After making the best of a difficult 2020, Bruce Kulick got a happy glimpse of better days to come while rehearsing for his livestream concert at this weekend's Kissmas Masquerade.

Kulick and longtime collaborator Todd Kerns will perform a special acoustic set on Saturday night as part of the two-day festival, which will be streaming at Kissmas2020.com.

You can watch a short video of the duo performing Kiss' "Rock Bottom" during rehearsals below.

"After my first rehearsal with Todd, I said to my wife, 'Oh that was so much fun.' Just to be able to play music with another person in the same room was very rewarding and something I terribly missed," Kulick tells UCR. "It’s a fresh new thing, and obviously because he’s strumming another guitar, it gives me a lot more liberty, too. Not that I’m whipping out electric guitars, but I’ll be able to do more of the solo work."

Normally Kulick would have spent much of his year touring with Grand Funk Railroad, the band he joined 20 years ago. After the COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary end to mass gatherings such as concerts, the rocker adapted with a series of at-home performances, often teaming up with his wife Lisa. Kulick also posted videos breaking down his favorite riffs from his time in Kiss, chose from among fan submissions for his own alternate-universe version of the band's famous face paint, and paid numerous tributes to his brother and fellow guitar player Bob, who passed away in May.

"You've just got to re-shift your focus," Kulick explains. "There’s people who just don’t know what to do with themselves. This is all new territory for everybody. So I’ve just been rolling with it week by week. Every week, [Grand Funk Railroad] has a group text that says, 'OK nothing's changed, I’ll send you the updated itinerary let’s hope for the best here.' That’s all we do, we all keep in touch. And we all miss each other terribly. It’s sad but believe me, we’re busier than ever. I’m so blessed I’ve had so many tremendous opportunities. It’s been a tough year in a sense of normalcy, but a very rewarding year on many levels too."

Asked what he thinks of his former Kiss bandmates' more grandiose holiday livestream plans, a Kiss 2020 Goodbye concert from Dubai in which they plan to set off a million dollars' worth of fireworks, Kulick can only marvel. "Of course Kiss always does it in the biggest grandest way. I think it’s brilliant marketing. I thought it was wonderful. Todd and I can’t compete with that production wise, but to me it’s always about the music!"

 

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