On the radar: Mylets

Think of the one-man band and you'll conjure up images of Dick Van Dyck massacring a cockney accent in Mary Poppins. Mylets, aka Indiana singer/ songwriter Henry Kohen, has a little more to offer: a huge pedalboard and amp stack, for a start...

"There are no samples or triggers," says Henry of his live show. "My guitar and the drum machine are running through two separate looping pedals, which are then synced up on a MIDI clock, so all of the guitar and the drums are looped live every single night."

"It's incredibly stressful playing live shows, so I appreciate that people come out!"

It's impressive stuff, but then Henry's signed to much-respected post-rock label Sargent House, so we'd expect nothing less.

"I'd say my style is pretty rigid," he continues. "A lot of songs I write are born out of finger exercises that I make up. There's a lot of emotion and feeling that goes into the songs with the writing, production and the vocals, but a lot of the guitar work is born out of discipline and making mistakes."

Henry's 'discipline' doesn't starve the performance, though: recent second album Arizona is a brilliantly emotive collection of dynamic riffing, effects wrangling and masterful loop manipulation. Was it tough working with an outside producer?

"I can easily envisage myself being difficult to work with," reckons Henry. "Luckily, with Sonny DiPerri, he sat down beforehand and really got to know how my brain works, so it was so organic and quick. There was no separation between what we were thinking."

Lonesome live show

Back in the live arena, Henry's still going solo, but at least he has plenty of gear for company. "I've got two Orange half-stacks that I'm running the guitar through, but panned left and right. Then I'm running the drum machine through an Orange bass cab 8x10 and a DI. I've also got a ridiculous pedalboard. It makes it into a weird dance, where I know I'll have to click four buttons in the next second!"

Of course, when you're a one-man operation, you do everything. The work ethic that goes into Mylets show is as astounding as the compositions.

"I've rehearsed enough that the performance is pretty tight," Henry says. "But it was a full-time thing and it's incredibly stressful playing live shows, so I appreciate that people come out to see it. It makes it worth putting the hours in!"

  • For fans of: Tera Melos, Adebisi Shank
  • Hear: Honeypot
Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.