By Mitch Lafon
May 19th, 2012 will mark the 20th anniversary of the brilliant KISS Revenge album. BraveWords.com will mark the passing of this landmark record with a five-part series of interviews conducted in the last couple of weeks with the major players on the disc as well as a few musicians that you may not know took part in the album’s recording sessions. Our first such surprise is Tommy Thayer. Many may know Tommy as the current Spaceman of KISS, but back in 1992, he was Gene Simmons’ protégé and former guitarist for the band BLACK N’ BLUE. Tommy’s role on the album was limited to adding backing vocals on a few tracks along with his former Black N’ Blue singer, Jaime St. James. Revenge would mark Tommy’s second appearance on a KISS album. He had previously contributed two acoustic tracks to the band’s Hot In The Shade opus. Thayer’s song ‘Nasty Nasty’ from the Black N’ Blue album of the same name formed the basis of the Gene Simmons composition, ‘Domino’ on the Revenge album. BraveWords.com caught up with Tommy via email as KISS preps to head out on the road in support of their new album, Monster.
“I was there during some of the recording and I sang background vocals on a bunch of those tunes,” said Thayer when asked about his work on Revenge.
When asked about the song 'Domino' and his general impression of the album, Thayer replied, “the song 'Domino' and the Revenge album were great. It’s definitely my favorite album from the non-makeup 1980-90s KISS.” When asked why he added: “The reason is that it was the most cohesive record. All the songs fit together and made a singular statement and that's hard to do unless you have someone driving the process like producer, Bob Ezrin. Bob definitely had the band's ear and drove the recording process with great arrangements and song selection.”
Though the album marked a brilliant return to form for the band and drove fans back to the fold, the album failed to reach significant chart success. Thayer offered his thoughts: “The Revenge album would have done so much better commercially if it hadn't been released in the era of 1992. By that time ‘80s hard rock was on the backside of the curve and entire new style of rock music was coming into vogue. It was bad timing for a great song like ‘Every Time I Look At You’ which a couple years earlier would have probably been a top ten single.”
Keep your eyes on BraveWords.com for the second part of this special five part series... coming soon!