Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes used a Gibson Les Paul on the new Animals As Leaders album

Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes
(Image credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM )

Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes, along with drummer Matt Garstka, are gearing up to release the new Animals As Leaders album, Parrhesia, and if the first three singles – Monomyth, The Problem of Other Minds and Gordian Naught – are anything to go by, the trio will be up to their usual prog-metal excellencies.

What’s unusual about the upcoming release, however, is the electric guitars the pair used to record. Yes, Abasi’s very own Abasi Concepts Larada model features in abundance, but for their first album in six years, the duo opted to experiment in the guitar department, and ended up playing a wholly unexpected six-string.

Speaking in the new issue of Guitar World, Abasi and Reyes revealed they turned to the Gibson Les Paul for inspiration in the studio, and used the iconic single-cut for a number of tracks and solos throughout Parrhesia.

When asked if his guitar setup was exclusively Abasi Concepts, Abasi noted, “Yeah. I would say, except for maybe one solo, all my parts were tracked with my guitar,” before being reminded by Reyes about the Les Paul they used.

“Which is very random,” Reyes picked up. “There were sprinkles of it. It’s kind of what we were talking about earlier – ‘What does the recording need?’

“In a perfect situation,” he continued, “we would have one guitar for the entire thing, but in the process of what’s best for the mix, when we were in the studio, my buddy had a bunch of relic guitars. He pulled out a Les Paul, we hooked it up, and it sounded great.”

The pair remained tight-lipped regarding which songs specifically featured the Les Paul, so it’s entirely possible we’ve already heard a flavor of it in one of the previously released singles.

Reyes then went on to explain that he also heavily relied on Abasi Concepts guitars, saying he decided against using his favored ESP guitar for rhythm work out of a desire to simplify the mixing process.

“All the rhythm stuff is with Tosin’s guitar,” he explained. “Again, it’s more of a utilitarian process. ‘Does the song need this or that, or are we going to add more difficulty by including another guitar and tone and whatnot?”

While on the subject of Abasi Concepts guitars, Abasi recently teased an upcoming nylon seven-string Larada model by putting a prospective prototype through its paces in a series of Instagram videos.

Head over to Magazines Direct to pick up the latest issue of Guitar World, which features an in-depth tribute to 30 instrumental masters and an exclusive first look at the new Line 6 DL4 MkII.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.