Polyphia Guitarist Shares Honest Opinion on Jimi Hendrix, Recalls How One Thing He Said Angered Old-School Guitar Fans

In his recent interview with Dragonforce’s Herman Li, Polyphia guitar player Tim Henson looked back on one of his comments that ended up causing ruckus among old-school guitar fans. The comment in question happened during his chat with Rick Beato, Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, and Animals as Leaders’ Tosin Abasi. As he explains, there was no ill intent behind it and, what’s more, it was a brief statement referring to the old-school type of string bending. The comment in question called these “boomer-ish bends” and he simply said how he’s not into that stuff.

When reminded of the issue by Herman Li, Henson replied (transcript via Ultimate Guitar):

“That was very unintentional. [laughs] So it’s me, Tosin [Abasi], Misha [Mansoor], and Rick [Beato], and we’re having a discussion amongst friends and people who have shared appreciation for the music. And we’re talking about specific things that we do in our guitar playing.”

The Modern Guitar Discussion w/ Tosin Abasi, Tim Henson & Misha Mansoor

“And I think, like, the bending thing came up and I was just ‘I guess I tend to avoid that because it has a bloomer-ish sound to it.’ And I think Rick really got a kick out of it. And there was no malicious intent behind that statement. It was mostly just like… The baby boomer describes the generation. I guess I was just trying to describe the sound, like it sounds like it’s from that era.”

To clarify things further, Henson also explained that he’s no stranger to the string bending, despite what some guitar fans might think today. He added:

“And even then, I do bend a lot in our music, on our older music. And we still play our older music live. I’m still bending to this day. Am I adding as much as that in the newer music? Probably not. But that was just my contribution to the question.”

Polyphia - Playing God (Official Music Video)

As he explained, it was the media outlets that caught up on it, thus the negative reaction from various guitar lovers worldwide:

“And of course, everybody wanted to clickbait it. I guess that just shows the current state of like media and press and whatever, it’s just that they just need something juicy for people to latch on to so that they can sell ads and clicks and whatever else that they’re trying to do. And I’m just ending up at the butt of the joke.”

“Because it’s an odd thing to get hate mail from people that just, like, read it. [laughs] So they just read the title of an article and then you’re getting like, ‘Fuck you, I hope you die’ and like a bunch of crazy shit.”

“And I guess some of its warranted because yeah, we definitely gave people a reason to not like us, like in our ‘New Levels’ era where we were just kind of like tongue-in-cheek, being, like in-your-face about things.”

“But these days, it’s just it’s an interesting thing to watch them still kind of latch on to buzzwords and whatever else. When really, there was no… Like I said, there’s no malicious intent. And there was no disrespect behind that.”

“Again, Hendrix is like one of my fucking idols. So that’s literally like who coined that shit. So it’s an interesting thing to see old people and other people like just get really upset about it.”

Photos: Delusion23 (Polyphia – Manchester, UK – 6 February 2019), A. Vente (HendrixHoepla1967-2)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.