KISS Guitarist Tommy Thayer - "The Band Is Still Very, Very Strong"

June 30, 2006, 13 years ago

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KISSOnline.com has posted part III of guitarist Tommy Thayer's interview with writer/photographer John Harrell for Burrn! Magazine. An excerpt follows:

JH: You do Ace better than Ace.

Thayer: "Oh people have said that and I take that as a compliment, but we can’t forget that Ace is the one who created Ace in the first place."

JH: So do you have to work at it?

Thayer: "Not really. The main thing is to play the music faithfully, but I'm careful not to try and mimic him too much onstage because then it comes off too much like a caricature. I try to blend the Spaceman with Tommy Thayer onstage, it's cool."

JH: And you don’t have any pyrotechnics on your guitar or special effects like he did.

Thayer: "We're looking at starting to add some of my own effects into the show, which is important."

JH: Your sound is pretty close to Ace’s. Did you keep his same setups and guitars?

Thayer: "No, but I've used the same guitar/amp set-up for the last thirty years, probably almost as long as I've been playing guitar, and that could have been directly or indirectly influenced by Ace. It's basically a Les Paul with humbuckers into a 100 watt Marshall, no effects, no nothing. The only effect that I use was on “Christine Sixteen” where the guitar has an octave divider on it. For God’s sakes, growing up he was one of my favorite guitar players, so of course that’s the kind of sound and guitar player that I aspired to be. It’s really just an offshoot of the BECK-CLAPTON-PAGE blues-based English hard rock guitar style."

JH: What is the biggest misconception about KISS?

Thayer: "I’m saying this purely from the perspective of a knowledgeable guy who has been around a long time and also been in the inner-workings of the band forever. In a few cases, there is a lack of open-mindedness about where KISS is going and accepting that the band is always evolving and reinventing itself and people shouldn’t fight that. There are reasons for that and sure if Gene and Paul had their way, they would play together with the original guys and do what they did in the heyday of the mid 70’s. I know I sound biased, but it's 2006 and as a fan of KISS, it's absolutely amazing that the band is still very, very strong."

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