Polyphia's Clay Gober: 5 Albums That Made Me | Revolver

Polyphia's Clay Gober: 5 Albums That Made Me

From Pantera to Drake, bassist for Texas instrumental-shred crew tells stories behind records that changed his life
polyphia-clay-gober-travis-poston-web.jpg, Travis Poston
Polyphia's Clay Gober
photograph by Travis Poston

Prog-metal upstarts Polyphia are irreverent as hell. From serving up insane Tide Pod–and–stripper-filled music videos, to trolling Ronnie Radke to wearing the most ridiculous streetwear they can find, the quartet — guitarists and co-founders Scott LePage and Tim Henson, bassist Clay Gober and drummer Clay Aeschliman — are down to have a good time while they deliver their millennial blend of genre-blurring virtuosic instrumental shred.

But underneath the smart-assery, the crew are highly accomplished musicians, and not surprisingly have a deep respect for, and connection to, the creative output of their musical forebears. To investigate this topic further, we caught up with Gober for a no-bullshit talk about what albums had changed his life, shaping him as both a fan and a musician — below are the five formative records he offered up.

AC/DC - Back in Black (1980)

This was the first album I ever owned. Actually had it on cassette tape, one of my dad's old ones. My parents apparently tried to hide it from me at first — but I found it hidden in the back of an old cupboard. I was a nosy kid, real curious.

Drake - Nothing Was the Same (2013)

Tim and I used to jam this bitch on the daily. He got me into Drake's music in late 2013. I was working two jobs so I could afford this bass I wanted. Anyway, that album got me through a lot of bullshit.

All Them Witches - Lightning at the Door (2013)

I got really into this band after being referred to them by a friend of mine in England. Lightning is a really dark one, and the guitar is sparse where it counts, which I like.

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell (1990)

Pantera was sort of my gateway into the heavier side of rock. I came up on the more blues influenced shit, as a result of my dad's influence I guess. Cowboys has the greatest thrash influence so it has a special place in my heart.

Alice in Chains - Facelift (1990)

Love this album so fucking much. Alice had some light glam-rock influence and I feel like that comes through in certain ways on Facelift. Layne [Staley] was of course great, as always.