LA Times interview: Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders.


Blond hair and black fingernails? Read Burk's story here.

And here's a bit that didn't fit:

The AAL drummer on its current excursion is Matt Garstka. "He's 23, and he practices more than I do!" marvels Abasi, who's been in constant motion with club gigs and music clinics for the past two years. In the rare moments when they're not scorching asphalt, the two now inhabit North Hollywood and Glendale, visiting Studio City's Baked Potato for fusion infusions -- Garstka signing up for jam nights, Abasi catching shows by L.A.'s Planet X (to scrutinize blazing guitarist Tony MacAlpine and challenging drummer Virgil Donati) or New York postbop axman Adam Rogers ("His original compositions are some of my biggest influences of the past four years").

Abasi's jazzier side shines in T.R.A.M., his band with Reyes, windman Adrián Terrazas-Gonzalez (ex-Mars Volta) and drummer Eric Moore (Suicidal Tendencies). If you don't think extreme punishment and bent time signatures can mix with flutes, saxes and a dash of cool female vocals, try T.R.A.M.'s brilliant EP, "Lingua Franca."

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Plus a technical note from Abasi re his eight-string tuning:

"I tune in standard A-440 E. But what I think is cool is that I take the lowest string, the eighth string, I drop it a step, down to E. It's normally tuned to F-sharp, but I bring it down to E. So I'm kind of playing in drop-E, in a weird way. It allows me to think of the guitar as a six-string. The seventh string is B."