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Metal and classical an Animals attraction

While many metal bands use guttural vocals and the pentagram to define themselves, Animals as Leaders turns to guitarist Tosin Abasi and his classical- and jazz-influenced strumming to shape its sound.

The band, whose 2009 self-

titled album was essentially an Abasi solo project, has added drummer Navene Koperweis and guitarist Javier Reyes to its lineup as it prepares its second album.

"The things that might make our band unique are the elements of music that we use that have nothing to do with metal, i.e. jazz, harmony and classical, electronica," Abasi said. "That kind of makes us a unique metal band, but I think through it all is this common thread -- sort of the metal approach to making music."

Abasi also discussed his creative process and the effect that being solely instrumental has had on the band's music. The group will take the stage at The Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale tomorrow.

Is conveying emotions more or less difficult without lyrics?

I think we've been successful in actually conveying emotion even without words. I think it highlights the universal quality of melody and rhythm, that it can speak to people emotionally even without communicating explicitly through language. So I think we've actually succeeded in writing emotional music. I've talked to people who have been influenced by it on an emotional level, which is exactly what I want to do.

How might being an instrumental band be easier?

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Specifically, because you don't really need to interpret any lyrics to receive the emotional impact. I think using the guitar as a melodic vehicle just for conveying emotional ideas is . . . I think I do that better than I would if I were trying to compose lyrically and sing. Within those notes are the expression of the emotional ideas I'm trying to get out. It allows me to say things that I might not even have the words for, if that makes sense.

Do you have the same inspirations for songs as a lyricist?

I don't know if there's specific things that bring songs out of me. It's more the whole abstract of creativity. For me, it's either I'm in the spot to create or not. Whatever that specific inspiration is doesn't seem to be as important as the actual experience of being inspired. . . . So I don't necessarily use a tragic event to compose a sad song. I simply am inspired to create just as sort of a universal well of inspiration that is sometimes there and sometimes isn't.


WHO Animals as Leaders

WHEN | WHERE 6 p.m. tomorrow, The Crazy Donkey, 1058 Rte. 110, Farmingdale

INFO $13 advance, $15 day of; 631-753-1975, clubloaded.com

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