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
ANSWER: Charlie, Thanks for the great note and question. I've played a Les Paul since I began playing guitar, with much of my early influence coming directly from KISS and Ace. I did play some whammy bar stuff in the 80s, but I'm mostly born and bred on Gibson Les Pauls. So that would naturally be my approach onstage. If an "Unholy" or "Tears Are Falling" finds itself in the KISS set list, I would naturally adapt that solo to a Les Paul and "classic KISS" sort of approach so that it works seamlessly with all of the other songs.
QUESTION 2: Hi Tommy, my name is Santiago Leuci and I'm from Argentina. I'm 15 years old and I started playing the guitar when I was 10. I read recently that one of your favorite guitar players is Brian May, and let me tell you, he's actually mine. Anyway, a few months ago I saw KISS SYMPHONY ALIVE IV, let me tell you, it's absolutely fantastic, but I also loved your guitar tone, man it's amazing, so I was just wondering: how do you get the sound?? I know that you play Les Pauls, but what about effects and amp type and settings? - Santiago Leuci, Mar del Plata, Argentina
ANSWER: Another good question. I've recently began using Hughes & Kettner Duotone amplifiers, which I love. I'm a true believer that the way a guitar player plays the guitar attributes more to the tone and sound than anything else. This never dawned on me until once I was watching a club band play at the Whiskey in Hollywood back in 1982. The guitar player had an OK tone but wasn't that impressive. Suddenly they announce a special guest coming up onstage. Randy Rhoads walks out and picks up the other guitar player's guitar and plugs into the guitar player's amp. Amazingly, the guitar sound was instantly huge and ballsy. It sounded completely different. So that stuck with me and I've seen and heard that happen time and time again. I don't use effects on my sound, except an octave divider on one solo. Take care.
QUESTION 3: Tommy, Are there any plans for another KISSOLOGY? Part 3 was fantastic, but I would love to see a part 4 with the current line-up that shows all of the rare songs you have performed and some of the special shows over the past few years. HOW BOUT IT? - Troy Kay, Staten Island, NY
ANSWER: I think it's certainly possible that there will be more KISSOLOGYs.
QUESTION 4: Just exactly how tall are you with out the platforms? There has been some debate on it. A few of us have said you are around 6ft tall or 6ft 1. Some of us (me included) have said about 6ft 2 or 6ft 3. Others have said you are taller at 6ft 4 0r 6ft 5. So again I ask, just exactly how tall are you? - Debbie Beverley, Waynesboro, Virginia
ANSWER: You girls want to know everything! I'm 6' 2 1/2" tall. Gene and I are exactly the same height. My platforms are about 5 inches, whereas Paul and Gene's are 6 or 7 inches. Hope that answers it!