Current solo artist and Grand Funk Railroad guitarist Bruce Kulick is best known about his stunt with U.S. music icons KISS. However, there’s plenty more that he’s been involved with during his long career which originally started in the mid-70’s. Bruce did his first major tour in 1978 with Meat Loaf, together with his older brother Bob, and later on he worked with such famous names as Michael Bolton, Billy Squier and Good Rats before he was asked to join KISS and replace Mark St. John in 1984. During the next eleven years Bruce recorded altogether five studio albums with KISS including ASYLUM, CRAZY NIGHTS and REVENGE before band decided to make a reunion with the original Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss lineup in 1996. After KISS, Bruce started a brand new band called Union together with onetime Motley Crue singer John Corabi, drummer Brent Fitz and bassist Jamie Hunting. Band released two highly acclaimed albums UNION (1998) and BLUE ROOM (2000) before they slowly disbanded out from the picture. In 2001 Kulick released his first solo album AUDIODOG and he also joined classic U.S rock band Grand Funk Railroad with whom he’s been playing since then. Now, ten years later, Bruce is as busy man as ever. The third solo album BK3 got released in 2010 and he’s been a part of numerous different projects including guest appearances on albums of such artists as Lordi, Shameless, Sebastian Gava, Tim Owens and his former KISS colleagues Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons solo releases. What did bring Bruce in Finland in year 2011 is another project called ESP (Eric Singer Project). The band, which consist of current KISS drummer and Bruce’s former colleague Eric Singer, bassist Chuck Garrick (Alice Cooper) and another Bruce’s old mate John Corabi is a kind of “just for fun” type of band which keeps on doing small tours around the world every then and now when its members have free from their other commitments. ESP was originally formed in 1998 and they have released all covers album in late 90’s plus some live releases including DVD called LIVE AT THE MARQUEE (2005). ESP visited first time in Finland back in 2008 and they now returned to play again in the front of fanatic KISS ARMY FINLAND in Nosturi in Helsinki. Bruce was kind enough to give some time for us and tell all the latest news but also lot of interesting stories from the past including his early career, the state of Union and, of course, lots of interesting KISS stories and much more. Read on!
According to Timestranscript.canadaeast.com, fans of the TV show Gene Simmons Family Jewels will be happy to know Shannon Tweed, Simmons’ longtime love, comic foil and mother of his children, will be flying in to Moncton to join everyone at the Momentum Group’s Atlantic Brand Confabulation on January 14 at Casino NB.
Gene Simmons is the keynote speaker at the Atlantic Brand Confabulation, a motivational speaking event presented by the Car Guys at Moncton Chrysler Superstore where guests will all be treated like VIPs with paparazzi, an ice bar, swag bags, a three-course dinner and more.
Apart from her appearances on the reality show documenting the life of KISS rocker Simmons, the 53-year-old Tweed is also known as an actress, model and former Playboy Playmate of the Year.
“We were so excited when we got the call saying Gene wanted to bring Shannon with him to the event,” said Brad LeBlanc, the CEO of the Momentum Group. “She is a very popular character on Family Jewels and a big part of Gene’s life.
“Having her in the room, meeting those fortunate enough to attend really adds to the VIP theme we are striving for,” LeBlanc said.
Tweed was born in St. John’s, one of seven children of a mink rancher. The family eventually relocated to Saskatoon, where Tweed became involved in beauty pageants at a young age.
Rock legends KISS will be broadcasting a LIVE webcast of their final stop from the 2010 “Hottest Show on Earth” tour at the KROQ Epicenter Twenty Ten Festival on Saturday, September 25th at 8:30PM PT / 11:30PM ET. Be sure to tune in for a special performance where fans from around the world can experience this event first-hand and interact by posting comments and questions using Ustream’s Social Stream or chat. Watch and chat at http://www.ustream.tv/kiss.
Sauna Open Air (Etelä Puisto, Tampere, Finland, 10. – 12.06/10)
Article and pics by Petri Da Costa
Sauna Open Air is pretty much the kick-off for the ”Festival Season” here in Finland and the first metal festival of the summer. This year, according to the organizers, there was a total audience of 23.000, with just the first day (Thursday) sold out. There was a feeling that this year’s SOA wasn’t a big hit among the fans. You could see already that from the last two days, which seemed kinda empty. Maybe it was because of the old money issue for the fans or maybe they weren’t that much interested in seeing some bands that seem to play quite often in SOA or other festivals.
Tommy Thayer has been playing with KISS for years but for many he’s still “the new member” in the band. Thayer replaced original guitarist Ace Frehley in 2002 and since then he’s been playing the “Spaceman” character in the band. Thayer has been a member of KISS for over eight years now but he’s actually been working with KISS or some its members in many different occasions starting already in the late 80’s. Thayer’s old band Black’n Blue was working with Gene Simmons as their producer and since the band eventually broke up in 1989 Thayer’s been very close to KISS camp. Although the original KISS have been gone for years, Eric Singer has replaced Peter Criss and plays the “Catman” character, the band is still going on strong and they keep on doing successful tours and performing in front of massive crowds around the globe. The current lineup released its first studio album titled SONIC BOOM on last year it has become another success story in their long history. Two years ago KISS did one of its most successful tours in history titled “Alive 35” and now they finally came back for more with their brand new “Sonic Boom over Europe” tour. The circus arrived in Malmo in early June and then I had a chance to sit down with Tommy and get some recent info from the “Spaceman” himself.
Legendary manager Bill Aucoin sadly passed away at age 66 in June 28th after losing his long battle against prostate cancer. Bill was the man known for masterminding and managing the career of the group KISS but later on he also managed such bands as: Starz, Billy Squier and Billy Idol amongst many other names. I interviewed Bill back in 2006 in Helsinki when was here working with Finnish monster band Lordi. For reason or another this interview was never published in here in Metal-Rules.com so I decided to do it now as my tribute to Bill.
REST IN PEACE BILL !
INTERVIEW AND QUESTIONS BY MARKO SYRJALA
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTION BY MAURA HAIMOLA
Sunday night, Kiss closed out the anniversary edition of Graspop Metal Meeting with the necessary props, glitter and pyro – or what did you expect? Four simple words characterise this year’s edition: sun, sand, beer and metal, the ideal festival mix for the metal hordes! No fewer than 130,000 metalheads flocked to the GMM arena this year to catch leading bands from all metal genres live on stage.
On Friday, 45,000 metal fans made their way to the arena. Oceans of Sadness kicked off this year’s festivities and recorded their show for a future live release. Anvil were the first to raise a few eyebrows when they played a guitar solo with a golden dildo. Next it was time for thrash metal gods Slayer to tame the masses. The su n was still beating down mercilessly when Sepultura took the stage and Saxon and Mötorhead kept the temperature high and the fists pumping. Aerosmith headlined the first day with a fantastic greatest hits set.
Day 2 was even hotter than the first but the metal armies refused to give in. They came out in great numbers and when Sabaton mounted the stage around noon, thousands of die-hards had already gathered in front of the main stage. Walls of Jericho got the dozens of crowd surfers they wanted and Airbourne went one better by getting the fans in the front rows to take someone on their shoulders. Slash gave the fans what they wanted (Guns ’n Roses hits) and Soulfly put the icing on the cake with a blazing set.
Sunday provided no reprieve from the heat. It was still hotter than hell on the Dessel plains but that didn’t keep the fans from going for it, no holds barred!
Thanks to the unbridled enthusiasm of no fewer than 130,000 metalheads, this anni versary edition will go down in GMM history as one of the best ever! Thanks for a fantastic weekend and… see you all next year!!
GRASPOP METAL MEETING 2010 - heading to the festival
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS fame have issued the following statement in the wake of legendary rock manager Bill Aucoin’s passing.
“Bill Aucoin, our irreplaceable original manager, mentor and dear friend has died of complications arising from his ongoing battle with prostate cancer. He was instrumental in guiding us from the beginning and without his vision, leadership and unending dedication, we could never have scaled the heights we have reached. Bill loved life and lived it to the fullest. Words can never convey his impact on us or those close to him.
Over all the years, he never missed an opportunity to be with us at our shows near his home or fly in for special concerts, including our most recent Madison Square Garden show. He had hoped to attend our London show earlier this month but his illness prevented it. He still planned to visit us upon the start of our upcoming U.S. tour.
We loved him, told him and have peace that he knew it. We will grieve and celebrate all he was and did.
We have lost a part of us.”
Following is the official press statement on Aucoin’s passing:
William Aucoin, beloved record industry executive, manager, entrepreneur, and creative visionary, passed away this morning, Monday, June 28th at 9:11 AM (EST) at the Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura, FL.
Born December 29th, 1943, Bill was battling prostate cancer, and passed away from surgical complications.
The man known for masterminding the career of the world-renowned group KISS, Bill Aucoin also managed STARZ, TOBY BEAU, BILLY SQUIER, BILLY IDOL, and numerous other artists.
His most recent venture is Aucoin Globe Entertainment, which he founded in 2007 (www.aucoinglobe.com). In its three years, Bill and his company developed bands in the US and around the world.
