Man, I bet Portnoy’s pissed he’s not playing on this.
A lot has happened since I Heart Guitar last interviewed Misha Mansoor. In the space of a mere year, the djent movement – of which Mansoor’s band Periphery is a central focus – has gone from metal curiosity to fully-fledged phenomenon. The Icarus Lives! Ep has further solidified Mansoor’s reputation as one of the most technically gifted metal guitarists of his generation, yet he maintains an open dialog with fans, continuing to post video and audio of random jammage – new gear, Nyan cat, the list goes on. Periphery are heading to Australia in July for the League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour with Tesseract, and I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha to talk about what’s happened in the past year.
Hi! We’ve talked before, haven’t we?
Yes we have, about a year ago.
Yeah! I Heart Guitar! I remember that.
Yeah, cool! So the Melbourne stop of your Aussie tour has recently been upgraded to a bigger venue because ticket sales were so good.
Yeah! That was very unexpected. I don’t know how that happened. I don’t know who we paid off to make that happen! But that is more than a pleasant surprise. Australia was one of the most fun tours – it was like a vacation to us. I don’t know what it is, but everyone was so nice and welcoming. And I’m not just saying that. Australians are like some of the nicest people we’ve ever met. It was a treat, and having some of the love come right back to us was really awesome. So seeing that the shows sold out so fast was like icing on the cake for us.
Everyone seems to know who you are and about the whole djent movement now. How are you coping with that? Does it mess with your head? Do you try not to think about it?
I try not to think about it. This whole djent movement thing is very funny and silly to me because it’s appearing out of nowhere, almost parallel to what we’re doing. I think people don’t realise that we’ve just been doing what we’ve been doing. It wasn’t cool to be playing this style of music for the majority of the time that we’ve been writing and playing the music that we do, and we write and play the music that we do because it’s the only thing that we know how to do. It’s just going for it. It’s not like we sat down one day and said “I’m gonna start a new fad or something.” It wasn’t like that at all, it was just doing what we were doing. So it’s just interesting to see how that all happens. It is very surreal. And we focus on it a bit, like we named our tour the League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen. We don’t take it all too seriously, and it’s not all that relevant to me in day to day life or anything. It just is what it is, y’know?
After the pervasive darkness of Operation: Mindcrime II and American Soldier, it’s understandable that Queensryche would feel like exploring a lighter vibe on Dedicated To Chaos. Whereas the previous two releases were particularly guitar-driven, Chaos is built around riffs turned in by drummer Scott Rockenfield and bass player Eddie Jackson, and adorned with layers of sound that only seem to reveal themselves on repeated listens.
“Get Started” is a suitably uptempo opener which recalls some of the vibe of 2000’s Q2K, with bright overdriven rhythm guitars and up-front drums, and the quiet verse/loud chorus dynamic is not entirely removed from the structures of Empire. But before long the album moves more into groove-heavy territory. At times sounding like a heavier version of singer Geoff Tate’s 2002 solo album
Epiphone ‘70s Inspired Les Paul Custom Blackback – click the pic for more info
Here are my latest news stories on Gibson.com:
Also, this week Gibson is counting down the top 50 American rock bands, and you’ll find some of my contributions scattered throughout the week. Check it out! There are some very cool and sometimes overlooked choices.
Hey! Stumbled across Eddie Van Halen’s Soldano settings online (a Soldano SLO100 played a big role in the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge album in 1991) and decided to see how it would sound if I used those settings on the Soldano SLO100 model in IK Multimedia’s excellent AmpliTube 3 (the amp model is available as an extra through the AmpliTube Custom Shop). I also added some pitch shifting and delay like Eddie used on the album. If you have AmpliTube 3 you can download the patch here. Hope you dig it!
A hoax video has been doing the rounds claiming to be a track from the new Dream Theater album, A Dramatic Turn Of Events, only …it’s not. The first part is Venice Burning from James LaBrie’s excellent Mullmuzzler 2 solo album (featuring Mike Mangini on drums and Bryan Beller on bass, by the way). The later bit is from one of Jordan Rudess’s solo albums.
Nice try, fakey fakerton. You can see the fake fake fake video here but I won’t do it the honour of embedding it.
You can buy James LaBrie’s Mullmuzzler 2 from Amazon.com.
Check out this video of Periphery’s Misha Mansoor taking you through his live rig.
Keep an eye out on I Heart Guitar this weekend for my new interview with Misha!
Here’s something neat from SKB (makers of ultra-fine road cases): the FootNote Amplified Pedalboard. It will securely store – and supply power to – up to eight pedals, it includes a cable tester and it looks cool. But more than that, this AC-powered stomp station also includes a built-in 5 watt combo amplifier with treble, bass and volume controls; a 6 inch, 4 ohm Eminence speaker; Aux/mp3 input; line-out; headphone out; external speaker out (so you can power an external speaker box down to 4 ohms); and even a six D-cell battery compartment.
More info here.
YES! It’s the first studio recording from the new Anthrax album Worship Music – and it sounds like classic Anthrax (it also kinda sounds like classic Metallica to be honest – I totally want to sing the verses of “Master Of Puppets” and “Blackened” over the top of this song. Still kicks ass though).
I just stumbled upon this great page by Analog Man on the history of the Ibanez Tube Screamer, one of the greatest freaking pedals ever. Analog Man looks at the various different models and internal changes over the years, and includes a great family shot of a whole bunch of different Tube Screamers.
In our eternal quest for tone, we here at IHG Labs have created a slew of unique one-off effect pedals. These units have been kept under lock and key under great secrecy until now – secrecy so deep that we were careful to not even label the controls. Or differentiate one pedal from another. This might have been a mistake.
Now IHG Labs throws its doors open to you, the reader/tone-seeker, with the introduction of the IHG Nostalgia. As we all know, music is tangibly better when it reminds you of a treasured memory. Using the latest in digital-replicating analog technology, the Nostalgia emits a strong RF field which reads the biorhythms of the audience and tailors the pedal’s response in order to invoke different levels of nostalgia in the audience, thus making your music demonstrably better.
The First Beer circuit reaches into the listener’s memory and stealthly makes a wax paper copy of the brainwave profile experienced when the listener drank their first beer. The First Beer knob superimposes this brainwave profile onto the input signal and amplifies it as much or as little as desired – from a vague reminiscence to uncomfortable flashback.
The First Grope matrix secretes sex pheromones into the air which remind the listener of the first time a member of their preferred gender got their hands on the listener’s goodies.
The Early Stuff knob triggers an endorphin rush which persuades the listener that the music you’re making is every bit as good as your first couple of albums. If you hold down the bypass switch, the First Beer and First Grope circuits are run in series into the Early Stuff circuit and fed back into itself through a feedback loop to evoke extremely complex emotional chains.
The IHG Nostalgia will be available in September 2011.