By Neil Chrisley
Following a full decade without a studio album, KISS made a spectacular return to form three years ago with Sonic Boom, a no-frills album that recalled the band’s mid to late ‘70s glory years. Incredibly, the group’s forthcoming new album, Monster, is an even greater triumph. Packed with explosive energy and the sort of guitar riffs other bands dream about, Monster seems destined for a prime spot among other KISS classics.
Even more so than on Sonic Boom, guitarist Tommy Thayer played an integral role on Monster, writing or co-writing ten songs and, alongside Paul Stanley, delivering half the band’s two-guitar punch. Clearly, he’s established himself as an indispensable cog in the current KISS lineup of Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and himself. In the following interview, Thayer talks about the new album, his main guitar influences and why Gibsons are his choice guitars both on-stage and in the studio.
How did the band approach making the new album?
Generally, it was the same approach as Sonic Boom. We didn’t have an agenda. We just wanted to write great rock and roll songs and make a cohesive album. With Sonic Boom, it was more like testing the waters, seeing how things would go with this lineup and with the band as it is today. We came up with a great record, obviously, and we found that we could be effective and lethal in the studio. Monster takes those things to a new level, and ups the ante in terms of the songs and the production. It was similar, but it was new and improved as well.