In a recent interview with The Aquarian Weekly, KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer was asked how he deals with the fact that a small segment of the band's fanbase can't accept him performing in the "Spaceman" makeup and attire, even though he has been working with KISS for decades and been the group's lead guitarist for nearly 15 years. "It really doesn't bother me," he responded. "You can't be fooled by a handful people that go on web sites and complain. Some people complain about everything, really, not just who's the guitar player. In that context, it doesn't really mean anything to me. If anything, I chuckle and smile when I hear things like that. It really has nothing to do with what's happening in reality. Put it this way: KISS continues to go out and play big shows and be the phenomenon that it is. I give more merit to that fact, than what a few oddballs say online. I don't really care."
Asked what has been his most difficult experience as a member of KISS, Thayer said: "It's never been difficult. It was a challenge coming into the band and fill the shoes of somebody that was that popular to begin with and played such an important role in the band. A lot of eyes were on me. There's really never the perfect scenario; it's kind of like damned if you do and damned if you don't. You should be more original; you should play it more like the other guy. Then the moment you cop the parts or the style of the previous guy, people start to say, 'Oh, he's just a copycat.' With some people, you just can't win. The counter to that is that 99 percent of the people enjoy it and they let you know that. The guys in the band have been nothing but positive and supportive from day one. That's never a question. Sometimes it's a challenge to deal with people's multiple points of view, but it doesn't make a difference. You just go out there and kick some ass."
Thayer, who joined KISS in February 2003, stepping into the boots the band's original axeman, Ace Frehley, had been occupying for the KISS reunion that lasted from 1996 to 2002, refused to criticize his predecessor, insisting in an interview that he wishes "all the best to everybody."
In 2014, Frehley spoke out against Thayer in an interview, describing him as "just a guy up there copying me and trying to move like me and trying to sing like me and trying to play like me."
But Thayer declined to fire back at Frehley, telling Australia's The Herald: "I don't want to get into a back-and-forth, but I'm sure you can kind of assess what you think when you hear all that."
He continued: "I think [Ace] had every opportunity in the world to continue in KISS and be in KISS as long as he did the right thing, but it worked out better for me and he has to lead his life.
"As far as the jabs and all that, he can say that stuff and I'm not going to say anything bad about him."
Thayer added: "I just wish all the best to everybody in whatever they're doing."