"Ask Tommy" Questions & Answers Archives

Q & A Archives

  • Feb 10, 2010

    Q&A Archive 2008

    QUESTION 1: Hi Tommy! First of all, I want to thank you for your role in keeping KISS rocking for the past two decades. I've been a fan since the seventies, and it's great that you're not only the lead guitarist, but a huge fan of the band as well. I'm guessing that I have you to thank for the addition of songs like "Love Her All I Can" and "Kissin' Time" to the set in recent years. My question is regarding the non-make-up material that featured Bruce Kulick on guitar. I know that the Les Paul is almost as much a part of the spaceman persona as the silver make up and lightning bolts, but I was wondering if you would ever consider using a guitar equipped with a whammy bar for songs like "Unholy" and "Tears are Falling." Are you guys going for more of an Ace Frehley vibe on the Bruce stuff? Also, is there any chance of you convincing Gene and Paul to add Carnival of Souls material? Many of us really love that album and would enjoy hearing it live. Hope to see you and the rest of KISS in New York in 2008! - Charlie K, Wantaugh, NY

  • May 07, 2007

    May 2007 Q&A with Tommy Thayer!

    Question 1: Tommy, I just want to thank you for your continued support of our Armed Forces. I have been with the KISS Army forever, and the Air Force for 17 years. I want you to know how much you are appreciated as a member of KISS, and your undaunted support for the troops. I truly enjoyed meeting you on the Rock The Nation Tour backstage, it was an honor to meet such humble person. Good luck to you and all your endeavors, and I can't wait to see you and/or your work, which is truly first class. Thanks for all you do. - Brent Mickley, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

    Question 2: Hi Tommy, I love your guitar style. It is reminds me some of Steve Clark/Def Leppard style. Anyway, about your guitar gear... Do you prefer Les Pauls that have a wide 50's neck or slim 60's? Do you also use stock Gibson pickups or aftermarket Duncans?
    Kind Regards, Ken Crouch, Memphis, Tennessee

    Question 3: Hello Tommy, I saw you and Gene bowling on the Rock the Nation DVD and was wondering how long you have been a bowler and your highest score?
    Peace, Kevin Corren, Sunnyvale, California

    Question 4: Hi Tommy, I read recently that the Rock The Nation Live! DVD achieved platinum status for sales in the US, is that true? The reason I ask is because I hadn't heard anything about it.
    Thanks, Zach Hartnett, Austin, Texas

  • Apr 07, 2007

    April 2007 Q&A with Tommy Thayer

    Question 1: Do you and Ace ever speak or even have a friendship at any level? - Billy Hahn, Bradford, IL

    Question 2: Hey Tommy I am a new KISS fan and I am from India. I thought u rock and you're one of my fav guitarists. I was wondering when u guys will come to India and if u do, plz come to Hyderabad. Man, could u give me some tips in playing the guitar like u? Thanx!
    - Rahul, Hyderabad, India

    Question 3: Hey Tommy, I think your guitar skills are awesome and I just wanted to know if you ever got lessons when you were a kid? I am 13 and my mates and I love KISS, so we are starting a band and learning how to play all of KISS's songs. Thanks Tommy.
    - Ryan Kelly, Melbourne, Australia

  • Jan 07, 2007

    January 2007 Q&A with Tommy Thayer

    Question 1: Hey Tommy, I'm a really big fan of yours. You are a great guitar player and I would say a very good role model. I would like to ask you, say if the planets line up and KISS makes a new album what do you think your guitar solo technique would be? Do you think you will stay closer to Aces solos or would you start your own type of sound? - Jay Bendici, Toronto, Ontario Canada

    Question 2: Hello Tommy. I was just wondering who your favorite guitar players are? I play guitar too. I grew up listening to Eddie, Randy, Ace, Angus and of course Jimi.
    - Mario, Chicago, Illinois

    Question 3: Hi Tommy, I am in a band called "Ace." Suprisingly, it didn't evolve from Ace Frehley's name! Anyway, we are planning to play an instrumental rendition of "Love Gun" in a few of our shows. I realized that on the "Love Gun" record and on other songs, it seems as if you guys are not tuned in standard tune. Am I correct? If so, could you kindly tell me how you guys tune your guitars? I would love to hear form you. Thanks for your time.
    - Kameron, Grundy, Virginia

    Question 4: Hey Tommy, I was just wondering what kind of guitar and equipment I would need for getting my third guitar? Is there any kind of foot pedals you would also recommend for me?
    - Tommy White, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

  • Dec 01, 2006

    December 2006 Q&A with Tommy Thayer!

    Question 1: Gene stated in his book KISS & Makeup that there was no real place in the current market for a new KISS album and that it would take an "earth shattering event" to get back into the studio. That was in 2001, do you feel that this is still the case, and/or has there ever been discussions about the possibility of a new KISS album in recent years?

