Bruce Kulick Shares The KISS Record That Was Overshadowed By Nirvana

Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick recently spoke to Andrew Daly from VWMusic and revealed that KISS’ ‘Revenge’ album didn’t meet the expected success due to the new type of sound Nirvana had brought in.

Bruce Kulick served as a long-term lead guitarist of KISS between 1984 and 1996. The musician contributed to the band’s five studio albums, ‘Asylum,’ Crazy Nights,’ ‘Hot in the Shade,’ ‘Revenge,’ and ‘Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions.’ Although KISS had established a solid place for itself at the time with its top-charting records, achieving Platinum status, their sixteenth album, ‘Revenge,’ released in 1992, fell short of expectations by only being certified gold.

Its sales were generally less than the band’s previous records. It was also around the time when Nirvana had reached mainstream success with their groundbreaking record, 1991’s ‘Nevermind.’ The album had such a monumental worldwide impact that it shifted the direction of the musical landscape at the time. Thus, it was impossible for other bands in the music scene not to be affected by Nirvana’s hegemony.

In a new interview, Bruce Kulick was initially asked whether his band Union, which he formed after he departed from KISS, received any interest from major record labels. The guitarist stated that they were only contacted by indie record labels and said it was due to Nirvana’s emergence in the rock music scene.

According to Kulick, everything changed with Nirvana’s epic arrival. From then on, the record labels shifted their attention to new sounds rather than continuing the existing legacies. Then, he exemplified the situation by talking about KISS’ ‘Revenge’ album. Kulick thinks that the record deserved platinum status and a more extended tour. Yet, it couldn’t achieve any of these since Nirvana started a new movement that dragged the masses after it.

Bruce Kulick speaking on Nirvana’s impact on KISS:

“No, all we could get was an indie record contract. Eddie Trunk has done whole shows around this topic, so it’s been well documented, but when Nirvana came out, they basically dismantled everything around them. The whole Seattle thing really affected rock music, and a lot of labels just completely turned their backs on anything and everyone that came before. So, suddenly, it was hard for guys like us to get a deal, you know?

It didn’t matter where you came from either, because I came from KISS, and even though KISS kind of crosses over some of the boundaries, my version of KISS was certainly more along the metal spectrum. So, no matter what the pedigree of the band was, it just didn’t matter at that point. Using KISS as an example, ‘Revenge’ wasn’t a platinum album, but it should have been. The Revenge Tour should have continued on, but it couldn’t.

And all of that was because of this new vibe, this new sound, this new type of music, and this new movement that was started by Nirvana. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can’t criticize that. They were fresh and new, they were powerful, and everybody loves a new thing. To this day, it seems like every 10 years, there’s a bit of a change in what people get passionate about when it comes to music. So, the result of that was that no label would take us seriously. There was no major label interest in Union. Absolutely none.”

So as not to be misunderstood, the guitarist clarified his stance by saying that he didn’t intend to criticize Nirvana. He understands that people are into new and fresh things, and thus, the music scene is prone to change at certain times. Yet, it resulted in his band Union not being taken seriously enough.