Prog-Gnosis: Making Odd Meters Feel Natural, and How to Play “Cylindrical Sea”

The following content is related to the January 13 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

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.

A good example is the song, “Cylindrical Sea,” from our new album, Weightless. As many of you know, I’m a huge Allan Holdsworth fan, and the sound and approach I use on this song are influenced by him.

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