In a new Interview with The Metal Tris, Animals as Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi was asked about the fan favorite song “CAFO”.
The musician replied:
“That is, like, the easiest song to play. Muscle memory’s funny like that… That song was just one of many songs. I didn’t think it was particularly [special].
“That song was older than the first Animals as Leaders album. I was in a band called Reflux, and that was one of the last songs we wrote. This is, like, 2004. I just repurposed it as an instrumental tune and we added some bits.
“I was interested in making very aggressive but very progressive music – some electronic bits and a lot of harmony and rhythmic ideas, and then the shred and heavy parts. That was the formula for the first album in general.”
Prog community on UltimateGuitar responded with the comments:
“The easiest song to play” Before reading that, I had a guitar. Now, I have oddly shaped firewood.
no_kings [pro] said:
I hope I’m good enough one day to suggest that the sweep picking bit in the intro is ‘like, the easiest thing to play.’ Cause I couldn’t play that right now. Admittedly, I never really focused on shred until very recently, but still – I know what sort of skill that takes to play well.
He’s not wrong tbh, I’d rather learn CAFO than anything from TMOM because the latter is almost entirely done through fingerstyle playing. Even Joy of Motion is a bit ‘oo-er’ in that department. Personally, the easiest AAL song is Do Not Go Gently from Weightless. The hardest parts of that song are the pre-solo arpeggios and the main solo itself, both of which have really awkward fingering patterns. Everything else is surprisingly straight-forward.
On the rise of the djent movement, Abasi commented:
“At the time, I think the intersection of online communities, processing speed and high-speed connections being more prevalent, so now you can download software and have a computer strong enough to run drum sampling software or recording software, and this stuff becoming cheap enough to have a lot of people owning it, it created studios inside of everyone’s apartment or bedroom.
“Some of the metalheads who were into metal started being to create their perfect idea of metal, and I think the whole djent movement – Fellsilent and Tesseract and Chimp Spanner and Misha Mansoor – they were just guys who were, like, recording engineer/musicians who were metalheads sharing their own demos.
“It was, like, the emergence of this whole wave of intelligent metal. I worked with Misha on the first album, so we’re kind of part of that first wave.”