“A guy like Tommy Thayer will play perfectly with no mistakes – but is that what you want?”: Ace Frehley on the differences between him and his Kiss successor

“I play the songs how they’re meant to be played,” Frehley says.

[L-R] Ace Frehley and Tommy Thayer

Credit: Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

It’s no secret that relations between Kiss and former guitarist Ace Frehley are far from perfect.

In recent weeks, Frehley has levelled criticism at the band – who played their last ever show at NYC’s Madison Square Garden on 2 December – saying he doesn’t “get” the “avatar thing” they plan to do going forward.

For the uninitiated, Kiss made a play for digital immortality by announcing a “new era” of ABBA Voyage-style shows with digital avatars following their last official gig.

More recently, Frehley took a jab at Tommy Thayer – who assumed his position as lead guitarist in 2002 – saying it’s “over now” for him following the wrapping of the band, adding: “It’s back to the breadline for him!”

And in a new interview in the new issue of Total Guitar, Frehley aims more critique at Thayer, though this time commending his formidable playing chops.

“A guy like Tommy Thayer – who I like and is a great player – will play perfectly with no mistakes,” he says. “But is that what you want? Tommy will never be me, and no one can play like me. I take pride in that. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.”

In the same interview, Frehley refers to himself as a “sloppy fucking guitar player”, adding: “I’ll be the first to admit that. I make mistakes, and shit happens – especially live. I play the songs how they’re meant to be played. I deliver the classic Kiss songs and my solo songs how you remember them.”

He also touches briefly on his songwriting and solo composing approach on his latest solo album, 10,000 Volts.

“I’m a blues-based guitarist, and that’s how I look at my solos,” he says. “I want them to be memorable. So, that was the approach – if there was one – on 10,000 Volts. I want you to be able to sing along and have them get stuck in your head.

“The best guitar solo is a song within a song. I’ve been doing that my whole career. I couldn’t stop or change even if I wanted to.”

In other news, last month, Ace Frehley said Kiss fans weren’t the “brightest people of the world”, after revealing that even up until a few years ago, he received phone calls from fans asking for tickets, despite leaving the band in 2002.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.