Great article guys. I appreciate the depth of your questions, and the fact that you got both Tosin [Abasi] and
Javier [Reyes] involved. It’s definitely intriguing to hear
more about their writing process and how they work together as musicians. Well done!
premierguitar.com PREMIERGUITARFEBRUARY201287 TosinAbasiandJavierReyes—AnimalsasLeaders’jaw-droppingdual- guitarteam—liveuptotheirnameandcreateanewprogressive-rock beastbycross-breedingjazz,classical,andmetaltechniquesinaway thatsimultaneouslyblowsyourmindanddefiesthegenre’sstereotypes. BYJOECHARUPAKORN “It’safewgenrescombinedintoone. It’slikeprogressivemetal,progres- sivejazz…spacemetal,”saysTosin Abasi,founderofAnimalsasLeaders,whenpressedtopigeonholehisbandinto acategory.Andhe’sright—inthecourse ofasingleAALsong,yourearsmight beassaultedbymath-metaldjent-ismswithbittersweetLydiansonorities, tappedopen-voicetriads,contrapuntal textures,8-stringslappingandpopping thatsoundslikeacrossbetweenVictor
I came here from the Animals as Leaders Facebook
[page], and after reading this [“A Different Breed,”
February 2012] in its entirety, I will be a fan of Premier
Guitar for life! Great interview.
FEATURE > ANIMALS AS LEADERS
Photo by Jonathan Weiner
A Delicious Gretsch … 1620?
My son, Alex,
and I are avid
your magazine. Love it!
We celebrated his 16th birthday in style
with this custom Gretsch 6120 Chet
Atkins birthday cake. It tasted as good as
it looked! Thought your readers would
—Brig Serman, via email
Kudos and Classical Clarifications
Thanks for turning me onto Michael Dowdle
[Tuning Up, “Six Teachers Who Changed My
Life,” January 2012]! Good, GOOD stuff!
—Roger Hollard, via email
instructor wasn’t that I couldn’t learn any-
thing from ‘[Name Withheld]’ because of
his preferred genre. As my music collection
proves, I’m a pretty darn open-minded guy
who will listen to anything and glean from
it (either consciously or subconsciously) what
I think meshes with what I do on guitar. My
point was that a good instructor cares about
their students’ goals and interests, and strives
to make guitar a fun, highly personalized
endeavor. Otherwise, the student will quit
the instrument or move on to another teacher.
The other people I lauded in the same piece
had completely different musical tastes than
I do, but they cared about me, music, and
instruction enough to figure out how to teach
me important stuff in a way that also fulfilled
and validated me. Best of luck to you, Jim!”
Editor in Chief Shawn Hammond replies:
“Hey Brig. 1) This rules! It looks just like my
Gretsch (though mine doesn’t say Alex Serman
on the pickguard)! 2) I think I need to show it
to my wife (who’s a professional cake decora-
tor) as a little hint about my birthday. She’s
got five months to brush up on her baking
luthiery—and she better get the damn trestle
bracing right, too. Haha!”
High Notes on the Low End
Thanks so much for adding “real” articles
and topics concerning bass guitar … It’s nice
to see (and hear) what pro bass players are
using. I appreciate the gear reviews—both
amps and basses. The Rumble Seat is a good
first step into sharing bass technique and
lessons, but I’d like to see a little more.
—Stephen Durborow, via email
I’m sorry that the only benefit you received
from your first guitar teacher, the “classical
dude,” was “not to be dismissive of the musical tastes of others.” It troubles me to infer
that you yourself may have little time for the
world of classical guitar and the benefits that
such training can instill. A number of great
jazz guitarists such as Charlie Byrd and Gyan
Riley would readily acknowledge the fundamentals of classical technique, which they
later applied to their music, even if Segovia,
like your first teacher, did not approve. The
great Chet Atkins, though largely self-taught,
highly respected the classical genre and
was a close friend of the classical virtuoso
Liona Boyd. And, your own reviewer, Jason
Shadrick, describes [“Media Reviews: Seasons,
Live at the Metropolitan Museum,” February
2012] Anthony Wilson’s recent collaboration
with three other guitarists as played “with the
precision and empathy of a classical string
quartet.” Among my own music teachers,
regardless of their own personal tastes, I never
encountered one from whom I did not take
away something good and constructive.
—Jim Moscovich, London/Ontario, Canada, via email
There are many good reasons to subscribe,
but John Bohlinger’s January 2012 column
[“Making $ome Dough Re Me With Your
Mu$ic”] drove me to jump to the computer
and renew my subscription. Great subject
for an accountant (vocation) and hobbyist
singer/songwriter/guit picker (avocation) like
me. John has piqued my interest and left me
with a want for more. Please go on to tell the
reader more about self-publishing, demos and
clearinghouse organizations like BMI, ASCAP,
and SESAC. How does one create a copyright?
I have some great songs that I’d give away
just to hear them performed. My voice sucks
and I don’t have enough time to practice to
be a good guitar player, so I’ll never be more
than a busker and open-mic guy. But, I’d
better meet my passionate mission to share
music with others if I could get it out there.
I’d also be interested in how one seeks out
co-writers for bridges and the like, along
with constructive criticism (and I don’t
mean [stuff like] “Don’t quit your day job”).
—Robert Stuart, Jacksonville, Florida
Hmmm … interesting ideas, Robert. We’ll
definitely mull those over. Thanks for your letter—and don’t shortchange yourself. You never
know what those open mics will lead to!
You’re welcome, Steve! Thanks for the kudos.
Stay tuned—we’ve got more great bass coverage of all sorts waiting in the wings.
Shawn Hammond responds: “The point of
that brief, lighthearted account of my first
Keep those comments coming!
Please send your suggestions, gripes,
comments, and good words directly to