to pledgers available as a free download. Gotta Go will not be on the final TKO album. It will only be available to those preordering the album.
    There will be 100 numbered limited edition TKO shirts as part of a grand package from Agent Royale/Dammitwear as well.
    I love working with Pledge Music. We raise money for charities and get music directly to the people who give a damn. It is a dream come true for me.
    There will be an acoustic show at Vamp’d in January or February as part of the raising awareness of the TKO project. It has been wayyyyy too long since I did one of those shows. Those shows are the most fun ever. I will be bringing along a lot of my friends as you know I always do.
    There will also be an incredibly rare TKO show in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in March or April. That is going to be incredibly fun. The entire TKO album will be performed plus some classics from my catalogue and beyond.
    This kinda stuff really amps me up. I love making music. I love sharing music. I love the community created by these pledge campaigns. We have such a community already within the world of SMKC that I am excited to expound on that through pledgemusic.com
    It has been a while since a proper pledge was put in place. Borrowing Trouble was over 2 years ago now. Probably closer to 3 by the time we release TKO.
    We did a limited campaign for the live album Bootleg Confessional:Live In Vegas that was also very successful. This time I’m looking to do even bigger than the Borrowing Trouble campaign. On that campaign we reached 250% of our goal. This time I want to go even higher. I’m excited. I hope you are too.

    Well, by the time you read all this it will be the 7th and we will be playing the opening night of our Euro run here in Mumbai, India. What a fascinating place.
    Taylor Swift was apparently in the same waiting room as us in LA. I didn’t see her. I’m not good at spotting celebs.
    It is now the middle of the night as I am acclimating to a whole new time zone. To put that in perspective it is currently 5am here. It’s only 3:30pm the previous day in LA. That extra 30 minutes is weird. That shows you how far away we are.
    Yesterday I joined a cast of characters to see a couple of temples and it was the most beautiful chaos imaginable. So many people. Like nothing I have ever witnessed. The people are kind and gracious. And the food?!? A veggie’s dream. There’s another layer peeled away you may not have known. Todd Dammit is veggie. India is right up my alley!

    So now I must try and get a few more hours of sleep in before our routine starts to spin. A strange routine but routine nonetheless. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel. Soundcheck. Dinner. Concert. Travel etc etc.
    This trip will be lovely as we are in Mumbai for several days then in Bangalore for several more. We play two shows within a ten day span. I’m hoping to see more and more of this rich, spiritual land.

    Well, there you have it.
    November-World On Fire tour 2014/2015 comes to a close.
    December-I will be a temporary member of Michael Monroe’s merry band of miscreants!
    2016-TKO will be released but of course through November/December 2015 the pledgemusic.com campaign will be in full effect.

    I hope you will be able to be a part of all this madness in one way or another.
    Alright, bed ways is right ways now.
    Big love to you and yours.

    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit

  • After The Fall-Part 6

    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    October 8th 2015

    Ah, Minneapolis. Prince, The Replacements, Husker Du…Such an interesting and diverse selection of music has come out of here. It’s not too far from Winnipeg, Canada where brother Fitz is from. Used to be home to the Minnesota North Stars when I was a kid. They moved on to Dallas.
    We are enjoying a day and a half off here and I plan to take advantage of that time doing things I have been putting off…

    Such as writing this



    I’ve been meaning to check in for so long. It seems that any day off I have had has been filled with one activity or another. Today was no different. Took in one of the world’s biggest malls, the Mall Of America with Frankie. Yes, we are all kinds of white trash. A mall is the extent of our adventures. Today anyway. The singer, Jewel, was playing in the middle of the mall outside of Barnes & Noble as part of a book tour she’s doing. I’m one of the last people I know still buying books. I don’t care I love books. I shall buy them till they are no longer available. Currently I am reading Randy Blythe’s (from Lamb Of God) book and it is fascinating. Highly recommended.

    We ended up seeing The Martian at the movie theater, which was pretty rad, then met up with the gang for drinks. Now I’m back in my room. It’s after midnight and figured I should take a moment and catch up with all o’ y’all.
    We have been on the road, for this run, since September 18th. That’s almost 3 weeks. Most of the time when anyone asks me how long we’ve been out I say ‘5 Years’. It feels like that sometimes. Brief breaks to make a new album then back on the road. The Tour That Never Ends. I’m perfectly ok with that.
    We started in Providence, Rhode Island and had a blast. The first show of the tour is often referred to as a ‘warm up’ show as if it is some kind of rehearsal. No such thing in SMKC world. Every show is as important as the last. Whether 100 people show up or 10, 000.

    Jimmy Webb from Trash & Vaudeville turned up and it’s always so great to see him.
    It was our first show with our incredible opening act, The Last Internationale. I love those guys. As people and as a band. Delilah is a star and has incredible pitch and tone. Her boys, Edgey and Fernando, are slammin’. I’ve been listening to them non stop.
    Our good friend, Clifton Collins Jr, turned us on to them. I love getting my butt kicked by a new band. It definitely puts a spring in my step to get up and play our set.

    Providence proved to be a rowdy bunch indeed. The best thing about a ‘warm up’ show is it’s the first of that leg of the tour and new is always good. A lot of our friends showed up from out of town and we had ourselves a blast.
    From there we were off to a new festival entitled the Food & Truck Rock Carnival in the great state of New Jersey. This was a real family reunion for us. Brother Eddie Trunk was there in full effect. Great to catch up with him. It had been too long. Hoping we get to cross paths again soon.

    Zakk Wylde was holding court and was as entertaining as ever. He is one of the funniest cats in the world. He really should be hosting his own show. It’s non-stop laughs.

    Got to say hi to Dave ‘Snake’ Sabo from Skid Row as they were there. Jessie Camp, the former, MTV Vee Jay was on site and we had a blast talking smack. It was filmed so I hope that shows up someday. Complete lunacy.
    Johnny Kelly, currently of Danzig, was present. Johnny was the drummer for one of my favorite bands, Type O Negative. He’s an amazing guy and a legend. Hoping to catch him with Danzig one of these days.
    Went to watch Brother Gilby play his set but missed Taime and his Faster Pussycat. That woulda been fun.
    Our set was nuts. The turn out was pretty damned impressive for the first ever Food & Truck Rock Carnival show. That means next year will be even better. Brother Gilby got up and played Paradise City with us. An honor as always,
    From there we crossed into the land of my birth. Of Fitz’s, as well. God’s country. The true north strong and free. The great white north. Canada!

    Hamilton, Ontario specifically. The second I cross the border into Canada it is family time for me. I have family all the way across Canada and I try to see as much of them as I can.
    The show was incredible. The Last Internationale killed. We added Civil War back into the set which was a nice change. I don’t remember the last time we played that song. A bunch of our friends came from the US and as far as Japan to the show all sporting DAMMIT shirts done in the Canadian flag. What an honor. It was a real trip for me. I hope those friends realize how moving that is for me.

    John from the great Canadian band, Monster Truck, came out and it’s always great to see him. Monster Truck are amazing. Check them out.

    The Trews from Canada came down as well. Another great Canadian band. The guitar player, John Angus, has played with Fitz and I in our Canadian tribute band at a cancer benefit in Winnipeg.

    On to Toronto. The center of the Canadian universe. Spent time with my brother, John and his wife, Jenn. Hadn’t seen them since AOE reformed in Calgary on August 29th. Like I said I’m big on family.

    Another blast of a show. Civil War now semi permanently a part of the set. Good to be back in one of my old stomping grounds.
    After the show I reconnected with my old friend, Mark Holmes, from Platinum Blonde who had a major impact on me in my formative years. Mark was the bass player/singer for a three piece band as was I though I was just a kid playing high school dances. I did my best to emulate him but missed by a mile and became Todd Dammit instead. Mark is still one of my favorite songwriters and deserves a lot of respect. He gets bucketloads from me. His song, Not In Love, was covered by Crystal Castles and sung by Robert Smith from the Cure. That’s a major coup as far as I’m concerned. He now owns the Mod Club and still tours and records with PB. Proud of Mark.

    I also caught up with Brian Hetherman and Paul Eastwood part of AOE’s team at Universal Records back in the good old days. Oh, man we laughed and laughed. I love those guys. We went to war together in this business of show. We used to spend a lavish amount of Universal Records’ cash together back in the day before the record industry ate itself. We would go out and own the town for nights on end. What a different time it is now. A real pleasure to catch up. I hope to do so again soon.
    I got to meet the great hockey player, Paul Coffey, that night as well. He played on the Edmonton Oilers in the glory days. That’s a big deal to a Canadian boy. Fitz was over the moon. What a trip.
    Upon arriving in Montreal I couldn’t help thinking about the Guns N Roses riot that occurred there back in the Use Your Illusions days. Metallica and GNR were touring together at the time. I can’t even imagine those two gigantic behemoths on the road together like that. What a massive bill that is. Anyway, James got burned by pyro which ultimately cut Metallica’s set short then Axl walked off early and the place went bananas. I can’t imagine what an ordeal that must have been. This was after the St Louis riot no less. Man, oh man. Slash mentions those events on occasion. Sounds like a nightmare to me.
    This trip to Montreal was much different. On stage on time for a full 2 plus hours. We added the old Snakepit gem, Serial Killer. just to change things up. It’s good to challenge ourselves once in a while.
    The Montreal crowd was one of the rowdiest of this leg of the tour. Reminded me of Europe. Fantastic crowd. Great show.
    I hung back an extra day rather than driving overnight to Cleveland so I could spend time with my daughter who is in art school out there. She loves Montreal very much. It is such a beautiful place. Those winters are a bit of a shock to a kid raised in the west mind you. Very proud of her. We are a very artistic family.
    So the next day I had to face the drama of my flight being cancelled (wonderful) and then rescheduled earlier than my initial departure effectively cutting into my family time. Only by a couple of hours but annoying none the less. Airlines and cell phone companies-the biggest rackets in the world. Oh, well-better to show up alive than to board a faulty plane.
    Cleveland is always a blast. One of those great American Rock N Roll towns like Detroit or Chicago. Of course our gig wasn’t technically in Cleveland. It was at the Hard Rock in Northfield Park. Either way it was a great time. Lots of friends came out and we had a blast. The Last Internationale, SMKC, Civil War still alive and well in the set. Good times.
    As usual we say a quick hello to our friends and then we are back on the bus overnight to our next destination which in this instance was one of the other great American Rock N Roll towns-Detroit Rock City! At the beautiful Fillmore Theater to be more exact. What a great place.
    Another epic evening-The Last Internationale/SMKC killin’ it Detroit style. Detroit audiences are some of the best in the states.
    Towards the end of the show some jagoff was flipping off Myles. I got up on Myles’ riser at the front of the stage and pointed him out. It was hilarious to watch him crouch down behind the people in front of him like some frightened puppy. If you don’t have the balls to stand behind your actions then perhaps you should think your actions through a little more. On that riser plus the stage I must have stood 20 ft above him. He really did look like a little bunny.
    This is the classic phenomenon. I have no idea where this comes from. If you flip me off that’s one thing but flipping off my friends I will have you removed. It’s probably in your best interest not to flip me off either. Concert tickets ain’t cheap. It would be a shame to pay full price to see a partial show only because you behaved like a fool. Didn’t affect us at all. All I know is that I’m not going to stand there while someone of such low intelligence and high ignorance harshes our good time. Buh-bye!
    Other than that douche Detroit kicked ass. We played Shadow Life for the first time in a long while. Always fun to jog our memory with tunes to be in our regular playlist. Slash is good at throwing down these challenges.
    Then we ran across the state to Grand Rapids, Michigan to play at The Intersection. Another blast of a hit and run. Come out swinging’ and take no prisoners. We are so fortunate to have such good friends and Co-Conspirators that travel the world around the see us. It means the world to us. What a crazy small world with a whole lotta big love. Grand Rapids was no exception. These intimate shows are some of my favorites. Getting right in each others’ faces is just what Rock N Roll is supposed to be. We broke out Stone Blind for the first time in a while to change things up. It’s a nice challenge to play something we haven’t in a while.
    When in our next stop, Ft Wayne, Indiana the Conspirators took in an amazing facility called Sweetwater which is a gigantic music complex not too different from the Google campuses. Sweetwater is a functioning academy of music with a state of the art recording studio, theater/concert venue as well as full musical instrument retail stores. It’s quite mind boggling. We were really knocked out by it. If only there were places like this in every city.
    The gig in Ft Wayne was awesome. A lot of familiar faces. We played 30 Years To Life for the first time in a while which was refreshing. It was a mainstay earlier in the WOF tour. As time goes by we continually try to change our set list because of all the people who come to multiple shows. We try to keep a few things fresh from night to night.
    Then we were off to Marksville, Louisiana not far from New Orleans. Again a crowd full of familiar faces. We played Mr Brownstone from Appetite For Destruction to change things up a little. That one is always a blast to play. That was one of the only GNR songs Velvet Revolver used to play. I think they played It’s So Easy and Patience sometimes, too. We play a lot of everything from Slash’s catalog. Especially SMKC.
    That gig was a lot of fun. As always we had a blast hanging with friends after. The Co-Conspirators just keep growing and growing.
    Sadly this was our last show with our amazing opening act, The Last Internationale. I really do respect and love them. They have a very bright future ahead of them and I couldn’t be prouder to have shared so many stages with them. Keep an eye on them. And an ear. They are amazing. Delila, Edgey and Fern-you is loved!
    From there we were on to one of my favorite cities, Memphis. Last time we were there we went to Graceland. We didn’t have a day off this time so we had to cram any activities into a show day. All we managed to do was go to the Gibson showroom. Frank left Memphis with a new guitar. I think he has a problem. He has way more guitars than I do! And I have a lot!
    Memphis was incredible. We played Shots Fired from Apocalyptic Love for the first time in what has to be almost 2 years. Slash has really been pulling out the big challenges.
    A few days before Slash asked me to sing My Michelle. I said of course I knew it. So we jammed it. That night in Memphis was the debut of me singing My Michelle from GNR’s Appetite For Destruction live. What a blast. The funny thing is when I started playing with Slash I never had to go over any GNR material. I just kinda knew it. My Michelle included. That song kicks ass.
    Love Memphis. Next time I wanna go to Sun Studios. I was disappointed we didn’t get to see it.
    So here’s where things get interesting. We get to the Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky and I’m super fired up. We are only doing an hour long set as we are opening for the great ZZ Top. Gonna be a fun and easy day. No problem.
    Caught up with some friends throughout the day. Our management were there in full force. A lot of homies coming and going. Good family fun. Scott Uchida, pretty much the band photographer, was there with is amazing drone camera flying around getting amazing footage. Beyond impressive.
    We got on stage to a gargantuan crowd. I believe this was only the second year of this particular festival and it was definitely a success. We tore through You’re A Lie and decapitated everyone with the joyous sound of RAWK. Then at the beginning of Nightrain I ran out to the lip of the stage as I do every single night to jam with the people. On this particular night, on this particular stage there was a messy array of cabling strewn about the front of the stage. There was certainly a lot of extra cameras and whatnot to account for all this excess. In the midst of my high energy I stepped back only to find myself on the unsure footing of a bunch of cables and as has happened many times before I knew i was going down. It’s a bizarre moment when you know you’re going. It’s not like time stands still. You are perfectly aware of how quickly this has all gone down but I remember with the utmost clarity rolling with the fall in such a way that my bass never touched the ground. I went down on my back and over and back up on my feet. Done it a million times. When you have been on as many stages as i have you’re bound to spill once or twice. Or three. Or four. Or five. Or six. I’ve completely lost track but I am very happy I fell back and not forward like Dave Grohl did. That would suck. Dave fell right off of a mega high festival stage and broke a bunch of stuff. Mostly his leg, I believe. No way. No thank you. I’ve never broken a bone and I am in no hurry to do so. A lot of people reached out with a lot of concern and it’s appreciated but I’m fine. It’d take a lot more than a fall to keep this man down. I have fallen before and I will fall again. As I said before-you fall, you get up, you carry on. Not just on stage but in life. I’m too stubborn to stay down. There’s still too much to do. Too much to see.
    Beyond that the show was incredible. It was one of the rowdiest festivals I’ve seen in a while. A lot of crowd surfing which is always dangerous. Watching it I just can’t help but wince as people are being thrown about the audience. As this is happening the ‘surfer’ is inadvertantly kicking innocent bystanders in the head left and right as they move to and fro. Be careful out there. It’s just a Rock N Roll show. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.
    It was such a brief set that it went by in the blink of an eye. The audience was super high energy and rowdy. Singing along and really going for it. Had I not fallen it would have been a complete triumph. I think it was a complete triumph even with the fall as far as I’m concerned.
    So then we were back on a bus overnight to beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota where I have wandered the gigantic Mall Of America for a couple days in a row. The place is gigantic. I wonder which is bigger the Mall Of America or the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Someone smarter than me will be able to answer that question.
    Since being here I have seen The Martian and Green Inferno. The Martian is great and Green Inferno is completely insane. Director Eli Roth is one sick bastard but it’s pretty much exactly what you expect and pretty much what you paid for.
    The show in Minneapolis was great. Probably one of the most intimate we’ve done in a while. Always fun to get that in each other’s faces. We added Ghost back into the set for the first time in a while and Slash rocked one of his longer Rocket Queen solos in a while. I, for one, dig it when he does that. He’s one of the greatest guitar players in rock history. He should throw down once in a while! We had a blast.
    Our friends, Raven Eye from the UK are opening the remainder of our shows from here on out. They are another great up and coming band. We are very proud to be introducing them to North American audiences.
    October 8th 2015
    Regina, Saskatchewan,Canada
    Now here I am in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. We stopped here for the day to let our bus driver sleep to break up the long drive from Minneapolis to Calgary.
    Brent Fitz and I did a little hang at a local club called The Exchange here in Regina talking about music and our careers. It’s meant as educational and was initially part of a drum clinic-kinda thing. I was there to tell my crazy stories. It was a good time. Great to see a lot of familiar faces and to get to hang in a city that was such a big part of the early part of my career.
    We just got back from dinner and now I’m waiting to get back on the bus overnight to Calgary. Hopefully I’ll sleep. I’m not the best sleeper in a bed let alone a moving vehicle.

