Bruce Kulick’s Favorite Moment From Kiss’ ‘Carnival of Souls’
Bruce Kulick discussed his favorite part of the 1997 Kiss album Carnival of Souls, the LP that strayed close to grunge territory.
His last official outing with the band, the album was recorded while Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley paid more attention to their upcoming reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss that would prove to be a world-class success, while the record itself suffered from a certain amount of neglect for that reason.
In a new interview with EON Music, Kulick picked out the closing track he’d co-written with Simmons and featured the guitarist’s lead vocals. “I certainly was able to make ‘I Walk Alone’ what I envisioned for it,” he said. “That one, I did! But it is true that a lot of that record was a big, big step into what you would call grunge then. I still stand by the performances and the music.”
He added that the rough mixes of the record had “sounded closer” to the successful 1992 LP Revenge. “Toby Wright, who co-produced that record, he had both his feet in that [grunge] world, working with Alice in Chains, and he had big success with that. Even though he knew Kiss because he helped engineer some other work previously, he did take it very far that way, and Gene and Paul’s attention by the time the record was being mixed was the reunion tour.”
Carnival of Souls also suffered from being heavily bootlegged, Kulick asserted. “All those versions that were out there were terrible, going cassette to cassette,” he recalled. “I remember this one guy that I used to work with, he thought that I leaked it! Why would I do that? I had nine co-writes! What would be in it for me to have people bootleg my music? They’d be ripping me off! I wanted to kill him when he said it to me.”
Kulick and drummer Eric Singer remained part of Kiss while work on the reunion continued – an insurance policy just in case it didn’t work. Kulick said he wasn't concerned about the situation, arguing, “They did a pretty smart move because if they made $4 million a year working with us being the other band, they made $40 million that year headlining stadiums and playing in make-up. Everybody had to go see them.”
Listen to Kiss’ ‘I Walk Alone’
As the band’s farewell tour winds to a close – the last date is expected next year – the guitarist said he hasn’t been asked to participate in the final performance, which will almost certainly be in New York. “Well, officially, I don’t think anyone’s really been [asked] because I don’t think they know when it is,” he explained.
“I’ve jammed with them on the Kiss Kruises, and it goes over really, really well. We did an electric set on Kiss Kruise X when I played ‘Tears Are Falling’ and ‘Hide Your Heart;’ it was a lot of fun. Will it happen? It’s not in my control. Would I be happy to do it? Of course, why wouldn’t I want to celebrate their last show with them? But it’s really up to them to ask me and make the plan.”