During a brand new inteview with The Village Voice, original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley spoke about the band's current lead axeman, Tommy Thayer, who joined KISS in February 2003, stepping into the boots Frehley had been occupying for the KISS reunion that lasted from 1996 to 2002.
"I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a KISS cover band [L.A.'s COLD GIN]," Frehley said. "He didn't do anything; he was hired by Paul [Stanley] and Gene [Simmons] to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos — a business deal.
"Look, if he wouldn't have done it, they would have hired somebody else," continued Frehley. "I walked out on the band; I quit. What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup like they did with [other KISS replacement members] Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That's what the fans are upset about."
Frehley also seemed particularly incredulous that Thayer is currently pimping a guitar (created with Epiphone) called the "Spaceman," named after the character Ace portrayed in KISS (see promo video below)."I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?" Frehley said. "But I don't really want to talk about Tommy Thayer," he added, half-apologetically. "Let's talk about me."
Asked if he had any discomfort about wearing Ace Frehley's makeup, Thayer told Rolling Stone magazine: "No, first of all, I didn't have any input on that. That was a decision that those guys made. There was not even a conversation about it, because I think it was so obvious, that they weren't going to introduce new characters 30 years into the band. I never thought that there should be some new designs or something. I thought that would have been ridiculous. And the only thing is, you've got a lot of push-back from some of the diehards. And that's understandable. Hey, you know, if you lived in the Seventies and KISS was your favorite band, and that's what you grew up with, and suddenly there's another guy wearing that makeup, I can understand how some people, it might not have appealed to them as much. But as time as gone by, a lot of people have changed their mind."