Polyphia’s Tim Henson is an absolute madman on guitar.
The band’s latest “Remember You Will Die” is a hell of a showcase of all the capabilities of guitar-based rock music, merging a multitude of different genres into one, cohesive package. It’s easy to see that Henson is one of the best, most innovative guitarists of this generation.
His road to getting great at guitar is a strange one, as he spoke about in a recent chat with Dragonforce’s own shredder aficionado Herman Li. Turns out he got really good at shredding thanks to getting grounded by his parents. He says (as transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):
“I was like, really into weed. And in Texas, it’s very illegal. So when I was 16, I got two possessions. And I spent most of my high school years on probation and grounded. So I had a lot of time to myself, which I used playing the guitar.
“And in hindsight, could I have not done illegal things and developed more social skills? Probably. That would have been great. [laughs] But I also wouldn’t have gotten to spend that much time with the guitar. So, I guess now is the time that, as we grow as a band and grow as people to learn social skills.”
He also spoke about how his mom feels now about his success as a musician, removed from the days of grounding Tim:
“She really didn’t start getting it until, I guess, last year, when I moved back to Texas. We built a crib, and her getting to come to the house, once it’s finished, and to see the studio that’s built and all the things that are, I guess, more tangible for a parent. To feel like they don’t have to worry about you anymore kind of thing.
“That’s when she kind of started to let up on ‘Go back to school, stop getting tattoos! You look like you’re going to prison.’ I’d come home and I’d wear like a turtleneck. And I’d cover up my hands for Thanksgiving and shit. And just really avoid my mom to avoid those negative comments. Because, over time, it can wear on you. But these days, it’s more chill. And I think that’s because she doesn’t have to worry.”
Henson also spoke about his father’s perspective on his guitar playing, saying:
“My dad’s mostly been supportive throughout the whole career. At the beginning, he was a little upset that I dropped out of school to do this. But once he saw that our first album that we crowdfunded reached its goal, that’s when he kind of got on board and was like, ‘Wow, you’re, you’re really doing it. And this is what you want to do. I support you.'”
Though it’s a bummer law on marijuana possession remains stupidly prohibitive, if there’s one silver lining it created one of the best guitar players going right now. Check out the full interview with Li below.