Ace Frehley has claimed that Tommy Thayer, who replaced him in Kiss, always wanted to be him.
Kiss ex Frehley: Thayer just wants to be me
Ace escalates war of words with replacement Tommy
And original Spaceman – who recently insisted he could "blow Thayer off the stage" – believes Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons just wanted a business deal with someone who'd play his role.
Frehley tells The Village Voice: “I could sense he always wanted to be me. He used to be in a Kiss cover band. He didn’t do anything – he was hired by Paul and Gene to put on my makeup and costume and play my guitar solos – a business deal. If he wouldn’t have done it, they would have hired somebody else.
"What they really should have done is, if they wanted to dress up a guy to play lead guitar, they should have come up with different makeup, like they did with Eric Carr and Vinnie Vincent. That’s what the fans are upset about.”
Asked about Thayer launching a limited-edition Spaceman guitar, Frehley responds: “I mean, how big are the balls on this guy?”
In a separate interview, he describes his replacement as "a guy up there copying me." He tells Eddie Trunk: "What bothers me most is that new fans don't know it. A lot of people think he's the original guy that created the makeup, that wrote great songs and wrote all those solos that he's performing, but he's not. The real hardcore fans know. But the new fans, a lot of them don't know."
And he vows he'll never go to see his old band play with Thayer on stage. "I've looked at video on YouTube – and that lasted about 15 seconds," he says.
Tensions between the current and former Kiss members escalated earlier this year when they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame without reaching an agreement to perform at the ceremony. But Frehley recently said he and Simmons remain good friends, and the public sniping is done because "it's what the press want to hear."
His latest solo album Space Invader was launched last month.