KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer recently spoke with Australia’s Heavy magazine.
Below are the excerpts via Heavy:
On the band’s ongoing “End Of The Road” farewell tour:
Tommy: “We feel good. I’m still getting used to this being the last tour. In North America and Europe, we’ve done 95 shows this year already, with about 20 more to go. I’m still loving being out there. Most all shows are sold-out. We’ve been packing them in, and the response has been incredible… It’s something else. It’s over the top. It’s definitely the biggest show we’ve done, and I know that sounds very cliché — you’ve heard it before — but literally, it’s the biggest and best show we’ve ever done. There’s no doubt about it.”
On whether the tour is bittersweet:
Tommy: “It is emotional. Every night, we go out there and see the smiles, and actually the tears in a lot of people’s eyes. It kind of surprises me sometimes, because I’m not ready for that. You see people with tears, but also tears of joy, loving this band for as long as it’s been around. It means a lot to us, and to be on stage each night is just phenomenal. Seeing the response, we just couldn’t feel better about it.”
On his first show with KISS:
Tommy: “My first official gig was in Australia at the ‘KISS Symphony’ show in Melbourne, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. That was quite a coming-out for me. I’d say I was a little nervous going into that one, but I pulled it off… I had been around the band. I was traveling with them, working behind the scenes. I was producing [and] directing videos, and they were having problems with Peter [Criss] and Ace [Frehley]. I was around, and I ended up filling in on a few shows to begin with.
He further added:
There was a private concert and some TV shows in 2002 that I did, so by the time I did the ‘Symphony’ show, it just kind of evolved naturally. There never was really a moment where they said, ‘We want you to join KISS.’ I don’t even really remember saying that they wanted me to be the guitar player. It was just kind of like, ‘Tommy, we’re doing this.’
The one thing I do remember is I was sitting down having a meeting with Gene and Paul in 2002. I think we were looking at the ‘Symphony’ show in a couple of months, and they said, ‘You’d better start growing your hair again because you’re going to be on stage.’ That was my directive — to grow my hair again.”
Currently, KISS is on its farewell tour which is expected to continue for two more years. The band kicked off the tour on January 31st in Vancouver, Canada and currently features 186 additional dates that run through October 3, 2020, in Fort Worth, United States.
KISS is making a hell lot of money on this tour, which was revealed by Gene Simmons. Simmons hinted the farewell tour would likely gross between $150 million and $200 million, “not counting ancillaries, licensing, merchandise and stuff like that.” Interestingly there have been accusations of band members lip-syncing on this tour. This was observed on their first leg of the tour. Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach defended the band saying that the band did not lip-sync at the show he attended.
Kiss will perform their final show on July 17, 2021, in New York City with most of the previous members expected to join them on stage.