Polyphia Guitarist Says Today’s Listeners See the Instrument as a “Means to an End”


Prog rock band Polyphia have been making waves in recent months, as their brand of instrumental music turns heads and raises eyebrows — especially thanks to the guitar work. And while guitar still remains a major part of today’s music world and its use spans multiple genres, 29-year-old guitarist Tim Henson said its ubiquity isn’t because people necessarily like the guitar.

While speaking with Total Guitar (via Guitar.com), Henson said guitarists aren’t necessarily the rock gods and heroes that they used to be. In fact, he thinks today’s younger audience couldn’t be bothered.

“These days I view us more as composers than guitar players, though obviously that hasn’t always been the case. I guess it’s been something we’ve always been working towards – composing rather than showing what we can do with our techniques. We just happen to be playing guitar, and have done our whole lives, so that’s where our skillset is.

“The guitar is a means to an end, the end being good music. The average music listener and enjoyer probably won’t give a shit about the things guitarists do.”

And while he thinks guitar is a “means to an end” and most people don’t “give a shit” about guitar players, that didn’t stop them from collaborating with guitar legend Steve Vai. Henson reflected on that moment and how they destroyed his monitors.

“Steve invited us over to his house and we showed him the song. But the file was simply too hot. So when it got to the part where his solo was supposed to come in, the 808s were booming so loud, they broke. We broke Steve Vai’s speakers, it was really fucked up!”

As an artist that aims to bring prog rock in line with more contemporary music elements, maybe he knows a thing or two about Gen-Z music listeners. I mean, I know absolutely jack shit about that segment of the audience aside from their apparent love of TikTok memes and innate ability to take down celebrities.

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