Maul Stanley Talks Star Wars with Bruce Kulick!



At long last, Maul Stanley embraces the unholier half of his pedigree by interviewing an actual member of Kiss!

As you know, the Sithchild recently interrogated longtime Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick at the NY/NJ Kiss Expo. During their onstage encounter, Maul Stanley discovered that in addition to his celebrated tour of duty in Kiss, Bruce is also a big Star Wars fan! Prompted by the revelation of their newfound kinship, the unlikely pair reconvened for a subsequent chat devoted exclusively to that galaxy far, far away...

Bruce Kulick, are you a Star Wars fan?

Yes, I love Star Wars! I grew up with it and I've seen every movie many times over.

What are your memories of the first time seeing a Star Wars movie?

I will never forget seeing the original Star Wars for the very first time, with all those words crawling up the screen and flying off into space! That served to completely draw me into the experience. Having already been a Star Trek fan for so many years, I had a natural attraction to Star Wars when it first came out.

Do you have a favorite Star Wars character, or perhaps one you identify with?

Oh, I love Chewbacca! I think Chewie is the absolute greatest.

Do you feel a certain kinship with Chewbacca because you are both tall and hairy?

Um... I guess so! I also like the fact that when he growls, it's actually a little frightening. In that respect, he's a good role model for rock musicians!

Do you have a favorite line, moment or scene from any of the Star Wars films?

Gosh, every 5 minutes there's another memorable scene in every one of the movies. George Lucas just knows how to create great entertainment. No doubt, when Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he's actually his father, that's a very intense and powerful moment. And to see him later without his mask on... to see how freakin' ugly Darth Vader was underneath... that was actually quite scary!

So who's scarier under the mask, Darth Vader or Gene Simmons?

Good question! Gene can be very scary, but I'd have to say he's still one up on Darth Vader.

Do you have any Star Wars collectibles?

Yes, I do! I think R2-D2 is just wonderful so I have a little replica of him. The 8-inch version, not the life-size one... although I have seen that in some people's homes! Also, I don't know why I bought this, but I even have that horrible, long-eared creature that everybody hates...

Leonard NImoy?

No, Jar Jar Binks! I actually have a talking Jar Jar downstairs, guarding my basement.

As a musician, what is your take on the impact of music in the Star Wars movies?

Well, knowing a little about the film industry from the music end of things, I can tell you that music is usually not their first priority. That being the case, George Lucas made the right choice in having John Williams score the films. That man is a master of the classic, sprawling epic. I thought his choice of music for the cantina scene was especially interesting. It wasn't quite rock but I think it would've been cool to have some electric guitars in there!

Have you ever incorporated your love of Star Wars or science-fiction into your own music?

The song "Old Man Wise" by my band Union had something of a Star Wars vibe to it. Like a Yoda to a Luke Skywalker, Old Man Wise is the guy with all the wisdom, the old wizard type. With so much temptation and violence in the world, we're always looking for some higher answers to make the right choices in life. In that sense, Old Man Wise could even be seen as the wisdom we hope to find within ourselves. Lyrically, those ideas came from our singer John Corabi and producer Curt Cuomo, while I provided the main riff. There are also some pretty far-out sound effects going on in that song!

If you lived in the Star Wars galaxy, what kind of character would you be? A Jedi, a smuggler, a farm boy?

Oh, I would definitely still be a musician. Hopefully on a very peaceful planet with nubile young dancing girls, like in Jabba's palace. Oh, and no blasters!

Who would win in a fight, the Clone Army or the Kiss Army?

The Kiss Army definitely has more passion than the Clone Army, so that would give them the edge!

What similarities do you see between the Star Wars phenomenon and the Kiss phenomenon?

Well, both Kiss and Star Wars made their big initial impact in the late '70s. They each had their run on top before eventually evening out for a while. Then in the late '90s, they both came back with a vengeance and the whole thing started all over again! Kiss hit it big with the reunion of the original band in makeup and George Lucas released the Special Editions of the original trilogy, followed by the prequels. So I found that to be an interesting parallel.

Pop culture seems to work in 20-year cycles like that. People begin to realize how much they loved something when they were young and how much they miss it now. So then those things come back, and in the process find all new fans. That's what blows me away about attending Kiss conventions. Even though I enjoy meeting the 40-year-old guy who's asking me to sign his "Crazy Nights" album, I'm even happier to meet his 5-year-old kid who is just completely fascinated by all things Kiss. Or the teenager who is just now discovering the music on his own. With things like Kiss and Star Wars and even Star Trek, they can be shared and enjoyed by the different generations.

In that case... lightsaber to your head: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Oh, no! Well, I have been a fan of Star Trek longer so I'm going to have to choose that over Star Wars.

You have chosen... poorly.

Maul Stanley regrets the necessity of his actions but fans can rest easy, knowing that Bruce Kulick is now one with The Force. The Sithchild extends a posthumous thanks to Mr. Kulick for discussing his love of Star Wars and is saddened that this will be their last encounter. Fans interested in contacting Bruce must now wait for him to appear to them as a ghostly apparition.

Further information on Bruce Kulick is available at his website:    

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