    Question 2: Out of all the members in the band, who do you get along with most (Peter Criss included)?

    Question 3: I am a huge KISS fan, I have one question: What will be on KISSOLOGY Vol. 2?

  • Nov 14, 2006

    September 2006

    Question 1: Where/when did you see your first KISS concert?

    Question 2: Did you play any sports in school?

    Question 3: Tommy, you have been working for the KISS Machine for many years. You've done everything from DVD production, opening Credits For Detroit Rock City to acutally being a member of the band as the new spaceman. My Questions is simple, out of everything you done in & With KISS, what do you enjoy doing the most?

  • Jul 01, 2006

    July 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Have you ever considered playing with anyone else while in KISS like Eric Singer does for Alice Cooper?

    Question #2 Rumor has it that on the tour in 2007, you will have a guitar solo and you may even be doing the smoking guitar and/or the rockets from the guitar neck. Any truth to these rumors?

    Question #3 Did you ever have a backup plan In case you didn't make it in music? And if so what was it?

  • Jun 01, 2006

    June 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Would you ever consider doing a one-off with Black 'N Blue if it were for a charity benefit?

    Question #2 Have any guitar companies approached you yet to make a signature guitar?

    Question #3 What (so far) has been your favorite moment in KISS?

  • May 01, 2006

    May 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 How long did it take for you to feel comfortable getting around in the moonboots?

    Question #2 At what part of a show are you completely unaware of the audience because you have "entered the zone"?

    Question #3 All concerts must be a rush to perform, but is there one show that sticks out you really wished could have went on a little longer?

  • Apr 01, 2006

    April 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 I have always wondered how you guys put your makeup on so straight and neat? How is that done, man?

    Question #2 What are your thoughts on the 2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers tour?

    Question #3 How do you mentally or physically prepare for a show?

  • Mar 01, 2006

    March 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 You have had a number of different producers, and all great, work with you on various projects. But what producers had you placed on your wish list at one point or another? Question #2 I just wanted to know who were your favorite guitarists.

  • Feb 01, 2006

    February 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Whatever happened to the song "Promise The Moon" and are there other B 'N B tunes sitting around no one has released?

  • Jan 01, 2006

    January 2006 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Tommy, after reading the story about how you were able to help that Oregon grade school by getting band equipment donated to them I was curious about what it was like actually going there to the school and seeing the faces of those kids as the instruments were presented?

    Question #2 What is the difference between the Aerosmith you toured with last year and the Aerosmith that Black N Blue toured with back in the day?

    Question #3 I know that you were a big part of the Convention Tour, so what is the scoop with the N.Y. concert (7-30-05) being advertised to take place at 2 different venues- Park Central Hotel & Roseland Ballroom?

  • Dec 01, 2005

    December 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What do you think of people like Satriani, Vai, Sheehan and others that take guitar playing to a whole new level, practically making their names on doing solos? Question #2 I have noticed that the open guitar licks to the Black 'N Blue song "Nasty Nasty" are very similar, if not the same, to the KISS song "Domino" Was this a co-ink-a-dink?

  • Nov 01, 2005

    November 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 My mother bought me an acoustic guitar for my birthday. I said I wanted electric. She claims the salesman told her I will be a better electric guitarist if I learn this first. How can that be true?

    Question #2 My mother was also somehow convinced I should practice 4 hours a day if I want to be good at this. I am 15 years old. I am still in school. What do you recommend? What do you do?

    Question #3 How do you go about writing a song? Do you write words or sounds out first? Is this the singer or guitarist's job?

  • Oct 01, 2005

    October 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What is better, a good agent or a good manager as a band starting out can't always afford both? Question #2 What were the guitar setups you used for KISS SYMPHONY?

  • Sep 01, 2005

    September 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

  • Aug 01, 2005

    August 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What was the first song you ever heard on tape that you recorded in a studio? What went through your head listening to it?

    Question #2 Are there any actresses you think are sexy or ones that cause you to go see every movie they make?

    Question #3 What names have you used to check into hotels? I have heard Gene Simmons used to go by Clark Kent and Paul Stanley has used Don Juan!

  • Jul 01, 2005

    JULY 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What is your favorite fast food restaurant? What is your favorite candy?

    Question #2 Which of the current KISS Tribute bands are the best?

    Question #3 How long have you had those beautiful Les Pauls? Of all the guitars you own, which is your favorite - and why?

    Question #4 Can you give us a run-down your live gear setup you use with KISS?

  • Jun 01, 2005

    JUNE 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 With all your expertise in many different areas of entertainment, are there any projects outside of KISS you'd like to do?