    During the course of this tour there was news that the US and China have agreed to halt the ivory trade. As many of you know the song Beneath The Savage Sun from World On Fire was written in protest of the ivory trade and spurned an entire movement to do our best to be a part of halting it. If you were involved in our movement at all you should be very proud. We got behind something and made a difference. Of course, our involvement was only part of a much larger organization but it is proof that if enough good people get together the right thing can get done. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of us.
    From the good we get into the bad. Some villainous character bought up the rights to a medication designed to help people suffering from Aids and HIV and jacked the price up to some ridiculous price. When I first read it I thought it must be some over dramatized story fabricated just for shock value on the internet but no. It was real. All too real. Is this guy Lex Luthor or something? What a scumbag. There is a special place in Hell reserved for people of his ilk. There is a right thing to do in life and a wrong thing. This is an example of wrong. Help your fellow man. Someone much wiser than I said that. I like to think, in this instance, he was right. Always do the right thing.
    I hate that, yet again, I have to comment on another shooting. This time in one of my favorite states, Oregon. It gets so depressing having to constantly and pointlessly comment on these terrible events. The saddest thing is watching a terrible event like this divide people. Can’t it simply be enough that yet another group of completely innocent people have lost their lives? It breaks my heart that this conversation has to happen again and again and again yet it does and it will. as long as nothing gets done about it. People need to come to terms with the fact that there is even a problem. I don’t know that either side has an answer but I think accepting that there is a problem is step one. We shouldn’t have to worry about sending our kids to college or even a movie theater with the fear that we will never see them again. Enough. Seriously, enough. My heart goes out to all of those who were lost and to their families. Hopefully this tragedy will begin a chain of events that can help stop this senselessness once and for all. That’s hardly consolation but hopefully their loss is not in total vain.
    As always I look to a much bigger picture. A picture that no matter what still stands as strongly to me as it ever has and that picture is the future. Maybe when I’m long dead and gone but it’s coming. Your children will not see color or sexual orientation or all these invisible divisions we have been taught to see. As cool as you think you are your children are cooler and their’s will be cooler still. Their world is going to be amazing. I’m totally jealous.
    My dear friend, Jenny Galt, the singer on Indian Summer from my album, Go Time! just had a baby boy. I couldn’t be happier for her. Thank you for reminding me to look to the light even when things seem dark. Big love, Miss Jenny.
    Time for me to get my things together for the overnight ride to Calgary. I have family every day from here on out till the end of the Canadian dates. Going to be a blast but going to be a blur.
    From Regina, one of my former homes, to Calgary, also one of my former homes. I’ve been very lucky to call a lot of wonderful places home. This big planet Earth is my home. That makes you my neighbor. Howdy, neighbor!

    Big love to each and every one of you!
    Here’s to hoping that the next time I check in there won’t be some tragedy to comment on.
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit

  • World STILL On Fire

    September 15th 2015
    Los Angeles, California

    Long time no see, brothers and sisters. Though I should probably apologize for the lengthy break between these digital confessions to be honest I think once in a while it’s good to make one’s self scarce. I get positively sick of myself now and again. I think in this day and age of needing to share every thought that enters our heads with the twitterverse/Facebookland/SocialNetworkVille has gone too far for my comfort level. Now and then I think it’s healthy to unplug and disengage from the great neon bloodstream that is the internet. That said, I’m never really completely unplugged and since I’m posting now to catch up on all the time that has gone by I suppose I may as well have been posting all along.

    Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say and that’s perfectly ok. Better to say nothing than a whole lot of something that equals nothing.

    Though the good ship, USS Conspirator landed in dry dock some time ago things have been anything but quiet. I don’t remember the last time things were quiet. I don’t know that they ever were. Never. Ever.

    Upon arriving home from the road I spent time bouncing from Las Vegas to LA to Vancouver back to LA back to Vancouver to Calgary back to Vegas back to LA.

    SMKC senior staff have been down in the engine room preparing for a whole new journey set to make way in 2016 tentatively titled SMKCIII. Well, at least I’m calling it that. As it has been, off and on for the past five years, Slash, Fitzy and myself have holed ourselves up in a cold, dark room to create the music that Myles Kennedy will eventually sing upon turning riffs into songs. Commander Kennedy beams aboard now and again to assess progress and make his suggestions then we other three put our heads down and get to work. It stays this way until SMKCIII is in your hot little hands and ears.

    Before even re-acclimating to Las Vegas’ dense atmosphere we found ourselves in Malibu celebrating Slash’s birthday with our home team of family and friends. A good time was had by all. Slash has built a very happy and strong world around him these past five years and I’m happy to be a part of that.

    From there we were writing, writing and writing in our rehearsal space. While there we saw Duff and Matt rehearsing for a Kings Of Chaos show. Always good to catch up with the extended family. Those who came before us. They are the Kings Of Chaos. I am but a Squire Of Silly.

    Back to Vegas where the Conspirators all watched Aerosmith play at the MGM Grand only a year after we shared that same stage with them on the Let Rock Rule Tour before World On Fire was even officially released. I have been especially focused on these artists that are in their 60s and still rocking. None as powerfully or convincingly as the mighty Aerosmith. It is inspiring to know I’ll still be doing this well into my 60s and 70s. And beyond. Rocking into my grave.

    From there I was off to Vancouver for something resembling a family holiday sprinkled with initial rehearsals, for the first time in 17 years, mind you, with The Age Of Electric. It has been no secret that my old band from Canada played a reunion show August 29th in Calgary. These initial rehearsals were just early refreshers with the Dahle brothers as my brother, John, was still in Toronto and would be ’til about five days before the show. This initial visit to Vancouver was still about three weeks out from August 29th.

    The strangest thing about revisiting these songs with these guys for the first time in almost two decades is how NOT strange it was. There was something very expectedly normal to be playing those songs with THOSE guys. It’s what we did. It’s the music we made together. Mostly it was a lot of laughing and reminiscing. These guys are more than ex-bandmates. They are family. I truly mean that. Whatever differences we may or may not have had over the years in no way precludes that. I have known Kurt Dahle since we were 17 or 18 years old. We formed a band with our little brothers and went on to achieve more than, I think, we ever could have imagined. We weren’t the biggest band on the planet and we didn’t get rich but we did go Gold and cover a lot of ground, geographically and otherwise, in the almost 10 years we played together.

    There’s a reason why each member managed to do a lot of great things beyond the end of AOE. Kurt played on Letterman a bunch of times with the New Pornographers. I never got to play on Letterman. He will always have that on me.

    But these were only preliminary jam sessions. Refreshers. Homework for the eventual REAL rehearsal. Besides…I’d been called back to LA!

    Things had gone so swimmingly with the writing/preproduction of SMKCIII it was decided we needed to do another week of racket making. So off I went back to LA.

    This was Vegas, LA, Vegas, Vancouver back to LA.

    Another week of mining and polishing rare gems from deep within our souls proved extremely productive. Fitz and I caught up with Biff Byford, the lead singer for Saxon who happened to be rehearsing next door. That was a trip. He’s a legend. Saxon had been on tour with the almighty Motorhead. A tour which has since been cancelled due to health problems for the one they call Lemmy. We are all wishing Lem a speedy recovery. He has been through a lot these past couple years but he’s still kicking. We only hope he can regain his full strength and get out there and show us how it’s done again as he always has. Every time I sing Dr. Alibi I am singing it for Lem.

    Troy Duffy, the writer and director of one of my all time fave films, Boondocks Saints, stopped by for a visit. He is a real character and a very cool guy. There is an amazing documentary about Troy called Overnight which is a cautionary tale about this beast called Hollywood. I’m a big fan of documentaries that show the challenges of seemingly doomed projects that go on to be sometimes great like Apocalypse Now (the documentary of the making of that film is called Hearts Of Darkness). Sometimes not like The Island Of Dr Moreau. The documentary about the making of Moreau is called Lost Soul:  The Doomed Journey Of Richard Stanley’s Island Of Dr Moreau. Speaking of cautionary. There is another great doc called Lost In La Mancha which was to be a Terry Gilliam film starring Johnny Depp that never got made and has no foreseeable future either. I find it comforting to know that creators often go through unexpected challenges to finally see their art realized. My Apocalypse Now was called Static In Stereo. That was a very challenging project but ended up being a personal high water mark. Another one is called TKO. That one has yet to see it’s complete fruition but it will. I promise.

    Anyway, long story short-I’m a fan of Troy’s. Boondocks Saints is a classic. Always good to see him.

    So then after a week of cooking up future classics with Brother Slash and Brother Fitz I headed back to Vancouver to commence official rehearsals. For those following along that’s home from tour, Vegas, LA, Vegas, Vancouver, LA back to Vancouver.

