October 17 2013
Los Angeles, California
Hard to believe this year is almost behind us. Seems a crazy thing to admit but its true. I always think once we are into the ‘Embers’ (September-November, December) that the year is pretty much over. Sure a lot can occur in a 3 month span but it slides by so fast that in my mind I’m already preparing for the new year.
It has been 2 months since I last checked in mostly because I have kept a relatively low profile and don’t believe anyone wants to read about my trip to the coffee shop and the new season of American Horror Story (which is great so far). I’m not one of those people that feels the need to post everything that enters my head or having to document the minutiae of my day to day life. When I have something to say I say it. Not always to the world via the internet.
It is 5am in LA and I am awake for no reason at all. I have no fields to till or no fire to put out. In the past year my sleeping patterns have gotten more erratic than ever. My whole life I’ve not been much of a sleeper. As a boy my Mother took me to the Doctor for explanation as to why I slept so little.
Now here, during this in-between phase known as a ‘break’ my body really has no idea what to do with itself. For all intents and purposes I have been off for 3 months. Sure there have been plenty of things to do within that timespan but with no pattern or schedule I think my body lives what we call a dog’s life which is to say you eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired and there may be no rhyme or reason to any of it.
Yet here I am back in the city of Guns N Roses’ birth in the earliest stages of the birth of the new Conspirators album. So bizarrely familiar that I have to ask myself what day, week, month or year it is. 2 years ago at this time we were doing this very thing. Slash, Fitzy and I locked in a room without sunlight or even the hint of a window volleying music back and forth to one another until it begins to form a solid arrangement. I think we’ve gotten quite skilled at this. I think we had a knack for it the first time we attempted this 2 years ago. It’s something we’ve all been doing all of our lives. Now we do this together.
The riffs are strong and unrelenting. For my part I find myself referencing John Paul Jones and Bob Daisley. For the uninitiated that would be mean there are hints of Zeppelin and early Ozzy in there but that’s only by my subjective placement within this machine.
It always starts as a living, breathing foundation for Myles Kennedy to do what he does so very well on top. He turns riffs and grooves into songs. He is a magician, an artisan at this as shown on the new Alter Bridge album which is stellar.
I can’t be sure when Myles will actually be in the same room as us. December perhaps? He is on the road. It would seem he is always on the road. Perpetually so. He should be commended for his intense resilience. He has gone from recording studio to the road to recording studio to the road to recording studio to the road ad nauseam for the past almost 4 years. A schedule like this could crush a lesser man. It has crushed me, to be honest. I am still putting myself back together from 3 1/2 years of intense work. This past few months has been the closest to a holiday I’ve ever had.
Over the past 4 years I have been a part of 3 Sinners releases, 2 Slash Albums, a Slash dvd, my solo album plus an EP and the countless shows within all of that. That’s a pretty intense output for such a short time. AND it continues!
Much has happened since I last checked in. So much that as I sit down to write this it’s all a bit of a blur. I should start making up adventures to see if anyone calls me on them. Espionage, intrigue. I could make things even more interesting than they already are.
I did my last solo show on Labor Day and it was, again, another magical night. I am still reeling from the fact that people know the words to these songs now. The first show I played, the cd release show, was an amazing night with friends from both near and so very far. This time was intense as people knew all the words and sang them as loud as they could. It is always a surreal thing when words you have scratched onto a little note pad are suddenly sung back to you. It is bizarre and extremely touching.
Another night with a couple of Sinners to help me flesh out This Changes Everything and Nothing Personal plus the Conspirators to indulge me in playing We Are The Champions for the amazing Karen Wheeler and even Stairway To Heaven. I figured enough time has passed that Stairway should be celebrated again. There was a time where that was a terrible crime to play such a song as it had been so overplayed. I like to do something unexpected. That song was anything but expected.
Like I said, an amazing night. Truly. I don’t know how many nights like this one can have in one’s life but I’m happy to have had yet another. I cannot thank those that made it so special enough. I’m excited to do another.
The entire experience was recorded and filmed. I still haven’t wrapped my head around the film side but the audio will be released before the end of the year as a downloadable live album called ‘Confessional:Live In Vegas’ as a thank you/Xmas gift to those who have supported the pledge campaign since its inception. I’m excited for this to see the light of day. I hope you all enjoy listening as much as those of us who were there enjoyed being a part of it.
I ran off to Canada to enjoy some time before winter comes. That sounds so ominous. Like Game Of Thrones or something. Winter is coming! It’s true. Nice to visit before it gets cold. I got to see my brother, John from Age Of Electric, play and was reminded that he will always be the better bass player. There is a part of me that has always wanted to reform The Age Of Electric just so everyone else could be reminded of this as well.
By chance Slash came to Toronto for the initial screening of his film, Nothing Left To Fear, so I joined him on this adventure. It was good to see him as it had been a little while. We caught up and then enjoyed his movie. There were some technical difficulties which are not uncommon when screening a brand new project. I enjoyed it very much and was knocked out by the mere fact that Slash had followed through on such an immense project from the ground up and now it exists. It is a complete and finished film. And it’s good too. He is very into this phase of his career and life. The film business is very much a part of his day to day life now. He came to rehearsal after a meeting with the Bad Robot folks. That’s JJ Abrams’ company. I can’t tell you how envious I was that he got to be in the inner sanctum where the new Star Wars is coming to life.
After a restful trip to Canada we were in talks to begin pre production in LA for the new Conspirators album. To be honest we had been talking about getting together for about a month before we actually did. Slash is a machine. He was ready to start rehearsing July 26th, the day after the last show of the Apocalyptic Love tour. Management had to remind him that he had an intense schedule of work to promote and support Nothing Left To Fear. Slash and Myles appeared on Conan to play the title track while Slash sat with Conan and chatted as well.
We are currently sitting on about a half an album’s worth of material at the moment. We are still trying to formulate the plan as to where we are going to record the new album. There was a brief time where it looked like we might do it in Vegas which woulda be rad but that didn’t pan out. It looked like we might even go to Florida to do it but I’m not sure where that’s sitting. I would assume that the lion’s share of this record will be recorded in Los Angeles. It would seem weird to do it anywhere else to be honest.
Just this past weekend I played my first show with the Sin City Sinners since January. People are constantly asking when I will be back with the Sinners or if I’ve quit the Sinners etc.
The truth be told I will always be a Sin City Sinner. There is no real leaving such a thing. Brent Muscat and I formed that band 6 years ago. I named it. We nurtured it with fun and hard work from the dirtiest little punk rock bar in the city to some of the most posh settings Vegas has to offer. Faces have come and gone and yet it continues to this day without any signs of stopping.
This past Saturday was the reunion of the Exile Of Fremont Street lineup which is not the ‘original’ lineup but may as well be. Doctor Ellis is, in fact, the band’s 3rd bass player and Rob Cournoyer is actually the 2nd drummer though he has been there long enough to be deemed original by anyone’s standards. That said this lineup was the lineup that lasted the longest and created Exile On Fremont Street and the Broken Record EP.
I have to say the night was amazing. I had been off stage for a bit so it felt good to get up there. I also had not played loud and plugged in for some time as well so, again, it felt amazing to crank it out with my brothers in Sin.
With zero rehearsal we pounded out a tight set of good fun just like the old days. With so much down time I had a lot of pent up nonsense to get out so I found myself rambling on the microphone in attempts to crack up my bandmates. That’s one of the best things about the Sinners is how much fun it is. It’s Vegas. It’s fun. I look forward to the next time and I assure you there will be a next time.
The following night I did a not so secret acoustic set opening for my bros, the Underground Rebels. I’ve known the Rebels from Canada and we have always been in and out of each other’s business. I asked them to open my two acoustic shows and told them I’d return the favor when they released their cd. So I did!
Was a great night. Dirk Vermin from the A&E show Bad Ink (though he will always be from the legendary The Vermin to me) played with the Rebels, as did Lez from the Electric era of The Cult. On top of my acoustic set I did two songs with the Rebels that I sang on their new cd. The cd is great. Check it out. Really strong songwriting from these guys. Great night. Thank you to all who came to support.
So that brings us to now. The closing of 2013 will find us locked away creating music as it should be. I’m hoping to get up to some other shows before the end of the year schedule permitting.
Still chipping away on what will become the book. That is a never ending project as what I’m writing RIGHT NOW AT THIS VERY MOMENT will end up in some publication at some point.
The live album will be out in November/December.Stay tuned for that.
The vinyl version of Borrowing Trouble will finally present itself in November which will make for a nice little pre Xmas treat for everyone. If anyone had told me how long vinyl would take I would have adjusted plans. Apparently this is quite common. Who knew? My apologies for the long wait and my great thanks for your patience.
With winter upon us we finally have the much desired hoodies over at www.toddkerns.com Check it out. Makes a great gift, don’t it. I don’t even have one yet. I gotta get on that!
As I’ve mentioned before 2014 will be the 10 year anniversary of my first solo album Go Time! There are very interesting things cooking up to commemorate that so stay tuned. More on that soon.
Alright. Gonna try and catch a couple hours shut eye before returning to the rock mines. That’s a deep, dark, cavernous mine where we dig up rock. The music kind not the mineral.
Until next time, planet Earth-
Live Long And Prosper
May The Force Be With You
Your loyal and humble servant,