Tosin Abasi, born in 1982, is best know for playing the 7 and 8 stringed guitar, in the instrumental progressive metal band, “Animals As Leaders”, based out of Washington D.C. He utilizes the power of techniques and the endless possibilities of guitar playing in any genre.
He is primarily self taught, but studied jazz and classical guitar at the Atlanta Institute of Music, learning an extended range guitar can offer a lot of possibility’s for composition, the resources available to 6 string guitarist don’t exist in the same prominence for the 7 string (especially the 8 string guitar), through his compositions he hopes to break down the approach to utilizing the 7 and 8 string guitars, in both lead and rhythm work. Also examining multiple techniques such as; Hybrid picking, sweeping, taping and slapping.
In 2002 he joined the technical metal-core band “Reflux”, and released an album, “Illusion of Democracy” in 2004. After Reflux disband Abasi wanted to explore the technical facilitation of guitar playing, so then he formed a “solo” project, “Animals As Leaders”. The name of the band was coined as a reminder that “we are all essentially animals”, and was derived by Daniel Quin’s 1992 novel “Ishmael”, which addresses anthropocentrism. They released a self-titled album in 2009, followed by a single in 2010, “Wave of Babies”.
Along with doing Animals As Leaders, he also features as the lead guitarist for the American technical death metal band “Born of Osiris”, when they’re on tour. As well as doing an upcoming project called, “T.R.A.M”, joining alongside him are members from “Suicidal Tendencies”, and “The Mars Volta”.
Artist that have inspired and influenced him include; Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Greg Howe, Guthrie Govan, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Adam Rogers, and Kurt Cobain.
Tosin Abasi’s Equipment consists of:
Guitars: Ibanez RG2228, 8-string Ibanez LACS RGA, 7-string Eastman ER-1 hollow body, custom illustrated Luther 8-string.
Pickups: Lundgren M8 Q-tuner, BL-5 EMG 808/EMG 808x, Kent Armstrong handmade pickup, DiMarzio Tone Zone 7.
Amps: Fractile Audio Axe-FX Ultra preamp; VHT 2/50/2 stereo power amp
Cabinets: Orange Amplification 4×12 speaker cabinet.
Effects: Voodoo Lab Ground Control Pro MIDI foot controller, Boomerang Plus Phrase Sampler.