    Interestingly enough upon my arrival in Vancouver my brother, John, had arrived ahead of me. Both of my brothers and I had dinner with our parents for the first time without girlfriends, wives or children since we were kids. It was kinda surreal. Like going back 20 years just like that.

    Just as before John’s inclusion there was something eerily normal about when all four members of The Age Of Electric were plugged in and playing together. As if an entire 17 year gap had simply been folded over and stitched up rendering the order of time…1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2015…as if 1999 thru 2014 had been torn out of the book altogether. On top of working through songs that we hadn’t played in a loooong time we had three brand new songs that had never been performed live to work up as well. I was reticent to force new material on anyone crazy enough to join us on this trip down memory lane but Ryan Dahle was rightly insistent and I thank him for being so. We didn’t want it to be an oldies show.

    So after about five days of actual, full band rehearsal we hopped on a plane and played our first show in 17 years at the Marquee in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    It’s hard to really put into words how this event felt. To be honest at first, during rehearsal and even the trip to Calgary it all felt very normal. I’m a working, touring musician. This is what I do. That all felt very familiar and normal to me.

    On the day of the show I think the gravity was still lost on me. It was a day of chaotic socializing. Reed and his band Zuckerbaby, who had played with us back in the day were there to add to the nostalgia of the event. Of course, Reed is one of my closest friends so seeing him was probably more comfortingly familiar than time travelingly nostalgic.

    Zuckerbaby were incredible. One of the most underrated bands I know of. Andy has one of those voices that scratches me where I itch. Ian is not only one of my favorite drummers to watch but one of my favorites to play with. He plays drums on the TKO project and portions of Go Time! Jamie is a great addition to the fold. Reed is one of my favorite guitar players on the planet and I say that without hyperbole. He should be playing for someone important. He’s that good.

    Then it was time.

    And I think that’s when it hit me. I looked out at those faces and I realized that this wasn’t just something important to me. It wasn’t just something special for the four guys on stage. It seemed to me that those faces looking back at us thought this was pretty damned important and special, too. There were smiles from one end of the room to the other and those smiles were shared by the guys on stage.

    We opened with Motor, the first song from the ’95 Untitled album and the crowd sang the chorus at the top of their lungs. It was, admittedly, one of the heaviest moments of my career. A song that we played back in ’95/’96 that didn’t even find it’s way into the ’97/’98 Make A Pest A Pet Tour setlist. From that moment on I knew this was going to be a very special night. Possibly one of the most special nights of my life.

    All capped off with an entire crowd singing Oh! Canada at the top of their collective lungs, no less.

    Though it is easy to keep things in perspective there is nothing wrong with losing one’s self in the moment. I knew that the next morning I would be back in the US and in the comforting breast of my new life but tonight I was 17 years younger. We all were and we were going to enjoy it.

    I had been saying for years that I always wanted to do this someday and now it has been done. All that can be done from here is to do it again. I have no answer as to when that could be. Or, as is the most frequently asked question, where. But I can say that this will happen again. Hopefully sooner than later. Only time will tell.

    We played songs we hadn’t played since 1993. That’s 22 years ago. We played three songs that had never, ever been played live before. Songs that don’t have an absolutely defined idea of what will happen to them or where they will go or what they will be. Maybe a release someday. I don’t know. Isn’t that the beauty of not knowing? I like to think so.

    After our show we moved on to a friend’s club where I had done an acoustic show the previous year called the Trop where we had an after show party. It was a chaotic yet enjoyable time. I only wish the boys in the band could have spent more celebratory time together. We were sucked into the vortex and didn’t really see one another again. Ryan Dahle and I went back to the hotel together and agreed that it had been a magical time. Ryan and I have had our differences over the years and nothing makes me happier than to have those childish things behind us.

    I think this show has probably created a momentum that will lead to more. Even Kurt Dahle who carries himself with a certain amount of healthy skepticism seemed to have a good time.

    And just like that I was up and back to Vegas.

    For those keeping track-


    I was OFF tour yet still ON tour.

    While in Vegas Fitz and I joined Bob Kulick to watch Grand Funk Railroad which features Bob’s brother Bruce on Guitar. They were playing a the classic Fremont Street casino, the Golden Nugget. It was a great time. Bruce Kulick is an old bandmate of Fitz’s when they were in Union together with John Corabi of Motley Crue.

    Bob Kulick is a legend, of course. He has been closely associated with KISS since the very beginning playing on recordings throughout their career. He played on Paul Stanley’s solo tour back in 1988. Eric Singer was the drummer on that tour. He went on to replace Eric Carr for the Revenge album.

    Bruce Kulick has been a friend of mine for almost a decade. I first saw him play when I was a kid at the Agridome in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in March of 1985 when he was in KISS on the Animalize tour. Now he’s a friend. Life is funny that way.

    The next night the Conspirators went to see the Guess Who at the Cannery Casino in North Vegas. A good time with a bunch of Canadians playing hit after hit after hit.

    Funny to have been to see two golden age bands like that two nights in a row. Like Aerosmith it made me think what it’ll be like playing music in 10, 20, 30 years from now. I think it’ll be awesome. Can’t wait.

    So now here I am back in LA. In the same hotel I’ve been staying for the past five years off and on.

    We played a private show over at the Chrome Hearts factory. Chrome Hearts, the high end, jeweler/clothier. It was an immensely good time. Most especially because I got to meet yet another hero, Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols. Steve was there and got up and jammed Rock And Roll by Zeppelin with us. That seemed like the least and most punk rock thing ever at the same time.

    Some of you may know that I named my cream Les Paul Custom Jonesy after Steve. He has made a long standing impression on me all of my life.

    I also loved the one off album he did with Duff and Matt called the Neurotic Outsiders. I told Matt and Duff at the above Kings Of Chaos rehearsals that if they ever do a Neurotic Outsiders reunion show and John Taylor can’t do it to call me. That’d be a blast. Of course, I’m sure Mr Taylor would be happy to be a part of that.

    9/11 showed up again as it does every year. It brings with it terrible memories and pending melancholy.

    Kerry Simon passed away. Slash and I played a benefit gig for Kerry a few years ago that included Bill Murray, Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar, Vince Neil, Billy Duffy and Matt Sorum. We were trying to raise money to help save Kerry from his terrible affliction but he, sadly, has succumbed to his disease. It’s heartbreaking but one can only find peace in the idea that he is suffering no more. Little solace but that’s what we cling to.

    The other day I stopped by to say hello to Duff at a Hollywood Vampires rehearsal and had a pleasant surprise. Duff and Matt are playing with Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp’s Hollywood Vampires. What a blast.

    Sure enough who should walk in but Mr Depp himself. I’d never met the man but he was as charming and as friendly as I could have hoped. He was engaging and thoughtful. We chatted about his new film, Black Mass (which looks amazing). I asked if he had to shave his head as he did in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (one of my faves). He said he didn’t have to this time but told a very amusing story of how he would walk around undetected during the filming of Fear And Loathing as no one could recognize this bald man as the world famous actor, Johnny Depp. The only people who did pay him mind were other bald men who would nod to him as if they were all part of some secret society. I found that to be an amusing story indeed. He told us to stick around as he headed off to his duties but I had rehearsing of my own to do. I’m glad he was a cool guy. You always hope that those kinds of meetings will be positive. I still think Johnny is one of the greats. Ed Wood, Raul Duke, Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow…he has created some almighty characters. I look forward to his next creation.

    Alice Cooper said hello and he is always a total gentleman. I never expect these people to remember me and maybe he didn’t but he sure seemed like he did and that’s enough for me. Speaking of ‘the greats’-Alice is in a class all his own.

    So yesterday we pressed the pause button on the writing and preproduction chapter for creating SMKCIII so that today we could focus on the World On Fire US/Canada Fall Tour 2015. Before closing the pre production chapter we erased all the titles from our dry erase board from the World On Fire writing sessions. That wasn’t an easy exorcism. I remember writing those titles down as if it were yesterday and here we are ALREADY writing new ones in their place. I won’t give away too much about this chapter of SMKCIII but let it be said that we are well over halfway through the writing of that future album as it stands today. The entire album could be written before the end of 2015. I’m that optimistic. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one…


    Today Slash, Fitzy, Frank and I ran through all the songs we are going to play on the upcoming tour. Myles shows up tomorrow for full rehearsal. We will run through it as a refresher and be ready to kill by the first show of the tour this Friday.

    For the fall tour we have introduced a limited, one of a kind, white DAMMIT-True, Strong, Free shirt. Created in conjunction with Caffeine Nation for Dammitwear. Caffein Nation is my brudda from down Unda’s company, Andrew Treadwell. Check out his stuff it’s killer.

    We’ve never done a white Dammit shirt before. I think it’s time. Stay tuned to when it will be available.


    Alright, well it’s now 2:18am September 15 2015 so I should get some rest for the full rehearsal tomorrow. Hope to see you out there helping us set the world on fire!

    Though these have been seemingly dark times of late with so many shootings, latent racism, latent homophobia I still believe that we are better than all of this. It is my belief that our children are better than we are. They are going to be a part of a world I hope I live long enough to see. Tolerance, life without fear. Crazy words like ‘brotherhood’ could actually mean something. I am ever hopeful and I hope you can join me in doing the same. Love is bigger than hate. It always has been. It always will be.


    Big love to each and every one of you

    Your loyal and humble servant,

    Todd Dammit




  • Into An Electric Age

    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    July 20 2015

    My intention was to have this chapter out loooong ago but when a special announcement started to present itself I decided to double dip and treat this as one big information drop. That announcement kept being pushed back and pushed back and so did these words you are reading. I’m writing now for what will be officially released Monday.
    Got back to Vegas 6 days ago and it’s as hot as the Sun here. Perfect reason to stay indoors and decompress. Also necessary to work through the jet lag. Had to finish seasons of Mad Men, Bates Motel and Vikings. Once that’s out of the way the stir crazy sets in. Our pace is so fast on the road that once removed from it there is a brief moment of gratitude to not be needed for much of anything. Soon after, like a drug, you find yourself needing to be needed somewhere. Anywhere. Lobby call, bus call. 30 minutes to show time. It’s a sickness. The stage is my drug. The music, the large gathering of friends to share in the celebration, the ceremony. I am happy to take these objective steps back now and again to regroup and make returning to the stage all the more sweet. You never want to overstay your welcome. Leave them wanting more is the old show biz credo.
    Everyone always comments on how hard we work. I can’t argue. We have been touring for one year as of July 9th on the World On Fire album cycle. Prior to that it has been a pattern of recording and touring and recording and touring that has gone on for over five years now. With no end in sight, by the way. During this break I currently write from SMKC will be continuing to fine polish the music that will go on to make up what I am affectionately referring to as SMKC III. There is no one more focused and driven than Slash. New music is our life blood. Slash has never been a man to rest on his laurels. There is no official plan but 2016 is largely being set aside for whatever the next chapter will be. An eventual new record followed by several more trips around the planet. The band will be six years old by then and will have covered a lot of miles in that time. By the time we come off the road from SMKC III the band will be into it’s seventh year. That’s pushing a decade. When I first started with Slash I wasn’t sure if it was going to be only a few months but here we are still writing, still playing, still growing stronger than ever. I couldn’t be happier. I am where I am meant to be.

    So let’s time travel a bit. Shall we?
    I last left you in one of my favorite places on the planet, Rome, Italy. What can be said about Rome that hasn’t been said by millions before? It is truly a wonderful place.
    The show in Rome was in a beautiful outdoor facility. It was hot and sweaty and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
    That night Starlight was added back into the set and pretty much stayed there until the end of the run. As the years have gone by the SMKC catalogue has grown so much that it’s hard to accommodate everyone and everything. There are songs I miss like Not For Me. That song always gave me goosebumps when the audience would sing that first chorus before the band kicked in. No More Heroes is also one of my favorites I miss.
    For the two Italian shows our very good friends, Rival Sons, were opening for us. These guys are an amazing band. I cannot say enough good things about them. I highly recommend you check them out. We have been trying to lineup a tour together forever but hasn’t worked out. Hopefully one of these days.

    From there we were off to the great city of Milan. What a truly beautiful place. It becomes redundant because I could say that about every stop along the way but Milan is a stunning sight to behold.
    The show was another triumph. Rival Sons raising the bar for us before we even get to the stage. Starlight in the set list yet again. Even a little of Bad Company’s Feel Like Makin’ Love during the intro of Slither. A magical night.

    From there we made our way to a place we’d always wanted to go but never had the opportunity, Croatia. Zagreb to be specific. The Conspirators walked the streets of Zagreb thinking we could cleverly blend in. We never do. Tall, long black haired dudes dressed in black doesn’t make for blending. Really beautiful place. i recommend it.
    The gig was nuts. No other word for it. It’s the first time I’ve ever witnessed people standing on one another’s shoulders. We’ve played plenty of shows where girls climb on their boyfriend’s shoulders but I’d never seen them standing on shoulders like a cheerleader routine. Throughout the audience it appeared as if people were standing above the crowd. Because they were. A bizarre thing to witness.
    The show was amazing. Great crowd. Really loud. Really passionate. For a long time I’d been getting letters asking us to come to Croatia. Now most of my letters are asking when we are coming back to Croatia. Hopefully soon!

    Next up, Bucharest, Romania. We had played Bucharest before on the Apocalyptic Love tour in 2013. It had been too long. Great show! Great people. Bucharest is a truly beautiful place. The venue was an amazing looking, historic, open air arena. Some of these venues have to be centuries old. True history over there. Can’t wait to return.

