Here's part of the recent interview with Bruce Kulick that appears in KISS Kollector issue 34 (which will be out next week). This is the first piece in an ongoing series of KISS Kollector articles that will appear on this
website from time to time, reprinted here with permission from Joop van Pelt/KISS Kollector Fanclub.

Bruce Kulick: "My solo album will be 'Joe Satriani meets KISS' style music"
By Joop van Pelt

Brucewithguitar.JPG (53408 Byte)As you can read in the report on Bruce's trip to Europe earlier on in this issue, Bruce spent some days in Holland before touring Germany with the KISS Expos. Apart from checking out Amsterdam and doing a recording session at a local studio, and of course his clinic in Rotterdam and the KISS Expo in Zaandam, we had time to talk about several things. As it had been a while since I last did an actual interview with Bruce, we also decided to do an interview at the end of the second day of his stay in Holland. We sat down in his hotel after we had returned from the studio were he had recorded some guitar tracks. After the many extensive interviews with Bruce that have appeared in KISS Kollector throughout the years, you might be surprised to
still find out some very interesting new facts about the talented guitarist. Although Bruce was quite tired we sat down for almost an hour and he gave away a couple of great scoops during the outspoken conversation - including his remarkable involvement on the last KISS album Psycho Circus, his session with Poison's Brett Michaels and an audition he did for Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger's solo tour while Bruce was still in KISS. Curious? Well, below are some highlights of the interview, so quickly read on...

You're in Europe because of the KISS Expos and a guitar clinic, but what's the rest of Union doing at the moment?

"Well, I know John did some dates with Ratt, but right now I think he's home for a bit. Brent just got married actually and he also does some dates with Gilby Clarke and I know he did some session stuff. Jamie I haven't heard from in a little bit, I have been very busy myself mostly with all the family stuff. But the truth is with Union it's been very difficult for us. Instead of saying: 'We give up' we're just kinda waiting for someone to offer something that makes sense for us. We can't tour and do it for nothing, have us pay for it ourselves, you know. It's very expensive to tour and it's just very difficult. So right now we're all kinda laying low, see what happens. I'm not happy about that, but it's the smart thing to do."

Brucelive.JPG (65364 Byte)What's the current state of rock 'n' roll in the States? Especially on the Internet I keep reading that Poison, Ratt, etc. are back touring and recording but here in Holland, in Europe we hardly hear anything about those bands. So what's going on in America, is it healthy again for that type of

"I wouldn't say it's real healthy. Let's put it this way: if you have a name from the eighties or nineties, that had a gold or platinum record, there's some opportunities there for you. And obviously the bigger the name, the
better. Poison being very big, they did a big tour during the summer time, a whole package with Cinderella, Dokken and Slaughter and it did well. In most of the places it did very well, most of the time - not everywhere.

Are they touring clubs or like arenas?

"No, they're like, they call 'em sheds you know. Outdoor amphitheatres, you know what I mean. So anywhere from 6,000 up to 20,000. That's been happening for them. I'm not sure if it's better than it was before. But again Union doesn't exactly fit into that, because eventhough I came out of an era where people who were fans of those bands are probably familiar with me and some of them might be familiar with John as well, but Union doesn't have a brandname, you know, attraction to it. And Union was never about just doing Motley and KISS songs, it was about doing its own music so that's why we're kinda getting left out of that. Eventhough I think the fans would really like it, but it's hard to convince a promoter. A lot of those bands know that we're really good and they love our music. Brett Michaels, who I did a session for for something he's gonna put out either later this year or next year - like a remake thing, we did some songs - he loved The Blue Room, he wanted to get us on the tour but they'd already committed and the promoters were very happy with names from the eighties. And they tried to get us on fifth, but that didn't really make a whole lot of sense, so it didn't happen. But I appreciated him being enthused about us, but enthousiasm is not enough to make us get on the road. I think internationally sometimes it might be easier for the band. I know at one point when I already had other commitments, and John already was on the road with Ratt, there was a firm offer to do some festival in Russia. And we didn't do it because it came up so quickly and we had other plans. And as you know we went to Sweden a few times and we've been to Argentina and we might be able to go again."

BruceliveMOR.JPG (53900 Byte)You're also busy now with your solo album. How do the other guys handle that?

"I think they always knew that I had the opportunity, both me and John after Motley and KISS could have said: 'Well, I just wanna do a solo record and see what it's like', but my attitude was that I wanted to be in a band and
collaborate. That doesn't take away the fact that certain things that I write and certain songs that I have in the past, that root for me and my career. Maybe there were other cool KISS type songs that I used to write when I was living in the land of KISS, you know, that I wound up having lots of material that wouldn't fit necessarely a new band called Union with John Corabi singing. I've had friends always ask me: 'Are you still gonna do a solo record?' 'cause they knew that I used to think about that in '96 when I did the clinic tour in Europe. By the time I came home from that trip was when the option of going into a band situation came up. Since John I thought
was very talented, I liked writing with him, he was able to complement what I couldn't finish. It's been very rewarding working on my own record. And I see it is different. I mean the process of it is the same: you gotta get the material together and the fine tuning and then record it and make it right. But what's different is that I'm not doing it as much by committee, as we say, but I'm doing it myself."

But I guess you're using some outside help.

