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NOTHING MUCH TO SAY

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”

-Mark Twain

JAN 18, 2019 Beijing, China

Yes it has been a long time since I’ve written one of these. I’m as surprised as you are to find me here. I hope it’s a pleasant one…for you. It most assuredly is for me.

So why so long? No real answer to that question. I’m very good at putting things off. God knows there’s a solo album sitting half finished on top of a number of other projects for me to chase down. With the new year comes that nagging sensation to get back in the gym. Get back on the diet. Get back to this and that. Perhaps getting back on the keyboard is just as likely.

So here I am without a clue how to start but to look back. I’m not much of a look backer. Or a back looker. I don’t think either of those are common phrases. Not even uncommon phrases.

But I digress…

From my current vantage point the past couple of years seem foggy and blurry with so many miles traveled and so much ground covered both physically and otherwise.

Currently sitting in a posh hotel room in Beijing, China supporting an album called Living The Dream with my brothers of 9 years, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators it is hard to say if any of us knew we’d be together as such when last I wrote one of these…

On New Years day 2016 we went our separate ways and rarely looked back. It serves little purpose to look back when the path only leads forward.

I immediately released a solo album, TKO, which was, in fact, a completion to my 2004 album, Go Time! which was truly rewarding.

In fact so many things occurred in 2016 and 2017 that I get confused on how, when and it what order they occurred.

I did a solo acoustic tour around the US and Canada that put me on stage for the first time as a solo artist in places like Nashville and New York City. I headlined the Viper Room in LA for my birthday. I love solo shows. I will never stop doing them.

My 90s Canadian band The Age Of Electric reunited to support the 20th anniversary rerlease of our 1997 Make A Pest A Pet album. Subsequently we released an accompanying EP called The Pretty EP which was meant to be the sister release of 1993’s The Ugly EP.

My brother, Brent Fitz and I along with our dear friends, Cory Churko and Shane Gaalaas released a loving tribute to our Canadian roots under the name Toque. What started off as a project of sheer joy grew into touring and further recordings and releases. It continues to this day with new releases to come very soon.

I was blessed to be able to bring to life both a bass and a guitar with my friends at Prestige Guitars in Vancouver. I am currently playing my Anti-Star bass on the road right now. Most importantly the 6 string electric guitar version, the Anti-Star VI, not only garnered a ‘Best Of NAMM’ from Guitar World Magazine but went on to win a platinum award from that very publication. I could not be more proud of that. For a kid who drooled over the guitars in that magazine as a kid there is no bigger thrill to have achieved such a thing.

I put together a group of dear friends and musicians I greatly admire to play my music since I was very much enjoying being back in my not so newfound home of Las Vegas. We called it Todd Dammit And The Anti-Stars and it is some of the most fun I have ever had on stage in my life. I have the greatest love and respect for my Anti-Stars. They are the cream of the Las Vegas crop.

Can you believe I’ve been living in Vegas for 12 years? It’s hard for me to imagine sometimes. Time has a way of getting past you. Grab it! Make the most of it.

I found time to reunite with my brothers from the Original Sin City Sinners, a band we formed in Vegas for fun in 2007 that went on to be a beloved mainstay. We have always remained the closest of friends and supporters of one another and it was only a matter of time that we got back on stage together. This will continue well into the future. As long as there is love there will always be music.

Brent Fitz and I have had the great pleasure to perform on not one but two KISS Kruises. The first in 2017 with both Bruce and Bob Kulick. The second in 2018 with the Bruce Kulick band which is so damned good that we are gonna keep it going. Not sure exactly where to go from here but mark my words you’ll be hearing from us. Truly an amazing band with so much untapped potential. You wait and see!

The biggest blessing of all was to be honored with my very own star on the BC Walk of Fame on Granville Street in Vancouver, Canada. It is impossible to express what that means to me. That it will remain on that street maybe even after I’m gone. Vancouver means the world to me. It is where I truly found myself as an artist. My children were born there. My parents retired there. That star really means the world to me. It was the most amazing closure to my time away from being a Conspirator.

And the rest of my Conspirator brethren? Well, the one in the top hat went around the world a couple of times in one of the highest grossing tours of all time. Like-ALL TIME! For real.

The singer went from touring with SMKC to a highly successful Alter Bridge album and world tour to a highly successful solo album and tour. The guy can do no wrong. His life is a series of green lights. He is a wonder to behold and a constant inspiration.

Fitz played with the Gene Simmons band which I will never stop being jealous of. He toured with Brad Whitford of Aerosmith in Whitford/St. Holmes. Fitz is world class. It shows in the company he keeps.

Frank put together my favorite R&B band in Vegas called Royal Electric which featured a 10 piece band. Lead vocals, 2 guitars, bass, keys, drums, horns, background singers. It was a spectacle of sight and sound. Not to mention things that Frank has been cooking up that have yet to be unveiled. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Frank is the one to keep an eye on. Remember that I said that.

So how did Slash, Myles, Fitz, Frankie and I possibly find time to put 2018’s Living The Dream together? Easy. It was a priority. When you make something a priority wonders never cease what can be accomplished.

There may have been a time where one might have thought it could never happen but in my experience anything is possible.

So now here I sit in a far away land after the most successful US tour we have ever done and now currently on the most successful Asian tour we’ve ever done. None of us knew what to expect. Surely we had been forgotten. Surely we’d be starting from scratch. Neither of which proved to be true. We have the most incredible support system all around the world.

Life is a river, brothers and sisters. It just keeps flowing. Follow the waves. There will be bumpy rapids along the way to be sure but it will take you where it wants. I think it best to make plans but keep your plans malleable. Life has a way of throwing changes at you. Jazz changes, too. Like, not always easy to jam with. Sometimes life is 12 bar blues, sometimes its jungle jazz and you gotta just jam along.

SMKC will be out for a long time yet but there will come a day where we will put this monster on ice again and we will all go off in separate directions to do wonderful things. Then if the mood should strike us we will find the time to make it a priority again.

In the meantime there are folks in Beijing that require some rocking tomorrow night. Then Shanghai and on and on and on and on. May the road never end. May the show never stop. May the song never fade. May the string never break. May the voice never crack.

I missed you. It’s good to be back.

Your loyal and humble servant,
Todd Dammit

The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame Announces Todd as 2018 Inductee

The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame Announces 2018 inductees.

Source: https://vancouversun.com/entertainment/celebrity/b-c-entertainment-hall-of-fame-2018-honourees-announced

There are six, new StarWalk Stars and three new Pioneer Stars to add to the 275-plus individuals chosen from the worlds of opera, pop music, choreography, theatre and entertainment publishing who have contributed so much to our entertainment industries.

The two categories define different contributions.

StarWalk inductees are people who have enhanced the province’s cultural profile both at home and globally. Pioneer inductees are those who have left a permanent mark on the B.C. scene.

StarWalk-ers this year include tenor and broadcaster Ben Heppner; multiple Grammy- and Juno-award-winning musician and producer Chin Injeti; publisher Dan McLeod; opera director Nancy Hermiston; and musicians David Sinclair and Todd Kerns. These people will have a featured star on the Walk of Fame on Granville Street, as well as on the StarWall Gallery in the upper lobby of the historic Orpheum Theatre.

The Pioneer inductees are musician Lloyd Arntzen; choreographer Susan Lehmann; and actor/vaudevillian Doug Cameron. These winners are acknowledged on the Honour Plaque in the Orpheum lobby.

More information is available at bcentertainmenthalloffame.com, where you can get the full list of past inductees.

Driving Rain – New Single #SMKC



BUY THE SINGLE ON ITUNES HERE

 

Pre-order the new album, Living The Dream, from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators now and instantly receive their new single, “Driving Rain”, as an instant download! Exclusive physical bundles are available as well! https://RoadrunnerRecords.lnk.to/livi…

LIVING THE DREAM TOUR DATES
9/13 Whiskey A Go-Go @ Los Angeles, CA
9/15 The Van Buren @ Phoenix, AZ
9/16 Kaaboo @ Del Mar, CA
9/18 The Depot @ Salt Lake City, UT
9/19 The Fillmore @ Denver, CO
9/21 Paradise Cove Margaritaville @ Tulsa, OK
9/22 Winstar @ Thackerville, OK
9/24 Stubbs @ Austin, TX
9/26 House of Blues @ Houston, TX
9/28 Louder Than Life @ Louisville, KY
9/29 Four Winds Casino Resort @ New Buffalo, MI
10/1 Wellmont Theatre @ Montclair, NJ
10/2 The Fillmore @ Silver Spring, MD
10/4 Casino Rama @ Rama, Ontario
10/5 Pier 17 at South Street Seaport @ New York, NY
10/9 Paramount @ Huntington, NY
10/10 Electric Factory @ Philadelphia, PA
10/11 House of Blues @ Boston, MA
10/14 Aftershock Festival @ Sacramento, CA

Get tickets now at http://www.slashonline.com

Interview With Canadian Beats

Source: http://canadianbeats.ca/2018/06/27/interview-todd-kerns/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUN FACTS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview by: Norma Young

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

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

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

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

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

Tour dates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2020 Todd Kerns | A Blackfrog Media Production