Tommy Thayer reminisces on his first time putting on the KISS make-up

Photo by Christopher Carroll ROCK Photography

Tommy Thayer reminisces on his first time putting on the KISS make-up

KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer was recently interviewed by Mark Rockpit for Australia’s The Rockpit and the guitarist was asked what was it like putting on the KISS make-up for the first time and what it will be like to do it the last time.

Thayer indicated: “Well the first time that I put it on was when I did my first show with Kiss, I wasn’t officially in the band at the time I was really just filling in. It was a private concert we did down in Jamaica in 2002. And obviously there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation in doing that, but also a certain level of maybe anxiety or nervousness to be honest with ya because those are huge boots, or shoes (laughs) to fill and to go out there and do that. So there were a lot of emotions with that for me because honestly to begin with you’re almost in a ‘no win’ situation with people because they’re really scrutinising you, all eyes are on you and they’re all trying to determine if you’re up to snuff or not. I think fortunately I pulled it off pretty well but it’s been a big growing experience and a big developing experience being in a band like this over the years. I obviously feel very comfortable where I am now but it took a while for me to find that comfort zone. As far as putting the make-up on for the last time I think that’s going to be a very emotional experience and I think it’s going to be a mix of all kinds of feelings: a celebration and excitement but on the other hand maybe a little bit of sadness at the end.”

In terms of his first gig in Australia, Thayer stated: “(laughs) There are a lot of milestones for me in Australia, or related to Australia. My first official concert playing in Kiss was at the Telstra Dome, as it was then, in Melbourne for the now well-known Kiss Symphony concert. We played that show there in Melbourne with the 70 piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and that was a huge milestone as well. And here I am my first official gig in the band in early 2003 and I’m getting up there and doing this multi-formatted show – a first set just as Kiss and then a second with a ten or twelve-piece ensemble and then they came out with the full orchestra, all in Kiss make-up! It was incredible to do that last 8 or 10 set with full orchestration. And that was my coming out! I had a little nervousness to be honest with you but we pulled it off real well, and put it out as a DVD and a documentary, that was really something.”

You can read the rest of the interview with Tommy Thayer at The Rockpit‘s website.