KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer has labelled himself “the Ronnie Wood” of the group in a recent interview.

Speaking to Guitar World, Tommy Thayer compared his time in KISS to The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, saying: “I don’t know if many people realise this, but I’ve been the lead guitarist in KISS longer than any other KISS guitar player.”

“I will always be known as ‘the new guy,’ though — no matter what happens. I’m the Ronnie Wood of KISS.”

Thayer’s comments referenced Wood joining The Rolling Stones back in 1975 following the departure of guitarist Mick Taylor.

Since then, he was played on every Rolling Stones album as a full-time member, while Thayer has played on all of the KISS’ albums since 1998’s Psycho Circus, the reunion album that found him sharing guitar duties with original lead guitarist Ace Frehley. Thayer then became a full-time member in 2002.

“When I came in — in 2002 — I came in just as a fill-in, really,” he said.

“Because they didn’t know what they wanted to do after the reunion tour ran its course and things got screwy with Ace and Peter [Criss] again.”

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He went on to say that his “first official gig as KISS’ guitar player” came in 2003 when the band performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the Alive IV album.

He continued: “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 will resume their ‘End of the Road’ farewell tour next year after being forced to postpone numerous times due to the ongoing pandemic.

When asked if the End of the Road tour will really be KISS’ last, Thayer replied: “You’d have to ask Gene and Paul that question… that’s the plan, and legitimately what we’re doing.”

“None of us are getting any younger, particularly Gene and Paul – they’re edging into their 70s now… to do a KISS performance, it takes a lot more than your average band to do this. KISS is in a different category in terms of the physicality and what it takes to actually do a show.”

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