In my last column, I discussed my penchant for employing odd meters in much of the music I write for Animals as Leaders, using the song “Cylindrical Sea” as an example. While “Cylindrical Sea” moves back and forth freely between 7/8, 5/8 and 6/8 time signatures, the idea was not simply to write a tune for the sake of complexity.
In January, DiMarzio will release its three new Ionizer 8 pickups, all of which were designed for Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi's new signature 8-string Ibanez guitar. The pickups are two years in the making.
This month, I’d like to demonstrate how I play the intro to “An Infinite Regression,” the opening track from the latest Animals as Leaders album, Weightless. This part features a very unusual and unique “double-thumbing” technique that, I believe, was pioneered by the great jazz bassist Victor Wooten. As usual, all of the licks in this column are arranged for seven-string guitar (low to high, B E A D G B E), though I play the part on an eight-string.
Animals as Leaders' latest release, Weightless, was a bit of a stylistic departure from the band's self-titled debut, thanks in big part to a full-band dynamic that wasn't present with Tosin Abasi and Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor hammered together the first album.
A signature element in the songwriting techniques I use with my band Animals as Leaders is the incorporation of unusual time signatures, also known as odd meters. In the quest for fresh-sounding new music, we will often superimpose different meters and/or syncopations on top of one another, a technique explored to great extent by many of today’s progressive rock and metal bands, such as Periphery, Dillinger Escape Plan and, of course, Meshuggah.
Tosin Abasi strides into a Hollywood photo studio dressed in a crisp striped jersey, jeans and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses that make him look a bit like the young Dizzy Gillespie. He’s toting a pair of the Ibanez eight-string guitars that have become his stock in trade, sleek-bodied instruments with broad, massive necks that carry the heft and menace of weaponry.
This month, I'd like to talk about a cool, useful technique I sometimes use called “double picking,” which involves repeating each note in a melody twice using alternate (down-up) picking. A good example of this technique can be found in the first solo I play in “An Infinite Regression,” from Animals as Leaders’ latest release, Weightless.
"Earth Departure" is one of the most adventurous tunes on the new Animals As Leaders album, Weightless. The song features some very intense, complex figures that require extremely tight band interplay.