    An overnight drive and we found ourselves in lovely Sofia, Bulgaria. Yet another beautiful location. It’s a shame we really don’t get to see more of these places but seeing their smiling faces from the stage is better than anything else I could imagine. We also played Sofia on the Apocalyptic Love tour back in 2013 so it was high time we returned.
    Yet another brilliant show. They were loud!

    Our next show was on Canada Day (Canada’s Independence Day) July 1st in Hungary. This was one of those eclectic Eruo festivals with a interesting mix of acts. That day we headlined our stage followed by the DJ David Guetta playing set into the wee hours. Brent Fitz hung a Canadian flag from his drums to commemorate Canada Day. It remained there ’til the end of the tour. That show was streamed over the internet as a lot of the festival shows we did were. Some of these will appear somewhere like the Palladia channel down the road, I’m sure. Keep a look out. The show was an amazing experience.
    Even though the show had to be shortened due to the festival lineup Starlight remained in the set. I mentioned before how people sometimes complain about us only playing 90 minutes sometimes at festivals but this is merely to accommodate all the acts in one day on a large festival before curfew is called. I appreciate their passion though. Wish we could play two hours every time.

    In Austria we played yet another castle. You would think by now that wouldn’t be weird but it’s weird. Never expected in my life to ever play a proper castle. It is called the Burg Clam. Google that. It’s amazing.

    One of the coolest things about doing the gig was getting to play with the Black Star Riders. The Black Star Riders evolved out of the reformed Thin Lizzy put together by original member Scott Gorham. It features our friend, Damon Johnson from the amazing Brother Cane. Damon served with the Alice Cooper camp for years. He’s a super talented and amazing man. Also on board Ricky Warwick from The Almighty bringing the Irish flavor, Jimmy Degrasso on drums from Alice Cooper, Megadeth, the list goes on, Robby Crane on bass from Ratt and Vince Neil. Of course, original Lizzy guitarist, Scott Gorham is present and he is a proper legend! Great band. Highly recommended.

    Anybody who knows me knows that I always have a black bass with a mirror pick guard in tribute to the late great Phil Lynott. So I am a fan.
    After getting schooled watching the Riders play we took the stage on a hot Austrian night. The show was epic and one of the longest of the tour. Some of the Riders were side stage watching which always make you take it up a notch. Don’t wanna look like a chump in front of professionals. This is to the benefit of the audience. Makes everyone play at their best. Also makes for a very memorable night.

    Off to Switzerland where we celebrated the 4th of July. Geneva to be more specific. We had never played Geneva before but it was a true blast. By this point in the tour there was a very definite heat wave that followed us from here on out. Certain places don’t seem as air conditioning friendly as others in Europe and that venue was one of them. From this point on ’til the end of the tour we were a sweaty disaster. A lot of our friends came from France for this one to join in with the festivities. We had a great time.

    From there we would return to Nice, France where we had played some five years before opening for the great AC/DC. That was an amazing experience. Guess what the air conditioning situation was like in Nice? You got it. No air conditioning. Another hot, hot show. I kinda like those though. You’re pretty much sweating before you even get on stage so by the time the first song stars you are drenched. The audience is drenched too though so it all makes sense.
    For many stops along the way I was given custom made DAMMIT shirts with the colors of the local flag. Austria, France, Italy, Spain. It is a true honor to receive these. Five years ago I hadn’t even been to some of these countries and now I get to fly their individual colors. A true honor, indeed.
    The venue in Nice was a beautiful outdoor facility near the beach. Definitely an exotic setting. The crowd was amazing and very close.

    Next up was Spain. We hadn’t been to Spain in far too long. I have no idea why. First up was the beautiful city of Madrid. We hadn’t been in Madrid since 2011. That’s even before Apocalyptic Love. We can’t allow that kind of lapse to happen again. The crowd was killing it. They sang every word. Another hot and sweaty show. We will definitely not be taking so long to return.

    From there we went to the stunning Barcelona. We had never done Barcelona before. This is one place in particular that I regretted not getting to see more of. We had driven in overnight and upon waking up it was immediately time to get to the venue. With that there is no time for sightseeing. I did manage to see my favorite sight of any and every city and that was watching a crowd of people have a great time from the stage. I hope this is only our first trip to Barcelona. Next time I’m getting out and seeing more. The show was incredible.

    The next day during our trip to the final stop of the World On Fire European Summer Tour 2015 I realized something important. That day, July 9th, was the one year anniversary of the World On Fire tour. We did a warm up show in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire before connecting with Aerosmith in Jones Beach, New York for the Let Rock Rule tour. That tour was a career highlight for all of us. Since then we have been around the world a few times. I’m told at this point we have done 95 shows since July 9 2014. That’s a lot. A year into the tour and still a long way to go. This tour will take us right til the end of You wait and see. Bring it on I say.

    And then there we were at our final destination. End of the line. The Musilac Festival in Aix-les-Baines, France. We played a truncated set for our final show which was a weird way to end but very satisfying. This was another eclectic mix of artists. Gojira played but we missed them. Woulda been cool to see them.
    It was a great way to end the tour. Great crowd under the great, open, French country sky.

    And from there we began our long journey home knowing we were a year into a very successful tour having completed the very important leg of European summer dates playing plenty of places we either had never played before or hadn’t in a long time. We went home the successful conquerors knowing we had accomplished all we had set out to do and then some.

    And so now I have been home the better part of a week decompressing and convalescing. In a few days we will head to Los Angeles to celebrate Slash’s 50th birthday and then we will hunker down somewhere and continue writing songs together for the eventual SMKC III to be released sometime in 2016. This machine keeps moving forward. Exciting times indeed.

    Now we finally get to the reason I have taken so long to finish this chapter. By now you are probably aware that my old band from Canada, The Age Of Electric, will be playing our first show in 17 years at the Marquee in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on August 29th. I had to wait til that was officially announced before releasing this blog otherwise i’d have blown the big surprise. This is something I never really knew could ever happen but here we are. The big question is ‘why now?’ and the answer is ‘why not?’ No one had really asked before. I assume when a band hasn’t performed in a long time you write them off but then someone asked and we collectively said ‘yea, that sounds like fun’
    All original members for the first time in almost two decades. It is going to be actual time traveling. We are really looking forward to it. Hopefully you can join us. It is going to be downright historic.
    The band formed 26 years ago in 1989. That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? That’s a loooong time ago. Probably before some of you were born.
    We released 1 indie cassette as Electric before adding The Age Of onto the front and releasing yet another indie cassette then 3 cds. In 1998 we had a gold album under our belt as well as a Juno (like a Canadian Grammy) nomination for best new artist. Best new artist for a band that had been together 9 years. We didn’t win it. I don’t remember who did. I don’t think anyone else does either.

    It’s going to be a very special night as my brother, John, and I haven’t played together since 2002 in any full capacity. Damn time flies. That’s 13 years ago. Jesus.
    The other two members of the band are brothers too. I’ve known Kurt Dahle, the drummer, for 30 years and his younger brother, Ryan, about the same.
    A lot of history there. Basically family, really. To be sure this is a very special event for all involved.

    And opening will be my best friend, Reed Shimozawa’s band, Zuckerbaby, who opened for The Age Of Electric back in 1998 on the Make A Pest A Pet tour at our peak. Reed is co-writer/producer of half the tracks on Go Time! and my partner in the as yet to be released TKO project. Again-family.
    Not to be missed, brothers and sisters. See you there.


    And that, for now, is, as they say, that. There is a great many things going on in the world right now that I wish I could extrapolate on but let me just say that 4 marines were shot to death by what appears to be an extremist. My heart goes out to their families. When those who are meant to protect us are not safe on home soil it is all the more unsettling. These are young men with so much to live for. Truly heartbreaking. I only hope someday this kind of thing will be a thing of the past. It feels like every time I write one of these there’s a new tragedy to comment on. I pray next time I do there will be some peace.

    Alright, I gotta go do some shopping for Slash’s birthday. What the Hell do you get the guy who’s got it all? Another black tee shirt? Hey, that always puts a smile on my face.

    Keep on with the free world rocking’!
    Big Love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit

  • Sick Men Of Europe

    June 18 2015

    Antwerp, Belgium

    What a whirlwind. We have been on the road for for almost three months on this leg alone though I have to admit that it feels as though we’ve been out for much longer. These breaks between the legs of the tour barely register. The World On Fire tour started July 9th 2014 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, USA. That means we are almost one year into the tour. That’s about how long this tour feels and I mean that in the best way possible. Sometimes it feels like all of the tours bleed into one another making it one long tour that started in 2010. Night after night we stand in front of people and play music. Really, really loud music. For really, really great people.

    I wish I could go back and tell my 15 year old self that this would be my reality. I wonder if he’d ever believe me. It is my favorite thing to do and I get to do it every day. I couldn’t be more grateful than I am.

    When last I joined you we were in one of my favorite cities, Stockholm, Sweden. Home of the Hellacopters, The Backyard Babies, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Entombed, Electric Boys and, of course, ABBA. Speaking of ABBA the Conspirators took in the ABBA museum after soundcheck and it is well worth the trip. If you’re ever in Stockholm check it out. It was too much fun.

    That night we played at the Grona Lund, an open stage in the middle of an amusement park. Fitz and I joked that it felt like we were in the movie KISS Meets The Phantom Of The Park. In that film KISS plays at an amusement park as well.

    Almost every historic artist imaginable has played at Grona Lund in Stockholm from Miles Davis to The Who to The Ramones to Iggy Pop. Their wall of fame is insane. Standing on that stage while knowing all the great people who had stood there before us was an awe inspiring experience.

    The show was amazing. It’s always a whole different vibe playing in broad daylight. On one of the festival shows in the US a musician from another band said that rock and roll shouldn’t happen in the day time. I disagreed. I’d seen footage and photos in my youth of so many festival shows. Castle Donington. The US Festival. Live Aid. Umm, hello…Woodstock? I think the festival experience is a very important part of Rock N Roll and the Europeans would agree with me.

    This, of course, wasn’t a festival. Just a Rock N Roll show happening in broad daylight at an amusement park in front of thousands of hard rocking Swedes! Good times.

    After the show I got to finally meet Conny Bloom from Electric Boys. I’ve long been an admirer and we’d been in touch for years online. Conny also served in the last version of Hanoi Rocks which I enjoyed very much as well. Conny is a gent and now officially a friend and not just the online kind.

    Next up we were off to Oslo, Norway. Good Rock N Roll country up there! We got to play Unholy again that night. 30 Years To Life made an appearance. And I got to scream Welcome To The Jungle to all our Norse brethren! What a blast.

    From there we boomeranged back to Sweden to play the great festival, Sweden Rock. Imagine looking over and seeing Slash, Myles Kennedy, Steve Lukather from Toto and Michael Monroe standing around telling war stories. That was my surreal view for a moment there backstage.

    Michael has grown to be a great friend. It is no secret what a gigantic fan I am of his so that’s what makes it so crazy when he stands side stage watching our set. For me that’s a trip.

    Our set was a blast. Our second time rocking with the Swedes in mere days.

    Got to hang with Michael and his merry men who are also some of my favorite people in the world as well as being one of my favorite bands. Unfortunately they were playing after we had to drive on to our next destination so I didn’t get to sit in with the guys again. Next time!

    We did get to stand side stage and watch Toto which was a trip. Some of these festivals are so diverse you get Judas Priest one day and a band like Toto the next. I like that kinda diversity. Steve Lukather is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet and he is also one of the best story tellers, too. He ended up sitting on the bus with us rapping with Slash and da boyz til we had to leave. What an honor. Steve played on Thriller, ya know?

    Next up the mighty Rock Am Ring in Nuremberg, Germany. The site is next to a very historic site where Hitler made speeches. It’s a super dark sight to behold when you see it. It leaves you a little breathless.

    I first did this festival back in 2010. It was amongst the first shows we did together with Slash’s then new band. It was awesome then and it is awesome now. It will be awesome the next time we do it, too.

    That day Frank and I did an interview for Gibson guitars on the Gibson bus and it was the height of silliness. I don’t know why anyone would put a microphone in our faces when we are together because it just gets ridiculous but we have fun. It’s online somewhere. It’s mostly me laughing.

    As a parting gift from the interview, Herman from Gibson gave me a brand new Gibson SG bass. I was floored. What an incredibly kind gesture. Herman is incredibly kind to us and I can’t thank him enough. What a genuinely kind individual.

    As I mentioned above the show was insanity. I have no idea how many humans were out there but it makes you dizzy trying to take it all in.

    The entire show was streamed live online. I haven’t had a chance to watch it though I very rarely watch us online. Once in a while to hear how one of the new songs is sounding. I believe the entire show exists on youtube. Let me know how it looks!

    From there we were off to Rock Im Park, the sister festival of Rock Am Ring. Also in Germany with mostly the same acts from Rock Am Ring. I didn’t get to see much as the travel usually gets us to the venue just before our set and we are back on the bus traveling just after we finish. Pirate life. Germany is very good to us.

    We also first did Rock Im Park back in 2010 and it’s just as breathtaking now. It is always hard to fathom that many human beings in one place at one time. An amazing experience.

    Our set was super intense. It was a warm, sunny day with a bunch of our beaming and friendly German family.

    Then off to Berlin where we have spent a great deal of time over the years. We played in an out and out castle called Zitadelle Spandau which had apparently become a prison at some point and was now used as a live venue. We had a blast wandering the grounds feeling like we were on the set of Game Of Thrones or something. Crazy history over there. Kind of hard to fathom for us North Americans.

