KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer has admitted to Argus Leader in a new interview that his addition to the band in 2003 as the replacement for Ace Frehley was met with some backlash from the band's fans. However, now that he has been in KISS even longer than Frehley's combined years, he says that he has become more comfortable in the lead guitar role.
"I have to be honest, when I first came into the band, there was some pressure," Thayer said. "It was kind of a no-win situation when you're replacing somebody like that. There's a lot of fans who are unhappy with this and I understand. They followed the band for a long time and it's hard to see things like that change sometimes. After a few years went by, I got more confident and more comfortable in the situation, as time goes on, it continues to be a growing experience and something that I get more used to."
KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour launched in late January in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The first leg of the global trek, which could last three years, wraps April 13 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Back in October, Frehley told Yahoo! Entertainment that he had "nothing bad to say about Tommy… You know, it'd be one thing if Tommy would have invented his own character, invented his own guitar solos," he said. "But unfortunately, he's copying everything I do, note for note. There's not much leeway for anybody to say what he's doing is original. I don't know how I could handle that, you know? I don't think I could step into a situation and be somebody else. It's almost like being a robot. Poor Tommy. My heart bleeds for him."
Thayer recently told Russia's TASS that he might "still be involved with KISS in a different way" once the band retires from touring. Tommy also plans to take part in other projects. "It will probably be something which is associated with music or the entertainment business for sure," he said.