As the sole contributor to Guitar Moderne’s content, posts naturally reflect my musical tastes. You may have noticed these tastes do not normally run toward heavier or highly technical styles like Metal or Prog. Still, I have been peripherally aware of Animals As Leaders for some time. It took Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown with the band to make me realize they were prime Guitar Moderne candidates. Eight- and sometimes nine-string guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes, along with drummer Matt Garstka are performing music that stems from Metal and Prog, but also embraces Jazz, Fusion, Math Rock, Classical, and Ambient as influences. Their genre combining alone would make them modern, but Abasi’s new signature Ibanez guitar also appears like something sent back from the future, combined with Reyes embrace of amp modeling for live work makes them a band that is pushing the art of guitar forward. Anyone interested in where the instrument might go, need to know about these pioneers. I hope to have an interview with Abasi posted in the New Year.
I first spotted Hedvig Mollestad on YouTube in 2011, playing grooving rhythm guitar and singing in Jarle Bernhoft’s funk band. With her platinum hair and limited edition white 335 she was hard to miss. At first I didn’t make the connection when her 2013 trio record, All of Them Witches, came across my desk—the mix of metal, jazz, and Scandinavian ambience was a far cry from Bernhoft’s blue-eyed soul, but in videos of the band that hair and guitar was unmistakable. Two releases later, on Black Stabat Mater [Rune Grammofon], Mollestad’s trio music has coalesced into a harder-edged sound that still leaves room for atmospherics. I have been trying to get an interview since that first record and am happy to announce it is here.
Thanks to Adrian Belew for introducing me to the French-based band LizZard. Check out how the drummer is killing it while staying locked into the loop.
Like Belew, the singer seems to effortlessly sing complex counter rhythms to the odd time grooves he is playing.