Ace Frehley's tour of Australia and New Zealand has prompted a lot of looking back — including his original 1982 departure from Kiss, which he now credits with getting him off a "collision course."

"I quit because I started abusing substances and alcohol," Frehley told Australia's Today Show. "And I also wasn't agreeing with the direction of the way the band was going. You know, we had that big hit 'I Was Made For Loving You,' and I'm more of a blues-based rock guitar player."

Saying he let out "a sigh of relief" when he left, Frehley recalled, "I just felt like I was on a collision course with — I just thought I was gonna end up being a statistic. By the grace of God, I'm here today, clean sober eight years, and life's never been better."

It was well worth it, but Frehley didn't mince words about how much work it took to get cleaned up. "The first year or two is hard," he admitted, but added that he receives constant reminders that he made the right decision. "When I look at photos of me when I'm all bloated, and I think about the days when I was looking at being in trouble with the law for drunk driving and all that crazy stuff — and health reasons, too."

In between tour dates, Frehley is working on his follow-up to 2014's Space Invader album, which will find him recording covers of other artists' songs along with new versions of a handful of songs he contributed while he was in Kiss.

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