In this writer’s opinion, it is a sign of weakness to think that you are perfect at anything. There is always room for improvement, and taking a moment to better yourself by working on your craft is always a good thing. Which is why we salute Tosin Abasi, guitarist for Animals As Leaders, who recently revealed that he spent the pandemic working on his technique by buying blues guitar lessons on TrueFire.
Speaking to Premier Guitar, Abasi revealed that he’d been kind of burnt out on touring by the time the pandemic hit, and that the downtime was actually very valuable to him:
“As a human being, when being home is constantly a temporary thing, you feel like you’re missing out on the part of your life that isn’t holding a guitar. So, I had secretly been wanting some time off from touring. But as a musician, I had a huge burst of creativity where I was like, ‘Whoa, I have all this time to play!’ So, I started buying TrueFire lessons and going on YouTube and learning more guitar, which was cool! There was a big chunk in the beginning of the pandemic where I was hyper-productive and hyper-creative.
“I was trying to work on my weak points, and I’m not a blues player, so I bought some blues lessons from Oz Noy, Josh Smith, and Ariel Posen. I’m still doing that. Joe Bonamassa just released some TrueFire stuff that’s really good. Beyond the blues stuff, I was looking at Alex Jung, who’s got a lot of etudes that are based off of individual scale concepts, like Messiaen modes or melodic minors. ”
When asked if there would be “some boomer bends on the next album,” Tosin replied:
“Bro, I’m bending on the [new Animals as Leaders] album a little! On the next one, I think you will! I’ve flirted with the idea of doing a blues album – which sounds funny to say – but I would put a twist on it. It’s kind of a novelty to me, but the constraint is fun to work with and to see where I can get creative within that box is an interesting idea. ”
Good for Abasi! Not only is it big to hone your craft when you’re already a master, but it’s even bigger to admit it publicly. Dude is legit.
Animals As Leaders’ new album Parrhesia is out now, and can be streamed below: