• 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
    Zep-III
    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.

    memphis

    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-
    http://t.co/7T87V8fMoP

    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.

    IMG_5260
    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



  • Deep Concern At 20,000 Feet

    March 16 2015
    Brasilia, Brazil

    It’s one of those nights where the rest of the gang went out to eat but I decided to hang back and catch up with y’all. We have been at it hard since February 9th in Osaka, Japan. This is one of the longest runs we’ve done in a while. All told this will be about two months straight by the time we get to Mexico. Of course we’ve been out since the summer when we toured with Aerosmith. World On Fire didn’t even come out ’til September. That said these are still early days. I have a feeling that we have a long way to go before Team Conspirators comes off the road in any real sense. Me? I’m totally fine with that.

    When last I joined you we had only just arrived in Chile on the eve of the South American tour. Upon our arrival a Chilean volcano erupted. Coincidence? I think not. I think Mother Nature shares as much flair for the dramatic as we do. We’ve had a lot of experience with weird phenomena following us. Bombings in Turkey, Meteors in Russia. These sorts of occurrences barely faze me anymore. I only hope no one is harmed by these bizarre phenomenon that seem to follow us.

    Upon our arrival in the beautiful city of Santiago, Chile we came to learn that none other than Ringo Starr would be playing the night before our gig and since we had the night off we had to go! Ringo has been touring for years with his ‘All Star Band’. The lineup changes all the time but always features some legend of Rock N Roll.

    On this particular run Ringo’s band featured Steve Lukather from Toto who is a monster guitar player, Todd Rundgren who I had met at the Kerry Simon benefit we had done in Vegas last year, Richard Page from Mr Mister, Greg Rollie from Journey and Greg Bisonette from David Lee Roth’s Eat Em And Smile era band. This lineup has apparently been together for a few years.
    So we made our way down to the venue and got to hang out with the guys sans Ringo who is a Beatle and was being pulled this way and that. I’m sure had Slash come with us Ringo would have had to come say hi but we had just come off a skull crushing flight from Australia so Slash opted out. I almost did so myself but how often do you get to rub shoulders with a Beatle?
    Ringo went by on his way to the stage and said a quick hello which was mind blowing. I could spent this entire time telling you how fully invested I am in the Fab Four but let it be said that it was a great thrill.
    The show was a blast. The band played a bunch of Ringo’s best plus hits from each of their own careers. Myles and The Conspirators had a great time singing along to all those great songs of yesteryear.

    Richard Page, Gregg Rolie, T-Damm, Gregg Bisonette, Dame Lady Cheryl Hall, Steve Lukather, MK, Frankie. Fitzy not pictured.
    Richard Page, Gregg Rolie, T-Damm, Gregg Bisonette, Dame Lady Cheryl Hall, Steve Lukather, MK, Frankie. Fitzy not pictured.

    The next night was our show. This was our second or third time at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile. I lose track of how many times yet it seems so familiar. All the seats are red which adds to the sense of heat and fury that the Chilean audience permeates. There couldn’t be a better place to kick off our South American run than the great city of Santiago. Such a beautiful city and one of the best audiences in the entire world. They were waiting for us at the airport and they hung out at the hotel the whole time we were there. An incredible show and an incredible time. A Chilean DAMMIT flag even made an appearance. It always warms my heart to see the shirts and flags and PEACELOVEMETAL signs everywhere. Such a gigantic thrill for me. See you soon, brothers and sisters of Chile!

    Camila and the DAMMED Chile Chapter
    Camila and the DAMMED Chile Chapter

    That very day the new DAMMIT shirts went on sale from Agent Royale and DAMMITWEAR which managed to sell out dizzyingly quick. I was pretty shocked by that. Doc Ellis made me a DAMMIT shirt five years ago for my birthday. I wore it on the Made In Stoke DVD and people started asking where to get it. We started selling a simple DAMMIT design on my website and it has grown into a whole other thing. Thank you to all of you who snapped one up. More are being made available as I write this at agentroyaleonline.com

    Next up was the amazing city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, of course, is one of those dream destinations people always talk about it and we have been there multiple times. It’s the kind of thing you try not to take for granted.
    That day I got to catch up with the boys from Loaded. Duff McKagan and his boys. They along with Gilby Clarke were to be playing the following night’s show with us. What a dream lineup for the lucky people of Buenos Aires.
    The first show was our own show at Teatro Vorterix. Pretty much considered a warm up show for the big outdoor event the next night. I can’t tell you how unnerving it is to turn around and see Duff McKagan sitting behind your amp while you’re trying to replicate his bass lines. Kind of a trip. He is a lovely guy and I think the world of him.
    That night we added Welcome To The Jungle to the set and it has pretty much remained for the remainder of the South American shows. I screamed my head off to that song with Duff McKagan standing right behind me. For the encore we played both It’s So Easy and Paradise City with Brother Duff on bass while I played guitar. I know I say it every time Duff gets up with us but I really do look up to the guy. He is a bona fide legend. A real honor and a real thrill to share the stage with him.
    As always Buenos Aires does not disappoint. Epic audiences that literally follow us from the airport to the hotel to the venue and back again. And when I say follow I mean literally follow. There is a convoy of vehicles following us from place to place. One old car had the World On Fire face painted onto its hood.
    The next morning I had breakfast with brother Duff and Jeff Rouse from the Loaded camp. Duff was complimentary on my voice which made me feel pretty dammed good if I may say so myself. I’ve always felt a great connection to the Seattle guys as I spent so much time in Vancouver. There is a similar state of mind in that part of the world. Mike Squires, guitar player for Loaded, came down eventually as did Myles and the rest of the Conspirators and we broke bread as one big happy family. I’m looking forward to Duff’s new book coming out in May. He is one talented man.
    The show that night was completely insane. It was streamed online so it was enjoyed by gazillions of people. Like I said the Buenos Aires audiences never disappoint and this night was them at their most powerful. There had to be somewhere in the area of 10,000 people out there. It was a huge crowd. Randomly Slash asked if I wanted to sing We’re All Gonna Die for a change. Hell yea! I’m always keen to change things up.
    Gilby Clarke opened the show and was followed by Duff and the Loaded boys. I didn’t get to see Gilby until he was standing side stage during our show. When I was guzzling water before Anastasia I got to say a quick hello before running back onstage. Duff came out and did It’s So Easy with us again and then Gilby came out and did Paradise City with all of us. Seven of us on stage together. What a massive thrill. As always this stuff is never lost on me. I was a fan before, I’m a fan now and I will be a fan when I’m old and grey. Rock And Roll is my lifeblood and these men are all a part of a great chapter in that book’s history. A true honor.

    As mentioned the show was completely mental. You should Google it right now and watch the entire two plus hours.

    The Magnificent Seven-Frank, T-Damm, Brother Duff, Myles, Slash, Brother Gilby, Fitzy
    The Magnificent Seven-Frank, T-Damm, Brother Duff, Myles, Slash, Brother Gilby, Fitzy

    Not one person in our entourage had been to the next stop-Lima, Peru. Slash has always made it a point to try and hit as many places that he has never been to as possible. Surprisingly there are still a few out there. Peru has now been checked off of our list. I have to admit it was one of my favorite stops on the entire trip. I really had no idea what to expect but the people were lovely and the food amazing. As always and ever the audience was on fire. Peru is one of those places that I hope to get a chance to get back to and see a lot more of. When we travel we see a lot of airports, hotels and venues. We see a lot of great sights through the windows of vehicles moving from A to B. That said the show in Lima was insane. Great audience. Great people.

    Next up was where the title of this blog comes from (see above). On most tours we travel by bus but in South America the great distances can only be covered by plane. We have been in and out of every airport imaginable from Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia to South America. There are pluses and minuses to each of these scenarios. On the one hand if you have a bus you finish a show and get on a bus to ride all night to your next destination which sometimes doesn’t make for the best night’s sleep. In the other circumstance you go back to your hotel bed and crash then get up to catch a plane which may actually sound better except for the fact that you are in an airport every single day. Clearing customs, security check and all the other things we love to hate about flying. It’s hard to complain about it and I really don’t. It’s just the reality of the situation while touring in certain regions.

    So the next day after our show in Peru we were flying into yet another place none of us had ever been before-Quito, Ecuador. Business as usual. Same old airport situation. On the plane, nothing out of the ordinary but then upon landing in Quito the plane starts to shake like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Enough so that you can’t help but make eye contact with your fellow travelers as if to say, ‘that’s not right’. That seemed to go on for way too long. I half expected the breathing apparatus to drop down in front of me and then to be cursing myself for not listening all those times to the nice people telling me what to do with the dammed thing once I had it in my hands. Place over nose and mouth I believe is the standard procedure. I can do that.

    Just as the plane is sure to shake itself to pieces the pilot takes the plane back up. I immediately knew that this means we are being relocated to a different place due to weather. As soon as they pull back up due to weather you are being redirected. So we ended up someplace called Guayaquil and sat on the tarmac for what seemed an eternity but I suppose the other option of plummeting in a fiery plane crash was less appetizing. Our sound guy, Quake has survived two plane crashes. Now THAT is impressive but that’s a whole other story.
    So long story short we eventually made our way to Quito safe and sound though maybe a little rattled. Like Peru, Ecuador is another place I wish we’d had more time to explore. With the delayed arrival we’d basically missed any opportunity to see much but what I did see seemed lovely.

    The show was yet another insane evening. The audience was too far away. They were so great but the building had one of those barricades where the audience is a world away. It’s really hard to make a strong connection that way but it was a great show nonetheless.
    From there off to another dream destination for anyone-Rio de Janeiro. Again, another place I do my best not to take for granted. Brazil is a stunning country with glorious beaches and beautiful people. As anyone and everyone knows I am NOT a beach guy but I did manage to get my toes in the sand just a bit to say I did. We stayed at the very same hotel we did back on our first trip there. It was a bit surreal. That was almost five years ago.
    The Rio show was the hottest show of the tour by far. Like pass out, out of body experience, delirium hot! I have played some hot shows in my life but I think that was the most punishing one I’ve ever experienced. It was hard to catch my breath and as usual I’m never very good at pacing myself so I completely overdid it. Sometimes I think I’m an athlete. I’m so not. I’m not even a mathlete (yes, I’ve used that joke before). That said it was an amazing show. I can go on and on about the audiences down here but I will never be able to illustrate the immensity of it until you experience it first hand. It is the best of the best.
    Rio was so great they got Communication Breakdown by Zep as well as Paradise City for the encore. Then I believe we all fell into sweaty, crumpled heaps. Some of our American friends have materialized in Brazil. Our friends are crazy!
    Last night we played in yet another city we had never played before-Belo Horizonte. We have 6 shows in total in Brazil. That’s mental. What a great night. Lots of PEACELOVEMETAL signs everywhere, yet another DAMMIT flag. I have a collection of them now. Those and DAMMIT shirts with different flags on them. I appreciate that stuff so much. I even got DAMMIT flip flops! How awesome is that? So awesome.
    The show was yet another monster. I mentally prepared myself for the heat this time. Breathed as calmly as possible. Dave Lombardo from Slayer once told me it’s all about your breathing. I took his word to heart and had a much less delirious show. It was truly a great show. Nice and up close and personal with the audience the way I like it. Looking forward to getting know Belo Horizonte a little better in the future.

    People with amazing taste in Belo Horizonte, Brazil!
    People with amazing taste in Belo Horizonte, Brazil!

    Today we woke up and got on a plane to Brasilia, Brazil for what feels like the first day off in a while. Technically it’s a travel day. We only call it a day off if there is no travel and no show. Either way I’m taking advantage of some me time (or some T time, if you will) and writing to y’all.

    Tomorrow is St Patrick’s day and show day in the beautiful city of Brasilia with our dear friend Gilby Clarke. He is family and it’s going to be an amazing night. I’m sure you’ll see Brother Gilby on stage with the lads so be sure to tune in. The excitement continues.

    I will probably wrap up the entire tour at the end of the upcoming seven shows. Then the Conspirators will be noodling around with the first inklings of new material for whatever the future may hold. Brother Slash is a machine and he is determined to make some new music wayyyyy ahead of the curve. He is an inspiration. I’m excited for yet another chapter forthcoming while the current one is still playing itself out. Exciting times, brothers and sisters. Exciting times.
    In a couple more days it will be the third anniversary of this thing officially being called Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. On March 19th 2012 we played our first appearance under that title at Guitar Center in Hollywood for an unplugged special that aired later on. On March 23rd 2012it will be the 3rd anniversary of us playing our first full live electric show under that name in Toronto at the Phoenix Theater. These were the first shows with our little brother Frank Sidoris. He has been an indispensable part of the heart and soul of this thing ever since and hopefully ever shall be. He is one of my favorite humans as is everyone else in this band.

    April will see the official fifth anniversary of Slash, Myles, Fitz and I playing together. That’s half a decade. That’s a good chunk of time. I will be tweeting about all these days in history as they arrive. Stay tuned.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this Black Irish Devil!
    Get ready Brasilia. We’re coming for you.

    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit



  • Lived Long and Prospered

    March 3rd 2015
    Santiago, Chile

    Just survived 13 hours in the air from Sydney, Australia to Santiago, Chile. I really should have slept but the plane had an amazing selection of movies. I hosted my own Martin Scorsese retrospective Film Fest at my seat. Now it’s almost one am and I’m not acclimated to the new time zone so I shall put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) ’til the Sandman comes.
    When last I left you we had landed in the mythical land of New Zealand. It doubles for Middle Earth on film which gives it a whole other level of wonderment. The entire trip went by without getting a chance to see any Tolkien points of interest. One of these days I must see Hobbiton. But not on this trip.

    If only New Zealand weren’t on the absolute other side of the planet we would come over a lot more often. Coming to this part of the world makes hitting Asia, New Zealand AND Australia possible all in one stretch of dates. It really is a beautiful place. The people are extremely kind and love the rock and roll.

    We did two shows in New Zealand. Hamilton and Wellington. Last time we did Christchurch and Auckland. Always cool to do new places. Hamilton was the last time we did Battleground from World On Fire live. It will make it’s way back into the set but the live festivals in Australia were slightly shorter sets so some songs sat on the bench.
    The airports in New Zealand are loaded with Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit paraphernalia. The Peter Jackson/Tolkien franchise has become their calling card and I, for one, love it.
    The shows were amazing. Can’t wait to go back.

    IMG_4713

    A wrapped car to welcome us to Wellington

    Wellington felt like San Diego. Beautiful, coastal city. In a country this beautiful no wonder everyone seems so happy all the time. If only we’d had more time to see your beautiful country. Next time!

    Our sound engineer, Quake, had to be left behind for medical reasons which have turned out to be fine as he is with us now but at the time was disconcerting. Scary being in the hospital in a strange land even if it is as kind as New Zealand. Glad he’s better. Glad he’s back with us.
    From New Zealand we made our way to the mighty Soundwave Festival in Australia featuring such bands as Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, Steel Panther and so on and so on. A crazy amount of bands over the span of several days crisscrossing the country. It has to be logistically challenging to pull off with that many bands when it comes to flights and hotels. I can’t imagine. Luckily all I do is show up and rock.

    We have a long history with Australia. One of the first things we ever did was come to Melbourne to play an MTV launch of Slash’s solo album back in April of 2010. That’s almost five years ago for those of you keeping track. It has been an ongoing love affair ever since. Australia is extremely kind to us. They greet us at the airport and a lot of them follow from town to town kinda like the UK and European audiences do. Very cool.

    First up was Melbourne which is one of the cities I’m most familiar with in Oz. While sitting backstage I was immediately made aware of how immense this particular traveling festival is when Rob Halford walked into our dressing room. The METAL GOD himself. What a trip. Myles and I both exchanged that ‘I’m 14 years old right now’ glance. You never really lose that awe of your heroes. Priest, and especially Rob, was and ever shall be a God among us.
    Every day before we went on stage we got to watch Manson on the stage beside ours which was always a trip. I’ll hand it to Manson he never phones in a performance. It was hot and humid and he was out there in full leather and overcoat regalia. He must have been a dehydrated disaster after those performances.

    It was always an absolute pleasure to play for the great people of Melbourne. A super sweaty and intense experience I can assure you. The Dissident is a single over in that neck of the woods and Bent To Fly preceded it. The new album is very well received and the audience singing along was proof of that.

    On the flight from Melbourne to Adelaide the next day I got to witness one of the most entertaining sights ever. Myles Kennedy and Marilyn Manson sitting together on the plane. Side by side. Flight buddies. What any of us would have given to be a fly on that wall. Meeting of the minds. They should make a sitcom.

    Adelaide is another stunning city. My ongoing joke is that I wanna get a place in each city we are in. While in Australia it’s no joke.

    I got to know Twiggy Ramirez/Jeordie White from Manson a bit on the trip. I’ve always respected the man and all the work he’s done from Manson to NIN to A Perfect Circle. We caught up here and there during the festival. It’s a weird thing that festival vibe. You look over and see guys from Godsmack or Fall Out Boy all sitting in our little cliques. Very strange.
    I ran into Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy at breakfast. Just a quick hello. He was a perfectly nice guy. It seems between Pete and Jeordie I was only talking to bass players. That wasn’t my intention.

    I had breakfast with Michael Starr in Adelaide at Starbucks though I know him by his given/real/street name. His band, Steel Panther, is gigantic over there. I’ve known those guys for years from the Vegas scene and it is with great pride that I get to watch these guys take it to a whole other level. I wish I could tell you that I was having breakfast with Michael Starr at a strip club at 3 in the afternoon with a bunch of strippers but it wasn’t like that at all. Quite the opposite but I wouldn’t want to spoil your perception of those guys. They are all amazing guys and are a show not to be missed.
    The Adelaide Soundwave show was incredible. Got to watch some more Manson before taking the stage. As we left in a sweaty heap we watched the Slipknot guys make their way to the stage in full jumpsuits and latex masks. Made me want to pass out just looking at that. It was THAT hot. I don’t know how they do it.

    From Adelaide we did two ‘Sidewave’ shows with our pals, Steel Panther. During the Soundwave Festival some of the acts will put on their own ‘Sidewave’ shows independent of the festival. For these it was just Panther and us. The first one being in Sydney.
    Panther were on fire as usual. Even their soundcheck is hysterical. Satchel is an amazing guitar player. He really nails all the right metal notes and flair.

    We got to play our full two hour show which is always a pleasure. This show was indoors too so no fear of this homeless vampire bursting into flames.
    Then we did the very same thing all over again back in Melbourne. Getting to play Melbourne twice was awesome. Panther, of course, were incredible. I was happy to get to spend a few days with those guys as the festival itself was so impossible have any sort of social interaction.
    Got to see a bunch of the Butcher Babies on Soundwave though never their show. Just getting to say hi in passing. They came to our Melbourne side wave show and hung out side stage. Those guys are family.

    This night was one of my favorites of the tour. We had so much fun that we broke out Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song for the encore which is always a treat.

    The next day we were off to Brisbane. That morning I awoke at 5 am for no reason at all. Upon awaking I’d learned that Leonard Nimoy had passed away. I was aware he’d been taken to hospital with some kind of chest pains. It really knocked me for a loop. A few years back Fitz and I went to one of Leonard’s last speaking engagement. I was so happy I took that in. I could write a story twice as long as the one you are reading about Leonard and the effect he has had on my life but suffice it to say that his influence on me is as important as John Lennon, Gene Simmons or Joey Ramone.
    I 100% believe in the ideal that Gene Roddenberry created. That in the future we will have gotten past all the foolish things that separate us-imaginary borders, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender issues, war, poverty, disease-and be one. I know many a cynic who will never believe we will achieve such a zion but I truly do. Not in my lifetime and maybe not in my children’s but I believe someday people will look back on us the way we all look back on slavery or the holocaust and wonder how we could have allowed that to happen. In a hundred years from now our reality will seem as antiquated as what a hundred years ago seems like to us now.

    I love dark sci-fi about a dystopian future but I don’t really believe it. I believe that as time goes by we will grow more and more tolerant and the world will get smaller and smaller and all that divides us will fall away to unite us.
    A lot of people would think I’m talking a bunch of hippy nonsense and that’s perfectly ok because I won’t be here in 100 years to prove or disprove it but my great great grandchildren will be and they will know. It is my hope anyway. I look at life with endless wonderment how could i not look at our future the same way?

    Here is some wisdom from a prophet named Bill Hicks. He was a hyper intelligent comedian who died before he reached the mainstream but for those of us ‘in the know’ he was the man.
    “Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace”

    Now I don’t believe we are even close to ready for any of that but I believe it’s coming and when it does it is going to be by a united planet that is looking to be even further united. That’s my dream anyway. It’s easy to look at the world through eyes of subjective darkness. I choose to open mine wide with hope.
    Leonard was part of that opening of my mind from the time I was a little boy. Maybe i wasn’t supposed to have read so far into the future presented to me on that show. Maybe it was just supposed to be a show about guys flying around banging green chicks. But it wasn’t. At least not for me.

    Leonard lived long and he prospered. We should all be so lucky to have had a life full of such purpose and meaning and to have brought that much joy to so many people. I’m sad but thankful for the impact he has had on me.

    Brisbane is another amazing Australian city. At the festival site they brought a bunch of local wildlife for us to check out. That’s one of our favorite things about getting to Brisbane is that they always bring the animals out. There was a baby crocodile and a plethora of snakes. As always Slash was happy to play with and handle the most venomous and dangerous of the lot. the man is fearless. I got to hang out with a very friendly and curious olive python who I never wanted to give back. She was beautiful.

    IMG_4662

    The Brisbane show was another epic evening. I got to sing Welcome To The Jungle which was as intense as it always is. It is never lost on me how much of an honor it is to sing that song.
    After the show we watched Slipknot side stage which is always insane. I don’t know how they do it. It is so hot and muggy doing the festival but those guys are out there in their full gear with fire tearing the place up. It’s mind boggling. Those guys have the most intense audience. It’s a bit of an education getting to watch those guys take it up a notch.

    Then we were on our way to the final Soundwave festival show in Sydney. We had already been there with Steel Panther on a Sidewave show but now it was time to shut it all down.
    I got to hang with Tyler Bates who is playing guitar for Manson at the moment. He produced the new Manson album, the Pale Emperor. Tyler is a renowned soundtrack guy for films like 300 and Guardians Of The Galaxy. He seemed surprised that i knew this but I’m that kind of attention to detail guy. It was great to get to talk to him. I’m a fan. Always good to make new friends.

    The Sydney show was crazy because in the morning we were flying in from Brisbane. All the reports were that Sydney was the hottest day of the tour. Oh boy. But upon reaching Sydney it was ominously grey with foreboding cloud coverage. By the time we were in the van to the festival site the rain was pummeling down in giant sheets. Oh boy. The rain subsided a bit here and there but opened up during our show to great effect. Standing In The Sun refers to rain and Bent To Fly refers to a storm. These seemed all perfectly placed within context of the setting.
    I got to bellow Welcome To The Jungle to the fine citizens of Sydney in the pissing rain which was good fun and then as quickly as it had begun it was over. It felt as though we had been in Australia for about a year and five minutes at the same time. Strange that.

    Australia had been such an amazing experience. I saw more DAMMIT shirts than I had in a long time. I personally get a great deal of support down there. It’s heart warming.
    See-

    10173662_10206177750067142_6911529084921083379_n

    Jacqui, Jaleel and Kath with the DAMMIT Australian flag. Jodie should be in there too! Flag by Jaleel

    Speaking of DAMMIT shirts Agent Royale will be releasing their line of DAMMIT shirts march 4th. Keep an eye open for that. I’ve been wearing mine for a while now and everyone’s been asking where they can find one. Now you can!

    IMG_4711

    All in all this has been an amazing trip. As this band turns 5 years old soon it is important to have returned to Australia to see how far we’ve come in that time. The band is bigger, better and stronger than ever and only continues to grow. 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most important of our lives.

    Now here we are about to start a 4 week South American tour. While all the other Soundwave bands were making their way back to their cozy lives back home we were about to do another 4 weeks in the rowdiest, Rock N Roll corner of the world. This is gonna be awesome!

    Well, it’s now 3am in Santiago so I should try and think about getting some form of shut eye. We are talking about going to see Ringo Starr’s All Star band tomorrow. That sounds super exciting. Count me IN!
    Life is good. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
    The biggest love to all o’ y’all

    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit



  • Turning Japanese To A Land Down Under (Two 80s songs in one title)

    February 16 2015

    Auckland, New Zealand

    I sure managed to go a long time since last checking in. Part of that is me slacking off and part of it is sometimes just not feeling like there is a whole lot to say.

    I spent the holidays with my family in Vancouver which was glorious. I spent the better part of three weeks just floating around like a vagabond drinking coffee and wandering the familiar streets meeting with friends here and there when I could. As always Vancouver has been very good to me. It will always be home. One of my many homes.

    Upon returning to Las Vegas I played the first show of 2015 at Count’s Vamp’d. Another acoustic solo show which was extremely enjoyable. Emily Wilson from Vancouver opened the show and was amazing. Zachary Throne did his first solo show that night which was incredibly well received. Zach is a crazy talented individual. I’m happy to have been a part of showcasing him out as a solo artist.

    I played my set to all the familiar faces of my amazing Dammed family. What an amazing lot they are. They come from all over to sing along with us and we have the best time. Well, at least I do. It’s like a big campfire sing along. Doc Ellis and the amazing Cian Coey joined me on stage along with Zach to complete the evening. I enjoy getting to play those shows so much. You write some songs and the next thing you know people are singing them back to you. It is the greatest gift anyone could give me. Thank you to all who come to these nights. You have no idea what it means to me.

    The craziest thing is that the night of my solo show at Vamp’d my Co-Conspirator, Brent Fitz, went under the knife for the very same operation I had endured 4 years earlier for a detached retina. About a week before Brent had called me asking a bunch of questions about seeing a lot of odd floaters (those weird floaty things you can see in your eye sometimes) and some flashing lights. I told him he should call an eye specialist right away as those are common signs of retinal issues. He went in that day but they could find no tear in his retina and was sent home to keep an eye (pun intended) on it. Then about a week later his retina detached and he was under the knife on the spot. It seems odd that the two of us would both have the same issue but in fact retinal detachment is more common than I thought. I’d never even heard of it before it happened to me but since then I’ve met many people who’ve endured it. Carla from Butcher Babies just recovered from the very same thing.

    Fitzy had to endure all the hassle I did but for not quite as long. There have been advancements since it happened to me and I guess I had a more extensive surgical procedure than he endured. It was touch and go for a bit there but he’s here with us now on the road and nothing can keep a good man down. It would have been a real drag if he couldn’t make it out here. I can’t imagine this band without him even for a stretch. It just wouldn’t be the same.
    I’m happy he’s healing well and will be right as rain in no time. Send Fitzy all your love. He is one tough, Canadian son of a gun!

    January proved to be a high profile time for the bass player in me. I managed to be covered by Bass Player Magazine which is always an honor AND was nominated for Best Bassplayer by Loudwire.com. I never for a second assumed I’d win. I thought I’d do ok. I was up against some heavy hitters, great players and legends. Right off the bat I couldn’t believe that I was running second to Nikki Sixx. Regardless of whatever contest pits us against one another Nikki will always be a hero of mine. So it was ultimately beyond a pleasant surprise to have won! Most of that credit goes to a loyal ‘fan base’ known as ‘Co-Conspirators’ and a loyal ‘friend base’ known as ‘the Dammed’ or ‘The Army Of The Dammed’ or ‘The Family Of The Dammed’. That one kinda sounds like the Manson family. That might be a little too scary. Either way it is the people who voted who deserve the award. You are all far too kind to me and my Co-Conspirators. We all did amazingly well in our perspective categories. It is really and truly an honor to call you guys my friends. My family. The Dammed.

    During my time in Vegas pre tour rehearsals I managed to see a number of shows. I saw Tenacious D do a private event in Vegas. Slash, Fitz, Frankie and I had a blast watching the guys and then had a late night meal with Jack Black himself. He was incredibly engaging and unbelievably, naturally funny. I’ve always been a fan of the D and watching Jack go on to become a very respected and successful actor has been most enjoyable and deserving. I gained a whole new respect for Jack by his just being a regular dude with us, hanging and joking around. He was big on the hugs as we said goodbye and left him as he was swallowed by a group of tourists for photos as he tried to escape to his room.

    Fitz and I went to see KISS play a corporate event which was a blast and surreal at the same time. It was at the Joint in the Hard Rock Casino where they had only recently been holding a residency. I did not get to see the residency as we were on tour in Europe at the time. It was surreal because it was a corporate event so not the usual KISS mayhem but more of a buttoned down, loose tie, office make out, tie as a headband, drunk co workers kinda party. We definitely stuck out. Always a pleasure to watch KISS though. Even at this kind of event KISS brings their A game. Pyro, FIRE FIRE FIRE!

    I finally got to see Elton John and was blown away by how sharp Elton’s voice was. His piano playing was more than I expected too. I guess I didn’t expect him to be shredding like that. A really amazing show. The man is a legend. Hit after hit after hit.

    Soon enough it was time for we Conspirators to make it back to the good ship Slash in North Hollywood, California. It always feels good to get back into rehearsal mode with the home team. Back when we were rehearsing for the European tour last year Slash was getting a computer rendering of himself for an action figure made at rehearsal. As an afterthought, they asked us if we wanted to get some made. Yea sure! Sounds fun. Of course! I’ve always wanted to be an action figure. To be honest they are more statues than action figures.

    So we all ran out and had them done. This is why in my figure I’m wearing just whatever I was rehearsing in which happened to be a Sex Panther tee shirt. Sex Panther as in the cologne from the first Anchor Man movie. Like I said this was kind of sprung on me last minute. I just went in and got scanned in what I was wearing. Turned out great!

    Well, now THOSE figures will be available to the public soon. Apparently as a set or individually. Very surreal like I said. I’m gonna have to order the set myself. They are a little eerie as the computer simply takes a rendering and prints out a figure that is a direct representation. Kinda bizarrely accurate. I’ll let y’all know when they are available and where to get ‘em.
    10389124_966108980068686_310183785149494880_n
    We played Conan on TBS on February 6th 2015 and it was a blast to be back on the Warner Brothers lot. It’s always a trip to me to be standing there on such a lot. I grew up in Smallville, Canada. Hollywood TV studios may as well be Mars.

    Between soundcheck (which is ridiculously early by the way) and our performance we wandered the Warner Brothers lot and eventually ended up at the Warner Brothers Museum which had a 75th anniversary of Batman exhibit. So awesome. They had actual costumes and props from all of the films from Tim Burtons Batman right up to Dark Knight Rises. Completely insane for a nerdy fan like me.

    Jeff Bridges was the lead guest on Conan that night and what a trip that is. Even Slash was star struck. Jeff is beyond awesome. He is THE DUDE after all for anyone who is aware of The Big Lebowski and if you’re not you should be.

    Our performance went great though it is weird enough hurrying up and waiting for a two hour show let alone hurrying up and waiting to play for four minutes. All that and it’s over in the blink of an eye. We played Bent To Fly the new single off of World On Fire. Bent To Fly has been a single in Australia for a while now but is now a single everywhere.

    I got to shake Jeff Bridges’ hand and we talked briefly about guitars. I own the same model, Gibson J-45, that he was playing on the show. Lily Collins the second guest was adorable and lovely. She is Phil Collins’ daughter. How crazy is that? I spoke briefly with Andy Richter about a possible 5th season of Arrested Development. Looks promising. Hell yes!
    IMG_3944
    With that we were on the punishing flight to Osaka, Japan. We hadn’t been to Japan in some time. It was good to get back. There is a great deal we could learn from the Japanese. Their kindness a respectfulness is beyond compare. They make Canadians look downright rude. The people were so friendly and warm I never wanted to leave.

    Our first show was in Osaka and we started the tour with a bang! At rehearsals we had worked up three new songs for the tour. Normally we introduce one then another as the tour goes on etc but Slash loaded up that first set list with all three songs so Osaka was not only the first night of the 2015 tour it was also the first night we ever played Dirty Girl, The Dissident and Battleground live. All of which are a pleasure to play live. I have to admit I think this band is getting tighter and tighter every tour. Osaka was an amazing night. Great to be back in Japan.

    The next day we was my first trip on the bullet train. Very exciting. There were many there to say goodbye to us in Osaka and many there to greet us in Tokyo. The Japanese fans are great. Some had shirts made, some had Kit Kat candy bars made of us. What a trip. So cool. I may have to get an extra suitcase to get all of this awesome stuff home!
    IMG_4044
    On the bullet train we got to see Mt Fuji which was a real trip. Like I said, I came from a little town in the middle of Canada. Getting to see Mt Fuji is something I never expected in this life. I’m a lucky, lucky man.

    The next night we played Shinkiba Studio Coast in Tokyo, Japan. All three new songs remained in the set as we want to get comfortable playing them in a live setting. I think these three are highlights at the moment. The whole audience sings The Dissident every night. That night was incredible and so much fun to get to say hi to friends after.

    The next day the Conspirators roamed the streets of Tokyo on our day off. We took the train to Harajuku and shopped to our hearts’ delight. I picked up a jacket at a cool punk rock shop called Jim Sinn. Kinda like Trash And Vaudeville East. Very far East! We stopped at Airs video store and I picked up a bunch of awesome bootleg videos of the New York Dolls, Michael Monroe, Wildhearts and a Motley show from Montreal, Canada in 1984. I love watching these kinds of shows. They are so inspiring. Before the internet these were especially hot commodities. Now bootlegging is the norm, really.
    IMG_4290
    Then it was back to work the next day but still in the great city of Tokyo. This time at Tsutaya O-East. On this night The Dissident was the only one of the new three to stay in the set but we did break out Welcome To The Jungle in a long time. Slash likes to keep things fresh night for night knowing that in a country like Japan a lot of people are traveling to all the shows. Pulling Jungle out of the air was a lot of fun. I get to sing that song and it always tears the roof off the place.

    I was sad to leave Japan. The people there are always so good to us. We have come to make great friends there and they have gone out of their way to make us feel more than at home. Thank you to all who came and shared their time with us. The honor is all ours.

