60 Se conds with... Tosin Abasi
A minute’s all it takes to find out what makes a great guitarist tick. As he dashed for his limo to the airport we grabbed a quick chat with the amazing of Animals As Leaders...
GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without? (Make, gauge and why)
TA: Planet Waves Black Ice .55. I like a pick with flexibility, but I also like the dimensions of these as they’re small, closer to a jazz pick. It’s hard to find a jazz pick that’s thin, so these have those two features I like. The Texture is also a Matt satin, so quite easy to hang on to.
GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be?
TA: Compression and noise gate for control, and delay for its creative potential.
GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band - and have you done so?
TA: Yeah - I’ve played drums in punk bands!
GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it?
TA: Yes, I read to a basic level.
GT: Is there anyone (past or present) whose playing you’re slightly jealous of?
TA: Yes, Guthrie Govan - he’s simply amazing.
GT: Your house is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?
TA: My Rick Toone ‘Blur’ guitar as it’s one of a kind.
GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?
TA: The Boutique Bogner model on the Fractal Audio AxeFx, I really like the semi-distorted tone.
GT: What strings do you use?
TA: D’Addario .09-0.42 because they’re consistent and sound and feel great.
GT: Who was your first influence to play the guitar?
TA: Kurt Cobain.
GT: What was the first guitar you really lusted after?
TA: A Les Paul. I had a Gibson
poster of one on my wall as a kid.
GT: Do you have a pre-gig warm-up routine?
Is there anyone whose playing (past or present) you’re slightly jealous of? Yeah, Guthrie Govan - he’s amazing!
TA: I do some metronome-based practice wherever I’m performing that night.
GT: If you could put together a fantasy band with you in it, who would the other players be?
TA: The dream trio for me would be Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Jaco Pastorius on bass.
GT: Is there a solo by someone else that you wish you’d played?
TA: Allan Holdsworth, City Nights.
GT: What’s the solo or song of your own of which you’re most proud?
TA: On Impulse, from our self-titled debut album.
GT: Can you tell us what are you up to at the moment - any gigs, tours, etc?
TA: We’re heading to the UK on tour with Tesseract for seven dates beginning 3rd November. Hope to see you there!
The incredible Tosin Abasi and his eightstring Ibanez axe