Bruce Kulick reflected on his departure from Kiss in a new Guitar World interview and said he was fine with not being invited back into the fold in the early 2000s, as the conditions of his return would have invalidated his tenure with the band.

Kulick played in Kiss from 1984 to 1996, holding down lead guitar duties for much of their non-makeup era and helping them weather the grunge storm in the early '90s. He ceded his position to Ace Frehley when the original lineup reunited and reapplied the makeup, but after Frehley left a second time in 2002, Kiss recruited Tommy Thayer instead of giving Kulick a call.

Considering the role Thayer filled in Kiss over the past 20-odd years, that's fine with Kulick.

"I'm not disappointed they didn't ask me to be in Kiss again," Kulick said. "To be in Kiss again, I would have had to be the Spaceman, right? If I had done that, I would have negated my entire non-makeup era."

READ MORE: Kiss Solo Albums Ranked Worst to Best

Bruce Kulick Has 'Made Peace' With Kiss Farewell Tour Snub

Kulick was also notably absent from Kiss' End of the Road farewell tour, not even appearing during the band's final two shows at Madison Square Garden in December 2023. Although he believes his former bandmates "dropped the ball" with their goodbye extravaganza, he wouldn't have wanted to participate without receiving an invitation anyway.

"I've made peace with not being included in Kiss' End of the Road," he told Guitar World. "That said, no, they never called me."

He continued: "I've always missed being in Kiss, but if being in Kiss meant being the Spaceman like Tommy, I wouldn't want to do it. And if being a part of the final shows meant I had to ask to be there, I'd rather stay home. I guess that's why Ace respects me and has always been kind to me."

Kulick did spare some kind words for Thayer — which is more than can be said for Frehley, who claimed earlier this year that he could "definitely blow Tommy Thayer off the stage" and that his successor "can't duplicate" his technique. "Tommy Thayer did a fine job playing Ace's riffs with some swagger," Kulick said. "He did the Spaceman well, but I never wanted to."

Kiss Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

An in-depth guide to all of the personnel changes undergone by the "hottest band in the land," Kiss.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Giles

More From 104-5 KDAT