Bill Aucoin – The KISS Asylum Interview

Bill AucoinBill Aucoin, former manager of KISS, has released a spoken word album called “Bill Aucoin: 13 Classic KISS Stories” (Lochness Monster Productions).

In conjunction with the CD’s release, KISS Asylum was fortunate to have an opportunity to ask Bill some questions, many of which KISS fans have been wondering about for years.

KA: Is it true that you have the famous rehearsals from ’73 that were shot with one camera in black and white? And if you do, will you ever release them one day?

Bill Aucoin: Yes, I do have it and… we’ll see.

James Hunting – The UNION Asylum Interview

©Elizabeth Sneed/Elizabeth A. White – Please do not reprint/reproduce without express written permission.

UNION bass player James Hunting was kind enough to take several hours out of his schedule recently to do a phone interview with The UNION Asylum and you will not be disappointed with the results. Ever hear of the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon? The one whose premise is that you can link any actor to a Kevin Bacon film in six steps or less? Well after talking with James, I think we’ve found the perfect person to use for the musical version of this game.

David Lee Roth. Eddie Money. John Butcher. James has had the pleasure of working with some of the best names in music and he shares stories about what it’s like to work with many of them in this interview! And yet, as has become the standard with the members of UNION, despite his globe trotting adventures in the music business James was incredibly down to Earth and easy to talk with. So read on to find out more about the man who once studied Fire Science and was a left-handed fastball pitcher before committing himself full time to his true passion, music and the bass.

UA: James, thanks for calling and taking the time to do this interview. How’s it going?

It’s going fine thanks, a little wet but everyone needs a washing once in awhile.

UA: We’re really glad you wanted to do this because we’ve been getting some fantastic feedback from people about the interviews we’ve put up so far. Everyone’s saying that not only do they like what they’re learning about the music and the album, but the fact that they’re getting to know you guys as people. They really like how down to earth you all seem.

Then maybe I should take the part of the deviate! (Laughs) Make it nice and round, be a little scheming like, “Bruce and Brent did this and that!” (Laughs)

UA: Well, I guess as a jumping off point maybe you could start with some basic stuff. For example, were you always interested in music or did you want to be something like a fireman when you were little?

Well you mentioned two points. I did take Fire Science my first year of college actually.

UA: Really?

Yeah, I went to Pasadena City College. But I’ve also wanted to be a musician ever since I can remember, particularly the bass. I began playing guitar at a very young age, 9 maybe. Going to church when I was young, that was when guys were switching over from their uprights to electrics and I really loved the sound. So I was very attracted to bass at a very early age. I think I got my first electric in 1974,

Brent Fitz – The UNION Asylum Interview

©Elizabeth Sneed/Elizabeth A. White – Please do not reprint/reproduce without express written permission.

Brent Fitz, the “Mystery Drummer” behind UNION’s heavy kick, was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule recently to do a phone interview with The UNION Asylum so that UNION fans could start to get to know him a little better… and you’re gonna love this guy! Brent was very excited to get a chance to share his thoughts, and was a real pleasure to talk with.

Being the “young gun” of the band, Brent brings a really cool perspective to UNION, and he had a ton of great information to share about the band and himself including: his musical background (guess who has a degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music), how the guys all met, the saga of borrowed drum gear, very cool details about the recording of many of the songs, and, being Canadian, hockey!

UNION Asylum (UA): Brent, thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

No problem. Is it too late for you? I know it’s like already 11:00 p.m. there.

UA: No, I’m a night owl. This is cool. I’m glad you wanted to do this so people can get to know you a little better. The ground rules are really whatever you want.

That’s totally cool, Beth. I read John’s interview a couple days ago and I thought it was cool because he was just so open and said what was on his mind.

UA: Yeah, and I knew Bruce was the kind of person who would not be involved with people who were jerks so I was expecting John to be cool, but he was even cooler than I was expecting.

Yeah, definitely. The first time I met Bruce that was my first impression from him, and then I was kind of on guard, probably like yourself, with John just a little bit because of the Mötley reputation kind of thing, like he’s a “bad boy” or he’s gonna have maybe some sort of ego or whatever. And he did not, from the first time we met he didn’t.

