Kulick has worked with Meat Loaf, Kiss, Balance, Skull and
many more besides, along with a serious of popular tribute
latest of these is a reworking of songs associated with
Frank Sinatra. The album entitled ‘Sin-Atra’ features a
whole host of top draw rock and metal vocalists including
Geoff Tate, Dee Snider, Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna, Mr Big’s
Eric Martin and Devin Townsend who does a show stealing
version of ‘New York New York’.
How did you come up with the ides of this tribute?
It came about after the Christmas album where we took all
those great Christmas songs and turned them into something
totally different where people had never heard them that way
before. Lemmy, Dave Grohl and Billy Gibbons doing 'Run
Rudolph Run' and the great Ronnie Dio, may he rest in peace,
doing 'God Rest Yee Merry Gentlemen' with Vinnie Appice and
Rudy Sarzo. We took that kind of formula as a way to take on
of these Frank Sinatra songs and turn it into something it
was never conceived for without reinventing it.
This is a rearrangement in a rock and metal way of some of
the greatest songs ever written, rivalling even some of the
Who came up with the idea of using Devin Townsend on 'New
York New York'? That is a stroke of genius and an excellent
It was one of the last songs we recorded where we realised
that unless we had the perfect singer, as it is the most
famous Frank Sinatra song, it wouldn't sound right.
After listening to some of
his albums that's when we realised Devin would be prefect
for this song. He was one of the artists who couldn't come
to the studio, most of the artists could. We had to trust he
knew what to do as we supplied the track and backing, he did
all of the vocal arrangements.
I remember the look on our
faces when we got it back, one of the happiest moments as
the guy totally made it his. That was the big lesson from
this record, in that Frank Sinatra never wrote any of these
songs, not a lick, not a melody.
But what he did do was make
those his and made it his, so you believed every lyric he
sang. Devin Townsend did this on this version and you can
see online Devin Townsend kicks Frank Sinatra's ass all over
'New York New York'.
wanted to see people who were excited to put
their stamp on these songs as we were. To do the
Frankenstein job and make them into something
Do you have an idea in your head who you want to sing a
particular song? Or do you see who is available, or do
people come to you?
All of the above but mainly we try to concoct what the style
of the song we want and make a list of who we want to sing
We came up with the 'Summer
Wind' arrangement we thought Geoff Tate, here was somebody
who could totally song this tune and be recognisable from
the beginning and to be hold those notes.
We sent it too him, he
usually likes to think about things and take his time
responding but he came back to me straight away saying 'That
is an insane arrangement, I have to sing that song.'
I wanted to see people who were excited to put their stamp
on these songs as we were. To do the Frankenstein job and
make them into something new. I love it, I would put a track
on and people would say what the heck is that? It's 'Fly Me
To The Moon'!
Funny you should mention that track. I am a big Cheap
Trick fan and you wouldn't know it was Robin Zander, as his
vocal style is very different.
We kind of pushed him. We had a good weapon between Devin
Townsend and Glenn Hughes. Whenever there was an issue with
a couple of guys who sang good but we played there songs and
they'd realise good is not even close enough.
We'd say to them you haven't
made the song yours yet. Once they heard that they really
went out and sang their balls off!
I remember seeing Glenn Hughes at Wendy Dio's New Year's Eve
party and him saying to me 'So I hear you terrorised
everybody with my vocal I hear'. (Laughs) All the guys
called him up saying we heard what you did with 'I've Got
You Under My Skin' we had to go and change our performance.
'Witchcraft' with Tim 'Ripper' Owens is the most metal
song and you wouldn't even know it was a song sung
previously by Sinatra.
That was a song was not on the original list as you couldn't
say it was one of his biggest hits but the lyric meant it
was a song to be hammered.
We finally figured out Ripper
Owens was the one to do the hammering! To me that track
really came out amazing – the huge power chords, the way the
orchestration sits in there. One of my favourite pieces and
one of my favourite singers.
The one song rock fans may know if they don't know
Sinatra is 'That's Life', made famous by Dave Lee Roth. How
hard was it for Jani Laine to cover this one as many rock
fans may thinks it's a Dave Lee Roth song.
Jani had come to the studio and had done things with us
previously. He's a tremendously talented guy, given a bad
rap by being in a band that really is not as good as he is.
I love them all but Jani
Laine is extremely talented. At the time he was having a
bunch of personal problems and asked specifically if he
could sing that song.
It was perfect as we wanted
him. If someone's life was in turmoil they would really
bring themselves into the song like Frank did and that was
Ripper he totally did, Glenn Hughes, a couple of the other
guys needed prodding. I had to get the cattle prod out a
couple of times but the end results your hearing are worth
I have seen online comments
saying Frank must be spinning in his grave but I didn't see
that, I saw Cole Porter and other great songwriters standing
their like the apparitions at the end of 'Star Wars '- Yoda,
Darth Vader – watching the celebration that was what we saw.
We know Frank hated rock music stylistically.
The label were like 'what?' when we pitched this album. But
we said its not going to be cookie monsters but guys that
can sing. They were happy to hear that.