    On top of playing an incredible venue our opening act would be the amazing L7 which was a big thrill for all of us. I got to watch them soundcheck but didn’t get to see their set due to the distance from our dressing room area to the stage. Unfortunately the girls had to leave before we were done our set. We were looking forward to getting to hang and get a photo. Bummer but they were amazing.

    Our set was a blast. What a very cool place to play. It’s not every day you get to say you are playing at a castle. These things are never lost on me. I’m always in a state of wonder of these things. What a crazy thing this life is.

    Rich Jones from Michael Monroe’s band came down to say hi. The next day we wandered Berlin looking at the great sites and sights. Rich has relocated to Berlin and was a kind and generous tour guide. We, of course, made a stop at the Ramones Museum, a must see for any fan making their way to Berlin. I’ve known Rich 20 plus years. He’s a good man.

    Then we made our way to the Netherlands for the legendary festival, Pinkpop which we had done a couple of times before.

    We got to watch Faith No More which was amazing. I hadn’t seen them since the 90s. They all wore casual white and the stage was adorned in flowers. It was like a Sunday garden party. That image countered by their music made for a bizarre mix. It was really good to see those guys sounding as good as ever.

    Our set was a blast. Another sunny day. I believe there is footage of our set online. Check it out.

    Somewhere around this point Dave Grohl fell off the stage in Gothenburg and broke his leg. Even so he still returned and finished the set. Absolutely crazy. Now THAT is a testament to the power of Rock N Roll. The Foos had been on a lot of these same festivals with us but we never had the chance to connect. Unfortunately even though Dave returned to finish that set the Foos had to cancel the rest of their dates. Really a shame but hardly unexpected considering what he endured.

    The Edge had fallen off the stage not that long ago in Vancouver during the first U2 show of their current tour. Yikes. Makes me nervous that my turn is coming. I have to admit I eye the edge of these stages a little more closely now. If you are on stage as much as we are the chances of falling increases. i’ve fallen on stage many, many times just not OFF a stage. That would suck.

    Dave will be back in no time. He’s a trooper. Most ‘rock stars’ storm off stage because of a hang nail. Dave Grohl legitimately breaks his leg and returns to finish the set. Now THAT is impressive.

    Off to Download! This is another big one for us. We appeared on the same stage as Motley Crue, who are on their farewell tour, and KISS. With Billy Idol on before us. That’s quite a day. I have been a fan of all of these artists since my childhood. That is not lost on me.

    Jimmy Webb from Trash And Vaudeville in NYC came over for the festivities and he joined Frank and I in viewing the surprise set by the Darkness. Always entertaining. Justin was on fire peacocking around the stage with his new haircut. He’s actually a very tasty guitar player. It was a great way to start the day’s adventures in mud and rain.

    I was bummed to have arrived too late to see the Backyard Babies play but caught up with Dregen nonetheless. I’m a huge fan of the Babies but have never had the opportunity to see them. Now that they have reformed and are on some of these festivals with us I thought we’d have the chance but not so.

    Dregen is a talent and a proper rock star. Check out his solo album. One of my faves of the last couple years. Flat Tyre On A Muddy Road is a classic.

    Eric Singer, drummer for KISS, our good friend, came by to catch up. It had been too long. He’s a good man. Though we never got to see KISS that night it was great to catch up with Mr Singer.

    The interesting thing about Download is the shanty town they build for the artist’s backstage area. It’s all trailers with different bands/artists in each one. The English rain mists and sometimes pours off and on throughout the day and you carry that Castle Donington mud on your boots for weeks afterwards.

    Back in the day this festival was called Castle Donington. They’d do the Monsters Of Rock shows. When I was a kid I’d see pictures of Motley supporting Shout At The Devil there drinking Heineken beer. I’d never seen beer in green bottles before. I was a kid. I suppose I hadn’t seen too much beer nonetheless.

    Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God stopped by and a more intelligent and thoughtful person you could not meet. Randy spent a month plus in a Czech Republic jail due to the death of a stage diving kid at a LOG show. He was eventually acquitted of all charges but having survived such an ordeal must have left a lasting effect. He has a book coming this summer that I’m looking forward to reading. There is a documentary covering it all that is a fascinating viewing. I highly recommend it. Through it all he remains a very warm and sharp man. I admire him a great deal. I honestly don’t know what that experience would have done to me. The idea of someone passing away at one of our shows would devastate me enough let alone being unjustly held responsible. He is a strong man.

    Playing at Download is one of the truly great European festival moments. It is a major deal for UK and European rock fans. I can understand why with the lineup of acts that appear there. Our set was heavy for me. We had first appeared there in 2010 and Lemmy got up and sang Dr Alibi with us. I try very hard to find a moment to take the event in. Photographers complain that I move about too much to snap a pic but every once in a while you’ll find me surveying the entire spectacle, taking mental pictures to look back on. It was a magical night. Proof that SMKC grows every year.

    Caught up with Mark Tremonti and his band of merry gentlemen there as well. Good men and a great band. Mark is a very strong singer. I am always impressed.

    Also got to catch up with the girls from L7 finally. They are wonderful people. They were full of compliments about the show we did together in Berlin. I was like, ‘are you kidding? You guys were great!’ One of those moments where you are trying to one up one another with compliments. Very kind people those L7s.

    Frank and I went and watched Motley Crue and got schooled on BIG ROCK SHOW 101. Fire! Fire! Fire! So much Fire! Nikki even had a flame thrower bass. Madness.

    Motley is one of those bands that meant the world to me as a kid. As time goes by you put things into perspective as an adult but times like standing just behind Nikki Fucking Sixx while he tears it up in front of thousands immediately takes me back to looking at pictures of them in Circus magazine playing Castle Donington in the 80s.

    Vince waved at us. Nikki peace signed us. It was awesome to be acknowledged.

    And with that we were whisked back on the bus into a rainy english night. Like I said we didn’t get to see KISS but it was another successful Download in our rearview mirror.

    Hello, Hamburg! Back in Germany! Man oh man do we love Germany. We just can’t seem to stay away. The interesting thing about this night was it was the first performance of the song Iris Of the Storm from World On Fire. It was the last of 17 songs on the album we had yet to perform. This band will stay on the road til 2016 and we’ve already managed to play every single song on the album live. That is quite an achievement. There is no other artist this far into his career that would even dare to do such a thing but Slash is the most daring person i know. We managed to play every single song off of Apocalyptic Love, too. Somewhere someone could compile an entire playlist of live versions of songs off of AL and WOF. I’m pretty proud of that.

    It’s always a pleasure to play our full 2 hour plus set. Festivals usually call for a truncated set to fit all the bands in. A lot of the big touring bands don’t have their full stage show for the festival shows because of the restricted stage room and set time.

    I had someone complain to me that we only played an hour long set once as if we had made this decision. At a festival when there are a thousand bands playing we all have to play limited sets under strict time restrictions to fit everyone on. Anyone who has seen our own shows knows that we play far beyond our allotted time every time. Some people just don’t have a clue. Think before you speak. If you wanna see us play our 2 hour set come see us outside of the festival setting.

    The Hamburg show was awesome. Like I said before Germany is very good to us. This was our last appearance in Germany for a while so we had to make it a good one. Hence the addition of Iris Of The Storm.

    Back to Luxembourg! We have been playing Luxembourg since 2010 and it’s always a great live stop. Two plus hours of Rock N Roll. We had friends come in from France and as far away as Japan. Lux was a particularly special show.

    June 20 2015
    Somewhere in France

    I usually try and write these things in one sitting but every now and again I get sidetracked by life and have to finish as I go along. I have decided to not post until after today’s show at Hellfest as then this block of shows will be over with into a day off…somewhere…

    Just back from breakfast with Mikkey Dee from Motorhead. We drove in overnight from Graspop in Belgium and are now in France for today’s performance at Hellfest. Roll off the bus with little sleep and head into the restaurant to over fuel on coffee. Who should show up but Mikkey. Motorhead just played last night at Hellfest. Mikkey is one of the best dudes in rock. In fact all three members of Motorhead are complete gentlemen. Innocent bystanders might think otherwise based on the music they play but Phil, Lem and Mikkey are all great dudes. Very thoughtful and not a ‘rock star’ ego in the bunch. When they talk to you they talk to you. They are listening to what you say and engaging. Lessons to learn for any aspiring musician. Never lose track of where your feet tread. On the ground. You are above no one.

    Mikkey plays drums in the one of the most important bands in the world but is the most salt of the Earth dude imaginable. An honest to goodness pleasure to hang with.

    Last night we played at Graspop in Belgium. It’s actually called Graspop Metal Meeting which is an indication of the kind of music featured there. The entire show was filmed and is already online. In fact, I just posted in on Twitter. Enjoy.

    The funny thing was that Neil Diamond and his touring entourage were staying at our hotel. I never saw him but I assume he wasn’t playing at the ‘Metal Meeting’. Neil is the king. I gotta see him once before he retires.

    The day was fun at Graspop. Got to hang out with old friends and make new ones. Got to hang with the guys from Dead Dasies, a supergroup of sorts featuring old friends and new. Caught up with John Corabi, their singer. You might remember him from the Vince Neil-less Motley Crue album from the 90s that featured Hooligans Holiday. He also played in Union with Bruce Kulick from KISS and some kid named Brent Fitz. John is a character and a great story teller. He has a great, classic voice.

    I caught up with old friend, Dizzy Reed, from Slash’s old band. Diz is a great dude. We’ve jammed together many, many times and he’s a good man.

    Tommy Cluefestos from Ozzy/Sabbath was on drums and got to say hi to him. Great drummer. Good dude. We toured with Ozzy back in the day.

    Bassist Marco Mendoza from a number of great things including the most recent version of Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Black Star Riders is also a member. He’s such a good dude. A great talent, too.

    I got to meet Richard Fortus one of the guitar players from Axl’s GNR. He’s a great guitar player and a great guy. Richard is one talented dude.

    Eric Singer from KISS stopped by again as they were headlining. Eric is a good friend but if you read this regularly you already know that.

    The show was awesome. It was a little windy and chilly but that just puts a spring in your step to keep warm. We all wore black leather like the Ramones. I was pretty proud of that.

    Our set was all too brief but epic nonetheless. Tommy Thanyer from KISS was side stage watching a good chunk of our set. Tommy is a great guy.

    As we wind down into the last few weeks of this run I feel more invigorated than I should. I’m usually worn to a nub by now but I feel better than ever. I have a couple of hours to chill before we take our bus out to the Hellfest grounds so I’ll finish this up tonight or maybe tomorrow.

    Next stop-Hell. France, Population : Gazillions

    Milan, Italy
    June 21 2015

    Well, that was fun!

    Just got to Milan for a quiet day off before making our way to Rome. I love Italy. It was one of the first places I fell in love with when I first came to Europe back in ’06. Been back many, many times since and it never loses its luster.

    Yesterday we appeared at Hellfest in France. Last time we were there Slash was also appearing with Ozzy for his Ozzy and friends show while Tony Iommi was sick. Ozzy’s band plus Zakk, Slash and Geezer. Was a good time.

    This time was an amazing time, too. When we arrived Fitz and I ran for the stage. Ace Frehley had just started and we wanted to see as much as we could. As anyone knows I am a well invested soldier in the KISS Army and Ace is pretty high on my list of heroes. His set was great. Loaded with classics including Shock Me featuring his smoking guitar! It was absolute Rock N Roll heaven for me. Later in the day I got to meet Chris Wyse who is playing bass for Ace. In recent years Chris was playing bass for the Cult, another fave of mine. Caught up with Ace drummer, Scott Coogan who is a Vegas resident these days and a great guy.

    Directly after Ace I ran to the other stage to finally get to see the Backyard Babies. It was only something like their fifth show since reforming after a five year hiatus. The band sounded great. Super tight and broke out all the classics I love. I got to meet Johan the bass player later in the day. Got to say a quick hello to Dregen again. Always a pleasure. I’m a fan.

    Our set was mental. In many ways it felt like the biggest festival audience of the tour but I could be wrong. They all seem mind alteringly huge. There is footage of our set on youtube. They had amazing cameras on cranes sweeping over the audience and in close to us which makes for some impressive shots. Check it out.

    After our set I got to say hello to a lot of friends and fiends also appearing. The Conspirators spent a considerable amount of time with That Metal Show’s Don Jamieson, who is a good friend. He eventually ended up on our bus hanging out and if we hadn’t paid attention he’d be here in Milan with us. Lucky for him he bailed before our ship sailed (yes, I’m aware that rhymed). Hellfest was an epic blast.

    Our Live At The Roxy DVD/Blu-Ray/CD/Vinyl is out everywhere. I don’t even have a copy yet but I’ve managed to sign a few since their release. Yet another great achievement I am proud of.

    Also the SMKC ‘action’ figures from Staramba have been released individually or as a set. It’s a very strange thing to have a figure of myself available out there. I’m the guy that has Johnny Ramone, Lemmy, Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten jamming together on his dresser in action figure form. Strange times, brothers and sister. Strange and exciting times.

    Hope you enjoy the new music and toys we’ve release for you. Those are two of the things I love most!

    There. Now I’m all caught up. I can finally have this posted.

    Still much to talk about. A few days ago a guy walked into Emanuel AME Church in Charlestown, South Carolina and killed nine people. The fact that he was white and they were black is abhorrent. It is the 21st century and we are still dealing with these people trying to turn the clock back. We have come so far as a society yet in the last couple of years there have been continuing events of blatant racism that make me embarrassed to be a human being. I do not share one shred of these small minded ideals. To live with hate is to live in fear. People think hate makes them stronger but it doesn’t. It gives the power to whatever it is you are bafflingly afraid of.

