Thursday, January 21, 2010


Interview by J. Frank Hagan
(Thanks to Bruce Kulick and Kymm Britton)

Kiss Mask: Hey Bruce. Happy New Year!
Bruce Kulick: Thanks!

KM: How was your mini-tour of Australia?
BK: I had a great time. I love the fans there and the guys I played with are very talented. We had a great 20 song set. A lot of Kiss classics, a couple of my solo record tracks and one of the songs that John (Corabi) does on BK3 called "No Friend of Mine." I was very satisfied.

KM: I'm very excited about BK3.
BK: You've actually heard it?

KM: Yes. It's reminiscent to Revenge and Carnival of Souls.
BK: I'll take that as a compliment.

KM: It is a compliment. Was that your plan to create an album comparable to those albums you obviously had strong input on? Going back to that heavier sound?
BK: Once Jeremy Rubulino, my producer, got involved, our goal for this to be the best of me. We really didn't know right away of all the special guests that we had.
We know the best of what I did with Kiss certainly Revenge and arguably Carnival of Souls is up there. If you love that record, you can thank me, if you hate it, don't blame me. That was the direction they wanted to go. Speaking specifically of the Revenge record which was very focused.
I walked out of the mixes of that album feeling this is amazing! This is 99.9% satisfying and that's what I wanted BK3 to be and I felt like I accomplished that.

KM: It took you three years to get this record, BK3, to complete?
BK: Actually I started writing in 2003. But I'd rather count more of the recording process which took three years. Quite a few turns, step on the gas, and turn the other way when Gene (Simmons) got involved. The he offered Nick (Simmons) to sing a song ("Hand of the King"- the lead single) and the fact Jeremy and I really clicked well with Nick. The fact that the song we thought Gene would get involved with was now available to somebody else and we need a kick ass singer for this. I got drummer Tobias (Sammet) whom Eric (Singer) introduced me to.

The next thing I know, I'm talking to Steve Lukather (for the instrumental "Between The Lines" and who appeared on Peter Criss' 1978 solo and 1980's "Out of Control.") at lunch because he helps me with the studio the famous Kenny Aronoff offered the band. The next thing I know, Jeremy's telling me, "You gotta' ask Gene to be on one song." And I'm like what? Gene scares the hell out of me. He's a monster (laughs). I'm quite pleased with the results. I couldn't have predicted it that way.

KM: I love how Gene's voice is layered on "Ain't Gonna' Die," a real ass kicker.
BK: Gene loves to double himself although the verses were an octave lower. At first he thought he would do something introspective, but then he liked the idea . You how TMZ picks at celebrities- you get the last laugh? The lyrics are very tongue and cheek with that kind of attitude.

KM: What was it like working in the studio with Gene again?
BK: Wonderful. It was exciting. I know it was kind of a dream for Jeremy. He knew the guys for a long time but never worked with them. He's actually related to Bob Ezrin, so he met Gene and Paul when he was young. He me Neil (Bogart) when he was probably 14 or 15. So here we are years later.
It didn't take long at all. We actually wrote the lyrics in the studio. Gene's biggest point of view about the drumming was Brent Fritz (UNION). It could have been Eric but he wasn't available at the time, he was out with Alice Cooper. He really wanted Brent to play like Keith Moon. The drums are quite intense. They're almost over the top. Very cool performance.

KM: I love the opening track "Fate." Great riff. I hear subtle lyrics of titles of Kiss songs. Is that your homage to your days with Kiss?
BK: Yeah. I purposely in some Kiss references. I wanted the song to be a timeline of me being in the band. Hold up a second. I have the lyrics here.

KM: I don't have them on my CD.
BK: No you wouldn't Let me indulge in a second. Okay.
Get up/roll them out/let 'em have it/shout it out
Like you start your day, you know what you've gotta' do your best, you're a rock star.
Work hard/stand guard/keep your chin up/you're a star
Clever word play. My role in Kiss.
Sit straight/never late/love,hate/checkmate
You know you do your job. Checkmate was thrown in there 'cause I liked the way it sounded (laughs)
Sunshine/primetime/now I think I'm goin' blind
The sunshine would be that I have an amazing gig here- Now I think I'm goin' blind because it's overwhelming.
You thrill me/you fulfill me/got to choose me
Thinking about my relationship with my fans. I break it down in the chorus-
I'll still fly/with or without you/I can't be erased/I won't walk in any one's shadow/I'm gonna' play the hands of fate
Saying it's something I really miss, I'm still valid, I'm still taking my path in life.
Rock hard/bodyguard/laser beam/war machine
What a shame/It's a crime/colorblind/I'm paralyzed