He leaves behind his boyfriend of fifteen years, Roman Fernandez, and two sisters Betty Britton and Janet Bankowski.
It’s been two years since KISS finished their highly successful Alive 35 -tour in Europe. Last year the band released a brand new studio album SONIC BOOM, their first in eleven years, and now the band brings their rock’n roll circus back here under the banner SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE : FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE BOOM. The new tour started just under a week ago from Sheffield and now it was time to check out how the”Hottest Band In The World” rocked in Liverpool.
KISS returns to Europe in the spring with their massive SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE tour after two years on the road with their mega successful ALIVE 35 tour. The new tour is a part of the band’s world tour to support their latest studio disc SONIC BOOM which was released last August. In Early February the band did a series of press conferences in Europe. They first spent a couple of days in Germany and then later on two days in the U.K to promote their forthcoming tour. In London we had an amazing chance to interview Kiss’lead vocalist/guitarist and founding member Paul Stanley. Topics covered included the upcoming tour and the latest album but some other interesting information as well… read on.
KISS treated their fans and VIP/media –people with very special one off club show in London Islinghton’s O2 Academy. This was a historical show in many ways, or should we say “Kisstorical”, because this was their smallest gig in 22 years. It was back in 1988 when KISS last time played such a club show in Marquee Club in London in front of just few hundred people. The purpose of this show was to help promote bands upcoming SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE –tour.
Ace Frehley is best known as an original member and lead guitarist for KISS. In the early days of KISS, Ace created his Spaceman persona including the famous Spaceman makeup. Ace also designed the original KISS logo and later on he created his unique stage theatrics like the smoking guitar and another guitar with a rocket launcher that shoots rockets. Ace started his musical career in the late 60’s and played with such bands as Four Roses, The Exterminators and Milemo before joining KISS in 1973. Kiss became one of the most successful bands in the 70’s. Albums like: ALIVE! , DESTROYER. ROCK AND ROLL OVER and LOVE GUN sold millions of copies worldwide and became instant classics.
Ace departed with KISS in 1982 and soon after he formed his new band called Frehley’s Comet. This band released its self titled debut in 1987 followed by LIVE + 1 EP and SECOND SIGHTNING in 1988. Ace decided to drop the Frehley’s Comet moniker and issued 1989’s TROUBLE WALKIN’ under his own name. The KISS reunion took place in 1996. The original lineup: Ace, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss announced The Alive/Worldwide tour which became one of the most successful tours ever in rock history. The reunited KISS issued its new studio album PSYCHO CIRCUS in 1998 followed by another world tour. In year 2000 band announced its “Farewell” tour and Ace did his last KISS performance in the closing ceremony of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Ace returned to the limelight with his new solo band in 2007. The new band: Ace, Anthony Esposito (ex–Lynch Mob), Scott Googan (Ex-Brides of Destruction) and Derrek Hawkins started touring in late 2007. The new Ace Frehley album ANOMALY was released in September of 2009 and Ace announced another world tour to support his latest release. Ace and his band arrived in Finland in early December 2009 to play a sold out show in Helsinki and then I had a chance to sit down with the Spaceman himself and discuss ANOMALY and various other subjects. Hope you like it!
Long considered by his peers to be one of today’s most in demand axemen, former KISS lead guitarist Bruce Kulick is set to offer up his third solo outing in the form of the upcoming "BK3" album. An all star cast of contributing musicians make guest appearances on BK3 and help to make this record Bruce’s most eclectic work to date. Speaking with Bruce recently; the talented guitarist took the time to talk BK3 and reflect on his long running career; from playing lead guitar in Meatloaf on the "Bat Out of Hell" tour, to recording and touring the world with KISS, and everything in between that will lead you as a listener to his latest work.
In most cases, no one likes to run down another’s hard work. Whether or not someone “likes” what a musician has laid down is entirely subjective and varies from person to person, but a critic’s job is to defragment and spout with some intelligence just why an artist’s bread and butter is, well, dried up and moldy.
Which brings us to the topic du jour: “Giving Up The Ghost.” Once a band has passed its’ “best before” date, like a carton of rancid milk or that take-out food that got pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten, it should be disposed of to avoid exposing innocents to its foul appearance and acrid reek. Sadly, most musicians’ devote their lives to their art and once the commercial well has dried up, they are left with no means of supporting themselves once the days of being mobbed by fans and dating strippers has passed. Others fail to realize—or admit—their own popularity decline and carry on as if the glory days still exist.
Such is the subject of the resurrected “From Hell’s Heart” column here at Metal-Rules.com.