KISS Guitarist TOMMY THAYER: 'It's Absolutely Amazing That The Band Is Still Very, Very Strong'

June 30, 2006

Writer/photographer John Harrell recently conducted an interview with KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer for a cover story in the Japanese magazine Burrn! An excerpt from the third part of the chat follows:

Burrn!: 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.

Burrn!: 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-'70s. 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.

Burrn!: Where do you see KISS going it the future?

Thayer: "KISS in makeup is a timeless thing. Kids are attracted to it today just as much as ever, and I know that for a fact, because I've seen it with my own eyes and seen how they react to it. There is a timeless appeal to it, almost like a comic character like Superman or something where you have these characters and somehow they have these crazy rock and roll costumes and boots and it still works. It works and it regenerates itself that way, it works because KISS is completely unique."

Read the entire third part of the chat with Tommy Thayer at this location.

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