Steve Vai reveals his reaction to Polyphia ‘chopping’ up his guitar parts on Ego Death: “Maybe they didn’t like what I did”

Polyphia’s upcoming album Remember That You Will Die will be released later this month.

Steve Vai has opened up about the recent collaboration between himself and djent frontrunners Polyphia on the track Ego Death, revealing he had thought the band weren’t fans of his contributions at one point.

In a new interview published in the December edition of Guitar World alongside Polyphia’s Tim Henson and Scott LePage, the maestro opened up about his impact on younger guitarists and his thoughts on the track itself, praising Polyphia’s rise as a “monolith kind of shift”.

Vai revealed that he took a while to create his contribution to the track, saying, “It took a while because it was special to me. I had to decide what I was going to do wasn’t the just going to be the same thing that I would normally do.” However, he was initially surprised upon hearing a later version of the track, which had been “chopped” up by the band.

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He initially thought, “Maybe they didn’t like what I did,” though he clarified that he wanted the band to use his contributions as their creativity demanded. “At first, I felt uncomfortable saying ‘Featuring Steve Vai’, because I thought ‘Well, I didn’t do anything’,” he said, though a re-listen of the track convinced him that it was just “a stupid humility thing”.

Henson and LePage reassured the veteran that Vai’s parts had inspired the second half of the track, and that the final product would see Vai’s contribution blend more seamlessly with the newly written parts.

Henson explained, “Once we got [Vai’s] stuff, we realised we needed to back him up. It’s like puzzle pieces, or like you’re chiselling away at a sculpture. We didn’t know what we had until we had Steve’s part, and then we realised, ‘Oh shit, here we fucking go’.”

Henson then proclaimed the track one of Polyphia’s best songs, with Vai offering to lend his services should he and the band be in the same town.

Ego Death was released in late September, and is the first track to be revealed from Polyphia’s upcoming album Remember That You Will Die, due this October 28 via Rise Records. Polyphia’s last album came in the form of 2018’s New Levels New Devils, their third LP since they first shot to viral fame with a YouTube playthrough of Impassion.

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