For members at the Animals As Leaders camp, 2014 is turning out to be a rather fruitful year (not inspired from album art) with the release of ‘Joy of Motion’ and with extensive touring following the release. Also Tosin recently getting nominated for “Best Shredder” for the Golden Gods, reaching the 23rd spot on the Billboard top 200 and Matt featuring on the May issue of DRUM! Magazine just adds so many cherries on top.We had a chat with Javier from the band and discussed the album ‘Joy Of Motion’ and whats been happening at the AAL camp
Metalbase INDIA: Hey Javier, so the Joy of Motion is almost is almost here! How do you feel right now?
Javier: I’m very happy how “The Joy of Motion” came out. I believe it’s some of our best work.
MBI: What do you think changed, or rather develop in the band with the whole recording process and the shift from Prosthetic to Sumerian Records for this album?
Javier: A lot has developed and changed. First off, Matt Garstka is in the band and playing with him definitely pushed the band further both musically and technically. Also, the sound and process of each album is different considering that different people produced each album.
MBI: You released Weightless in November 2011 and then toured extensively in Europe and North America in support of the release. How was that tour for the band?
Javier: We toured a whole bunch after Weightless came out. We were fortunate enough to get several support tours that really helped the band grow. We have gotten to tour with bands like Between the Buried and Me, Meshuggah, Thrice, and Dillinger Escape Plan.
MBI: So you just started endorsing Carvin guitars (that shiny blue one). Ibanez to Carvin, how did that happen?
Javier: I’ve always been a fan of Carvin guitars as well as Ibanez. I wanted to come up with a custom design that I knew Carvin would be able to do since they are a smaller company than Ibanez and more flexible with their designs. I reached out to Carvin to try out some of their guitars and shortly after I switched officially. Although Ibanez is a great company, definitely excited about my future with Carvin.
MBI: What was Tosin’s routine for practise while he was the Atlanta Institute of Music? And how did Misha Mansoor (Periphery) agree to co-write, produce and record the album?
Javier: I have no clue what his practice routine was during his time at AIM, I was living in DC producing hip hop during that time. As for how Misha decided? Well, we paid him. Heheh. Although he is a friend, we feel his talent is extremely valuable and we were stroked to work with him again.
MBI: Why did the band choose to Work with Misha Mansoor again on the Joy of Motion?
Javier: Misha had an integral part in creating the sound of Animals as Leaders. There were elements from the first album that we wanted to bring back so we decided to work with Misha for some of the songs. Ironically, the song that’s getting most attention from the new album is ‘Physical Education’ which was co-written by Diego Farias of Volumes and the album was produced by Adam Getgood of Periphery.
MBI: The new Ibanez TAM 100 has the DiMarzio Ionizer pickups. Wasn’t Tosin using the EMG 808X before?
Javier: It’s been a while since we have used EMGs. We have them in some of our guitars but we have been sculpting our tones using DiMarzio pickups for the last couple of years.
MBI: Matt Garska played for the Gokh Bi System (an African Hip Hop group) while he was at the Berklee College of Music and then he joined AAL after moving to LA. How does he comment on his versatility and its investment in the band? How did going to Berklee help?
Javier: I’m sure Berklee taught him a huge amount. He is definitely the most educated musician in the band and his rhythmic vocabulary is through the roof. Couldn’t be happier with him in the band.
MBI: How did Navene Koperweis (ex AAL) and Diego Farias (Volumes) contribute to in the making of the Joy of Motion?
Javier: Navene produced probably 99% of all the electronic elements of the album. Considering he was previously in the band, we knew he would get the appropriate aesthetic for the music. Diego helped by co-writing three songs with us (Physical Education, Crescent, and Mind-Spun).
MBI: Did Tosin accidentally ponder upon a book of riff-writing knowledge during his regular meditation episodes? How else did the whole process of writing the self-titled debut happen? The style of playing was completely unheard of back in 2009 (except maybe with Sikth or even Meshuggah) but even then AAL was very different.
Javier: He’s actually born in Krypton, like Superman. He took lessons from Superman’s father which was the fastest and strongest shredder in all of Krypton. When Krypton was destroyed he vowed to one day become the gnarliest shredder on the tiny planet of Earth. On his quest he discovered Meshuggah, Dream Theater, and Yngwie Malmsteen. He absorbed their super powers and then became THE ABASINATOR!!!!!!
MBI: A lot of bands today are free streaming their albums in full. Is this the new way to go? Do you think it affects record sales or is the reach that you get of more significance to the band?
Javier: I’m sure it does affect the record sales, but I feel it’s better to stream it and supply proper links where one can purchase the album rather than some random kid posting it without any connection or links to the band’s website, web store, or record label. People will always find a way to download the album if they really want to. People will also find a way to support you if they really believe in you and appreciate your work.
For more on Animal As Leaders CLICK HERE
LOUDEZT shout out to Anway Pramanik
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