I'm kinda' talking about that I'm not going to be in the band anymore, poetically speaking.
Hardcore/what's the score/get me off/gimme more
Just a lot of fun word play.
You need me/you need me/you confuse me/you can't refuse me
Trying to be positive about it. Just having some fun with Kiss titles and I'm saying 'Here I am and I mean business'

KM: There are a lot of different musical elements on BK3- Soft, heavy, power rock, but yet very cohesive. "Dirty Girl" is a great power pop rock song.
BK: It's a catchy tune. I think Doug (Fieger) did a really good job with that.

KM: I've always loved the Knack. How did you hook up with Doug?
BK: That's the Fantasy Camp connection. We got to talking. Beatles, music, we really hit it off and I have a lot of respect for him When Jeremy and I had the track, we thought who's a powerful pop rock singer? Doug immediately came to mind. I backed him up on "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't" and it was a lot of fun playing those songs with him. He did a really great job and I'm proud to have him on the record.

KM: The last time I interviewed you was right before the 1995 Kiss Convention tour and you have the same enthusiasm talking about BK3 as you did when talking about Carnival of Souls. That was a very personal record for you, was it not?
BK: Here's a situation- we're doing the Convention tour and I think Kiss is a little lost at the time. Revenge didn't do as well as we had hoped even though I think it's a killer record. MTV was very specific about the UNPLUGGED show and they wanted to have the reunion. Gene and Paul realized Ace and Peter wanted to do a reunion- go on tour and do a reunion. They started to talk about it. This is all behind the scenes yet we were committed to do the record. I think it was titled Head at the time. We were committed to studio time. The record company put up the money and I was calling Gene. I think what sidetracked him was that they were trying to figure out if they could really pull off a reunion tour with Ace and Peter. I'm thinking, I'm the guitarist in the band that's been writing for the past three years- Why aren't we recording our next record? This decision for Gene and Paul to make since they couldn't guarantee down the road what would happen with Ace and Peter- we moved forward, carry on and do the record.
It wasn't until 3/4 through when everything was really committed. They knew what they were gonna' do and knowing what they were gonna' do meant finish the record... The gave Eric and I January of that year, they would move on and do that. I was really excited about that record and the were doing it to keep all the eggs in one basket because what if Ace and Peter decided this isn't going to work, we can still have Kiss and move forward.
It was an interesting position to be in and I understand on a business level how it had to go down that way. The record was done and it couldn't be released.

KM: Did you have any inkling that the Reunion tour was going to happen?
BK: No, because they weren't acting very friendly at all to each other.

KM: I have a question from Kiss Mask reader, Kevin Conrad of Glenville, NY. Kevin asks- It almost seems there was a gag order concerning any questions about Carnival of Souls being put forth to any band member. I remember very little being addressed to you and Eric after the split with the band. I seem to recall one comment from Paul stating he was in "a very dark place." Any truth to that statement and how do you feel about the treatment that album go being you had a huge part in the development and sound of that record?
BK: It was a terrible time for me. I was real proud that I contributed to the record whether a little or a lot. "Jungle" was the single, alot of that Paul and wrote. Gene and Paul did a little bit of press for it. I do remember Paul saying some things like that and I think he was referring to making a dark record but I really don't know know personally that Paul was going through a dark period.

I'll take credit if you like it but don't blame me if you don't. They absolutely hate that record. They wanted to do a heavier record than Revenge. They brought in a co-producer (Toby Wright) who worked with Alice In Chains, kinda' like dark, heroin kind of music. I don't think our record is as dark as an Alice In Chains album. I think there is some really cool stuff on there. I know Paul does not really like the record.

KM: It's kind of the same with (Music From) The Elder.
BK: Yeah. They distance themselves from that too and there's some brilliant stuff on that,

KM: You've stated before in the press you were relieved when you weren't asked to come in Kiss after Ace left. What would you have said or done if they had ?
BK: I don't know. My only concern was that I didn't like what happened to Eric Singer- He was in the band, then he was out...

KM: When Peter rejoined.
BK: Right. Everything worked fine for him in the end. If I would have left Grand Funk, which is a great gig for me and suddenly Ace is back in the band, that would have been really bad for me.

KM: Best of luck with BK3! Thanks Bruce.
BK: Thanks. Take care.

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