Donnerstag, 15. September 2011

Musicians up Close - Tosin Abasi - Animals as Leaders

Animals as Leaders Up Close

As we all know, there are countless skilled musicians out there. Be it speed, sweeping, tapping - we've seen it all and it's really impressive.

But then there are musicians that really distinguish themselves from others. Tosin Abasi is definitely one of those.

His technical skills, combined with his brilliant songwriting abilities make him one of a kind in today's music scene. But that's not all - his retro-influenced style and his reserved behaviour make him an interesting character as well. The press quickly seemed to realize this. And so did a lot of music fans.

When Animals As Leaders finally came to Vienna to present their self-titled debut record live, there was a considerable number of people there just to see Tosin. A lot of them from neighboring states of Austria, actually. From what I have witnessed, they even sold more merch than Between the Buried and Me, who were the headliners of the show.

Of course, we were there too and thankfully, we were able to have a chat with Tosin. I was really interested in his musical background. Where he came from - what inspired him and so on.

So how can I describe Tosin? I think he has a clear vision of how he wants to come across. Be it his style, his statements, and, of course, his songs. Furthermore, I think that he isn't yet able to cope with all the attention he gets from the press and the people. When there are too many people around him when he isn't playing a show, he seems a little uncomfortable.

But more can be seen in the interview we did with him anyway (notice the little joke I tried to make, which totally didn't work out)

Part 1

Part 2

So what can be said about the show?

Animals As Leaders live
They played flawlessly - the set was extremely tight. The lack of movement onstage was compensated by the sheer technical madness going on. Navene (drums) sometimes interpreted the songs completely different than on the record - a friend of mine, who is a jazz-taught drummer was blown away by his performance.
Javier, the second guitarist, is probably one of the best rhythm guitarists out there today. Yet, he was contained throughout the whole show, always serving the songs, not his ego.
Tosin seemed to have some monitor-problems, but no one of the visitors could tell a difference. My guess is that there were 75 % musicians in the audience - and they all were in awe.
Unfortunately, the show went by really quickly. I wish they would've played 3 shows that night, so I could have watched every musician throughout one show.

Animals As Leaders - CAFO live @ Chelsea Wien

What really makes the band special is that, although they are an instrumental band, you can tell that there is some sort of communication going on between them and the audience. Unspoken, expressed through their music - check this band out as soon as possible, if you haven't already!

Animals As Leaders - Isolated Incidents live @ Chelsea Wien

Tosin Abasi performing Wave of Babies

Navene Koperweis performing Tempting Time

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