What do you think a multi-talented, international rock star does on his birthday? He makes a donation to his hometown animal shelter. Few people know that Todd Kerns has a deep affection for cats and a special place in his heart for his hometown of Estevan, Saskatchewan.
The Estevan Humane Society has embarked on major initiatives for their shelter, some specifically targeted at their feline population. And Todd has stepped up to help.
“One thing we don't think will be covered with other donations are the enrichment items to add to the kitten rooms after the renovations have been completed,” said the Humane Society's spokesperson in an email. “Things we are looking at are a climbing wall and better cat trees that can be more easily disinfected between groups of kittens”.
With a financial donation and several bags of his Yule Rock Christmas Coffee to be used as a fundraiser for the shelter, Todd id excited at the opportunity to lend a helping hand.
If you've ever met him, you'll know Todd rarely sits still for more than 5 minutes. But we were able to bribe him with a cup of coffee in order to get to know him a bit better.
Where did your affection for cats come from?
I’ve always had an immense love and respect for all animals. I’ve had cats my whole life. Dogs, too. My last dog passed away in 2007 and it devastated me so I didn’t have pets for a long time. Mostly due to the amount of touring and travel in my life. I felt it would be unfair to any pet.
During Covid lockdown a cat just walked through our front door and after fruitlessly trying to figure out where she came from she has remained a part of our family ever since. Her name is Love and she led to two more rescues, BB and StrawBarry.
It was a shocking realization learning of the stray cat population in Vegas alone. We immediately started doing our part trying to raise money and bring awareness to the cause.
Estevan is where I was born and I’ve always longed for a deeper connection with the place. Shortly after I was born my family moved up north to Lynn Lake, Manitoba where I spent the next 13 years before returning to Saskatchewan, but this time Lanigan.
When Estevan came up as a possibility for our cause I jumped at it. My heart will always belong to Saskatchewan.
Why this project?
Well, as I mentioned I have been so caught up in my own career and life that I was shocked to learn of the homeless cat situation everywhere. We want ti do our best to contribute to controlling, as best we can, the population swelling any further.
Spaying, neuter and adoption are the only answers.
You’ve been back to the Prairies several times in 2022. How does it feel to perform back home?
It has been awesome to be able to return full circle, in a sense, to where it all began. As I said, the Prairies is where I come from and where my heart is. Some of the greatest people in the world are from there.
You filled in for Paul McNair, who has stepped in for another Canadian, Saskatchewan legend, Kenny Shields with Streetheart this summer. How was that whole experience?
That was a dream come true. When Jeff Neil asked me I immediately said YES without even thinking about it. It wasn’t until I’d had some time to digest the gravity of it that it hit me.
Kenny had an impact on me that is nearly impossible to put into words.
On one hand I was stepping up to help my brothers get through a gig that their singer wasn’t available for. Happens all the time.
On the other hand I was stepping into the shoes of one of the greatest frontmen in rock history, in my opinion. Then I knew I couldn’t screw this up.
It was truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. Things like that only come up a few times in one’s life. I don’t take that opportunity lightly. For me it was paying tribute to Kenny’s memory and letting the world know how much I loved him.
2022 was a busy year. What stands out for you?
Well, for a year that started out with people telling me, “We are never going to be able to tour again!” It ended up being one of the busiest years of my career.
We put out our 4th album collectively as Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators after 12 years of playing together. Toque has been more active than ever and now I just put out a new single with my project Heroes And Monsters with an album forthcoming.
On top of that we’ve performed with the Bruce Kulick Band many times doing 80s KISS music for our 5th appearance on the KISS Kruise plus doing New Years together.
Also whenever I’m home in Vegas I’m a regular cast member of Raiding The Rock Vault with members of Dio, Heart, Whitesnake etc. I have a blast doing that with great friends.
It’s been a most prosperous return to form and I don’t foresee it letting up anytime soon.
What’s on Todd Kerns’ Santa list this year?
Got be honest there is nothing in this world that I need in a material sense. I’m getting exactly what I want- a Christmas with family. That all I want more than anything in the world.
That said I would never say no to a new guitar!
What’s in store for 2023?
The RAWK continues. More touring, more writing, more recording, more playing.
I am very grateful for the life that I have getting to do what I love every single day and I never take it for granted.
I like to work because I do not consider it work.
There’s a great line in a New York Dolls song that says, “They go to work. We go to play” That’s the ethos I try to live by.
I have had to work day jobs. Now I PLAY for a living. Play means FUN. I am very fortunate to be able to say that. I will never take that for granted.