    The following day was Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th and we were about to board a Malaysian Air flight. Wait a second! Didn’t they lose a plane or something? The only thing crazier would be boarding an Oceanic flight over the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th. Regardless we reached Kuala Lumpur safe and sound. No problems there at all other than the flight being seven hours long. Ugh. 13 hours from LA to Korea then another 90 minutes to Osaka, hang for a few days then 7 hours to Kuala Lumpur then 10 hours to Auckland, New Zealand. Whew! Tell me to shut up. There is nothing bad about any of that. Especially when the destination is somewhere as awesome as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Kuala Lumpur is exotically beautiful. Those who know me know I’m what Jim Gaffigan would call ‘indoorsy’. This remains true even in places like Kuala Lumpur but that doesn’t mean for a second that I don’t appreciate its beauty. We stayed at the lovely Sunway Resort which has an amazing water park which was absolutely not enjoyed by yours truly though it looked like it might have been a great deal of fun. We wandered a mall taking in all the crazy sights that an asian mall has to offer. It was gigantic and had all the craziest amenities imaginable. I would need 5 new suitcases were I to buy all the things I wanted only to bring them home to prove they exist.

    The show was outdoors in the punishing heat and humidity. The crowd was amazing and never seemed affected by any of the oppressiveness of the air around them. We were drenched with sweat from song one as if we’d jumped fully clothed into the adjacent water park. All good Rock N Roll should be sweaty says I.

    Again The Dissident was the only remaining new song in the set to make room for such numbers as 30 Years To Life or Wicked Stone. We are currently playing 14 of the 17 songs live from World On Fire. The only three we haven’t played live yet are Iris Of The Storm, Safari Inn and The Unholy all of which I assure you will find their way into the set before the end of 2015. Slash is one of the only heritage artists with the balls to play every song from his latest album live. Most play the new single then cherry pick all the hits. Slash expects our audience to be invested in the ENTIRE catalog and I think that is extremely courageous. One of the many things I respect about the man.

    The Kuala Lumpur show was intense. Hot, sweaty and heavy. I had a blast though I always have a blast. I missed Kuala Lumpur the first time because I was laid up, or more laid down, with a detached retina. I’m very happy I got to see it this time. I look forward to returning one day.

    With that we found ourselves on a plane to Auckland, New Zealand. Every time I’m in New Zealand I want to go to the sights from the Lord Of The Rings movies but there simply isn’t enough time. It’s a bit of a bummer. It would be so awesome to see. One of these times hopefully!

    So after a day of sight seeing a bit I sit in my room a tap tap tapping on my lap top for you. Speaking of which I am finally starting to formulate the release of two books coming later this year and early next. Volume one will be 2010-2013 and Volume two will be 2013-2016. They will be comprised of blogs since the very beginning of my time here with Brother Slash. It should be noted that as of next month Slash and I will have been playing together for five years. Slash, Myles, Fitz and I as a cohesive unit for five whole years. That’s a long time. By the time we come off the World On Fire Tour that will be close to six years. SIX YEARS! That’s mental.

    So I’m going through old blogs enjoying the ride as much as if I hadn’t written them myself. A lot has happened in all that time. Detached retinas, gold records, losing friends, recording Apocalyptic Love as well as World On Fire, releasing my solo album, Borrowing Trouble along with it’s sister EP, Near Life Experience and the list goes on and on. When I started writing these I had no intention of doing much with them. Just ‘The Ramblings Of The Mentally Ill’ I called them. Now I’d like to compile as much as I can with rare pictures and memorabilia from the tours and recording sessions etc to share with all of you.

    It’s working title is Todd Dammit’s DIARY OF A DAM MAN (see how clever that is? It’s like Diary Of A Mad Man except Mad is backwards) Volume I:2010-2013 and Volume II:2013-2016. I’m excited about that. Gonna try and have the first one ready by Christmas. We’ll see. God knows I’ve been trying to get this off the ground for years. This will probably be handled as a campaign with Pledge Music so you guys can be as involved as possible. We are going to be looking for pictures of yourselves with me and in your Dammit wear. Stay tuned.

    Speaking of Dammitwear we are co-releasing a very limited run of the one of a kind Bat-Dammit-Devil In You shirt you have seen me wear courtesy of a partnership with Agent Royale on March 4th 2015. I will keep you posted on all the links etc as that gets closer. Exciting times on Planet Dammit.
    IMG_4070
    Also coming soon is the first line of DaRnit wear. My friends always tell me that they wanna give their kids Dammit shirts but their kids can’t wear them to school so the DaRnit line was born. We are starting with baby onesies. These things always start as a laugh and then the next thing you know they are real. Life is so fun that way. Down the line there will be bigger children’s DaRnit shirts available. We figured we should start at the beginning.
    FullSizeRender
    Also coming in 2015 will be the rerelease of my 2004 solo album Go Time! with unreleased material from those recording sessions over ten years ago including an awesome cover of the Billy Squire song The Stroke. Probably this summer GO TIME! COMPLETE will be released with a CD Rerelease party at Count’s Vamp’d. Still in the formative stages. I’m super excited about that. Stay tuned for all this information.

    2015 is shaping up to be an amazing year. I hope you all can find some inspiration in all of these crazy things I get myself wrapped up in. I figure I only get one go round and I wanna do as much as possible. I envy the Hindu. They get multiple go rounds.

    Alright, my pretties. Thanks for being there for me, for us. Thank you for the votes. Thank you for your voices, ears and eyes. New Zealand, Australia, South America-see you very soon! The rest of the world we are coming! Be prepared!

    Big love
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • European Invasion Part II

    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Earth, Milky Way
    December 22 2014

    Deep into the holidays here in Vancouver. I’m dreaming of a WET Christmas. People complain about the rain but I love it so. It reminds me of a time when I called these streets my very own. I knew every twist and turn of this city but it’s not mine anymore. I’ve quoted it many times before but the Neil Diamond song I Am I Said says it all-
    “LA’s find but it ain’t home,
    New York’s home but it ain’t mine no more”
    Neither of those cities play into my story but I identify so well with those words. I’ve lived so many places in this life and loved each of them but Vancouver is very much where I built the deepest memories. It will always hold a special place in my heart and it will always be this way.

    I waited until after my solo appearances here in Vancouver before finishing Part II of the previous blog. Seemed smarter than following up the European tour with just a couple of shows and a Happy Holidays. Or Merry Christmas. However you wanna say it. Now I will cover it all in one gigantic wrap up.

    I last left you in one of our European strongholds, Krakow, Poland. Next up was the Zenith in Munich, Germany. We have been to several German stops over the years most especially Berlin. It was nice to stop somewhere new. Germany has been extremely good to us. It was most certainly getting cold over there but nothing I haven’t faced my entire life in Canada. Bundle up. Layer up. You’ll be fine. The Munich show was amazing. Great crowd. So great we decided to stay in Germany another night!

    Fast forward to Cologne, Germany! This is one of the first places I played in Europe with Slash in 2010. Before we were even called the Conspirators. So much has transpired since those days. The only people in our camp that are still here are myself, Myles, Slash, Fitz and our security chief, Junior. Every person on our crew has changed yet the heart of the band remains almost five years old now. That’s halfway to a decade. That might be crazy thinking. I’ll be happy if we make it to five years. That’s this march/April. Crazy how fast time can fly. In that time we have been around the world a gazillion times, released Slash’s first solo album, the Made In Stoke live album and dvd, Apocalyptic Love and now World On Fire. One can only venture to guess what the future has in store. One thing is for sure-we will be going around the world a few times more before 2016 Bring it on!
    Cologne was amazing. Like I said, Germany is amazing to us. I believe we played a bit of Feel Like Makin’ Love by Bad Company that night. I guess we felt like makin’ love. I guess…

    Next up was the legendary city of Amsterdam. We had done early shows there in 2010 at the historical spot, The Paradiso but this time we were back at Heineken Music Hall. Last time we were there we were playing with Halestorm. Lizzy Hale got up and sang Out Ta Get Me with us and blew the roof off the place. They’ve since repaired the roof. Thank goodness.
    Another interesting piece of trivia is that this venue is the last place Velvet Revolver ever performed. I did not know that until our Assistant Tour Manager, Sam told me. He had worked for VR back then too. Crazy, huh?
    I love Amsterdam. I’m long sober at this point so not for the reasons you might be thinking. It is a very beautiful place with a lot to see. I picked up a couple things for Myles’ birthday which was to follow a few days later. A very nice Miles Davis book was one of them. We both share a love of Miles. Myles and Miles.
    For the first time ever we broke out Double Talkin’ Jive from the Use Your Illusion days that night in Amsterdam. I have always loved that song and it is an immense blast to play live. As it stands we have only ever played three songs from the Use Your Illusions albums-Civil War, You Could Be Mine and now Double Talkin’ Jive. There is a wealth of material on those records for us to mine. We have performed the lion’s share of Appetite For Destruction live excluding Think About You and Anything Goes.
    The Amsterdam show was amazing. So amazing, in fact, that Myles called out to do Wicked Stone as well as Paradise City for the encore. We all sure love Wicked Stone. It is a pleasure to play live. It is my favorite song from World On Fire. It is a mind blower.
    Like I said, it was a pretty intense night. We had a blast.

    From there we went on to the amazing city of Brussels in Belgium. Around this time I posted on Twitter-
    “I went to Europe and actually lost weight,” said no one. Ever.
    Oh, Europe with your delicious cheese, breads and chocolates. How are we to say no? I consider myself pretty lucky in this department but if I head into that late Elvis phase bloat it’s all Europe’s fault. In the best possible way.
    Brussels was amazing. Great people out that way. Hope to see y’all again soon!
    At this point we had to say goodbye to our good friends, Monster Truck who had been opening for us. These Canadian madmen are an insanely tight band with great catchy songs and meaty riffs. I highly recommend you check these guys oot. They are one of my favorite new bands to come out in a long time.

    And then we found ourselves in the UK. It seemed like we’d been in the rest of Europe a long time and yet the blink of an eye at the same time. Time is a funny thing that way.
    We celebrated American Thanksgiving on a night off in Manchester. It was also supposed to be Myles’ birthday celebration but the poor little fella was feeling under the weather. Nothing worse than being sick on your birthday. Poor guy.
    It was bittersweet being back in England. Sweet because we love England and bitter because we knew the tour was wrapping up.
    Joining us at the first stop on the UK tour was our old friends from Australia, Twenty Two Hundred featuring Tony Cardenas on lead vocals. Some of you may remember Tony as standing in for me when I was down and out during my detached retina scare a few years back. Tony admirably played bass in my place for a tour of Asia. He is one talented mofo! Good to have our Aussie friends on board!
    Also along with us was California Breed featuring none other than living legend, Glenn Hughes! For the uninitiated Glenn was the bass player/vocalist for Deep Purple along with David Coverdale when they replaced Roger Glover and Ian Gillan respectively. They made some amazing music together.
    I have always looked to Glenn in my gig with the Conspirators as I am the bassist and backing vocalist. Glenn is a longtime hero of mine and proved to be a beloved new friend. Also in the California Breed camp is an amazingly talented young man on guitar named, Andrew Watt plus another legend, and one of my favorite drummers, Joey Castillo who you may know from Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal and Danzig. An absolute pleasure to get to watch these guys night after night.
    Manchester is amazing. I’ve gone on and on in the past about all the amazing music that came from that city. It is an inspiring place for me to be. Our English friends followed us from this point to the end of the tour and we had a nightly get together post show. We are very lucky to have such impassioned friends.
    The Manchester show was amazing. English shows are always amazing for us. We get a lot of love there. So we decided to stick around…

    …And play Leeds! Live at Leeds by the Who had a major influence on me all my life and now here we are playing in that history of Rock N Roll city again! Once again our friends had followed us to Leeds from Manchester and would on to Birmingham, London and Glasgow. We are very lucky.
    Leeds was a blast. A very cool venue.
    Got to catch up with Chris Catalyst from the amazing Eureka Machines. When we met he was playing guitar for Ginger Wildheart when touring with us on the Apocalyptic Love UK/Europe Tour. Chris also has played with Sisters Of Mercy. That’s a killer resume. Great to catch up.

    From there we were on to the birthplace of METAL, Birmingham. That turned out to be a very special night indeed. Phil Campbell from Motorhead, who has been a long time friend of the band, came up to play guitar with us. Glenn Hughes got up and improved a great blues jam with us that turned into guitarmageddon between Slash and Phil. From there I got to sing Ace Of Spades, Motorhead’s epic anthem, along with Phil and the boys. One of the true thrills of my life. Getting to sing THAT SONG to THAT CROWD with THAT GUY. Just when one thrill has passed another presents itself. Always be sure to hold tight to the good things in your life. There are so many.
    Getting to jam with the likes of Glenn and Phil is an honor beyond compare to this boy from the frozen heart of Canada. I am more thankful than any words could express.
    The Birmingham show was insane and the crowd, as always, was incredible.

    From there we went on to one of the great achievements in the Conspirators journey-headlining Wembley Arena in London, England. I can’t tell you what a thrill that was for us. After watching this band grow upon each visit to the great city of London to arise to the likes of Wembley is awe inspiring.
    The legendary photographer, Ross Halfin was there to take photos and yell at us, as he’s known to do which though jarring is always an honor. The man is a legend!
    The show was mental. One of the true highlights of the voyage of the USS Conspirator. One I shan’t soon forget. We even busted out Double Talkin’ Jive again for it.

    The final show of the UK tour was just where our trip overseas began-Glasgow, Scotland. At the very venue where we had celebrated the MTV EMAs. It was the day before my birthday and what a way to celebrate. Play an incredible show in front of the rowdiest bunch of Scots imaginable then play Burn by Deep Purple with Glenn Fucking Hughes! I distinctly recall the first time my junior high friend, Bill, played me Burn from the Deep Purple record of the same name. It blew my mind and that effect has always stayed with me. For our encore Glenn got up and dueted Burn with Myles. Two amazing singers toe to toe. Best Bday gift I coulda asked for.
    The show was absolutely majestic. I, again, was both celebratory and melancholy that things were drawing to a close. At the after party everyone sang me happy birthday and showered me with gifts. It had been my first birthday on the road in all these years. I always managed to be back home by the time my birthday came around. I cannot thank those in attendance enough for such a memorable way to celebrate. Thank you to all my friends who came to the party that night. You are never to be forgotten.

    Goodbye Europe. Goodbye UK…

    Hello ICELAND!
    “We come from the land of the ice and snow from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow”
    We landed in the beautiful city of Reykjavik, Iceland on my birthday. It was all very familiar to me. Indeed, as the name would suggest, it was icy and covered in snow but so was the land of my birth, Canada. It felt like home to me.
    After a quick birthday dinner we went for a tour of the city to take in some of the sights. We looked for the northern lights but it was too foggy. I’d seen the northern lights quite often in my youth. We did manage to see many interesting sights around the city including Bjork’s house. Yes-that Bjork. Reykjavik is a very beautiful city.
    The show was a blast. Everyone who attended said we seemed to be having a really good time and I have to admit to having a blast. I knew it was our last night on stage together until 2015 so it was a celebration.
    We encored with Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song before Paradise City which seemed apropos. After all that song was written about Iceland.
    We had a chance to say hi to friends who had followed from all over-Japan, US, Canada, Norway as well as the locals. So much to celebrate. I was still celebrating my birthday along with the end of the tour.

    And with that it was over. We were soon on a plane and found ourselves back on US soil albeit briefly. I landed in Las Vegas for one day before venturing on to Vancouver in Canada. I spend most of my holidays in Vancouver and this year would be no different. This time, though, I also had a show to play. Last year I did a handful of acoustic shows which brought me to the Roxy in Vancouver. This time I would be playing that venue with my old solo band who have dubbed themselves the Gruesome Twosome. They are not so gruesome at all but they are most assuredly a twosome. Back when I put out Go Time! in 2004 I put together a band with Squid on bass and Dayvid Swart on drums and we traveled across Canada countless times. Now we would be playing again for the first time in three years. We did a similar show at the Media Club in 2011.

    For the first time in 8 years I jumped on stage with my old friends, The Tea Party, and sang a few songs at the Commodore. The Commodore is a legendary spot where I have played many times. Everyone has played there from KISS to the New York Dolls and beyond. The Tea Party broke up several years ago but then reformed recently to release a new album. Back in the day it was a regular occurrence to appear on stage with them but, of course, I’ve been away and they no longer existed until fairly recently. So I received a message from Stu, the bass player, to come sing again like old times. When I got there and we got caught up it was never quite decided what we would play. When they dragged me up there I was still unsure what they would spring on me but we were soon in the throes of Welcome To The Jungle which morphed into David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel which evolved into Sympathy For The Devil by the Stones. It was a great thrill for me. I only hope everyone else had as much fun as I did. It was truly a great memory. I only wish I could have stuck around for further reconnecting but I had to get my entourage back to their dwellings and prepare for our show the next day.
    Myself and the twosome played about 90 minutes at the Roxy. It covered the full catalogue from The Age Of Electric, Static In Stereo, the solo years and even into the Sinners. We had a blast. It is always a joy to play with those guys and as if we never stopped playing together. Two local bands, Strip and Dead City Scandal played with us. They are both great. Check em out. Pigeon Park played with The Tea Party at the Commodore. Another great Vancouver band. Always inspiring to see great music still coming out of the city I love.
    Thank you to all that came to the Roxy. It really means a lot to me and I hope you had a blast. We hope to do this every year around this time. It’s a celebratory thing for me. Getting to play the 6 string is a kick. Hope to see you next year!

    On Keith Richards’ birthday, Dec 18, I played an acoustic set over at the Prestige Guitars showroom in North Vancouver. I first got acquainted with Prestige Guitars back about ten years ago. I found a small display of them and bought one right on the spot. Shortly after we created the Heritage Deluxe which is my signature model which has been one of the crowning achievements of my life. I’m super proud of that. We have had a long and fruitful relationship and it has been a great joy for me to watch that company grow and grow.
    The acoustic set was a blast. Like a campfire sing a long in someone’s living room. It really was a celebration full of requests and again spanning the whole catalogue. I really truly enjoyed myself. Thank you to Mike and Adrian at Prestige for such a good time. Expect more creations from the pairing of Prestige and TK!

    http://www.prestigeguitars.com

    So here I sit now. Every day drenched battling the shoppers for gifts for my loved ones and I couldn’t be happier. 2014 comes to a close as one of the best chapters of my life. 2015 sits awaiting an even better chapter yet. I have learned to face each day looking for the silver not the grey. It is something I work hard at every day. I highly recommend you put as much of your energy into the light and not the dark as you can. Life can be beautiful but sometimes you have to make it that way. May take some creative work but even the ugliest situation can beget true beauty.

    Two years ago December 15th we lost Greg Verdusco, one of my dearest friends. He was taken from us suddenly and I miss him still. I always will. I have said much about him. There is an entire album dedicated to his memory and his inspiration called Borrowing Trouble. There is nothing new I can say here except that his life and his passing have inspired in me a deep desire to live my life with as much purpose as I possibly can. I want to positively affect those around me as much as I can. I want to live my life as truthfully to myself and those I care about as I can. 2014 was very much a rebuilding year for me. 2015 will be the realization of that rebuilding.
    Greg is missed but never forgotten. My life is richer for having known him and his memory gives me strength.
    His birthday follows four days later on December 19th. I choose to celebrate his memory. For these four days every year, for the rest of my life, I will celebrate Greg’s life and remember him the rest of the year as well. And all the years that follow.

    Greg

    On January 15th 2015, in the dawn of that new year I want to celebrate life with my friends at Count’s Vamp’d in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be my last opportunity to do so for a very long time. We are going to sing songs together, celebrate, mourn and rejoice together in the only way I know how-music. My shows at Vamp’d are never about anything but music. They are a ceremony of joy and absolution all in the name of music.
    On January 15th I will introduce an artist I care very much about. Emily Wilson is from Vancouver and is living in Las Vegas. She is a talented singer/songwriter and I am providing her a showcase to debut her talent in her new home city. I hope you will come early and support her. Her talent is a gift.
    Also on January 15th Vamp’d will be the site of the first absolutely solo acoustic appearance of my dear friend, Zachary Throne. That’s right, Zach will be playing alone before me singing his own songs and a whole lot more. This is the beginning of a whole new chapter. It is the answer to the question-
    Where’s Zach?
    He’s right here!
    Also in attendance will be my original OtherMotherBrother/the Keith to my MIck/the Gene to my Paul, Doctor Ellis. Truly one of the most talented motherfuckers I have ever known. I am in constant awe of him.
    Most importantly the voice of the angels as if handed down from on high-Cian Coey will be present to grace us with the golden gift of her voice, her beauty, her talent and her grace. She is the single most gifted ‘star in the making’ I know.
    Hopefully some other friends can come jam too.
    I am so excited to share this night with the people I care about.

    Jan_Vamp_final

    Soon the USS Conspirator will fire back up on to Asia then Australia and New Zealand. From there we will find ourselves in South America again. Me, I can’t wait for all of it. Bring it on! I plan to take a big bite out of this life and my teeth are sharper than ever.

    I wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays, the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of hanukahs and so on and so on.
    I hope 2015 will be your happiest year yet. I hope it brings you everything your dreams desire. I hope at the very least you will find within life’s challenges all the good things hidden there in the details.
    May your challenges be few and your joys many!
    Be sure to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you every single day. May you find strength in that and may your strength be theirs.

    Big Love
    PEACELOVEMETAL
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • European Invasion Part 1

    Manchester, England
    November 30th 2014

    Oh, the glorious blur that is Europe. The food, the coffee, the incredible audiences. Oh, how we have missed you.
    A fitting way to round out the great year of 2014. With the release of World On Fire and all the accolades it has acquired, the Aerosmith tour, the Howard Stern show, the Sunset Strip takeover and now to head into the holidays with European soil on the soles of my Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars is poetically perfect.

