KISS, Meat Loaf, Lou Reed and W.A.S.P. are among the bands and solo artists guitarist and producer Bob Kulick has played with. Now after 50 years in the music business he has released his first solo album, Skeletons In The Closet, available through Vanity Music.
“I started writing new music in 2015 which then turned-into songs co-written with my former Balance bandmate, Doug Katsaros, and my brother Bruce,” said Kulick. “I’ve had the thought of doing a solo project using some of the musicians I had worked with in the past for some time. Now armed with four new original songs my girlfriend (photographer, Julie Bergonz) introduced me to producer Bobby Ferrari at Vegas View Recording and he loved the idea of working with me, the guest artists and the four new songs and that introduction led to the making of this album.
Among a plethora of guests are Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Robin McAuley (MSG), Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake), Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath), Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot) and Eric Singer (Kiss). Skeletons in the Closet features ten songs, half of them brand new songs the other from his storied past. “The idea of doing these new songs/retrospective songs as one CD only came to me after the new original songs were done. Then we added our cover of ‘Goldfinger’ and pulled five of my all-time favourite songs out from my closet creating Skeletons in the Closet,” Kulick revealed.
Bob Kulick began his musical profession at 16 – an age when most high school kids are still trying to figure out where they’re going in life – appearing on the 1966 album Winchester Cathedral by the Random Blues Band. This “baby band” played The Café Wha in New York’s Greenwich Village alongside Jimmy James and the Blue Flames (featuring the guitarist who would soon be known to the world as Jimi Hendrix). “This was the first club gig I had experienced and it completely changed my world!” recalled the guitarist.
In 1973 Kulick auditioned for, but got passed over by, as an official member of KISS. However he would go onto play on the studio material for KISS Alive 2, provide solos on the Killers album, co-write ‘Naked City’ for the Unmasked album and guest on Paul Stanley’s 1979 solo album and tour a decade later. He even suggested his brother Bob for the band. “It took multiple tries but we finally got him there!” the elder Kulick laughed.
Bruce Kulick has played with several other bands and assorted studio projects over the years. As a producer he won a Grammy for Motorhead‘s cover of the Metallica number ‘Whiplash’, produced and played on ‘The Game’, the theme song for WWE legend Triple H and even co-wrote, produced and played on the Spongebob Squarepants episode Band Geeks!
Regarding the tracks featured on Skeletons In The Closet ‘Rich Man’ features the lyrical juxtaposition between what we don’t have and being rich” because we have “you” – a girlfriend, lover or a guitar or whatever it is that makes everything else alright. ‘Not Before You’ is co-written with his brother Bruce and is a specific reference to, in this case, a new love. ‘London’, according to Kulick “Is Jack the Ripper sideways. Our homage to Sweeney Todd and a 6/8 tempo and feel that, with Dee Snider’s vocal, takes you to that place in London where ‘No one hears you scream in the darkness’”, ‘Goldfinger’ is a heavy tongue-in-cheek version, ‘Player’ is about getting “played by someone.” Former band Murderer’s Row’s ‘India” features an Indian/mid-eastern metal double bass drum guitar gallop with a coral sitar solo played by Kulick.
Regarding the title track, Kulick commented: “I often look to start and/or end recorded songs by setting a mood, vibe or sound effect that speaks. In Skeletons In The Closet you can hear the skeleton sounds in the beginning of the song, helping set the dark mood.” When David Eisley and I came up with the Sponge Bob song ‘Sweet Victory’ they also wrote, recorded and produced ‘Can’t Stop the Rock’, from his Skull days he pulled out ‘Guitar Commandos’ to trade lead guitar licks with his brother Bruce and a song about how crazy love is ‘Eyes of a Stranger’ finishes the album.
Those joining Bob Kulick on Skeletons In The Closet are lead vocalist David Glen Eisley, Andrew Freeman, Todd Kerns, Robin McAuley, Dennis St. James, Dee Snider and Vick Wright, bass guitarists Kjell Benner, Bobby Ferrari, Dennis St. James, Rudy Sarzo, Chuck Wright and Bruce Kulick, keyboard players Doug Katsaros and Jimmy Waldo, alongside drummers Vinnie Appice, Frankie Banali, Chuck Burgi, Scot Coogan, Brent Fitz, Bobby Rock, Jay Schellen and Eric Singer.