    It’s 2015 people. It is the 21st century. The future is now. We live in a time spinning forward faster than any other time in history. You may cling to your forgotten, flawed and ancient ideals but the rest of us are moving forward. You will be left behind. Eventually there will be none of you left. There will be the enlightened, the open minded, the open hearted.

    Choose a path that unites us. Avoid paths that divide us. They will lead you nowhere.

    Racism is an embarrassing, antiquated trait to have. Almost a trait to be pitied rather than feared. What was missing from one’s life that they chose this ideal? Love your children. Fill them full of wonder and ambition. If you do not they get lost. They have anger and sadness that leads them in the wrong directions. Venting hatred on kind people who had every intention of having lunch with family after church. Now they are gone. For what? For the misdirected anger of a very lost soul. Such a shame.

    Jim Carrey had a great quote in a speech he recently gave. He said, “Beware the unloved or they will eventually hurt themselves. Or me” Or you for that matter. I think that is a very heavy thing. The unloved. Such a sad thing to think about. You hope that the unloved could find some fulfillment elsewhere but it is such a deep-seated issue that no one can know how it will manifest itself. There should be no unloved.

    Someday these things will be a thing of the past. Extreme measures need to take place first. Things that a lot of people are not prepared to sacrifice but I think baby steps towards a bigger goal is important. That goal is peace.

    Jon Stewart said it best. We live in fear of Al-Qaeda and Isis yet how can we feel safe at home? We need to do whatever it takes to take care of one another. We should not be afraid of one another especially in our schools or churches.

    I find it all very sad and my heart goes out to the families of the victims of the shootings on what should have just been another quiet Sunday in that historic church. Deeply sad.

    That’s all I have to say. So much good to look for in this world. Keep your mind and heart open.

    I’m off to enjoy a day wandering Milan with brother Fitz. As it has been since 2010 and it ever shall be.

    Today is Father’s Day back home. Spoil your Dad today. In fact spoil everyone you care about today. In fact spoil everyone you care about every day. Live. Love. Laugh.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Keep your minds and hearts open.

    Big Love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit=

  • The Upside of Down

    Stockholm, Sweden
    May 30th 2015

    I had every intention of checking in long before this but then the unexpected grew beyond my control. Life is funny that way. Sometimes there is no way to prepare for what might come your way.
    Currently I sit in my room in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. In honor of that I have ABBA playing as I stare out at a rainy day. Great music from this neck of the woods. Chris Jericho’s band, Fozzy, plays a version of ABBA’s SOS in their set. Most unexpected but proof that a well written song can be executed in any fashion and ABBA knew how to write a song.

    When last I checked in we were about to partake in one of the biggest US summer festivals, Carolina Rebellion which had a refreshingly strong female presence with groups like our friends Butcher Babies, Halestorm, Pretty Reckless and In This Moment.
    Our set was amazing. Always fun to turn around and see so many fellow musicians standing in the wings of the stage watching in support just as we do during their sets. It’s a great community we have there. That night we got to stand side stage and watch the mighty Slayer which we have done many, many times and it never ceases to be an amazing treat. The heaviest of the heavy.

    Next up was Stroudsburg, PA which I had never been to before. Cool town. We brought Dirty Girl back into the set from the World On Fire cd. We are still playing 16 out of the 17 songs from World On Fire live. Not all at once but they get rotated in and out. Dirty Girl was a fun one to have back in if even for one night.

    Back in NYC where we did our cd release show not so long ago. This time we were at Terminal 5 which we played 4 or 5 years ago. I remember that show well. This one was even better. You always get accustomed to jaded audiences in the big centers like New York and LA. People have seen and heard it all in places like this. This night in New York was a real surprise for us because the audience was ravenous. I went out there all ready for an uphill battle but the audience was truly great. I was taken aback by it to be honest. It was a really great night.
    For the encore Kimberly Nichole, who was a contestant on NBC’s ‘The Voice’, got up and sang a slamming rendition of Hey Joe with us. She tore the roof off the place.
    That night we got to catch up with good friends like Eddie Trunk. Always good to see Brother Ed.

    From there we were off to the site of where we kicked off the very first show of the World On Fire tour, Hampton Beach, NH. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-Hampton Beach looks like the town from Jaws.
    We’ve managed to play there a few times over the years and it was really cool to return to the scene where we first played songs from World On Fire live. I distinctly remember the audience listening intently to the new songs back then. This time everyone was singing them full volume. It is good to return to places to compare the reactions. I have to say that these most recent shows were the best responses we have ever gotten from both NYC and Hampton Beach. We had a blast.
    I got to see our opening act at Hampton Beach. They are called Unlocking The Truth and they are staggeringly great. They are literally teenagers. If you get a chance do yourself a favor and check them out.

    Next up was the Rise Above festival in Bangor, Maine. Most festivals are basically camping with music and this one proved to be more than ever complete with marshmallow roasting and s’mores.
    Another great show with our friends Tremonti and Butcher Babies hanging out.

    We found ourselves next in Sayreville, New Jersey where Jim Florentine from That Metal Show came down to hang out at sound check though I didn’t get to see him. My bad. We were playing at the legendary Starland Ballroom. What a blast.
    Legendary photographer, Mark Weiss, was there snapping photos. What a trip. Google him. He’s done all the greats. Neil Zlozower, Ross Halfin and Mark have all taken photos of this band. All legends.

    Then we were back to the Ram’s Head in Baltimore. We played the very first show ever for the Apocalyptic Love tour back in 2012 there. Again this was a real treat to return to because the audience was so much rowdier than ever before. I have been in a very fortunate vantage point to watch this thing grow and grow. Every day has been more exciting than the last.

    On the 14th of May BB King passed away and a greater loss to the music world I can’t imagine. I was lucky enough to see BB live a few years back when they opened a BB King’s bart/restaurant location in Vegas. It was quite a night. Willie Nelson was there as was Buddy Guy. I was pretty star struck. I remember BB’s entrance on his little scooter. The crowd parted as he made his way in with a big, warm, welcoming smile on his face. He played with such soul that night. I made a point to remember how special of an occasion that was and I’m glad I did. He is dearly missed.

    Another massive American festival is Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. We had fun the night before hanging out with Jim Root from Slipknot just talking about coffee and Steely Dan, oddly enough. Both Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson from That Metal Show were present and we got to catch up. Good dudes.
    Our set was mental. What a great time. That is one of the biggest festivals to play in the states for us.
    Got to say hi to Twiggy from Manson as well as a bunch of other musician brethren.
    I watched Manson that day and it was a great deal of fun.
    My good friend, Scott Uchida, brought me a copy of Duff McKagan’s new book, How To Be A Man for me which I have been enjoying. It is really great. Check it out.

    From there we were off to Camden, New Jersey for the MMR*B*Q where we hung out with the Pretty Reckless gang. They sounded great that day. Halestorm also played and sounded killer, too.
    We got to hang out with the new version of Stone Temple Pilots. Robert is such a good dude. We’d only met him once before in Singapore in 2011 or so. Saw Dean and Chester from Linkin Park who is singing for the current lineup. They sounded amazing that night. Such an array of great songs. It’s really a shame that their original singer couldn’t pull it together enough to be a part of it but Chester did an admirable job.
    Our set was a blast. A storm welled up and delayed STP a bit which they probably didn’t feel too good about. We were concerned that would affect our set length but no such problem should arise. We did our whole show without incident.

    Off to Chicago where we met up with our new opening act, Fozzy, featuring our good friend, Chris Jericho. Chris is famous for being a WWF (now WWE) wrestler. He has written several books and appeared on multiple TV shows and movies. In many ways he’s the most famous person we know. He has had multiple action figures made of himself. That kind of famous.
    The night before the show Frank and I had dinner with Scott Marceau from Yamaha and Smashing Pumpkins guitar player, Jeff Schroeder. That was a good hang. Jeff is a good dude. We talked rock most of the night.
    The next night the show was huge. We had a blast and Fozzy kicked ass. We knew this was going to be a fun run together.

    From there we rocked the Hard Rock in Sioux City, Iowa. It’s always good to play the full two hour plus set when we have to play the odd abridged set at festivals. I always prefer the momentum of the full show. That was a good time.

    A new iPhone video game has been released called Stunt Wheels which features some music from my solo album, Go Time! It’s an honor to be on there. Check out the trailer featuring Wide Awake In the American Dream from Go Time!- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtR-cDcCQjY

    I stayed in and watched David Letterman’s last show on the 20th. I had always been a huge Dave supporter over the years and to see him finally retiring was truly the end of an era. He had been on the air since I was a boy where he reinvented the late night medium still exercised today. I highly recommend you read Late Shift by Bill Carter about Dave and Leno battling it out for the Tonight Show all those years ago. After that read the sequel about Conan getting hosed.
    Goodbye, Dave. Thanks for the memories.

    Back to Stubb’s Bare B-Q in Austin, Texas. We hadn’t played there since 2012 or so. Austin is another one of those great music towns like Nashville or Memphis or New Orleans. I love it when music is a major factor.
    Stubb’s is a cool outdoor venue. Fozzy tore the roof off then we blew the doors off. Good thing it was outdoors. The last time we played there it was sweltering and I was expecting the same this time. The day before the show it was Texas hot but the day of the show was overcast and made for a nice night. Good rocking weather.

    Houston was a great night. A buncha friends showed up in DAMMIT USA shirts and it was a lovely surprise. More and more that DAMMIT support shows up all the time. Just today a photo was posted of our pal, George Lopez rocking his DAMMIT shirt. How rad is that?
    The Houston show was amazing. I was sad to see the US tour winding up.

    Then on to Dallas, the final show of the US leg. I got to say a quick hello to my old friend, Vinnie Paul from Pantera/Damage Plan and now Hell Yeah! Always a pleasure to hook up.
    Dallas was an amazing and cathartic night for me. So much had been going on during this tour and this final night was a great release to be able to lose oneself in the ceremony of live music. I feel so fortunate to have this outlet. It was a great send off to the US and to the boys in Fozzy.
    Chris Jericho had ridden on our bus overnight from Houston to Dallas and it had been a lot of laughs. A fellow Canadian in our midst makes for deep references that only we can understand.
    Not to worry, we will return to the US and Canada for the fall. Stay tuned. See you soon.

    From the 21st of May on I had been dealing with the passing of my Grandmother. She was 95 years old and though we were all more than hyper aware of her advanced age none of us could ever have prepared ourselves for her passing. She had always been the glue that held our entire family together. I believe her spirit will do the same. She was the nucleus of a very wide reaching extended family.

    As will happen at that age I was only aware that she was feeling unwell before it became very serious very quickly. I am thankful I got to FaceTime with her the day before she was gone. She had always told stories of how as a child I had told all of my cousins that she was only MY Grandmother and not theirs. She was that special. So special that I think we all claimed her as our own.

    My deepest fear was that I would be unable to attend her memorial but as it turned out it would be held directly between the last date of the US tour and the first date of the European tour. Though it would be exhausting I was going to be there come Hell or high water.

    From Dallas, Texas I connected in Minneapolis before landing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. From there I drove with my family to Rosetown, Saskatchewan where my Grandmother had lived from the year of my birth. She had lived in the same house all that time and that house holds every warm, family memory for all of us. Now we would not only be saying goodbye to her but to the very home we had all pretty much grown up in. That was almost as difficult a task.
    I spent 24 hours in Rosetown with family honoring the memory of the woman who had meant so much to us before driving back to Saskatoon where I flew on to Calgary then to London and finally to Helsinki, Finland for the first show of the Euro tour.

    Though it was crushingly exhausting I wouldn’t have missed my Grandmother’s funeral for the world and I am so thankful that it all worked out that way. It was deeply sad but she had the most amazing life and we should all be so lucky to have such an impact on so many. I will miss her always but I have her name tattooed on me so she is more a part of me than ever.
    Hold on to the ones you love.

    Though I was shattered with jet lag I got up on stage with Michael Monroe last night in Helsinki for the opening show of the Euro tour and played two Hanoi Rocks songs. Rich Jones, my dear friend from Vancouver, is now playing guitar for Michael replacing Dregen who replaced Ginger.
    Playing Malibu Beach Nightmare AND Oriental Beat on stage with Michael and Sami Yaffa was a boyhood dream. I had long stared at the cover of Two Steps From The Move in my bedroom as a teen dreaming of playing with these guys. Michael and Sami stared back at me from that album cover and now here I was standing on stage with them. Though I had played with them individually in other circumstances it was a big deal to play THOSE songs with THOSE guys together. Not to mention with my old friends, Rich, Karl and of course, Steve Conte, who I watched play with the New York Dolls countless times.

    It was a great way to snap me back into the moment after such a sad time. To go from something so sad to something so joyous was a pretty big reminder of how crazy life can be. One day you could not be more sad and the next you could not be more elated. Life really is a magical and unknowable ride. We have to make the best of every situation. Always seek out that half full cup. Even if it is difficult to find. Never stop searching.

    In the course of my mourning Borrowing Trouble celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary. It seems only yesterday we put it out. Now those songs are a part of my day to day lexicon and new people find them every single day. Isn’t music crazy that way? Songs live longer than we do. Thank you to every single person who owns and enjoys Borrowing Trouble.

    The Live At The Roxy DVD/CD/Blue Ray/Vinyl will come out in June. That is right around the corner. I’m excited to have it out there. It’s one more release that I’ve been a part of in the Slash world that makes this all so exciting.

