Saturday, September 18, 2010

Q&A With Tommy Thayer

Q&A With Tommy Thayer On Joining His Idols, Playing to Families and Watching Paul Stanley Squeeze Sweat Out of His Socks
By Darryl Smyers/Dallas Observer

Tommy Thayer has played guitar in KISS since 2002, taking over for the departed Ace Frehley.

Thayer was involved in various bands before, even gaining the notice of Gene Simmons when Thayer was playing in a KISS tribute band. Soon after, Simmons offered Thayer a job as his assistant. And, when Frehley decided to leave Kiss, Thayer was the natural replacement.

But stepping directly into the space man character associated with Frehley proved troublesome. Fans who noticed the difference often heckled Thayer. Through it all, though, Thayer just keep playing guitar and playing his role. After time, few even notice the difference.

Now, after nearly a decade with Kiss, Thayer finally feels totally at home. And he took a few moments from a tour stop in California to talk about his integration within the band and a few interesting side notes that go along with being in Kiss.

Read our Q&A in full after the jump.

On this tour, you are the one doing most of the interviews. Are you the sacrificial lamb to the media?
I am doing my share. You know, there are so many interviews that we really have to divide them up. But it does seem like I've done quite a few. Maybe it's because I am relatively new.

You are coming up on your 50th birthday. How old is too old to be dressing up and playing KISS?
You are never too old to be in KISS. The thing has become so multi-generational. The crowds at the shows are so diverse. You see teenagers and then people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. It's parents with their kids. And everyone is dressed up like KISS. It's Halloween every night. It is an experience that we put so much effort into, both in the music and the show itself. Just the pyrotechnics alone are incredible.

How do you think KISS has maintained its popularity over such a long period of time?
Well, there are just certain bands that tap into the popular consciousness. You have to be at the right moment in time. I think when KISS first appeared, there was obviously nothing quite like it and people gravitated towards the band. First, it was because of the danger factor, but now it's turned into a family-friendly thing. Now, it's just such an iconic thing for everyone involved. It's people remembering their youth while getting their children involved in something fun.

Link to read the rest

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