Watch: Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi Easily Spots First-Time Bassist on Contest Show No Cover


In case you haven’t heard or seen it yet, No Cover is a contest show where young bands get onstage and play a song for a panel of veteran rockers, namely Halestorm leader Lzzy Hale, Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs, Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi, and Alice fuckin’ Cooper. The panel does it American Idol style, judging these bands’ performances from desks made of amps in LA’s The Troubadour. Now, on the show’s third episode, Tosin’s sharp technical eye comes in hand, as he catches a band with a bassist who is playing onstage for the very first time.

The bass player in question is part of Slay Squad, a deathcore/nu-core crew from California. The band put on a solid show, mixing low-end grind with guttural vocals and some solid hip-hop influences that don’t overwhelm the metal. That said, when they finish up their performance, Abasi calls out their balaclava-wearing bassist.

“I feel like you haven’t been playing bass that long,” says Tosin.

“BUSTED!” says the lead vocalist with a laugh. “First show! This is his first show! You know how hard it is to find band members, and it was like, hey, buy a bass! Just do it! And he’s here.”

“You guys are performing so confidently, and you’re, like, making sure you hit the right fret,” adds Tosin. “So there was a contrast between how energetic they were and how much you had to concentrate. But I feel bad even saying anything, considering how new you are to the instrument.”

For the record, this doesn’t feel mean — Abasi isn’t condemning the dude — but it proves why having him on the show is important. The rest of these musicians may pick up on energy, and stage presence, and attitude, but Tosin’s got an eagle eye for good (or bad) playing.

And for the record: cheers to you, masked bassist! It takes stones to play your first gig in front of a crowd of established rock stars.

Watch the episode below:

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