Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bruce Kulick:Guitars;BK3&Life After Kiss

Interview with Dr. Matt Warnock/Guitar International
Matt Warnock: Your new disc BK3 seems to have a bit of a heavier vibe to it than your work with Grand Funk Railroad, or even with KISS. When you’re doing your own records do you feel more drawn to the heavier side of things, as opposed to the classic rock sounds of your sideman groups?

Bruce Kulick: To be quite honest I love all of those kinds of styles. Even with KISS I was known for “Unholy,” which is of course heavy, but also for “Forever,” which has an acoustic guitar solo. And a song like “Tears Are Falling” has a very melodic, harmony based type guitar part. I don’t really put any rules on the sound of an album when I start writing. I just try to have it grow organically as I write and get into the studio.

I knew I wanted to start this album with some aggression and I’m glad Gene’s song isn’t too heavy, even though it’s still pretty heavy. Then Nick Simmons picked a pretty dark track to sing as well, which I was really happy about. I think he really nailed it. He has that big, blues-rock voice that fit the song perfectly. Then I end the album with “Life,” which was based on a George Harrison-Bob Dylan vibe.

It was tempting to just feature really rockin’ songs on the album, but I’m a big music fan period. I love Led Zeppelin as much as Hendrix, the Who, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. I love it all.

Matt: You mentioned two of the great guest artists from the album, Gene and Nick Simmons, and there are many others. Did you write the material for each specific guest artist or did you allow each guest to pick the song they felt the most comfortable doing?

Bruce: It was more the latter, it was very organic how it all happened. I didn’t really have any guarantee that anyone would be on board with the record when I wrote the songs, so I had written all the material when I went and asked them all to be a part of the project.

With Gene, we wrote that song together with my producer Jeremy, which was a labor of love and we all had a part in the lyrics for that song. With Nick, I gave him a choice of a couple of tracks and he picked the one he wanted to do and he ended up writing the lyrics to the song as well. Each song ended up being almost made for those artists, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

I will say that for the Doug Fieger tune, Jeremy and I had this great power-pop tune and we knew that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off with my style of vocals, so we had to think of who to get for that song. Doug was on the shortlist and he was generous enough to do it so it was a real honor to have Mr. “My Sharona” from the Knack singing on that track.

The important thing was not really the journey of how we got each person on the album, but that it really worked out well in the end.
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