Animals As Leaders' Tosin Abasi Shows Off His New Ibanez Prototype Guitar

(Image credit: Ryan Hunter for Guitar Center)

Animals As Leaders' Tosin Abasi recently sat down with the Guitar Center Presents crew to talk guitars.

In the exclusive video below, Abasi discusses his early and recent influences, plus his adventures playing seven- and eight-string guitar. Best of all, he breaks out and plays his new Ibanez prototype model, which won't be released until 2017.

Abasi explains how the prototype came to be—and even shows off the guitars that influenced its ergonomic design.

"I basically wanted something that was a bit smaller than the average eight-string," Abasi says in the clip. "I found that the 27-inch scale was great for the low end, but it slightly changes the tension for the treble strings. So the way around that was to create a compound scale or a fanned-fret guitar, which allows you to have a shorter-scale length on the treble [side], and it progressively gets longer on the bass [side]."

The guitarist also discusses how he made the leap from seven- to eight-string guitars.

"In getting comfortable on the seven, I enjoyed a real creative boost from having that extra string," Absai recently told Guitar World. "I was writing new riffs and there were different interval combinations available to me. So I guess I was looking for that same experience again. And the idea to move on to eight strings came from Meshuggah, who were playing [Ibanez] Universes for a while, and then I guess they wanted to go further, so they commissioned a luthier to make them these eight-string guitars."

Be on the lookout for Animals As Leaders' new album, The Madness of Many, which will be released November 11 via Sumerian Records.

"This album feels like total synergy between the three of us," Abasi notes. "None of this music would have turned out the same way without the equal inclusion of all of our musical ideas. We're beyond thrilled with the result."

For more Guitar Center videos, check out the company's YouTube channel. For the continuation of this feature, head here.

Be sure to check out "Talking Tone, Extended Range and More with the Animals As Leaders Guitarist."

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.