    Question #2 Where do you plan to move to when you retire? I know it is years away but what is the plan?

    Question #3 Tommy, during the Rock The Nation Tour KISS played your hometown of Portland, Oregon. Because it was your mother's birthday were you able to work the schedule so you could be there for her or was it just by luck that you would be there?

    Question #4 Hey Tommy, just emailing to ask you, how does a music fan like me, get into the music management and music promotions?

  • May 01, 2005

    MAY 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What are your thoughts on KISS being given the cold shoulder by the Hall of Fame?

    Question #2 How often do you practice chords, solos, etc, alone? Is it at home?

    Question #3 Tell us something you suggested to Gene or Paul about the stage show that they changed because it was a good idea?

    Question #4 I heard you saw Warrant last week with Jaime St James singing. How did it go?

  • Apr 01, 2005

    APRIL 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 After Black N Blue split in the late '80s, what other options were you looking into before you ended up with KISS?

    Question #2 What is the most inspirational song you have written and what inspired you to writing it?

    Question #3 Of all the bands you have performed with on tour, which one was the worst behaved?

  • Mar 01, 2005

    MARCH 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 If you were to have a choice for listening to one of the following, what would it be: techno, hip-hop, latino style?

    Question #2 Have you had any weird experiences with female fans that you can share? Stalkers? Women fainting when they meet you? Shaking uncontrollably?

    Question #3 If you were considering to produce a new band, what would you look for in that band?

  • Feb 01, 2005

    FEBRUARY 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What is the first thing you look for on a restaurant menu if you are in a new place? What is one of your favorite dishes while on the road? Question #2 Are there any cover tunes KISS has rehearsed but decided against adding to the live set? What one would you like to do?

  • Jan 01, 2005

    JANUARY 2005 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Someone is posting on message boards that he has been paid to design new costumes for the next KISS tour, is this true?

    Question #2 How were your holidays, what did you do?

    Question #3 Rumour has it you are getting married?

  • Dec 01, 2004

    DECEMBER 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Do you as a guitarist find that KISS songs have a limited amount of room for solo improvisation?

    Question #2 I was wondering if Tommy has ever been approached to be a guest at a KISS expo, and would it be something he would consider doing in the future, if time allowed.

    Question #3 Tommy, can you describe your relationship with the other band members? Is your relationship mostly business with one, friendship or musicianship with another?

  • Nov 01, 2004

    NOVEMBER 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Do you play any other instruments?

    Question #2 The surprise wedding show you did with Eric and Paul sounds like a dream! So, that means you two rehearsed those new songs. Does that also mean you are part of Paul's solo tour group?

    Question #3 What has Tommy Thayer been up to since the tour ended?

    Question #4 Where have your travels taken you this past month off?

  • Oct 01, 2004

    OCTOBER 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Dear Tommy, what was the first time you met Gene Simmons face to face like?

    Question #2 If you could form a super group other than the one you are in now, with you on guitar, who else would be in the band with you?

    Question #3 Off the top of your head, what restaurants did you stop at while on tour that stand out? Maybe a roadside diner in the middle of Kansas?

  • Sep 01, 2004

    SEPTEMBER 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 In West Palm Beach, FL on July 27, 2004 Paul didn't participate in playing "I Love It Loud" or "Unholy"... How come?

    Question #2 In Oz someone said you attempted to play "The Oath" and "I" following "Calling Dr. Love".... Why only in Oz?

    Question #3 We are dying here for new stuff...

    Question #4 Is it true you were offered the gig because Bruce refused to wear the makeup?

    Question #5 Can you tell me exactly what kind of guitar you play, what kind of pickups are on it and what strings you prefer?

  • Aug 01, 2004

    AUGUST 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What is your favorite KISS song that you haven't played or at least know that KISS has never played live before?

    Question #2 Who has your old job now that you are the Spaceman? Who sorts old KISS photo files, manages the tour, etc?

    Question #3 I recently saw the band for the second time with you on stage. The first time around, I thought I was watching Ace, I really did. This time you were undeniably your own man. Was the evolution natural?

  • Jul 01, 2004

    JULY 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 What type of girl does Tommy like?

    Question #2 Is Sprio Papadatos going to replace Gene one of these days?

    Question #3 If you do decide upon a signature guitar, what are you going to do to make it tailored to your style?

    Question #4 Do you have any complaints or peeves in regards to drummers?

  • Jun 01, 2004

    JUNE 2004 Q&A With Tommy Thayer!

    Question #1 Do you sometimes forget where you are when you are onstage?

    Question #2 I am sure you are tired of being asked about wearing Spaceman makeup but was there any consideration to create anything new? Even for a minute?

    Question #3 What is the next album going to be like? I loved your work as a ghost on Psycho Circus!