Say what you want about Tim Henson; he walks the talk. His band Polyphia continue to get bigger and bigger; winning new listeners to (mostly) instrumental guitar music at a level nobody could have predicted. Except probably them.
Polyphia bridge genre divides because they refuse to recognise them; drawing from hip-hop and pop production with highly technical but hook-driven guitar work, while winning fans including Steve Vai – who also guests on their latest single from new album, Remember That You Will Die. Henson is a virtuoso who isn't afraid to make bold statements.
Those kind of statements are often clickbait heaven for sites like this, but they're not as flippant as some may claim - Henson is speaking his mind in an industry often afraid to make waves. Ok, “I hope that guitar music dies. I want it to die a painful death” was a bit much. But he's not backing down if his latest chat with Guitar.com is anything to go by.
“Literally every guitar-centred thing is just solos on solos on solos," Tim says of contemporary guitar music. "We’ve certainly done records that were solos on solos on solos but between them we actually had hooks.”
We're wondering if he specifically means modern metal lead athletics with that statement. And he has more to say on that genre; “It’s not really cool to be in a metal band because they don’t make any money,” he states.
A sweeping statement? But you don't meet many newer school metal musicians who are flushed right now either. Where Polyphia seem to be transformative is that they draw metal fans for their undeniable guitar prowess, but they are just part of the fanbase that mirrors the band's fluid approach.
“We take inspiration from anything,” Henson adds. “If you were to take away the guitars on the past few records and just listen to the drums and bass, they’re just playing beats, whether they’re trap beats or future bass beats.
"If you were to take the guitars off and then add vocals to what’s playing, it would just sound like whatever genre of music it is we’re doing. The guitar is the only guitar-y thing about Polyphia: the rest is just humans playing programmed parts.”
Read the full interview at Guitar.com