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“There’s no doubt that this is the direction a lot of entertainment is going”: Tommy Thayer on new Kiss avatars

The new ABBA Voyage-style avatars will make their live debut in 2027.

Tommy Thayer of Kiss

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 02: Tommy Thayer of KISS performs during the final show of KISS: End of the Road World Tour at Madison Square Garden on December 02, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

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Tommy Thayer has commented on Kiss‘ plan to replace their human selves with digital avatars at their shows from 2027 onwards, revealing that he thinks “there’s no doubt that this is the direction a lot of entertainment is going”.

The legendary rockers played their final show as humans at Madison Square Garden on 2nd December and revealed they would be continuing as holograms similar to those used by the hugely popular ABBA Voyage production in London.

Now, Thayer has shared more of his thoughts on the band’s new direction in an interview with Guitar World. When asked if the idea initially surprised him as much as it did fans, he says: “It’s been interesting doing the avatars so far; it’ll take some time to get the imagery where we want it to be. I haven’t really thought about what it all means in the big picture, but with technology evolving as quickly as it is, there’s no doubt that this is the direction a lot of entertainment is going.”

Unlike his older bandmates, Thayer isn’t planning on retiring from live performance just yet. “I have ideas and certainly options on the table. I’m not thinking of continuing to play in another band or that sort of thing – that doesn’t appeal to me,” Thayer says. “But I look forward to an exciting future, working hard and being a part of good things going forward.”

Kiss’ Gene Simmons previously assured fans that the band’s new virtual avatars will “get better”, adding: “There’s so much being planned, even beyond my comprehension. But they’re spending, oh, about 200 million [dollars] to take it to the next level.”

In other news, the band’s ex-guitarist Bruce Kulick recently hit out at them over their lack of acknowledgement towards “other important people” in Kiss history at their last ever show.

In a recent chat with Ultimate Classic Rock, Kulick confirmed that he was neither invited nor asked to be at Kiss’s final-ever show at Madison Square Garden last month.

“For me, the final show, the fans really have spoken. I really think a lot of them were disappointed leaving the show,” says the rocker, who was with the band for 12 years (1984–1996).”

“I know that some of them knew that probably Ace [Frehley], Peter [Criss] or maybe even me wouldn’t be there. But they never said anyone’s names,” he adds.

“They didn’t even mention all of the other important people in their career like Bill Aucoin or even Doc McGhee or other important [figures] that are part of Kisstory – the people that helped the band be so successful.”

“I’m not going to crash the party and go when I wasn’t invited. It was certainly their night. I really celebrated their last night with my post on social media, congratulating them on their final show. You know, it’s their night to do what they wanted.”

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