Bruce Kulick Recalls His Failed Audition For KISS

Former lead guitarist for KISS, Bruce Kulick, recently joined an interview with Raised On Radio and remembered the time he met KISS members and auditioned to join KISS.

Bruce Kulick became the band’s new guitarist in 1984, replacing former member Mark St. John, and he embarked on a 12-year journey with KISS. As some may remember, this time coincided with KISS’ unmasked period, when the band members stopped using their extravagant makeup and outfits. Therefore, neither Kulick nor St. John wore makeup for KISS.

In a recent interview with Raised On Radio, Kulick recalled how he met KISS’s members and failed his first audition to join the band. Kulick shared that the timing wasn’t right and revealed that KISS’s style during that time intimidated him. Thus, he was fortunate that the only time KISS didn’t wear makeup during its long career coincided with the period he spent with the band.

Adding that he initially did not feel ready to join the band due to these fears, the guitarist also recalled that he continued to hang out with the band members and stopped feeling intimidated when he saw Eric Carr and Paul Stanley in their daily lives. Bruce Kulick also stated that he liked hanging out with the band members but knew that he shouldn’t speak much unless he was spoken to.

The musician also revealed that even though he didn’t wear makeup for KISS, his long hair made it possible for him to get the job, as the band members, especially Stanley, still wanted to have a certain look. He stated that his hair was long back then, and Stanley told him not to cut his hair at the audition. Six weeks after this conversation, he received the news that he would join KISS in England.

Here is how Bruce Kulick recalled the time he met KISS members and auditioned for the band:

“I don’t mind sharing it now, because I think it is important. I never really talked about it a lot, but I did audition when they went through the cattle call because Ace was going to be gone. I don’t know, it just wasn’t the timing wasn’t right, but I had to do it when Bob said, ‘Look, you should go down there for the audition.’ But I remember I was always intimidated by their outfits and the vibe, and I was not really ready.

But still when I met them casually, meaning coming with my brother, and we went by a known studio in New York, and the first time I saw Carr, he was just lounging and relaxing. I remember what I heard I loved. I loved it a lot. But I was always, I knew even then, if you’re going to tag along with somebody, you keep it kind of quiet, you speak when you’ve spoken to, you know what I mean? So I didn’t have to say a whole lot.”

He continued by saying:

“And Paul, by the way, those other times I got to socialize with my brother and him, he was very down to earth and very mellow, and he was mostly, like, unplugging from the [imitates vocals] rock star thing completely, but it was exciting for me to kind of meet them and understand a little more of their world.

And then I went in and there I go, doing what he needed for animal eyes on a song and a couple of other wrists on another one. And then he said, ‘Don’t cut your hair.’ My hair was about this length, and I’m like, that’s a weird thing to say. And next thing I know, about six weeks later, I get the call, and then I’m going off to England.”

You can listen to the full interview on Youtube below.