by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Feature Interview: BRUCE KULICK

     KOOL LICKS…..The wait is finally over for the first relevant Rock Record of 2010 as BRUCE KULICK is set to unleash BK3.
While the name may not jump off the page to the average music listener his musical contributions to the guitar world are significant.
     KULICK began is storied career with MEATLOAF on the 1977 Bat out of Hell  World Tour; followed up by sessions work with BILLY SQUIER & MICHAEL BOLTON.
     In 1984 he would become the newest member of the Unmaskedera of
KISS.  During his twelve year stint he recorded five studio albums (Asylum, Crazy Nights, Hot in the Shade, Revenge, Carnival of Circus: The Final Sessions) along with two live recordings (Alive
III, KISS Unplugged).  BRUCE maintains close ties to many of the former members of the band & continues to be a fan favorite of the KISS Army.
KULICK also remains the longest tenured member of KISS aside from the original foursome.
    Since 2001 the Guitar Slinger has been scorching the rails for GRAND FUNK RAILROAD touring the world performing the bands Classic Catalog.
     The New Year finds KULICK unveiling an eleven track attack loaded with well crafted lyrics and exceptional guitar work.  The record fires right out of the chamber with the explosive opening track Fate barreling through to the records expressive closerLife.
     Lyrically the guitarist strips away the layers of his life opening the door to his soul as friends & former bandmates like GENE & NICK SIMMONS, ERIC SINGER & JOHN CORABI (Motley Crue, Union) to name just a few join in to help weave the tale.
     The Rock Rapport had the pleasure of talking to BRUCE KULICK about his exciting new record set for release on February 2nd.

Ross CAT - Hey BRUCE Thanks so much for taking time out for the Rock Rapport, great to speak with you again last time we spoke was at the sold out GRAND FUNK shows at the Fallsview Casino?

BRUCE KULICK - Good to catch up with you again too CAT; we had a great time playing the Falls they have a great venue there.

Ross CAT - First off congratulations on this very impressive new record BK3 your first solo release since 2003’s Transformer.
     The album really has a purposeful flow to it worthy of a straight through listen.

BRUCE KULICK - That’s great to hear, that’s the way I feel about it too.
     I co-produced the record with JEREMY RUBOLINO who did a tremendous job helping me bring these songs from a vision to an achievement we’re both very proud of.

Ross CAT - You held nothing back on the album; it’s as personal as it gets with topics ranging from being a random shooting victim in 2003 to paying homage the BEATLES GEORGE HARRISON, not to mention a pretty remarkable cast of guest vocalists mixed in for good measure.

BRUCE KULICK - I was extremely honored to have had such great guest contribute on the record. Everyone that participated really stepped up and added a unique element to the songs turning some already well written material into some powerfully poignant tracks.

 Ross CAT - Were the songs written with the various singers in mind or did you decide on the collaborations after they were completed?

BRUCE KULICK - That’s a fair question that I’ve been asked quite frequently; truthfully the entire approach was very organic.  None of the songs were written with any particular vocalist in mind, JEREMY & I really just set out to write some great songs.
     Some of the songs I had originally planned on taking a stab at vocally myself but as the process went along and people got on board with the project it changed things up.
     I knew that JOHN CORABI (Motley Crue, Union) would be involved from the beginning with the chemistry & working relationship that we share.  We ended up choosing “No Friend of Mine” for JOHN which really showcased the best that he has to offer as a vocalist.
     What really changed the landscape of the songs was when
GENE SIMMONS got involved that raised the stakes.
     I had already approached
ERIC SINGER to play drums on “I’m the Animal” which he naturally did an amazing job on; that particular track was the one we thought GENE would be into if he accepted our invitation.
     Once he agreed we started to work on that song, ultimately he was hearing the song differently then what I had envisioned.  At that point like all good collaborative efforts we decided to head in a different direction which ended up being “Ain’t Gonna Die”.

