It’s right there in the tour moniker. “The End of the Road” is coming for KISS, and in a new interview, guitarist Tommy Thayer revealed that the end of KISS as touring entity may signal the end of his time being in bands.
Speaking with Vinyl Writer Music (as tipped by Ultimate Classic Rock), Thayer was giving a larger interview that included discussion of the release of five previously unheard tracks from Black N’ Blue that are now being released as The Lost Tapes on June 3. That led to discussion as to whether the release could lead to an “open door” for future work.
Thayer responded, “After KISS, I’m not planning on being in a band anymore. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on being in a band anymore back in the mid-’90s! … Jaime [Black N’ Blue’s St. James] and I will always be friends and enjoy music together, just like we’ve always done.”
As a member of Black N’ Blue, Thayer appeared on four studio albums between 1984-1988. He became a contributor to KISS’ music starting in 1989 with co-writing and electro acoustic guitar on two Hot in the Shade tracks. Over the next decade, he’d continue assisting on their releases, but he didn’t become an official member of KISS until 2002 when he took over the Spaceman role originated by Ace Frehley.
Late last year, when asked about his legacy in KISS, the musician told Guitar World, I don’t know if many people realize this, but I’ve been the lead guitarist in KISS longer than any other KISS guitar player. But I will always be known as ‘the new guy,’ though — no matter what happens. I’m the Ronnie Wood of KISS.”
He went on to add, “My legacy will be a guy who came in, worked hard and was the glue that kept the band together for a long period of time. I think the kind of character and personality that I have is that of a team player, and somebody who can bring people together and bind things together.”
KISS’ “End of the Road” tour started in early 2019, with some shows being shifted during the run due to the pandemic. “The reason for stopping touring is because of pride and self-respect and a love and admiration for the fans. The last thing you wanna be is to be a world-champion boxer and stay in the ring too long. It’s only a matter of time until your legs are not gonna be able to hold you up, and you’re gonna lose,” Gene Simmons recently explained to Full Metal Jackie during an episode of KLOS’ Whiplash.
He went on to add, “We’ve also seen boxers who’ve stayed in the ring too long and bands who continue touring too long. And they forget lyrics and you can see the deep wrinkles in their faces,” he continued. “I mean, it’s just the nature of life as we know it on earth. So we’re doing the right thing. We’re gonna quit while we’re on top, do the best we can, and it’ll be sad, but it’s also gonna be happy. On the last show we ever do as a touring band, I’ll be crying like a 12-year-old kid whose foot you’re stepping on.”
KISS still have plenty of dates on the books. with shows currently booked into October. See where they’re playing and get ticketing info here.