John Corabi – The UNION Asylum Interview

©Elizabeth Sneed/Elizabeth A. White – Please do not reprint/reproduce without express written permission.

Ever wondered what UNION’s John Corabi would talk about for three hours on the phone during a power outage? Everything! Yes, John was kind enough to take some time out of his schedule recently to do a phone interview with The UNION Asylum, and we covered virtually everything you could possibly want to know about… and then some.

John was incredibly open and down-to-earth during our conversation and shared his thoughts and opinions on topics as varied as: Mötley Crüe and the pending lawsuit, videos and MTV, relationships and fatherhood, karma, and of course all things UNION.

UNION Asylum (UA): John, thanks for calling. Before we get rolling with any questions I just wanna let you know that we appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. I’m sure the fans are gonna love hearing what you have to say.

Cool. Not a problem.

UA: Great. UNION is in somewhat of a unique situation in that you and Bruce are both bringing an established fan base into what would otherwise be a “new” band. For the fans who might be coming from the KISS point of view and who aren’t as familiar with you, would you mind going over some basic background information?

Well, I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA. I moved out to LA and I’ve probably been here about eleven or twelve years now. I did the whole cover band thing back in Philadelphia and started to do some originals but there wasn’t really a market for it back there, so I came out here with my wife actually. I was married at the time, and I came out here on just kind of an anniversary trip and I just fell in love with it. I thought it was great. That was back when like Guns n Roses were just playing in clubs and Poison was like the biggest thing. None of these bands had really gotten a record deal yet, but I was just looking around in what they call the Sunset Strip now, just looking at all these people with like big hair and crazy clothes, and it just wasn’t happening like that Philadelphia so I came out here and said, “I need to be here.” I guess that was in May 1986 or something, we moved out here in October, so I’ve been here ever since. And basically the band that I was in in Philadelphia we kind of came out one by one, and we reformed out here.

Bruce Kulick – The KISS Asylum Interview

©Elizabeth Sneed/Elizabeth A. White – Please do not reprint/reproduce without express written permission.

KA: Bruce, you must be very relieved that “Carnival of Souls” is finally being released after well over a year of being in limbo. Perhaps you could run down the tracks on the album and give fans your thoughts on each song.

“Hate” – A very aggressive track form Gene that is very heavy and mean, classic Gene in the “Unholy” vibe.

“Rain” – A dark and slippery track that Paul wails on in the chorus. Nasty guitar work that I love. Trippy time signature too.

“Master & Slave” – A great, catchy riff from Paul that was a tough one to arrange, but it really shines with a dark bridge and great ending.

“Childhood’s End” – Gene’s opus to a friend, not sure if the friend is real. Great classic hooks and lots of production, kids and all, in an Ezrin fashion. Recording debut of my signature ESP in the solo, with double harmony guitar there.

“I Will Be There” – Great acoustic stuff here with Paul on 12 string and me on a 6 string acoustic with a classical guitar solo on nylon strings, which was a KISS first. Written for Evan, Paul’s kid.

“Jungle” – A nasty bass line with a wild, repeating guitar riff that sets up a jungle rhythm. Very much fun to play and reminds me of one of my favorite bands, CREAM.

“In My Head” – Dark, ugly and relentless guitars and vocals from Gene. Love the solo.

“It Never Goes Away” – Very moody song from Paul that has a 12 string Rickenbacker solo. Gene got me the Rickenbacker for my B-day!

“I Confess” – Very moody again from Gene. We used a string section on this that I played along with on my signature ESP. Cool, trippy Les Paul solo in the middle and at the end…. sounds like I was drunk!

“Seduction of the Innocent” – Gene’s trip to the middle east with tablas and all. Cool slide guitar from me with lots of delay for the dreamy effect.

“In the Mirror” – Some Hendrixy stuff from me there.

“I Walk Alone” – My epic song that was very hard, but that I am very proud of. It was fun to sing, but to recreate the demo with all the backward stuff was a challenge. I am very proud of how it came out and it was a prophetic title for me.

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