"Well, Curt Cuomo is the main guy that I'm of course bouncing everything off at. Curt of course worked on the first Union record and did stuff on Psycho Circus and Carnival Of Souls. I get along very, very well with him. He's got a great sense of melody and song writing. We didn't sit down and write anything new, I actually took everything that I had sitting around that I felt was very strong that did not have a home, some of it as far back as
'87, '89 and some of it being a little more like mid-nineties. And then I just... what I couldn't come up with, he worked on. Meaning: if I didn't have the perfect melody yet we worked on it together. And lyrically it was the first time that I really got involved. Curt helped me, but all the themes and ideas, sometimes a lot of the lyrics I was able to come up with, which is a good feeling. In KISS I know I never... I Walk Alone, people think that I might have contributed lyrically and I didn't. It was just Gene imagining somebody in that state, not knowing of course that Bruce would be walking alone! So, both lyrically and musically I was able to really find my voice. And that's been rewarding. Because even John wants to sing about things that John relates to and that's different than my life. So that's why this record is gonna be a great opportunity for me to really both focus on musically and emotionally express myself without me having to be interpreted by other people. It doesn't mean that I'm not proud of what I did with Union or that I'm anti-band. But this record should be very defined Bruce. And it's a cross between... I think some of the vocal songs people'll be surprised with because some are very KISS-like and some of 'em are very, I don't know, some are kinda like 'lead guitar meets KISS', meaning like a Joe
Satriani meets KISS style music. I'm very excited about it, and it's gonna come out next year one way or another. I hoped for it actually to come out this year, but I just had too many personal things that I had to take care of this year that got in the way."

Brucelive2.JPG (71740 Byte)How many songs will be on the album?

"I'll finish 12 or 13. I'll probably put 11 on the record and have one or two left-overs just for like maybe an Internet thing or a bonus thing, just stuff like that."

And five, six with vocals..?

"Six of those 12 or 13 are definately vocal songs, okay. And the rest are instrumentals. Different than Liar or 495, but very..."

...but I thought you named those as well when you mentioned the album before, that you had like different arrangements...

"I re-cut them. There are versions, there's like an advanced - something that someone put out as like a demo of 495 just to show off his label. Both Liar and 495 are re-cut. Because I wanted everything to be as consistent.
And I wanted Brent to play the drums. So we re-did those and I'm very happy with that."

So that means they will end up on the album in different arrangements and with different titles?

"No, they'll have the same titles. The arrangements will be very similar."

Bruce2.JPG (73127 Byte)Can you name any other titles?

"There's Monster Island, another instrumental, it's very aggressive, scaring kinda track. That's the one that I want Bob, my brother, on. We'll jam on that. There's a song called I Can't Take It Anymore, it's kinda like a Gene
song. Although I don't sing it like Gene. It was something that I thought Gene would like. Then there's a song called... Dogs Of Morrison, which I actually wrote about two and a half years ago. That one I recorded with
Kenny Aronoff, right around when Smashing Pumpkins played with KISS at the Dodger Stadium, that's when he was in LA and that's when he recorded it. But then Union got the call 'We got another record deal, we gotta do another album'. So that's when I stopped thinking about my solo record. So you see what I mean that at times I thought about the solo record whenever Union was like really not sure what was next. Obviously there's more titles than I can't think of now but it's been a while that I've been working on it only because my family things that I had to take care of. I'm excited about the music though. It's something that I think a lot of the fans will really
appreciate. It's probably a little closer to what they're familiar with of me than even Union. I love the direction and the songs of Union, but this has more... since some of the material really came from the eighties and
early nineties, it has more KISS years kinda sound."

You handle all the guitar parts, and also play bass. And who's taking care of the drum parts?

"And the drums is Brent Fitz. He did a great job. And a couple of the songs that were demos from earlier with Kenny Aronoff, I'll see how those sound. I'll probably use them, but they might be the bonus tracks, I'm not sure
yet. But Kenny is a really amazing drummer."

Brucelive5.JPG (59341 Byte)How about your book?

"The book is basically being done by interviews with this guy Ken Gullic. He works actually for a record company called Loud, which does like rapmusic. But he's a big, big KISS fan and he's been a friend of mine and a fan, supporter, for many, many years now. When we first talked about it I said 'sure' and all we did was a few interviews and then he presented to me the first concept for a chapter. And I really enjoyed the way he was writing it. I think it's gonna be a very entertaining book. A lot of people really - you know, first of all when they hear a KISS book from a former member they always think it's a trashing book..."

...but it's not just a KISS book, right?

"No. Yeah, exactly. Obviously the 12 years of KISS are in there. But I wanna bring up my whole life. I mean, it's not that I have a big ego, I think I have an interesting story to tell: growing up in Queens and Brooklyn, and
being so affected by music at a young age and then actually realizing the dream, as much as it had its bittersweet moments as we all know. But it's not only KISS, I mean people should be aware how I struggled with the Meat Loaf gig. And there's Billy Squier, and my band with Michael Bolton who of course got famous later on. So you see there's lots of stuff and stories along the way. People probably don't know that I auditioned for Mick Jagger when he was doing a solo tour, so I'll talk about that. That was while I was in KISS actually."

For the rest of the interview, please check out KISS Kollector issue 34. To order the issue, just send $6 in cash to:
KISS Kollector Fanclub
P.O. Box 1159
1200 BD Hilversum


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