BRUCE KULICK Didn't Find Out About Reunion Of Original KISS Lineup Until Three-Quarters Into 'Carnival Of Souls' Recording
August 24, 2020
Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick recently answered a number of fan-submitted questions via his YouTube channel. Check it out below.
Asked about the vibe within KISS during the sessions for the album "Carnival Of Souls", which was recorded in 1995, prior to original KISS members Ace Frehley's and Peter Criss's return the band, Bruce said: "Eric Singer [drums] and myself did not know about any kind of reunion tour until three-quarters into recording 'Carnival Of Souls'. So we were just moving forward with new music. And I have to admit that by the time [Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons] told us about the reunion tour, they were a bit distracted. Maybe the mix could have been better or different, because their attention was certainly split with something very exciting that they were going to do. But in many ways, I'm glad I didn't know any sooner than three-quarters through the recording of 'Carnival Of Souls'."
"Carnival Of Souls" was eventually released in 1997 under the title "Carnival Of Souls: The Final Sessions". There was no accompanying tour to support the album, and none of the songs on "Carnival Of Souls" have ever been performed live by KISS.
Back in 1996, Gene called "Carnival Of Souls" "the heaviest disc we've done," and Paul called it "arguably our best studio album in the last 10 years."
In a 2017 interview with Rock N Roll Damnation, Kulick was asked if "it was evident" that the band's reunion with Criss and Frehley for an episode of MTV's "Unplugged" in 1995 would pave the way for a KISS tour that would exclude him and Singer. He replied: "The truth was not really ever kind of revealed for a few reasons. I was aware that MTV thought that it was really important that if we did KISS 'Unplugged' that they get the scoop of a reunion, that they get that icing on the cake. But that was only a quarter of the evening, but it was the one that got all of the attention press-wise, and that matters because it means money, it means sales and all of that stuff. Behind the scenes, unknown to MTV, unknown to me and Eric Singer was the fact that they were negotiating with promoters that had gotten wind of a reunion on TV, so why wouldn't there be a reunion tour?"
He continued: "I didn't know that the writing was on the wall even though I was a little uncomfortable, but Gene and Paul obviously had a plan that should the original band have some difficulty working together or animosity towards each other or if someone wasn't willing to do it, KISS would have continued with Eric Singer and myself. But apparently, and I think what I understood was, shortly after or while they were trying to put together the 'Unplugged' thing, even though that was not the reunion tour, it was a reunion on stage in front of the world so they were feeling offers."
Kulick added: "Life is political, and so is business. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, just like in our political world and everyday business. It was really interesting."
In 1984, Bruce joined KISS, where he remained as their lead guitarist for twelve years, accompanying the band on the "Animalize" tour and continuing with the band until the 1996 reunion tour. Bruce is heavily featured on "Kissology – Vol. 2" and "Vol. 3", the band's DVDs spanning their historic 45-year career.