Javier Reyes is the solid second half of Animals As Leaders' guitar sound. While Tosin Abasi's fingers bend time: blurring, pulling new patterns into human consciousness, Javier hangs with him, barely moving — yet somehow building chordal framework, harmonic context, counterpoint, supporting their incredible speed.
Steve Blucher (DiMarzio) suggested to me: "Next time you see them, notice Javier's playing...it is testament to Tosin's character he chose someone capable of challenging him. That is a sign of a true artist."
So, while building Tosin's Blur 8-string extended range guitar I began to think of a companion instrument for Javier. Identical design, but voiced differently, allowing both guitars to share frequency space without competing.
"I played Viceroy a bit last night. It's an absolutely amazing guitar! The acoustic tone of it is SUPER pleasing. It has such an open and balanced sonic quality to it. One of the best sounding guitars i've played. It's the perfect guitar for Javier's personal playing/composition. Beyond that, it's visually stunning. Something about the boldness of your design juxtaposed with the totally natural wood body and neck really drives home your aesthetic for me."
"Viceory also has made me really appreciate Blur even more. That thing is in a league of its own as far as the neck and the unique tone it produces."
Javier and I had a good conversation at NAMM while he checked out Blur. We discussed his preferences and I began to get a sense of what he needed. During post-NAMM decompression in Tucson, this vision appeared. Inspired by natural forms in the Sonoran desert — Viceroy 8-string guitar emerged.
"Viceroy - One of the most unique guitars I have ever played let alone owned. Its clarity and natural resonance truly complement the beauty and elegance of its design. A true work of art. Rick Toone, Thank you for this honor."
American red oak neck with titanium neck core. Patented IPNP-DOWN profile. Hickory fretboard. Spalted maple and swamp ash body. Walnut accents throughout. Anasazi spiral petroglyph carving.
Distressed finish lavender TOONE & TOWNSEND precision tuning system, including the intonation adjustable nut to bring harmonic clarity to Javier's chord work. DiMarzio D-Activator-8 bridge pickup with Steve's new PAF-8 in the neck. DR Sunbeams vibrating on 27" scale length.