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Polyphia’s Tim Henson Hates Guitar Music, Only Listens to Rap Now


Gee, a professional metal musician is completely over it and spends most of his music listening energy on other genres? Do tell! Never heard this story before!

As someone who lives and breathes metal every day for a living, I get it. Alas, many metalheads will be peeved to learn that Polyphia guitarist Tim Henson, whose band is Very Popular amongst musician dorks, is completely uninterested in metal at the moment and prefers to listen to rap. When asked about the future of guitar music, sayeth he to Music Radar (during a chat that also involved Polyphia co-guitarist Scott LePage):

Tim: “I see it being less guitar-centered and more musical. Because I hope that guitar music dies. I want it to die a painful death because so much of it is just bullshit. And I feel like people should focus more on the music itself and use the guitar as a tool to make music versus, like, ‘I’m going to play guitar music,’ you know what I mean? Because so much of it is just not good.”

Scott: “It’s very easily oversaturated, that’s for sure.”

Tim: “I think the boringness should die a painful death. As far as effects and stuff go, I use a lot of vocal effects, like the vocoder that’s on ‘Rich Kids,’ that sounds nothing like a guitar. And as far as the future of it goes, me and Scott have been working really hard to bring guitar to mainstream music. Like, I work with a lot of hip-hop producers, and we’ve been writing for some bigger bands – there’s lots of bringing in cooler guitar parts to things that are much bigger than us. So that eventually you’ll turn on the radio again and hear guitar on the radio in whatever hip-hop song is happening – some good guitar, actually. So, that way, the future of guitar is cool again. Because I think it just got lost in translation of what was cool in the ’80s when it was super-cool; you look back on it and that shit is dumb-corny. That’s why it’s no longer cool: because it’s literally not.”

Music Radar: Do you consciously try to avoid the typical guitar virtuoso clichés?

Tim: “A lot of that shit is so fucking corny, I hate it. So, yeah.”

Scott: “Unless you’re one of the Gods or Steve Vai or someone and you’re a solo guitarist, I don’t know who the fuck you are. Tim and I listen to fucking radio music and shit, you know; I don’t really go on MySpace any more and search the Solo Guitarists section and see what’s new and upcoming.”

Music Radar: What would you say are the genres that influence your writing and playing?

Tim: “All I listen to is rap.”

Scott: “Rap, hip-hop – I fucking love metal. I grew up listening to metal; I was in the womb, and my parents would put fucking Iron Maiden on the TV and Judas Priest and shit and Pantera, so I was fed that from a very young age – negative- one, even. I mean, I go through phases of, ‘I like this more than this,’ but it’s mostly hip-hop and metal and that type of shit.”

I would love to know which rap artists Tim and Scott are listening to — so I can check them out myself, naturally! — but unfortunately the interview didn’t go there. Next time. Feel free to leave your modern rap suggestions in the comments.

Polyphia go on tour with Issues, Lil Aaron and Sleep Token in November; dates below and tickets here.

11/7 Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
11/8 San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theater
11/9 Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
11/10 Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
11/12 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
11/13 Phoenix, AZ @ The Pressroom
11/14 Los Angeles, CA @ The Mayan
11/15 San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
11/16 Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades
11/17 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
11/18 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
11/19 Seattle, WA @ Showbox at The Market
11/20 Boise, ID @ Revolution
11/22 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/23 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
11/25 Lawrence, KS @ The Granada
11/26 Des Moine, IA @ Wooly’s
11/27 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity
11/29 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
11/30 Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation
12/1 Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
12/2 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
12/3 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
12/4 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
12/6 New York City, NY @ Gramercy
12/7 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
12/8 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA
12/9 New York City, NY @ Gramercy
12/10 New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
12/11 Reading, PA @ Reverb
12/12 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
12/13 Charlotte, NC @ Underground
12/14 Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theater
12/15 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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