    1. Made In Stoke
    2. Apocalyptic Love
    3. World On Fire
    4. Live At The Roxy

    The catalog continues to grow.

    There are more exciting and interesting things brewing that will come into fruition in the coming days and weeks that I can’t comment on just yet but they will present themselves soon enough.

    That’s all I can muster for now. The Stockholm rain hasn’t let up but I should probably go out and take in some kind of oxygen outside of this room. I look forward to rocking Stockholm tomorrow night.

    Call your Grandmother. Tell her how much you love her.
    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit

  • From Disgraceland to Graceland

    Charlotte, North Carolina
    May 2nd 2015

    Apparently we have been on the road for one week as of today. Not including the few days of rehearsal and travel to that first date. Prior to that the 3 (Slash, Fitz and Dammit) were hunkered down in the Conspirators Cave coming up with new music for the eventual SMKC III album. I’m calling it III as it’s far too early to tell what the album will be called. We have a few songs on the go far earlier than anything we’ve done schedule-wise in the past. I’m excited. A lot of my favorite bands did great work by their third album.
    KISS-Dressed To Kill
    Aerosmith-Toys in The Attic
    Cheap Trick-Heaven Tonight
    The Ramones-Road To Ruin
    Sabbath-Masters Of Reality
    Metallica-Master Of Puppets

    I think that’s the album that solidifies a band’s legacy. In the case of Cheap Trick and KISS their third albums led them to the live albums that defined their careers. By SMKC III we will have released two live albums already-Made In Stoke and Live At The Roxy.
    It’s too early to really be talking about any of this but my exuberance should be noted. I love making new music and I’m one that tends to look forward rather than back. Stay tuned…

    Before we left Chris Jericho, the WWE wrestler and lead singer of Fozzy, appeared on That Metal Show and mentioned myself and Fitz as fellow Canadians. Fozzy will be joining us soon on tour as our opening act. Chris also plays with Fitz and I in a fun Canadian cover band called Coverboy that has played several charity events in Canada. It’s going to be a blast hanging with Chris on a daily basis!

    The first show of this run was in Orlando, Florida at a festival called Earthday Birthday. There were a lot of cool bands there. We got to catch up with our producer, Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette. Always good to see him. He is family. He has such huge things cooking up in his world. I can’t wait for you to find out.

    We also got to catch up with the fellas from Five Finger Death Punch who are fellow Las Vegans. Also got to see brother Mark Tremonti and his awesome band.
    Playing a 50 minute set is beyond unusual for the boys in SMKC. Our version of Rocket Queen can be 30 minutes long sometimes to put that in perspective. 50 minutes would be like playing Rocket Queen and, like, four other songs. We did NOT do that though. We came out swinging and laid waste to all in our path.

    The next show was also in Florida but the great city of Jacksonville this time. This time we had an hour. This festival was called Welcome To Rockville. We had many of the same bands on this bill so we got to say hi to Brother Mark Tremonti and the Punchers of the Five Fingers of Death as well as Scott from Alter Bridge. Great to catch up with him. We got to play a full hour at this festival and did terrible damage with 10 extra minutes. Imagine what we could do with a full two hours!

    The next show we got to do just that-New Orleans, Louisiana. What an amazing town. Unfortunately our first day off of the tour was spent indoors as a tornado warning storm had rained down on the great city with furious anger. We actually had a blast. We hung out and watched the New York Islanders get beat by the Washington Capitals. That’s hockey for the uninitiated. I’m afraid I’m a bad Canadian. I have lost touch with my hockey roots. I’ve never been much of a sports guy but if you are a regular reader of these ramblings you already know that.

    The next day I went to the great vinyl shop, Peaches, in New Orleans and spoiled myself a little then made our way to the House Of Blues.

    The cool thing about this run is we’ve managed to squeeze in the most intimate of settings in between the gigantic summer festival shows. That makes for a great juxtaposition. Getting to play intimately to a room full of our closest friends is a great honor.
    As I mentioned we got to bust out the full two hour extravaganza including the first ever performance of The Unholy from World On Fire. That song is the heaviest song we’ve ever played. I don’t mean heavy metal I mean heavy dark. The subject matter is especially troubling as only Myles Kennedy could create. It has a dark Alice Cooper via Abbey Road Beatles thing going on.

    In listening back to it I expected it to be a tough one to pull off live but it came together very quickly and i think it stands up very powerfully live. Testament to a solid band that has been playing together for five years. Three with Frankie.

    That, of course, means that in total we are performing a record 16 songs from World On Fire at the moment. That leaves only ONE left to be performed live. Extra points for those of you that can name that song.

    On the Apocalyptic Love tour we added And We Roam in the 11th hour and it performed amazingly well. The last World On Fire song will see it’s moment in the sun. We still have a long way to go to finish the tour.

    New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the world. There is really nowhere else like it on the planet. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Lots of music which is always inspiring.

    Next up we played the Soul Kitchen in Mobile, Alabama. The cool thing is the changing accents along the southern United States. I’ve always found accents to be a fascinating thing. In England the accents change every few miles it seems. The southern states have variances along the way and I love hearing the music within them.

    This was another intimate show to offset the grandiosity of the festival summer circuit and it was a good one. We got to play another 2 hours and performed The Unholy for a second time.
    Mobile was a blast. We had friends come as far away as Japan for that show. Our family keeps growing all the time.

    I have been waiting my whole life to get to Memphis, Tennessee and we had finally arrived. I was so excited to get there that I paid no attention to the fact that I’d slept about only three hours on the bus that night and just got on with my day nonetheless.

    After ingesting all of the coffee in Memphis Frank and I made our way to the Gibson factory in Memphis. We had been to Gibson’s acoustic factory in Bozeman, Montana and the Gibson custom shop in Nashville so now we were going to the Memphis one which largely deals with the company’s hollow body guitars. As a guitar nerd these moments are never lost on me. It’s like wandering the Willy Wonka factory. Guitars Guitars GUITARS as far as the eye can see. A dream come true for a guy like me. Frank even went home with a brand new guitar. How much better could the day get.

    Well, it got even cooler cuz we were going to Graceland. I’m a massive Elvis fan. I’m a sucker for the entire mythology of the King. Graceland has been a destination I’ve had in mind since childhood and getting to walk through it’s doors was a heavy moment for me.
    We hopped on a shuttle through the gates of Graceland that I’d seen in a million pictures and documentaries. We pulled up to the house and there we were. People always tell you that the house is much smaller than you expect but since I’d been hearing that my whole life the house was much bigger than I expected. Strange turn there.


    Class trip to Graceland

    Upon walking through the front door we took in the sites and I snapped off pictures like I was making my own coffee table book on the place. Our tour guide, who was amazing, pointed to the ceiling above the entry way and said that is where the bathroom is located. At first it didn’t register what she was referring to but then it sunk in. THE bathroom. The scene of his death. We all had a cold chill moment at that. I still get the heebie jeebies thinking about that.

    Needless to say we wandered the house like any other tourists just taking it all in. Frozen in time as it had been in his life which lends it’s own chilling ambience. Seeing how those on top of the world may have lived in a not so distant past yet distant enough to seem completely alien.
    Seeing his gold albums and costumes was staggering. He wore those costumes. They are not reproductions. That IS his black leather ’68 Comeback Special outfit. Mental. His crazy 70s white Elvis costumes made him look like some kind of superhero. Certainly one of a kind. And there they are just lined up in glass one after another. Not all of them but a lot of them.
    Standing at his grave was heavy for me. Other than the initial chill at the mention of the place where he died the rest of the trip had been a great deal of fun. A celebration of the man’s life. Suddenly standing at his grave was very sad. You suddenly realized he was only 42 years old. He was the most famous person on the planet. He had achieved so much and yet I’m sure he had every intention to achieve so much more. But there it is. We are on this planet for the blink of an eye. Even 100 years seems so brief in the grand scheme of things. Well, not brief really. Not brief at all. I think if you can make it to 100 you’ve done something right. I never anticipated still being alive so I’m trying to make up for everything now by taking care of myself. I’ve outlived a lot of my heroes but there’s always Keith Richards. Keith made it to his 70s. No one expected that. Least of all Keith. He just might bury us all. Live, brothers and sisters. Live now. Live today. It’s all over too fast. I’m sure the King would tell you the same thing.

    So after all that I bought myself the Elvis glasses as I had a million times in my life but this time I was buying them at Graceland. And with that it was all over. To be honest it was a great experience and I will do it again someday but it was a little heavy for me. I don’t think of Elvis as some bloated joke that people make him out to be. I think of the dangerous young man that could slay with his voice and his body. Enough so to change the world forever. Never to be another like him. Ever. Listen to Mystery Train or That’s Alright, Mama. That stuff is the real deal. There is a fair amount of later Elvis that is just as important to me.

    I had every intention of getting to Sun Studios as well but they had a session going that night. It’s still a proper functioning studio. Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis had all recorded there. That’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s the Mount Rushmore of Rock N Roll as far as I’m concerned. The next day it didn’t work out either but that leaves me yet another reason to come back to Memphis.

    We wandered Beale street and heard live music coming out of almost every building. Memphis, Nashville, Austin Texas all of these towns keep live music alive and it’s why I return to them again and again. Music will always be alive in these places.

    We played right next to the Mississippi River that night for the Beale Street Music Festival. Another eerie moment came up while driving there and Myles reminded me that Jeff Buckley had drowned in that very river. So many heavy memories in such a beautiful town. Martin Luther King Jr died there as well. So many good men cut down too soon. Such a shame. A real crime.
    The show that night was pretty epic. We played about 70 minutes and it was a blast. Got to see In This Moment and Breaking Benjamin before taking the stage. A great time had by all.

    So now here we are in North Carolina getting ready for the Carolina Rebellion festival which will feature a bunch of bands who are friends of ours. We have a blast getting to watch bands and catch up with friends. Makes for a great day. I’m looking forward to it.
    Today as I went for a coffee I saw Kerry King from Slayer walk by. It’s that kind of a day. I had to double take then give him ‘the nod’. I guess I’m gonna enjoy some Slayer tomorrow night :)

    The Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens trailer has since surfaced and it is every bit as moving as I expected. Seeing Han and Chewie together in 2015 is something I never could prepare myself for. So many of us are feeling 7 years old at the moment. I welcome this. Not many things can have such universal impact. I still say JJ Abrams is the right man for the job. Remember I said that.

    A new game called Stunt Wheels is being released and it includes music from your’s truly. Songs from my 2004 solo album Go Time! will be included throughout the game and I’m super psyched about that.
    Check out the trailer here-

    The Riviera hotel in Las Vegas is going to be destroyed after 60 years of service. We all expected it but it’s kind of a drag. Slowly all the old casinos are going away. In the time I’ve lived there the Stardust, The Frontier, the Sahara and now the Riv have all but gone away. I guess change is a good thing. I spent a lot of time at the Riv. When I first came down to Vegas my friends worked there so I seemed to be there a lot. Sad to see it go.

    Well, that’s about enough for now. I’m excited to see Avengers-Age Of Ultron. They keep making movies for me. Bless ‘em. Terminator, Jurassic Park and eventually STAR WARS!!!! Big year. Bring it on!

    By the time you read this I will be preparing for the Carolina Rebellion Festival. Sure to be a blast.

    Big love to you and yours
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit

  • 5 Years

    April 20 2015
    Los Angeles, California

    5 years ago last month I got a call from my brother from another Mother, Brent Fitz. I had been house shopping in my new stomping grounds, Las Vegas, and my Father had come to town to help out as he’s knowledgeable in such matters. After a day of viewings I took my Dad to a Chili’s in the neighborhood for a bite when I got the call from Fitzy. Brent had only recently got the gig playing drums for Slash. I was thrilled for him. Fitzy didn’t have a whole lot of info, just asked if I could be in LA at noon the next day to come jam with Slash and the lads. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a jamming machine. I can throw down with anyone anytime. I was especially knowledgeable in all things GNR. I looked across the table at my father and asked if he wanted to go to LA that next day. My father said, ‘I’ve never been to LA’ and that as much as anything sealed it. Well, he should see LA.

    The next morning we got up, I grabbed my Fender P bass and made our way on the I-15 South to Los Angeles, California. I had before and have since driven this patch of highway countless times and probably ever shall. It’s one of my favorite drives. I can been in LA in three hours (3 and a half if I’m obeying the law) from my front door.

    We arrived at the rehearsal space and said a quick hello to the guys and I set up my stuff. While I was doing so Slash turned up. I turned around to see him talking to my Dad. That’s one of our favorite stories now. In fact we just revisited that story today. We said a quick hello then started jamming right away.

    I don’t specifically remember how many songs or for how long we played. In my memory all we jammed was Nightrain and suddenly I was being told about a bunch of TV appearances and some tour dates. I was very committed to my band back in Vegas and this was a great deal to take in. After all I wasn’t even entirely sure what I was doing there. As far as I knew there was a lineup in place. Sure enough the bass player they had in mind hadn’t worked out and here I was being all pursued.

    It was never an easy decision and was something I had to wrestle with and did so for a long, long time but after discussing it over with my Father I decided to take the plunge and the rest is history. Suddenly my entire life changed. I had only just become a homeowner and now I was playing with a legend. Crazy times.

    Over the next while we would do things I had long given up on like appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. That’s not something a kid from Smallville, Saskatchewan, Canada just assumes he will ever get to do.

