Former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulick recently spoke with Meltdown of the Detroit radio station 101 WRIF. The full conversation can be streamed at this location. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On social media:
Bruce: “I’ve got to be honest. I do enjoy entertaining the fans and giving them content that they would really enjoy. What’s funny is that it is hard to really do it professionally. I don’t have a team — I have my wife who can help me, and I have a merch person that helps me with other things – but I see some people on social media, and I know the time it takes to really do it right. They must carve out a chunk of their day to do that. The effort that you have to do to do it well, and then Facebook changes things all the time — the same thing with Instagram and the other platforms… The social media thing is how people share information. I try to pace it out. People always want more, and it gets a little overwhelming, to be honest… I’m coming up later this year on a big anniversary — 35 years of when I joined the band and went on the road for ‘Animalize’, so I’m planning some things for that, but it takes a lot of time.”
On the ongoing debates about who played what parts on KISS albums:
Bruce: “There’s one guy who runs this site called KissFAQ.com, and there’s details there that are incredible… Then again, there’s the fan who will write me [because] I did play bass guitar on some songs on some of the records. Someone will tell me about a track that I absolutely know I didn’t play bass [on] — ‘Oh, I read you did.’ I’m like, that’s the wrong information. I’m not saying I’m infallible, [but] I think my track record for what I remember is going to be pretty accurate. What’s out there on the Internet — there’s always a lot of misinformation. Just because I was on the cover of that ‘Creatures [Of The Night]’ reissue, it does not mean that they remixed anything; it does not mean I added any guitars to it. It’s a weird thing, why it was put out with the [then-]current non-makeup band than the original band that did ‘Creatures’. The guitar player situation was really odd then. What people know and what they don’t know, I try to be [open about]. Since I moved last year from California to Nevada, my wife and I have been really organizing a lot of KISS materials that I’ve collected through the years. I’m learning things — I am reminding myself of stuff. The fans help — they’ll share things; they’ll show me something, [and] I go, ‘That’s right,’ and I get really excited. But lots of times, they’ll mention something that I know is just [inaccurate]. They might have read it somewhere, but it’s totally wrong.”
On his continued connection to KISS:
Bruce: “Granted, they’re celebrating the winding down and the ‘End Of The Road’ tour and everything, and they have this tremendous production, but it makes people look at all eras and really look at their connection to KISS. Just yesterday, I’m at a local grocery store here in Las Vegas, and this guy got all excited. He started chatting with my wife — I was still grabbing an item off the shelf — and then when I came over, I said, ‘What’s going on?’ ‘Oh, he’s one of your fans.’ He told us a really interesting thing, and I was very, very flattered by it. He had kind of gone through his years of being a fan, then stopping being a fan, and then the current tour got him back into looking at KISS and he started to go through everything, and then he realized how much he loved my era. Then he starts talking about ‘Carnival Of Souls’ with me. It’s kind of interesting — here’s the current tour, which has very little to do with ‘Carnival Of Souls’, and yet the guy is now embracing a record that means something to him and he’s sharing that with me in the store and really excited to talk about it. I love that. That’s why I always know, when they’re out there, it’s still shining a light on the entire history of KISS, and that obviously shines a light on me.”
On his first show with KISS:
Bruce: “My knees were shaking. I didn’t realize how animated Gene and Paul could be on stage. They started running around… at rehearsal, we’re not running around a soundstage, so I was kind of like, ‘Oh my god.’ It was really wild. I kind of got the nickname ‘Spruce Bruce‘, because I was just standing there… I certainly didn’t want to run into those guys.”
On 1992’s “Revenge”:
Bruce: “The only thing odd thing about ‘Revenge’ was having Vinnie Vincent involved with some songwriting. Then, of course, he had a big falling out again with them. But the ‘Revenge’ record is a tremendous effort… that record is so powerful, and it’s so much fun to play.”
On the upcoming “Kiss Kruise IX”, where he will perform rare KISS songs with Todd Kerns and Brent Fitz of Slash‘s backing band, THE CONSPIRATORS:
Bruce: “We’ll put together a great set… Todd is amazing. He’s wonderful. Paul [Stanley] and the guys love him too, so there’s been a lot of kumbaya about that. He’s a big KISS nerd, so it’s hilarious whenever we get together. Same thing with Brent. My other secret weapon is Zach Throne. He’s the guy who’s playing bass. He’s also known as a guitarist — he’ll play with different people. He was out with the SLIPKNOT guy, Corey Taylor… I got him covering the Gene stuff, and then I’ve got Todd for all the Paul stuff. I’m covered in spades for the material.”
On where and when the “End Of The Road” tour will end, and whether he’ll be a part of its finale:
Bruce: “Those are questions I don’t know the answer to. I would imagine that the last gig could be two years from now, because they’re doing so well and Gene [Simmons] has always talked about three years, but I don’t really know their master plan. I’m not even sure how much they’ve mapped out yet… I’m very curious about it. I love that it’s been so successful for them. I’m fairly confident that in some way, a final gig could feature everybody that is willing and able to be involved. Why not? It’s not up to me. They know I’m excited about it and would love to be represented, but we’ll see how everything goes. It would be a really nice thing for fans, I think. It would be a great bookend for it.”
Kulick joined KISS in 1984 and remained with the band until the group’s original lineup reunited in 1996. He joined GRAND FUNK RAILROAD in 2000 and continues to perform with the group to this day.