Polyphia’s ‘Playing God’ Is the 2022 Song of the Year
Polyphia’s “Playing God” is Loudwire’s pick for the 2022 Song of the Year. Guitarist Tim Henson joins us to talk about the massive track, whether 2010 Polyphia would like 2022 Polyphia, his newest signature guitar and more.
“Originally, that wasn’t going to be the first song,” Henson reveals about “Playing God.” “The first song was going to be ‘Chimera.’ What had happened was, we filmed this music video that was like, the most money we’ve ever spent on a video. It was really ambitious. It came out not great, and then on top of that, ‘Chimera’ had leaked … When it had leaked, that was the last straw for me. I called the label and I was like, ‘Listen, it’s time to pivot. We’re not doing that song anymore.’”
“It really felt like God, or the Universe or whatever, just pushed us in that direction to drop that one first,” Henson continues. “Just seeing how universally loved it was from our fans really made that four years of working and waiting worth it.”
Polyphia filmed the gorgeous video for “Playing God” at the Texas State Hall, where the golden sun background was captured on film. The second location for “Playing God” was at “a rich old lady’s mansion.”
“Apparently she liked to party. She’s like this old lady who just loves to party,” Henson says. “Big, epic parties and stuff — that’s why she has the house. She lives alone. So we just went there and put our feet on her couches and shit and it was sick.”
Polyphia, "Playing God" (Official Music Video)
"Maybe my 10th grade self would not like 2022 Polyphia."
Polyphia’s evolution from a metalcore-based shred act to a progressive and melodic rock band has proven to be fruitful to say the least, but what would 2010 Polyphia think if they heard 2022 Polyphia?
“I’d like to say that I would like it, but at the same time, I’m 16 years old, I’m in 10th grade and I only like deathcore and hard shit. I don’t think I even liked Drake then,” Henson says laughing. “Maybe I wouldn’t like our music now … Maybe my 10th grade self would not like it, [but] I know if we got to look into the future and see it — the Guitar World cover with Steve Vai and all the really cool stuff that’s been happening, I know 10th grade me would shit himself over that, at least. I know that there would be moments on Remember That You Will Die that 10th grade me would absolutely love.”
"Good morning. Remember That You Will Die."
Speaking on Polyphia’s 2022 album, Henson explained why Polyphia chose to use the English translation of Memento Mori for the title.
“When we looked up what the Latin phrase [Memento Mori] meant, we were like, holy shit, that’s hard as fuck. The nice thing about that phrase is that every word is a common word, and because of that, they’re very powerful … It makes for really good boldness. I saw someone tweet today — they took a screenshot of their Spotify and I guess Spotify had placed our album on their front page and it said, ‘Good morning. Remember That You Will Die.’ Their tweet was something along the lines of, 'Polyphia is sending me really cryptic messages this morning.'”
Henson also gave us an early look at this newest signature guitar — the Ibanez TOD10 — before talking about what he hopes for the future.
“We have quite a lot of touring coming up, so we’re looking forward to that. Also, when we made this album, we essentially kind of made two albums, so there’s a lot of music just sitting in the vault that we’re hoping to polish and get release ready very soon so we can just keep feeding the hungry mouths. I’m in the works of building a lot of new things outside Polyphia that all kind of pertain to the world of existence that we’re in. Very vague, but I’m working on a lot of really cool things. I hope next year is met with lots of anticipation and excitement around those things.”
Tim Henson: My New Signature Guitar... Again
Congratulations to Polyphia for “Playing God” and their stellar 2022. Check out our full interview with Tim Henson below and click here for Polyphia’s upcoming tour dates.