    Over the next while Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother had arrived to appear on such shows to sing the first single off of Slash’s new solo cd. The song was called By The Sword and it was one of many I would be cramming to learn.

    This guy, Myles Kennedy, eventually showed up as he would be the singer for the tour. As it turns out Myles would go on to be yet another brother of mine.

    We all appeared on George Lopez’s since debunked late night show, Lopez Tonight. We played on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

    We played a warm up show at The Roxy on the Sunset Strip and Mick Mars from Motley Crue was sitting right in the front booth. The guys from That Metal Show were there too. They would all go on to be bros of ours. I had played the Roxy in 1991 with my own band. The entire thing had taken on a whole new air of surreality.

    We rehearsed with Lemmy for an appearance together at Revolver Magazine’s Golden Gods Awards. That was another moment I never thought I’d experience. I still remember standing in studio C in Mates Studio singing a capella with Lemmy and our then guitar player, Bobby Shneck nailing the bridge harmonies on Dr Alibi. That was beyond surreal.

    At that awards show Rob Halford from Judas Priest told me we sounded good on Leno. I was gobsmacked. I got to perform Dr Alibi with Lemmy then watched Slash, Lemmy and Dave Grohl play Ace Of Spades together. Life could not have been more gloriously weird.

    Since then we went on to play with Alice Cooper, Rick Neilsen, Michael Monroe just one hero after another. We went around the world. We opened for AC/DC in soccer stadiums in France. We went around the world again. I lost an eye, they put it back together. We went around the world another time. We played Download in England to tens of thousands. We played with KISS. We played festivals so big I couldn’t see where the audience ended. We toured with Ozzy. We lost Bobby. We got another guitar player. He became my little brother. His name is Frank. We released an album. We went around the world again and again and again. We got gold albums here and there and there again. We played with Motley Crue. We played bigger and bigger venues. We made yet another album. We toured with fucking Aerosmith. We went around the world and around the world and around the world again and again and again.
    When this whole thing started no one knew who the hell this Todd guy was. It turned out I could sing all the harmonies in all the songs with Brother Myles and then Slash made me sing one myself. Then another. Then another and another.

    Then there was a fan page from here then from there then from over there and back over there. And we kept on going around and around and around the world to places that in 2010 had seemed completely alien until they became completely familiar by 2015.

    I have only forced you to join me on this journey down memory lane to illustrate one thing and that thing is gratitude. Gratitude for the last five years of my life. The good as well as the challenging sides of it. It’s not all glamour. There is hard determination and grit required for this life in space and we have all been tested along the way. I am thankful to be part of the family I perform with proudly and I have never taken for granted how lucky I am to be a part of it. My contributions to the history books are cemented in two proud releases called Apocalyptic Love and World On Fire and no one can take that from me now. They exist and they are out there. Forever and always.

    I tell you all this as I stare into the future knowing that by the time the World On Fire tour has been completely put to bed we will be upon the eve of calling this journey 6 years with the next chapter already underway as I write this. That means that with another record SMKC could be on the road until 2017 perhaps even 2018 if everything goes smoothly. That’s a significant chunk of my life.

    Of course, I’m not one to look too far into the future. I don’t spend too much time looking back either. Maybe only to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown. It is today we have to learn to keep our focus on. Today with a healthy dose of tomorrow.

    I grew up in a town of 1500 people in the frozen center of a beautiful place called Canada. As far away from ‘the scene’ as I could be. As my journey unfolded it has taken me places I could never have foreseen. Never let anyone tell you what you cannot do. That’s just them voicing their fears that for you to succeed is to highlight their own inability to do the same. There is nothing you cannot achieve. There is nowhere you cannot go and there is nobody that can stop you. Only you can stop you. You need to learn to let you be you.

    The last two days we have been writing songs in the very room I payed Nightrain that first time with the guys five years ago. We will write a few more then begin rehearsing for the upcoming US tour. From there we will head back to Europe for festival season. Then after a short break we’ll tour some more and some more and some more until 2015 is 2016 and then…who knows? That’s the beautiful thing about the future. It is history yet to be made.

    The past five years have been some of the greatest of my life. I have a feeling the next five are going to be even better. Then the five after that and the five after that until I run out of time on this crazy wheel. I plan to leave a very well played out corpse behind.

    Big love to all the Co-Conspirators, The Dammed and all you beautiful Anti-Stars out there who’ve come together with us along the way to make one big, beautiful misfit family. It has been a glorious chapter and I look forward to writing the next one with you.

    Big love for the last five, the next five and the five after that.
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit

  • Gotta Make My Way Down To Mexico

    March 30th 2015
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    “Blood red sky on a desert road, Gotta make my way down to Mexico”
    -Anastasia from Apocalyptic Love

    I sang that song along with brother Myles as we played three shows in Mexico and thought every time, “Hey, we’re IN Mexico!” I wondered if anyone attending appreciated that.
    I am currently on MY couch in MY house after watching a full day of the Walking Dead. I hadn’t watched any episodes of the current season while on the road so I had to indulge and had a one man Walking Dead marathon and I’ve never felt more accomplished. I just came off almost 8 weeks on the road. I deserve a little me time. Well, a little me/zombie time.
    Some of you may have seen the post that our assistant tour manager, Sam Risbridger, put online-
    51 Days
    26 Flights
    26 Shows
    10 Countries
    4 Continents
    2 Friday The 13ths
    5 Days Off
    That is the glamor of being in a touring rock band. From Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil to Mexico we spent day in/day out in airports, clearing customs, waiting in lines, driving to the airport at least an hour in advance, driving from the airport to the hotel or often the venue after barely sleeping, rocking hard then rinse/repeat.
    And you know what? I fucking love it. I can’t get enough of it. It is the single greatest thing in the world. Seeing the world, playing music every night for people who give a damn then getting to hang with those people. It is the single greatest job in the world. I know this and I have never and will never take that for granted.
    When touring by bus we play a show then get on the bus and drive overnight to the next city. Often we sleep a bit then check into the hotel in the middle of the night, try and go back to sleep but that’s never as easy as you’d like. Then you eat, shower and head to the venue. Soundcheck, eat dinner, play hard, say hi to your people then you’re back on the bus-rinse/repeat.
    Both scenarios have their pluses and minuses. When flying you get to go back to a hotel room and sleep but then you have to be up early to get to the airport and often fly into the next city to play a show.
    By bus you climb onto a coffin like bunk rather than a cozy hotel room bed but then you don’t have to deal with the airport experience. Let’s be honest try as they might there is little enjoyable about the airport experience. Especially post 9/11.
    That said I love it all. The most important thing to me is always that two hours on stage. Doesn’t matter if it’s Tokyo, Japan or Medicine Hat, Canada. Give me a stage and some loud amplifiers and I’m in heaven.
    It’s our road crew that deserve all the love. These men are tearing down equipment til all hours of the night then up ungodly early to do it all over again. The true road warriors in our world. Big love and gigantic respect to Quake, Ian, Doug, Mark, Sam and John who make up the executive officers of our road crew. It doesn’t happen without them.
    I last joined you in Brasilia, Brazil where we celebrated St Patrick’s Day. Brother Gilby was with us for the last four Brazilian shows. It is amazing to be able to play in Brazil at all let alone doing six shows there. Gilby Clarke is a good man and one talented one at that. It was great to hang with him day in and day out. Brasilia was nuts. I know I keep clamoring about it but the audiences down there are the best. They are with us when we land at the airport, they are with us at the hotel, they are with us at the venue then back at the hotel and again at the airport when we have to leave. It is a beautiful thing. Brasilia was no exception in this scenario. Super intense.
    The next show was in Curitiba, Brazil on the 19th of March. The significance of this day was more than just playing an amazing show in Curitiba as three years earlier was the first time we ever appeared under the name The Conspirators for the unplugged performance to be televised for Guitar Center Sessions. It was the first time Frank Sidoris played live with us as well. It will soon be five years that Fitzy and I have been a part of this organization. That is mind blowing. Time flies when you are having fun.
    Brother Gilby was with us again in Curitiba and a grand time was had by all. Welcome To The Jungle is normally reserved for special occasions and the fact that we played it every single night of the South and Central American shows tells you how special they were.
    On March 20th I awoke to the sad new that AJ Pero from Twisted Sister had passed away. I was lucky enough to play with AJ when he was a guest of the Sinners a few years back. He was an amazing guy and a better drummer than most people realize. Listen to his drum intro to Tear It Loose from the Under The Blade album. Epic. My heart goes out to his family. He was far too young.

    Brother AJ and I. Big love

    I personally dedicated the show that night to AJ’s memory. Fitzy recorded himself playing the drum intro to We’re Not Gonna Take It as a loving tribute. Gone but never forgotten.
    The show that night was in Porto Alegre, Brazil and it was a special night indeed. Brother Slash got up with Brother Gilby and the Coverheads to play Tijuana Jail. Those in the know are aware that Slash played the solo on that song and that Tijuana Jail was performed during live sets by Slash’s Snakepit back in the day. Then in return Gilby got up and played Mr Brownstone with us which was a blast. Like I said Gilby is a great man and it’s an honor to be a part of the extended family with him. Curitiba got a special treat but they deserved it.
    Our final Brazilian show was in Sao Paulo which is another massive city. We went out in style with Brother Gilby joining us for the encore of Paradise City. We had a great little get together with our Brazilian family and got to say our goodbyes or ‘until next times’. Brazil has been so amazing to us every since our very first trip. I have some of my favorite memories there and cannot wait to return. Big love to those of you who came out and celebrated with us there. There were a lot of DAMMIT shirts out there and a lot of people flashing PEACELOVEMETAL. Truly my kinda place!
    The next day was March 23rd which marked the third anniversary of the very first full concert of us officially performing under the moniker ‘The Conspirators’. We played that show at the Phoenix Theater in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fitting that it would be on Canadian soil. 3 years of Conspiring and counting. 5 years of Slashing.
    From there we were off to Mexico City. Officially in Mexico! Exciting times. By this point we had only three shows left but after nearly two months on the road the boys were getting a little crispy. As in ‘fried’. There had been a cold floating around our camp and it was about to grab the one guy you do NOT want to catch it-Myles Kennedy. You can play guitar with a cold. You can play drums with a cold but your voice is most certainly affected by a cold. And that suuuuucks.
    That said, Mexico City was relatively unaffected. Myles was still swinging a sharpened sword of that voice from God of his. Mexico City was off the chain. Suuuuuper exciting crowd. Charged up and ready to go. Lots of DAMMIT flags and shirts in the audience. The best!
    Unfortunately we had to be up super early to catch a flight to Guadalajara the next day after not getting back from the venue til late. The only thing worse than fighting a cold is fighting a cold with no sleep. With no sleep that cold hopped on top of Brother Myles like an angry silverback gorilla. To be honest I wasn’t at 100%. I felt that cold trying to grab me too but I knew Myles was gonna need me now so I sucked it up. It’s been a long time since we did the Todd Dammit mini set but it made it’s new debut in Guadalajara. Dr Alibi, Out Ta Get Me, You’re Crazy AND Welcome To The Jungle. That’s a heavy hitting set with three, count ‘em, three songs from Appetite For Destruction.
    We also brought back Slash’s epic theme from the Godfather which I’ve missed. He really makes magic when he plays that. All of these would be repeated for the next show in Monterrey.
    The next day was Brent Fitz’s birthday which was spent traveling to the destination of our last show, We devoured obscene amounts of food and celebrated the birth of my brother from another mother. People always ask if Fitz and I are brothers. I always say ‘kind of’.
    Brother Myles was still not 100% for our final show of the tour in Monterrey, Mexico so those fine folks got the Todd Dammit mini set, the Godfather theme AND the first performance ever of Safari Inn from World On Fire. We literally decided last minute to play it and so we did. With Safari Inn we now play 15 of the 17 songs on World On Fire live. That is quite an achievement. There are not many artists as far into their career as Slash is that will play that volume of new material. I think that’s pretty impressive. To be honest the World On Fire material gets some of the biggest reactions of the night. That is an awesome achievement.
    With that the tour was done. We had started in Japan through Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, into Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil then Mexico. That’s a lot of ground covered. Each show was special in it’s own way. I remember every one of them as I write this. I do feel very lucky to have seen all these amazing places and been able to do what I love best every single night .
    So here I am now back in Dammit manor/Disgraceland with my head on the road but my feet at home. Once again the Todd Dammit costume gets hung up in the Dammit-cave and mild mannered get about, Todd Kerns gets to roam the streets unnoticed.
    This summer we release the dvd of our performance at The Roxy during our Sunset Strip takeover. Live At The Roxy is coming out in DVD/Blue Ray/CD and Vinyl forms which is exciting. It was an insane night and a lot of the Dammed were in attendance. Be sure to pick that up.
    The Conspirators start writing new material in April. You might want to ask what the plan is but I think the plan is just as it always is. Write, write and write. Prepare for the next chapter ahead of the curve. World Tour On Fire will carry us into the new year but in the meantime we plan to have a song or ten ready for Chapter 3 of the Conspirators. I have no idea when that will be. Could be as far away as 2017 but I’m ready now and I’ll be ready then.
    In the meantime it is RNFNR time (rest and F’n relaxation) then back to RNFNR (the other kind) around the US then Europe for festival time. Those festivals are some of the best gigs ever. I’m already looking forward to it. One day of Walking Dead is all I need. I’m ready. Let’s go!
    All right, brothers and sisters. We will be back on the road before you know it. In the meantime catch your breath and get ready. We still have a lot more territory to cover!
    See you OUT THERE!
    Big Love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit