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Interview with Todd Kerns – SLASH

Todd KernsWhat Inspired you to start playing Guitar?

The Beatles. I was obsessed with them as a kid. I used to hang my Dad’s old Harmony acoustic around my neck so he eventually showed me the 3 chords he knew. Soon after that I was into The Who, KISS, The Stones, Cheap Trick and never looked back.

Who are your guitar heroes and what was the first song you learned to play?

My heroes were never shredders. Keith Richards, Rick Neilsen from Cheap Trick, Ace Frehley, Johnny Thunders, Johnny Ramone, Steve Jones from the Pistols. Attitude over flash.

When I first started playing I just made up songs. I never learned any for a while. My advice is always the same-learn the Ramones first album and you’ll be fine.

“I made $60 and I spent it all on Xmas gifts for my family.”

Do you remember your first Gig?

I do. I made $60 and I spent it all on Xmas gifts for my family. It was a Christmas party in my hometown. December 12th. I was 13 or 14. I could barely play. I was playing bass. A Gibson EB-3. Still got it.
The Sin City Sinners: Tell us the concept behind the band and the infusion of frequent guest performers. IE: Vinnie Paul, George Lynch, Brad Gillis, etc…

I came to Vegas to help my friends, Underground Rebels, record a cd. Brent Muscat happened to be the guitar player and he reunited 3/5s of the original Faster Pussycat for a European tour. He asked me to play guitar and I accepted. When we got back to Vegas we put together a jam night on Tuesdays at a great punk club called the Dive Bar. We called the band the Sin City Sinners and brought in all kinds of fun people to play with. It caught on and now we play 4 nights a week in big casinos. Every week a new guest. We’ve had everyone from Tiffany, the 80s pop princess, to Vinnie Paul from Pantera. Always fun. Always a new challenge.

You can check out the growing list of guests and everything else at

There have been rumors of an Album in the works. Is this true? And when can we expect to see it in stores?

As I write this, the Sinners are in pre production. We plan to make it available everywhere and anywhere. itunes, on our website, as well as any record store left on the planet. The album is called Exile On Fremont Street and it will be out in December 09.

How do you go about the process of Songwriting? Do you sit around on a couch and play guitar? Do you watch films or read books to get inspired?

All of the above. I used to pretty much go about the sitting on the couch till some chords come together process but I have taken phrases or titles and built songs around those as well. I really don’t believe in any one process. Like anything you have to induce inspiration. I’m pretty blue collar about it. I just get to work rather than waiting for divine intervention.

Any plans of taking the show on the road?

No plans as of now, but anything is possible. Europe and Japan are the big ones for me. I miss Canada dearly and would love to do a run up there of course. We are locked into big gigs in Vegas for now and those have been our focus. We will go wherever anyone wants us.

Ever had an embarrassing onstage moment?

I’ve had ’em all. Split pants-several times. Forgetting lyrics. Gear malfunctions. When you’ve been onstage as long as I have you see the best and the worst of everything.
Having a signature guitar is not something I take lightly and this is the guitar they will bury me with.

You seem to switch between your Prestige NYS Deluxe and Heritage Deluxe guitars quite regularly. What do you like most about each guitar?

The Heritage Deluxe is my design. My specs so it is, in my opinion, the perfect guitar. The pickups, the wood, the Bigsby, everything is what I love. My dream guitar. It is a worthy sword to take into any battle. The Heritage is one of the crowning achievements of my career.

“Having a signature guitar is not something I take lightly and this is the guitar they will bury me with.”

My NYS Deluxe is a prototype and is one of a kind. P-90s on a hollowbody are an amazing combinationt! That guitar is fierce. Most people look at hollowbodies as being a mellower, laid back guitar but Goldie, that’s what I call her, is an aggressive and fearsome weapon.

Whether its writing, producing or performing; you

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