Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes on taking the maximalist “more is more” approach to their spectacular new album, Parrhesia

Animals As Leaders
(Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)

I call it ‘sharpening the knife,’” says Tosin Abasi, describing the approach he and his longtime Animals As Leaders guitar partner Javier Reyes adopted when recording the group’s super-aggressive fifth album, Parrhesia

“On the past couple of albums, we explored a lot of different directions; we got very experimental and we did some fusion-y stuff. This time out, Javier and I consolidated the elements we wanted to incorporate and we went for a more bludgeoning experience.” He laughs. “That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.