    We started by filming a 60 minute plus show for MTV World Stage in the great city of Glasgow, Scotland. This will air somewhere down the road. I’m assuming in the new year. These things always show up on Palladia for me. Or VH1 Classic. MTV as well I assume.
    Our new friends, Biffy Clyro, appeared as part of the same filming. Great buncha lads. Great band.
    The show was amazing. Brutally hot. When filming there are always more lights than usual so it makes it unexpectedly hot. The Roxy in LA was the same thing but a much smaller affair. Brother Brent suffered from it the most post show. Playing drums is such a physical gig. I can’t imagine doing that for 2 hours straight. I’d be dead. I am not good at pacing or restraining myself. I kinda just go for it and realize all too late that I may have overdone it but I’ve never regretted that.

    photo

    SMK&C with Biffy Clyro MTV World Stage taping Glasgow, Scotland

    The next day we appeared at the MTV European Music Awards at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow. Hosted by Nikki Minaj. It was a major event complete with all the chaos such an experience brings. When Slash went out to present Ozzy with a lifetime achievement he passed the lads from U2 in the corridor as they were exiting the stage. Apparently the U2 guys applauded Slash as they passed. Quite a sign of respect coming from such a renowned group. I am always reminded how iconic Brother Slash is. He has becoming a bro. An iconic one, none the less.
    During the course of our evening we crossed paths with the likes of Royal Blood (who are amazing btw), Ariana Grande and even David Hasselhoff. Twice! Apparently Enrique Iglesias was there as well but I didn’t see him.

    photo 2

    SMK&C and Royal Blood at MTV EMAs 2014 Glasgow, Scotland

    Speaking of Ozzy, we played Crazy Train with Simon from Biffy Clyro as Ozzy and Sharon watched from the audience no less. The pyro was insane. I kept thinking if I go too far left or right I’m going to be burned alive. A whole new level of respect for the boys in KISS. That is a perilous stage show. It was an incredible experience and a fine welcome to the European leg of the World On Fire Tour.

    photo3

    SMK&C&Simon

    Next we went on to Dublin, Ireland. We’d been to Dublin many times but to be playing the arena was staggering. After doing the Aerosmith tour we became accustomed to playing arenas and amphitheaters but this time there was no Aerosmith following us. It was just us.
    It has been one of the great pleasures of my life watching this thing grow over the past almost 5 years. From modest venues to full blown arenas. One has to be thankful.
    Joining us in Dublin was one of our favorite bands, Monster Truck from Canada. These guys are truly remarkable and on a serious upward swing. Catch ‘em when they’re in your area. Great people. Great band.
    In Dublin U2 sent over a welcome basket of alcohol that was an amazingly kind gesture that is hard to imagine. Slash of course tweeted his thanks saying he wished he could indulge but he’s sober now. The media of course blew this completely out of proportion as if U2 were knocking Slash off the wagon. So ridiculous. Typical media, slow news day, twisted reporting. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Slash has the strongest resolve imaginable. He has never really removed himself from an atmosphere of indulgence yet walks unaffected like Kilgore in Apocalypse Now. It’s pretty impressive. Most newly sober people treat life like a mine field. Slash is not newly sober mind you. He has been for years. A great achievement for a man who nearly died from his indulgences. You think you party hard? Not even close. Slash, Duff AND Steven Adler. All still alive. Now THAT is constitution.
    We debuted not one but TWO new additions to the set in Dublin. From World On Fire we played Avalon AND Beneath A Savage Sun for the first time ever. They have both remained pretty much within the framework of the set ever since. It is always a delight to see the new songs so well received. Always an amazing crowd in Dublin.

    From there we went on to a two night stand at the mighty Zenith in Paris, France. Did a lot in Paris. Some of the things I’ve done before-Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and some new. I’d been to Notre Dame and the Louvre before but never set foot inside. This time I ventured in and was happy I did. In a marathon Louvre viewing we saw a great deal including Venus De Milo AND the Mona Lisa. It takes a minute to register that these ARE the pieces you’ve been made aware of your whole life. Not replicas but the REAL DEAL. That is a mind blower.
    I went, for the first time, to the Shakespeare & Company bookstore by the Notre Dame cathedral which is heaven for a book nerd like me. I bought Jimmy Page’s new photo book for Frank as I had missed his birthday. I gotta get that book for myself. It is beautiful. Paris is one of those places where you could stay for months and find something new every day. Love it there.
    The shows were absolutely epic. The first night we played the Snakepit classic, Mean Bone, for the first time in a loooong time. We also added the VR hit, Fall To Pieces. A massive night.
    The second night was almost a 2 and a half hour show featuring an almost 30 minute version of Rocket Queen! That must have freaked some people out. It was a major musical journey for us. It is a wondrous thing to get to watch Slash weave and conjure magic from his Les Paul. Though sometimes long it is one of those things that people will be able to say they once watched Slash jam and jam and jam to Rocket Queen way back in the mid 2010s. I, for one, wish I would have been able to witness a long John Bonham drum solo or an extended Miles Davis jam. These kinds of jams are the closest I feel to a jazz musician. Keeping it interesting for ourselves and the audience while bouncing off of one another up and down, backwards and forwards and side to side. That’s the magic of music.
    Ghost opened the show the second night and found it’s way into the regular set from here on out. Shadow Life from World On Fire was played for the first time this second night in Paris. The World On Fire songs are some of the most challenging for me having to play and sing my parts at the same time. Luckily I pride myself on being pretty good at such things. I may not be Geddy Lee but i can hold my own.
    Slash busted into Feel Like Making Love by Bad Company during our intro to Slither and that has bubbled up now and again from show to show.
    Paris has always been amazing for us. I look forward to Hell Fest in the summer.

    Next up was Basel, Switzerland. Switzerland is so beautiful. The people kind and very ready to rock. The Basel show saw the premiere of the World On Fire track, Withered Delilah which has become one of my favorite tracks to play live.
    Back home the filmed show we did at the Roxy in Hollywood had aired on Direct TV as well as the documentary about Slash’s life, Raised On The Sunset Strip. Surreal to see ourselves being interviewed then edited together with interviews with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry. Very surreal. Awkwardly so.
    Switzerland was amazing. Looking forward to next time.

    Off to Italy. First stop Turin! Italy has always been amazing for us. I have no explanation for this. I’m assuming it’s just cuz they rock. After an amazing show we got to catch up with some amazing people including Attila, the 4th Conspirator and Thomas who painted some amazing portraits of myself and my co-Conspirators. That is always a trip. An amazing show as always.

    Off to Florence, which none of us had been to. I’m not sure about Myles or Slash but it was new to the Conspirators. Got to wander around the city a little bit. People think that traveling like we do must be so awesome to see all the sights etc but it’s a lot more difficult than you think. Especially when trying to get acclimated to new time zones and retaining energy for the shows. As often as possible I drag myself from the web of a comfortable bed into the streets of whichever city I find myself in and see some sights. Florence is extraordinarily beautiful and the hotel was right on the river. Which river? I’m not sure. I should probably research that before commenting on it but it was lovely.
    The show was incredible as all Italian shows are for us. Great to catch up with some people. By this point we had people attending multiple shows as will happen in Europe. Everything is so close people can travel to shows quite often.

    Next we found ourselves in Vienna, Austria which is a stunning city. We took in some amazing sights including Mozart’s Apartment. That may sound like some hipster pub but it is actually an apartment that the composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in for a few years. It was a fascinating place to take in as a musician.
    Vienna saw the live premiere of the song Too Far Gone from the World On Fire album which has gone on to be one of my favorites to play live. I’m told we did a little Feel Like Making Love by Bad Company again during the Slither intro as well. Vienna was an awesome experience.

    Part one of this blog will end in the amazing city of Krakow, Poland. Usually I catch up to where I am in the present but I plan on presenting this entire blog in a two part overview. The next blog will follow Munich to Iceland. Maybe even to the first of my solo shows-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 11th at the Roxy with my full solo band. That promises to be a blast. I always like to play a Christmas charity every year. The only thing I really have to give is music so being a part of something to give back a little is extremely rewarding. Since I will be spending the holidays in Vancouver I figure what better way to celebrate than to play a show locally. It promises to be an amazing time and we will be playing music that I haven’t played in a long time. Since 3 years ago, the last time we played together! Everything from the entire catalogue-Go Time, Borrowing Trouble, Near Life Experience, Bootleg Confessional, Static In Stereo, Age Of Electric, Sin City Sinners and on and on and on. What a blast. Hope to see you there!

    1526856_713771878718136_335909916871987432_n

    So, to finish in Krakow. What an amazing city. I only wish we could have seen more of it. So much history. I hope to see as much as possible next time but we got to walk around a bit and the people were amazingly friendly. Lots of concertgoers grabbing photos and saying hello.
    That night we had a gigantic after show party with lots of friends and well wishers. Miss Janette from Todd Kerns USA organized a group of friends to come by for photos and hellos in person. Was an amazing night. I don’t know why but Poland is massive for us. There is a gold album on my wall at home for Apocalyptic Love from Poland. I hope one for World On Fire will be coming. I truly look forward to returning to Poland. See you next time.

    So that’s that for now. Part 2 will be coming upon completion of the tour. We are in the middle of an amazing UK run at the moment. Lots of friends with an exhausting amount of social time which is most enjoyable. We wrap this all up in Iceland which none of us expected but are all excited about. I will be celebrating my birthday there. How cool is that? I’m excited.

    Here’s a tidbit for you. People ask me what this hand signal means?

    photo4

    Gang sign? No. I have so much time on my hands I invented my own hand signal. It is peace plus the sign language symbol for love plus the devil horns/metal and/or rock symbol all in one hand. I call it PEACELOVEMETAL. If you flash it at me I’ll know you are part of a very exclusive club of lunatics. A club I call Todd Dammit’s ‘DAMMED’.

    Reading-Russell Brand’s Revolution. I like Russell. I like his brain. I don’t agree with everything he says in this book but he definitely gets me thinking and that’s never a bad thing!

    Right, off you go! I’m off to dinner with my family of misfits here on the Island of Broken Toys we call the Conspirators.
    Big Love.
    PEACELOVEMETAL
    See you on part 2
    Your loyal and humble servant,
    Todd Dammit



  • Sunset Strip Takeover

    November 5 2014
    Somewhere in the sky between Newark, New Jersey, USA and Glasgow, Scotland

    May not have been planned perfectly but there’s something exciting about writing about the end of the first leg of the World On Fire tour as we slam into the next. I am currently on a United Airline flight heading to Glasgow to begin what will be our first trip over the pond in a too long. There is a great deal of expectation from both audience and band. I have been waiting for this a loooong time.

    As you’ve read (or you haven’t in which case you should go back and read earlier entries) we had done a few months touring around the US and Canada with America’s greatest rock band, Aerosmith which was incredibly rewarding. We wrapped all that up appearing on Howard Stern’s show which was beyond surreal to commemorate the official release of World On Fire. Having crashed New York City it was only fitting to go west and make just as big an impression. The decision made was to play not one, not two but three cd release shows in the great city of Los Angeles, California. Each venue as legendary as the next.

    First up-The Troubadour. This legendary spot was one of the main stomping grounds of the early days of Guns N Roses. There are a ton of great photos and some video from the pre Appetite For Destruction era on that very stage. I, for one, had never been inside the building. It had never come up as a destination in my adventures in the City of Angels. That said I was more than aware of it’s pedigree. John Lennon had been thrown out of The Troubadour. Look it up. Fact.

    There is something really special about playing these intimate venues. We have become very accustomed to and spoiled playing the size of venues we regularly play so the sweaty, intimate shows become very special indeed. There was very definitely a vibe that night at the Troubadour. It felt important. An important night for us. An important night for me. I had seen footage and photos of a thousand bands in that venue. It felt surreal to stare out at it’s wood decor realizing how little it has changed over the years.

    The show itself was pretty magical. The forced tightness of the stage plays into the tightness of the band’s performance. We are there in each other’s pocket’s and very nearly under one another’s feet but it created a solid wall of five guys focusing energy in every direction from the stage. There are nights that feel special. This was one.

    We played the newly added Bent To Fly that night. That song has become a real stand out in the set. It is a hit on the radio in Australia. Funny how that song really caught on over there. Especially considering that the rest of the world was playing World On Fire on the radio.

    There were some awesome guests in attendance. Upon making my way to our designated green room I was met by our pal, Clifton Collins Jr, the actor most recently seen in Pacific Rim and Johnny Depp’s Trancendence*** To my surprise Clifton had brought Mike Judge to the party. For those of you that read these ramblings you will know that I had first met Mr Judge on the Apocalyptic Love tour at the Wiltern Theater in LA. Mike, of course, is the creator and voices of Beavis and Butthead and the writer director of one of my favorite films, Office Space. He currently has the show Silicon Valley on the go but I haven’t had a chance to dig in. I hear good things though.