Ross CAT - While that would have been cool to have three quarters of the unmasked KISS lineup in tact for I’m the Animal I have to say Ain’t Gonna Die was the perfect fit for GENE.
     How did NICK SIMMONS get involved, did
GENE the negotiating guru cut that deal?

BRUCE KULICK - I wouldn’t say that although he did make it very clear that he thought that NICK could make a solid contribution to the record, which I had absolutely no problem with.
     I was aware that NICK had a working band and sang but I wasn’t really sure what style he was into.

Ross CAT - KISS fans have seen NICK SIMMONS dabble musically onFamily Jewelsseems he’s the real deal.
     He makes his debut singing on the first single off BK3Hand of the King tell us about working with the SIMMONS prodigy?

BRUCE KULICK - He did a really great job with the song, NICK brought a unique vibe to the session.
     I know he and
GENE are as proud of the song as I am.  I know the A&E site are getting behind the song as well as GENE’S site which shows that Poppa is proud, as well he should be.

Ross CAT - Another stand out track on the disc is Dirty Girl featuring THE KNACK frontman DOUG FIEGER, hard to believe it’s been thirty years since My Sharona was an international hit, how did he get involved with the project?

BRUCE KULICK - I have to admit I wasn’t sure the extent of DOUG’S involvement as he’s been battling cancer the last few years.  He didn’t necessarily want to contribute writing lyrics so JEREMY & I presented him with a solid finished track; something we felt DOUG could get excited about.  Fortunately for us he was, next thing we knew he was in the studio belting out “DIRTY GIRL”.

Ross CAT - Although half the album contains guest singers one of the many pleasant surprises is the strength of your vocals, especially on the very personal tracks Fate, I’ll Survive & Life.
     Tell us your feelings as you stepped up to the mic exposing yourself through the songs?

BRUCE KULICK - Thank you for that I like the way you put that because that’s exactly how it felt.  I’m not a natural singer so I’m never all that comfortable singing which is exactly the reason I brought JEREMY in to work with me.
     I knew that with his help we wouldn’t settle for anything that didn’t match the standards of the other singers; that was a commitment we made to each other from the very beginning.
     Again I will never be comfortable or happy with my singing but I felt more confident about it with him guiding & pushing me in the right direction with the songs we chose for me.
     I recognize my limitations, I’ll never sing like PAUL McCARTNEY or
PAUL STANLEY; so I took the same approach I did when I sang I’ll Walk Aloneform the KISS album Carnival of Souls.
  In the end all the songs you mentioned are well crafted songs and stand up well on their own.
     The closing track “Life” which was a tribute of sorts to the late great GEORGE HARRISON was probably my biggest challenge because I wish I could sing like a BEATLE.

Ross CAT - I have to admit when I received the disc I expected the record would be instrumentally heavy but the only instrumental track is the perfectly placed gem Between the Lines.
     That track features you & Cool Hand Luke STEVE LUKATHER (TOTO) trading licks its shredders heaven.
The song also features our Rock Rapport bud monster drummer KENNY ARONOFF (MELLENCAMP, FOGERTY); tell us how you put together that powerful arsenal of musicians?

BRUCE KULICK - It’s interesting that you mention that; it was a complete oversight as the album kept evolving with the additions of GENE & NICK then TOBIAS SAMMET then DOUG; I said to JERMEY don’t you think we need an instrumental?  He said “that wouldn’t be a bad idea” so that weekend I wrote what became “Between the Lines”.
     As for the players on the songs I talked to KENNY about it at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp and he said he’d love to play; he actually played on two tracks on my first record “Audio Dog” in 2001.
     As for LUKATHER that was pure luck I actually was trying to reach a studio that he had been associated with in the past so he got back to me with the contact person.
     Next thing I know we’re having lunch chatting it up about the music industry, guitars what have you.
     Before I had even met up with him JEREMY was like “you have to ask him to play on the instrumental for the album”.  I said your crazy I’m sure he’s busy not to mention the fact that he’s such an intimidating player; he’s not only a strong player he’s one of those rare few like JEFF BECK that can play outside the box.
     Ultimately when I did find the right time to bring it in to the conversation he actually shocked me and said yes.  When we finally got it all together about six weeks later he really came to the party with some great stuff.
     What was really cool about the whole process was we didn’t really have a plan going in.  JEREMY & I had the themes down but we didn’t have a direction to lead STEVE, we were just looking for communication between the two guitars.
     We gave LUKE some vague ideas of what we were trying to accomplish; in the end we just captured his extraordinary talents.
     After that we spent the rest of the day moving things around I would jump in and answer his riff or jump in and harmonize where ever it made sense.
     Honestly it was almost like performing surgery it was crazy but what we came up with just blew me away; I’m absolutely thrilled with that track.

