Using Torpedo Live
Oluwatosin Ayoyinka Olumide “Tosin” Abasi (born January 7, 1983), is a Nigerian American musician, best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders.
As an early teenager, Abasi developed his interest in guitar-oriented music by listening to bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Incubus. “That stuff was definitely cool and dynamic”, he enthuses. “Even though they had vocals, the guitars were in the forefront. The focus of the bands’ sounds came from what the guitarist was doing.”
Next, Abasi fell under the spell of virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Greg Howe, and John Petrucci. “Those guys really made a big impression on me”, he says. “They just seemed to cover it all at once: composition, melody, sound, and just total creativity and mastery of the instrument. Listening to them gave me a lot to work toward.”
Animals as Leaders are known for playing intense, intricate, and inventive music. Their songs are like dense forests of sound, with arpeggios and polyrhythms spreading out like a massive root system.
At the center of it all is Tosin Abasi with his extended range, 8-string guitar. He shreds through the higher strings, weaving in a flamenco flair with a controlled sense of how each finger on his right hand creates sound.