    It was weird to have Mike Judge say, “Hey, Todd.” Super surreal. It was great to catch up with both Mike and Clifton. Cliffy is doing a project with Shia LaBeouf at the moment though I don’t know too much about it. Cliffy is good people.

    Also in attendance were my friends from the Butcher Babies. They are starting to blow up in the metal community and have the great designation of being fronted by not one but two powerhouse female vocalists. Proud of that bunch. Doing great work.

    Between the Troubadour and the next show we did a photo shoot the legendary photographer, Robert John. Robert was at the scene of the crime during the GNR days. He has a long history with Slash. Google him. I’m sure some great stuff will come up. I like Robert’s work a lot. He did a great job.

    conspirators

    Next up we found ourselves at yet another legendary and very important venue, The Roxy. For the initiated you know that The Roxy was the site of the very first performance of Slash and Myles the band before we called ourselves The Conspirators. That was in April of 2010. Almost five years ago. Mind boggling to think about.

    I had also played at The Roxy in 1991 with my band, The Age Of Electric so this would be my third time on that stage in 23 years. Seems like a good ratio.
    This night was especially crazy because we were filming for a special live concert presentation for Direct TV which airs on November 7th.

    It was an elaborate camera set up making the Roxy super hot and uber distracting with all the cameras. It’s always this way with a live shoot. I barely register that there are cameras there because I’m usually so focused on the audience. We have a good time.

    I had a crowd of friends at that show who travelled from all over wearing mock ups of the ‘Conspirator’ shirt I wear on stage. Very, very cool. I love my friends. I’m always happy when they can make it out.
    There was an endless stream of famous faces at The Roxy that night staring with Gene Simmons and his kids, Nick and Sophie. Fitz and I both played with Nick Simmons at a cd release show for Bruce Kulick’s BK3. I didn’t get a chance to catch up with him and I regret that.
    Duff and his beautiful wife, Susan were in attendance, as well. So there I was with two of my favorite bass players watching! No pressure.

    Billy Duffy from The Cult was there and I’ve played with him a number of times. Got a chance to catch up briefly after. Great man. I will always be a fan of The Cult. That was an important band for me.
    Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme was there. That was surprise. Did you know he is Rhianna’s guitar player these days? It’s a fact. Look it up. He actually got in a little closer when Slash busted into the solo for Sweet Child O’ Mine. Guitar players are an awesome lot. Nuno is a bona fide guitar hero yet still he had to get a closer look at brother Slash. Good man, that Nuno.
    At one point I saw a familiar face smiling down at me from the VIP booth so I just smiled back and waved. I had to do a double take. The VIP is reserved for friends and family so at first glance I just assumed she was ‘one of ours’. I was surprised to find that the familiar face looking down at me was the actress, Leslie Mann from so many great movies like This Is 40, Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin and on and on. She is married to Judd Apatow who either directs, produces, writes or all of the above on many projects. He was the mind behind the legendary Freaks And Geeks. He’s responsible for the likes of Seth Rogen and James Franco being who they are today.

    This was the show we premiered Automatic Overdrive from World On Fire for the first time live. For some reason I recollect playing it at The Troubadour as well but we have just rehearsed it at soundcheck. It’s all getting to be a bit of a blur.
    The show was a blast. It was Africa hot in there but it was really a good time. We went upstairs to On The Rox for a quick hang with friends and well wishers. That particular show will be airing on Direct TV November 7th. If you don’t have Direct TV I’m assuming it will soon surface in some other form shortly thereafter.

    The final show of the LA CD release shows was at yet another epic classic venue, The Whisky A Go Go. The Whisky, of course, is the site of so many legendary performances by everyone from the Doors to Van Halen to Zep to Jimi to Motley Crue and more. I had performed on that stage in 1991 with The Age Of Electric. The room really hasn’t changed that much. Some booths have been added at the back that weren’t there back then. There’s a bar off of stage left now as well that has been added since I played there but beyond that very much the same. The upstairs, where the dressing rooms are, has changed though I have little recollection of those days now. It was a very special night for us. After the heightened state of camera awareness at The Roxy it was nice to just focus on the crowd again. I always focus on the crowd. Photographers always complain that I don’t stand still long enough for them to capture a pic. I say I’m not there for photos I’m there to rock and rock with the audience. Anything less is sacrilege. The photogs get lots of good photos anyway.

    It was a really special night. It always feels good on the last night of a leg of touring knowing that you are celebrating a great run with your Rock N Roll family. My friends showed up in DAMMIT shirts that night and its always awesome to see friends representing. You have no idea how much I appreciate the support.

    I really tried at all three of the Sunset Strip shows to really take in the evening and try and remember that experience. I have to remind myself to do that more often. Time flies sooooo fast. I’ve already booked my flight to see my family for the holidays already. I’m flabbergasted that it’s that time of year already. Mind blowing.
    It was great to catch up with friends on all of these LA shows. The CD was released into the world and we had just come off an amazing run with Aerosmith. Life was pretty damned good if I do say so myself.

    I want to say thank you to all who came out and supported those three nights in LA as well as the CD release show in NYC the previous week. It was an immense pleasure to share the release of the album with you.

    Also thank you to all who came to support us on the Aerosmith run as well as all the SMK&C shows we did in between those dates. See you in 2015 brothers and sister of North America.

    November 6 2014
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I’m now sitting in my hotel room in the great city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is grey and rainy just the way I like it. A proper Scottish Autumn day. I tell myself to try and stay up through the day upon arrival over here but I was too beat. I awoke at 5pm Glasgow time. I’m going to be a vampire on this tour. I can tell already.

    As of the rehearsals we just came out of in North Hollywood, California we have 11 of the 17 songs from World On Fire ready to be performed. That is a high percentage considering how this is really the beginning of supporting the album. World On Fire wasn’t even released during the Aerosmith run. By the end of 2015 every single song off of World On Fire will have been performed live in one way or another. Just as every single song on Apocalyptic Love was performed in 2012/1013. That is almost unheard of in this day and age. I mean a guy like Slash could just show up and play Sweet Child O’ Mine and people would be happy but it is a testament to how strongly he feels about the most recent chapter of his career to be performing such a high volume of the new material. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The new music is too strong to ignore.
    Tomorrow night we begin the first World On Fire shows on UK soil. We spend the next month over here ending on my birthday in Iceland. Exciting times, my friends. Exciting times indeed.

    Reading Joe Perry’s book and very much enjoying it. It was an honor to be around this man for a few months. He is truly one of the coolest men on the planet. I will never be that cool no matter how hard I try. So I just don’t try.
    By the time this gets posted it might be November 7th. We are filming for MTV World Stage in Glasgow. Hopefully that will be shown the world over. I’ll let ya know when that becomes available for your eyes and ears.
    Looking forward to catching up with all my friends on this side of the pond. Playing some of the largest venues of the SMK&C chapter. This means a lot. It means we are growing. Our European family is too good to us.

    See you out there! Big love
    your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit



  • Rock? Ruled! World? On Fire! Part I

    October 23 2014
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    Yesterday a man died doing his job in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. A man trained for battle but not for anything as cowardly as the act that would claim his life. How does anyone prepare for that? Sadly this stuff shouldn’t be happening anywhere. Especially in one of the most peaceful places in the world. Cpl Nathan Cirillo died today in some insane act of terrorism but accomplished nothing but taking a father from his child and a son from his family. The country still stands strong as ever with ever more determination and resolve in memory of a fallen soldier who had given his life to protect the rest of us.

    In a bizarre twist of fate I write this from Hamilton, Ontario the very city Nathan had once called home. It has been especially affecting to be so close to the story geographically. I could have been in Vegas or LA or Tokyo but by chance I am here and the grief is palpable. But it is grief supported by strength and purpose to look forward to a time when this kind of senselessness will be a thing of the past. When the inhabitants in this world can look past our differences and find comfort in our unavoidable similarities.

    I can only pass on condolences to Nathan’s family and thank Nathan for looking out for people like me so we may live the life we have.
    Thank you, Nathan. You will never be forgotten.

    What a nasty way to wrap an otherwise glorious trip to my Motherland. I have been to many stops like a Canadian Gypsy. I found myself in Vegas for two days before vanishing north. I have come to the realization that as of this month I have lived in Vegas for eight years. eight years is a long time. Especially considering I had no intention of staying upon my arrival. I came down to work with my friends, Kurt and D from the Underground Rebels. I had reached a fork in my road and it took me south. I told myself I’d stay till the holidays then make my way home. One thing led to another and you probably know how the rest goes. I found a new life for myself playing music with my friends. What more could I ask for? It was anything but an easy transition but nothing worth doing ever is. Shortly after my arrival I was off to Europe with Brent Muscat’s Faster Pussycat. I had never been to Europe until 2006. How could this be? All these years playing music and this was my first time. We came back and put together the Sin City Sinners which really sealed my long term Las Vegas plans. Life with Slash started almost five years ago now. Time has and continues to race by. I have a birthday coming then a new year will be on our calendars. We will be halfway through the decade they call the 2010s. Never had a ring to it did it? Neither did the 2000s. In just over five years from now we will be living in the ‘Twenties’. What a weird concept.

    I am thankful for all that has come my way these past eight years. It is unbelievable to me that this much time has passed. It will be ten years before I know it. That will be a landmark.
    Of course there is still so much to come…

    My blogs usually come much more succinctly but my gypsy ways get in the way of productivity sometimes. So much time has passed since I last checked in that the tour has ended, the album has been released and another tour is less than two weeks away. A tour to see some of my favorite people in the world. In the UK. In Europe. We have been woodshedding under the tutelage of the mighty Aerosmith. We come to you with blades sharpened and a lust for blood. Of the Rock And Roll kind anyway.

    Funny thing, the road. Looking back on our first show of 2014 at Hampton Beach July 9th it seems like a year ago and a week ago at the same time. I told myself at the beginning of the tour that it would be September before I knew it and sure enough I remember looking at my phone one day and seeing September 1. Midway through the tour everything seems to be moving at a pretty good rate. Not too fast. Able to take all of it in. Then BAM it’s 2 months later.
    I had every intention of doing a kind of wrap up blog when we ended the Let Rock Rule tour with Aerosmith but with the enormity of what is left this will be coming in two parts. Last time, I wrote my song by song guide to the new album, World On Fire. Hope you enjoyed.
    This one is gonna be a biggie. Get comfortable. You have been warned.

    When last I checked in I was in the Garden State getting ready to play the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey in support of the mighty Aerosmith. This was a very cool show. A lot of the New York City people came out for it making it even more of an event. A long list of people showed up. Everyone from Donald Trump to our pals from That Metal Show. I never saw Trump but I did spend a lot of time with Don Jamieson and, of course, Eddie Trunk. I hadn’t had a whole lot of time in the past to chat with Don so it was cool to get to hang. Jim Florentine was not there. Not sure what he was up to.
    For the rock nerd in me there were some exciting people. The amazing, Jack Douglas, producer of many Aerosmith records was on hand. He’s also done a myriad of other legendary work including Double Fantasy, John Lennon’s last album. That’s a big deal. He, of course, worked with Slash in the Snakepit days.
    Also there was Bob Gruen, the legendary New York photographer. He’s photographed everybody, Lennon, New York Dolls, KISS, Aerosmith etc. The man is a legend. These are the kinds of people I get excited about.
    Blasko from Ozzy’s band was there with some of the Black Veil Brides. Like I said it was one of those nights. I still have to ask myself what Donald Trump was doing there. I guess he either- A-knows Steven as a fellow reality TV competition guy or B-has good taste in music.
    Who knows?
    Newark was a great show. New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, these are the states that are renowned for having very loyal rock fans. There’s lots of others too but I have always had a good time in Jersey.