Ross CAT - You’ve enjoyed a long & diversified career in the sense that you’ve covered the guitar gamut of musical styles; covering the Classic catalog of GRAND FUNK, to the Metal Riffs of KISS, even scaling the Pop end of the Musical  Spectrum with artists like MICHAEL BOLTON & KAYNE WEST.
 You managed to merge all those techniques on the
BK3 record was that done intentionally?

BRUCE KULICK - What it comes down to is that I’m just a huge guitar nut & I do love several styles of playing.  My record collection consists of artists like JOANIE MITCHELL, STEELY DAN, OZZY OSBOURNE, THE KILLERS & RADIOHEAD.  Obviously each of those bands has a very different approach as to what role the guitar plays in each band respectively.
     I also have many different kinds of guitars as well; I use each one as a tool if you will, choosing the one that will help me create the sound I’m looking for to complete the task at hand.
     To answer your question each song was born from my guitar, my experience with all the bands you mentioned obviously comes through in my playing; that coupled with JEREMY’S talents & knack to conceptualize what he’s hearing and turning that vision into a song is a scary gift that he possess.

Ross CAT - Let’s talk about being part of the legendary American Band GRAND FUNK RAILROAD; if I’m not mistaken this year marks a decade touring with the influential Rockers.
     Seems like a great gig being able to tour with such talented musicians like DON BREWER & MEL SCHACHER; not to mention giving you the flexibility to be creative enough to put together such a great solo album like BK3?

BRUCE KULICK - Yeah I feel really very proud and fortunate to be part of the band, they are a great group of guys who are still performing at an extremely high level.
     The GRAND FUNK tour schedule takes up about a third of my year; the shows are truly a blast for both the band & the fans.
     The guys allow me to step it up during the live performances, I actually get featured & showcased more per song with GRAND FUNK then I did with
     I’ve always been fortunate to be able to wear different hats as an artist. Next week I’ll be playing a session with TOBIAS SAMMET for his new ADVANTASIA record, a week later I’ll be jamming “Some Kinda Wonderful” with GRAND FUNK then making a stop at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp in between.

Ross CAT - Lastly BRUCE the record will be out on Feb. 2nd with a CD release party at the KISS Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, SC on Sat. Feb. 6th, tell us about that extravaganza?

BRUCE KULICK - Yeah there lots of things in the works to help promote the record as we speak; I may have a impromptu release party on the strip in L.A. with a little jam session at midnight on the 2nd if everything falls into place.
     The Myrtle Beach Release Party will be more of an intimate Meet & Greet type of session with a listening party.
     I’m looking forward to getting up close & personal with the fans and getting feedback on the new songs.

     The Rock Rapport would like to Thank BRUCE KULICK for taking time out for us; we would also like to Thank Kymm Britton of 60 Cycle Media for setting us up.
     The new disc will be in stores on February 2nd as well as @  The songs will also be available on ITUNES.
You can also follow
BRUCE KULICK on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace & You Tube.

BK3 Track Listing:

1.     FATE




5.     I’LL SURVIVE 

6.     DIRTY GIRL (Featuring DOUG FIEGER)



9.     AND I KNOW


11.  LIFE

******************PEACE & HARMONIES*********************

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