By: Annie Scaramuzzino
KISS has certainly had its share of lineup changes over the decades. Between member’s quitting for personal reasons, a few firings and a couple unfortunate deaths, there have been nearly ten musicians rotated in and out of the group, with only Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons remaining as originals.
Still, there always seems to be a new rocker waiting in the wings to get into makeup as soon as a member departs, and Tommy Thayer recently opened up about how he came to replace Ace Frehley.
The guitarist tells Epiphone.com that he had met Stanley and Simmons while touring with his former band Black 'N Blue in the 80s. His group even opened for KISS on their Asylum tour in ’85, and Simmons later produced BNB’s third and fourth albums.
As Thayer’s personal and professional relationships with KISS continued to grow, so did his opportunity to join the band.
He explains, “Because of the volatility in the band from 1998 on, I was literally on ‘stand-by’ backstage for several tours to take over on guitar if necessary.”
The new Spaceman even had his own outfit ready to go, with boots and makeup on hand in case he needed to step in.
After becoming a permanent member of the group in 2002, Thayer says it was a slow process in getting his own style and personality to shine through, with three decades of “KISStory” already firmly in place.
Over the past few years though, Thayer has been a crucial element in preserving the overall success of KISS. Having been a part of two new records (2009’s Sonic Boom and 2012’s Monster) and several headlining tours, it’s fair to say that Spaceman 2.0 has been well-received by both fans and his bandmates alike.
KISS currently have a series of Australian and European concerts scheduled for 2013, which kick off on February 28th in Perth, AU and conclude with Hellfest in Clisson, FR on June 22nd.
For more on Tommy Thayer’s interview with Epiphone.com, click here, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below!