FACT: To many of us who grew up on KISS in the 80s Bruce and Eric Carr are as important as Ace and Peter are to the fans who grew up on 70s greasepaint KISS…..They contributed tight chops and increased firepower to help keep KISS a household name during the “Headbanger’s Ball”,. “MTV” era and were true frriends to the KISS fans. Eric (R.I.P.) would be proud to know that Bruce is still flying the flag for that era of KISS when few others are and still putting out great music. We were glad to talk to him about his recently released solo album BK3 and more…read on…(be sure and also check out our other NEW, in depth interview with Bruce after reading this!)
Q Thanks for talking to us Bruce….we are huge KISS fans…it’s been a while since you’ve been in the area so for starters let everyone know what you’re currently up to/promoting….What is up for Bruce 2011 ?
A: I just returned from Europe with the Eric Singer Project.
Stayed on longer with our singer John Corabi for acoustic shows in Italy and Poland.
2011 will be the usual mix of nonstop touring with Grand Funk and promoting my solo career as well.
Q: Thank you for your last solo album BK3!! This is your best stuff since KISS Revenge. The very first song “Fate” rocks and it is filler free from there on. It is the perfect follow up to your work with KISS for a fan of yours who might have missed Union or any of your other output in the past decade.How did you go about the arduous task of deciding who was gonna sing what, track placement, etc and was there a vinyl release of the album?
A: Thank you guys!!
It was organic and as the album was evolving, the guests kept coming (Gene Simmons, John Corabi, etc. lent vocals).
I was blessed with great performances.
No vinyl release yet. (but this is definitely the best one yet as far as artwork/packaging).
Q: Is the plethora of special guests on BK3 something that makes it sort of difficult to promote live with a normal tour? Haven’t you been itching to play some of these songs live?
A: Yes in a way that HAS been a challenge but the fans want my Kiss era stuff to be played as well.
I have performed some of the solo album stuff and will do more in the future.
Q: The last time I personally ran into you was at the Hilton in Chicago during the original “KISS Konventions” tour wayyyy back in 95. I asked you and Paul in interviews why the band wouldn’t play “Uh all nite” or much of the 80s material (even though I made a stellar sign only you were kind enough to play a few bars of it for me)….Low and behold I guess we figured out why they were concentrating on the old stuff since they did the reunion tour after that. Be honest, although the conventions were a fun day/tour did you already see the writing on the wall at that point?
A: Honestly……..I didn’t see the writing on the wall, but it did seem we were going backwards instead of forwards.
But I did have fun playing many of those older songs for the first time during that tour. Plus, acoustic is always a fun challenge.
Q: Clearly, getting to see an actual Bruce show is a priority for those of us 80s Kiss freaks nowadays….anyone who has seen your stuff knows what I am talking about. You play the most amazing album cuts and Kiss songs some of which I am pretty sure have NEVER been played live. Trouble is you don’t really get to do those shows very often due to your schedule with Grand Funk. Are they as fun for you to do as they are for us to watch and do you anticipate being able to do more of them at some point?
A: I try to juggle it all and it’s hard…. and I am glad fans are aware of the limited shows I have done. (thank god the youtube footage is good!). I hope to do many more solo shows soon for sure….yes!
Q: I am young and dumb admitedly…. but I am not really that aware of Grand Funk other than “We’re an American Band”….. However, I’d like to see what they sound like with you playing. Are there any plans to do a live cd/dvd? Did you grow up on Grand Funk perhaps even more so than say KISS?
A: Haha…No plans for product from Grand Funk Railroad, but you DO know GFR songs!!! Hits like American Band and Some Kind of Wonderful and Locomotion and Closer to Home. I was fan growing up of GFR for sure.
Q: You have said that you still maintain a good relationship with the KISS guys. You have also hinted that there were members both original and post-makeup that had struggled with the “hired gun” status that Gene and Paul have had with all Kiss members since the original breakup. From an outsider’s standpoint it seems that you and Eric Singer have best dealt with the pressure. Would it be safe to say that ANY success Kiss has still has a trickle down effect for former members like you, Ace, even Vinnie?
A: Hmmmm….. Without a doubt……YES!
The 12 years with KISS has been good for me. (best fans in the WORLD)
Q: If you were gonna listen to any of your pre KISS material what would you most likely dig on? That Billy Squier album is great and did you get that gig with Billy based on your brothers association with Aucoin Management and Kiss?
A: Agree! I listen to that first Squier CD often. Great stuff!
Also, I did meet Billy from my brother, yes……
Q: I am a huge fan of the band Angel, Vinnie Vincent Invasion,WASP, and countless others based originally on their association with KISS…..Hell, Kiss was responsible in part for breaking our hometown boys Cheap Trick. How much did you and Eric Carr get to know the support bands for KISS, Did you get to develop friendships with any of the bands in particular or enjoy playing with any of them?
A: Some of those bands that went out with us like Winger and Slaughter we were really close with (touring is fun…but also work). I DO remember my first KISS tour was with Bon Jovi!!!!!!
Q: Paul has attacked Asylum over the years, in interviews I have done with him and in books, etc. He has said that it was sonically inferior to Animalize which I don’t agree with, it actually sounds better. It is my favorite KISS album of that era along with Lick it Up. Even Genes songs seem particularly strong. The band was coming off some success with Animalize what do you think he and Paul were going for on Asylum?
A: Not sure what he means but I sure hit some personal highlights like Tears Are Falling for one!
Q: The next two Crazy Nights and Hot in the Shade found the band still successful but incorporating synth and digital effects/drums here and there…..was there any point that you or Eric dare question what direction the band was taking? Also, How true is the rumor that Hot in the Shade is mostly years worth of demos?
A: Eric and I did question it but, and it was Gene and Paul’s car to drive of course!
And yes, Hot in the Shade was indeed built on demos.
Q: Your legacy is secure with the Kiss faithful due to your work on Revenge and Carnival of Souls, regardless of whether Gene wishes they had sold more. Do you think Eric Carr would have been thrilled with the heavier direction the band was taking, did he ever get a chance to hear any of that material as it was shaping up?
A: There is no doubt that Eric would have loved THOSE for sure.
Remember his work on “Love it Loud!!”
I can’t remember how much he heard of Revenge as he was ill while it was was being created. His work on the “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” video was moving and his vocals on the actual track were crucial.
Q: Last question. Kiss Controversy… Do you have anything that you say to those who are offended by either Tommy and Eric wearing the makeup, you not being in the band or both and have just resigned themselves to bitterness? Besides that they should definitely buy BK3 on Amazon?
A: Yes buy BK3!!! HAHA!!
Really? I would tell them that KISS is still valid and it’s great they are still huge.