    From there we were off to play the Fox Theater in the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. This was one of our own 2 hour shows which is always a pleasure after rocking the one hour mini sets with Aerosmith. I know I’ve said it a thousand times but it’s always weird being in a casino when not in Vegas. For us Vegas folk casinos are just such a big part of our lifestyle that to see them anywhere else is a little bizarre. For a moment you feel like you’re at the Golden Gate downtown or maybe the Four Queens but no you’re somewhere in Connecticut. Very surreal. Our crew guys were floating through the casino like smoking and drinking ghosts throwing money in machine after machine. But, of course, that’s just what casinos are built for.
    I did an interview with Bass Player magazine while in Connecticut that should be in the January issue. Look for that.
    The show was a real blast. We powered through our two hours. It never feels that long. It cranks along. Good people in Connecticut.

    Our next show was in Bristow, Virginia back in the company of Aerosmith. It’s funny how tight the two camps had become on the tour. We really did enjoy the company of their crew. In the catering area there were not two divided camps. We sat together and enjoyed one another’s company. The Aerosmith crew would jam Aerosmith songs and we’d all be there to cheer them on. Frank jammed a couple times. They kept wanting me to sing but that never happened. Good buncha people.
    The show was a blast. After the show we got to meet producer, Michael ‘Elvis’ Baskette’s family and they were delightful. Elvis had told a story of how he and his brother had gotten Slash’s autograph when they were young. Elvis’ brother verified that tale. I’ll leave that story for him to tell at his leisure. Feel free to ask him all about it. He goes by the name of Elvis Liberace on Twitter. Tell him Todd Dammit sent you.
    The Bristow show was outstanding. It was always a bit sad having to get on the bus while Aerosmith was still playing. Driving off into the night to the strains of Walk This Wayyyyyyyy…

    Next up we found ourselves in one of the great Rock And Roll states, Michigan. Clarkston, Michigan to be exact. This was a big night. It was Joe Perry’s birthday. There is a true bond between Slash and the gang called Aerosmith. Slash and Joe have an especially close bond. Slash once purchased an invaluable guitar that once belonged to Joe. Joe parted with the guitar during hard times. For Joe’s 50th birthday Slash returned that guitar to him as a gift. I think that seals a bond that will never break.
    That night Slash joined the guys on stage again but this time a gigantic cake was wheeled out for Joe as well. It was awesome to be a part of such a special day. Slash is a kid in a candy store up there with his childhood heroes. It puts a big smile on my face to get to watch him live that dream again and again.
    Our set was amazing but I have to admit to a bittersweet melancholia creeping up on me as the tour was starting to close in on itself. We were kids at summer camp and we never wanted it to end.

    Now we was back the Motherland. Crossing the border into Canada for the third time of the tour. We immediately pulled the bus over and got our fill of Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts. Welcome to Canada!
    We spent the night in Toronto then flew on to Sydney, Nova Scotia. I’d never been to Sydney, Nova Scotia before. In fact, for a Canadian I really haven’t gotten back east nearly enough.
    Oddly enough We were flying into Nova Scotia on the 13th anniversary of 9/11. The strange thing is that on that actual day in 2001 I was eerily in eastern Canada. Moncton, New Brunswick to be exact. Not exactly a return to the scene of the crime but enough of a ‘too close for comfort’ coincidence for me. It is a heavy day no matter what. Never to be forgotten.
    Our final show of the Let Rock Rule 2014 AeroSlash tour was September 12th in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It was a both momentous and ‘just another day’ at the same time. I never saw any of the Aerosmith guys that day at all. I never got my chance to thank them for their courtesy, hospitality and the great reward of getting to watch them night after night. We played then they played and then we were gone. I got to watch them for a time from the side of the stage and I tried to drink as much down as I could of the experience. It has been one of the great joys of my life being able to be a part of this past summer with a band I have idolized all my life. I could die tomorrow and feel completely fulfilled. Though I say that at the end of almost every tour. At the end of almost every day.
    The Trews played earlier in the day and absolutely killed. I never got to say hi to any of the guys but John Angus, the guitar player, played with Fitz and I at one of our all Canadian music benefit shows in Winnipeg once. He is a monster of a player. I highly recommend you check them out.

    Looking back on the Let Rock Rule tour so much of it stands out. One day at soundcheck Brad Whitford was standing down on the floor in front of me watching us play. Being a cheeky bastard I threw Brad one of my guitar picks like he was an audience member. He feigned enthusiasm and ran to pick it up like the most highly invested fan. Part of me was thinking he was gonna punch me in the nose but he laughed and so did we.
    We got to spend some time as an apostle to the great Steven Tyler. He would just appear and commandeer the room. I’m not sure where he is at this moment but I know he is commandeering the room that he is in. He is one of the greats in the history of music. Not just Rock And Roll but music. Up there with Elvis and Lennon and Michael Jackson and Miles Davis or whoever your immortals are. Steven is a legend. 100% Getting to shake hands with Joe Perry here and there is more than a thrill. There is Keith Richards and then there is Joe. I am currently reading his book. I just can’t get enough of these guys.
    We had played with Brad once before back in 2011, I believe. He is the true gentleman and music fan of the bunch. Always at soundcheck. Always talking guitars. More than once in the catering room Brad came and sat at our table. This bunch of knuckleheads talking about Robocop (or something just as relevant) and suddenly Brad Whitford. That’s the kinda guy he is. Just a good dude. There is a lot to learn from Mr Whitford.
    It was great to be a part of watching Joey Kramer’s triumphant return to the stage after a two show sabbatical. I’ve read his book, too. Can’t knock him down. Lots to be learned there too.
    Tom Hamilton is one of my bass player heroes. He is untouchable in so many ways. He is rock solid and unflappable. A true honor to get to shake his hand and say hello. As much of an honor to get to be taken to school nightly watching him play.
    Ladies and gentlemen, America’s greatest Rock And Roll band-Aerosmith.
    Also-all original members. Think about that. Who else can say that?
    …and discuss…

    So then we were suddenly in New York City again. It was a repeat of 2012 where we played the record release party for Apocalyptic Love. two years later here we are with a new bouncing baby boy named World On Fire.
    With some time off in NYC our good friend and tour guide, Joe Fahmy, took us around to what seemed like every pizza joint in town. We even went out to Brooklyn for pizza. It’s NYC. Best pizza ever. It must be done.
    Frank had never been to the Dakota building before so we had to take him there. John Lennon was shot there almost 34 years ago. How shocking is that? It hardly seems that long ago. It’s a dark thing to take in but as a fan it is a must see. It was night by the time we got there and would have looked not unlike the night it happened. It’s an eerie and dark experience to be sure. We worked our way back to Central Park to look at Strawberry Fields as Frank had not seen that either. It is good to get as close to your heroes as you can. As a firm believer in the magic or music these are holy grounds for me.

    Our cd release show was to be aired live over Sirius radio. The show itself took place at Santos Party House. Our next four shows would all be on some of the smallest stages this band had ever performed. The cd release show was great fun. We played Bent To Fly from the new record for the first time and it came off strong. It really felt good. All in all I think the show went really well. I haven’t listened to the recording. I tend to not listen to recordings of what we’ve done. I tend to look forward not back. I think that’s good advice in most things, brothers and sisters.
    Of course that very day was September 15th, the day our new album, World On Fire was officially released. What better way to celebrate it’s birth than to play a Rock show?

    There was no time to celebrate too much as we had to be up beyond reason early to appear on Howard Stern’s show. To be honest when it first came up I assumed Slash was going to go in and do his usual rap with Howard. Then someone said, ‘No. You’re all going in and you’re going to play.’ That didn’t make any sense. It’s a radio station. There’s nowhere to set up and play. Sure enough that was exactly what was about to happen.
    Everything had happened so fast that there was little time to mentally prepare for Howard. Aerosmith, travel, cd release. I think we were all so mentally focused on being up that early, playing that early, being able to SING that early that I think the fact that we were going to be performing 5 feet from the ‘King Of All Media’ had kinda escaped us.
    That morning I dragged myself out of bed and as always was the first one downstairs in the lobby. Punctuality is key. Lesson two today. I was caffeinating heavily as we drove over to the station. I was so delirious that I still had no concept of the gravity of the situation. Suddenly we were being ushered into the green room and it all started to hit me. I’m a fan. I follow Howard. i recognize this green room and hallway from the videos I’ve watched of Howard.
    Then Gary Dell’Abate walked in and shit got real. ‘Wait a second. I’m at the Howard Stern show,’ my fatigued brain thought. Wow. This is for real. A quick hello from Gary with some prep then I made my way to the studio.
    As I walked into the studio Howard was speaking into his microphone. That’s what he does. He was actually on air as I walked by him. He waved at me like ‘Hey’. I waved back. What a trip. That’s Howard Stern and I’m in his dojo. He is the best in the world at what he does and I am on the bridge of his Enterprise.
    If you’ve not listened to our segment on the show you should. It is yet another beyond surreal moment in this career for me.

    First things first we are playing on rented gear. Always a crap shoot. On top of that we are playing at a comparatively low volume to how we play in our environment. There was the plexi glass shield around the drums to stop the bleed of the drums and cymbals into our microphones. Beyond that I couldn’t hear my voice at all. I was so wrapped up in the moment that I didn’t put my headphones on. Myles had his on so he could hear himself sing. Me? I was flying blind. I just started shouting and hoped for the best. I have played in Vegas for years in every type of circumstance. Before that I had played in every type of live set up imaginable. I am well prepared for any such situation. Rented gear and no monitors doesn’t faze me at all. Let’s do this!
    It was a blast to play. Howard was all smiles ear to ear as we were playing getting his own little private concert. We all know he loves Rock N Roll and that had to have been a blast for him.
    After we played Howard was very complimentary on many things including Myles and I singing together which was an exceptional thing to hear. It is rewarding when someone acknowledges your hard work. Especially someone like Howard.
    The interview was a blast and one for the history books. I did not expect Howard to speak to any of us directly so to hear Howard Stern’s voice say my name was beyond surreal. It was downright weird.
    It was an amazing experience as are most on the USS Conspirator. We took some pictures and exchanged a few words and then we were all on a plane to a couple days at home before the next chapter began.
    The Takeover Of Los Angeles!
    But I’m going to save that tale for my next blog. Expect it much sooner than it took for this one to come around.

    Brothers and sisters, The Walking Dead is back! Hell yes! Boardwalk Empire finale this Sunday. Double hell yes! It’s a great time to be alive!
    You should all read Questlove’s book, Mo’ Meta Blues. If you’re a music fan like me you will love it. That book has opened up a whole other world for me musically. I am enjoying digging into things beyond my comfort zone as a player. Things like funk, blues and even jazz. That’s right-Todd Dammit is diggin’ on jazz. Who knew? That’s the beautiful thing about music. It’s always growing and changing and if you can’t find anything new you like there is a wealth of music behind you to explore. It is a journey I have spent my life enjoying. Thanks Quest for showing me even more.
    Grab brother Joe Perry’s book. He is the pinnacle of cool!

    Stay tuned for Part II coming soon. Until then remember the things that are important. Hold on to the things that make you happy. Let go of the things that make you anything but. Love and be loved.

    Thank you, Nathan Cirillo. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, little brother.

    Big love, brothers and sisters.
    Your loyal and humble servant
    Todd Dammit