TOMMY THAYER Reflects On His KISS Career - "I've Been In The Unique Position Of Being A KISS Fan First"
January 11, 2024, a month ago
Guitar World caught up with KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer to discuss the band's End Of The Road farewell tour, and take a look back on when he joined the band. Thayer also addresses KISS moving forward as avatars. Following is an excerpt from the interview.
Guitar World: You’ve just wrapped one of the longer – if not the longest – tour in KISStory, and it’s the band’s final. You must be exhausted on so many levels. What were your emotions like as you rang out the final chords of "Rock And Roll All Night" at Madison Square Garden?
Thayer: "I feel good, just unwinding and decompressing a bit. I’m happy and relieved that the tour went so well, particularly the final couple of months. But it was great. The New York takeover was done well and was our town to take. We’ve all done a lot to get Kiss where it is today. I felt especially proud for Gene and Paul, though – I really felt like it was their night."
Guitar World: You knew Paul and Gene dating back to the ‘80s with Black N’ Blue and played a big part in the KISS reunion. That must have helped, too.
Thayer: "I’ve been in the unique position of being a KISS fan first, then my previous band’s involvement with KISS in the ‘80s, then working behind the scenes with KISS in the ‘90s, and then actually being in the band for a long while. It’s about building trust and respect and creating an environment that people are comfortable living, traveling, and working in."
Guitar World: While KISS is off the road for good, it lives on. You’ve been immortalized as an avatar, along with Paul, Gene, and Eric. Did that initially surprise you as much as the rest of us?
Thayer: "It’s been interesting doing the avatars so far; it’ll take some time to get the imagery where we want it to be. I haven’t really thought about what it all means in the big picture, but with technology evolving as quickly as it is, there’s no doubt that this is the direction a lot of entertainment is going."
Read the complete interview here.
After touring for half a century, KISS played their last show in Madison Square Garden on December 2nd, 2023. The band reflect on their experiences over the years and what KISS means to them - together with the team behind A New Era, they discuss everything from the band's early years to how their legacy will live on forever with the help of technology.
KISS made the announcement they would continue as digital avatars at the end of their final show. After the band left the stage, the virtual KISS performed "God Gave Rock And Roll To You". Check out the fan-filmed video below.
Paul Stanley: "What we've accomplished has been amazing, but it's not enough. The band deserves to live on because the band is bigger than we are. It's exciting for us to go the next step and see KISS immortalized."
Gene Simmons: "We can be forever young and forever iconic by taking us to places we've never dreamed of before. The technology is going to make Paul jump higher than he's ever done before."
The KISS avatars were created by ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) and financed / produced by Pophouse Entertainment, who are responsible for the ABBA Voyage show taking place in London. Pophouse Entertainment was co-founded by ABBA's Björn Ulvaeus.
(Photo - Ross Halfin)