Check it out! Periphery’s Misha Mansoor has teamed up with Bare Knuckle Pickups to create the Juggernaut set of neck and bridge humbuckers. Available for 6 and 7-string, the set comprises a combined Alnico/Ceramic bridge pickup and an Alnico V neck pickup, and are designed to cover all of the extremely wide range of tones that make up Misha’s tonal pallette. You can listen to sound clips and order them direct from BKP’s website here, but first here’s a little more information. Continue reading
It’s been a year since we checked in with Periphery and in that time the mighty djent machine has grown and evolved at a rapid, startling rate. In the wake of a successful tour with Dream Theater, Periphery’s place as the centrepiece of the djent movement is now firmly established. It’s a genre characterised by heavy syncopated riffs, punchy mid-heavy guitar tones, the use of extended range instruments, clean-to-scream vocals and some of the most outrageous lead guitar work ever committed to hard disc, and Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal builds on the strengths of the band’s self-titled debut in every way. It’s more melodic, yet more extreme. There are more shredding solos but more moments of guitaristic introspection too. More colourful and dramatic. I Heart Guitar caught up with Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen to talk shop.
Last time we talked, you said you were planning two albums, one of which would be a concept album. Is this still the plan?
Misha: I think we had a lot of expectations, and I guess our gut reaction to that is to just say ‘fuck it’ and do whatever we want. What we’d originally hoped would happen was that we’d get a tonne of time off to just write. We’re at a point where there are so many ideas. All was going to plan but then we got a Dream Theater tour offer smack in the middle of that session. It kinda came to a decision. And no matter what, you never turn down a Dream Theater tour! Continue reading
Periphery have just announced details of their new album, Periphery II, which features lots of face-melting playing, as well as guest spots from Guthrie Govan, Wes Hauch and John Petrucci. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the new album and interviewing Misha and Jake about it (to be published closer to the release date) and it’s utterly killer. All the shreddage and great tones we all love but even more melody, more colour, more variety, more depth, more epic modes and scales… just more!
Here’s the press release:
PERIPHERY Announce New Album & Official Track Listing
Combing the complex atypical rhythms and technical precision of math rock with the sensational brutality of progressive metal, PERIPHERY have redefined the boundaries of progressive music.
Today’s guitar gallery is Mayones. They make plenty of great production line guitars – check out the Regius Elements – PERFECT with fretted or fretless neck, Seymour Duncan pickups and GraphTech Ghost System (Piezo preamp + MIDI Hexpander), or this Legend T - but their customs are a step beyond even that, as you’ll see from their gallery here. Check out the Setius PRO 7 Slime pictured above. It has an ash top, mahogany body with open sound chambers (look close and you’ll spot ‘em), cbony freeboard, custom green acrylic Slime inscription and position markers, DiMarzio Evolution (bridge) + PAF 7 (neck) pickups with Green covers, genuine Floyd Rose 7 bridge and Schaller tuners.
Or how about this Setius Dime Bomb XTrem 36? 36 frets, DiMarzio Evolution 7 humbucker (angled for 6 strings)… very cool.
Periphery’s Misha Mansoor just posted this thread on sevenstring.org about his latest Jackson Custom Shop axe. For the full story and plenty of pics, hit the link above. But here’s a snippet.
So the wonderful guys at Jackson actually made a twin of my first custom shop guitar just in case something went wrong.
Since that guitar came out great, they asked if there was anything i wanted tweaked, since they could just do it to the twin and send that to me.
The body on the first one was really thick, which led to the guitar sounding huge, but the heel was enormous on it, so i asked if they could make this body thinner and cut the heel down as well for better access, which they did. I also told them to do a blue sparkle finish, but apart from that to keep everything else EXACTLY the same.”
More pics below!
Under the name of ThoSe FucKing HoRses, members of Periphery have recorded their own version of the Slipknot classic “The Heretic Anthem.” Taylor Larson is on guitars, Will Donnelly is on bass, Misha Mansoor and Matt Helpern are on drums and Spencer Sotelo is on vocals. Check it out!
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?
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!
Periphery are heading back to Australia (home of I Heart Guitar and some of the most deadly creatures you ever heard of) with their ‘The League Of Extraordinary Djentlement’ tour with Tesseract, courtesy of Soundwave Touring. More info on the tour here. Check out my interview with Periphery’s Misha Mansoor from May 2010 here.
The League of Extraordinary Djentlemen tour
In just a few short years, PERIPHERY have blazed a trail of originality that has sent a shockwave throughout the metal world.
Exploring the complex uncharacteristic rhythms and technical precision of math rock with the brutality of progressive metal PERIPHERY have defied the boundaries of conventionality. Breathing life into the metal scene, Absolutepunk.net proclaims “From beginning to end, Periphery’s self titled debut is a wonder to behold, and will inspire modern metal for the next decade” paving the way for PERIPHERY‘s meteoric rise to the upper echelons of the metal world.
This July sees PERIPHERY heading to Australia as part of the ‘The League of Extraordinary Djentlemen’ tour and joining the bill are fellow metallers TESSERACT. Embracing their experimental and prog sensibility garnered with a reputation for delivering jaw-dropping live performances has seen them catapulted into the forefront of the metal movement. Their debut album ‘One’, whilst intense, deep and complicated is incredibly transcendent and melodic and “It’s hard to find fault with an album this complete…powerful stuff!” – Rock Sound
PERIPHERY and TESSERACT will be hitting Australia for three extraordinary intimate performances this July.
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 17 JUNE, 9AM
FRIDAY 29 JULY
BRISBANE, THE ZOO – 18+
www.oztix.com.au & Outlets
SATURDAY 30 JULY
SYDNEY, THE ANNANDALE – 18+
SUNDAY 31 JULY
MELBOURNE, NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB – 18+
www.northcotesocialclub.com, 9486 1677
& Corner Box Office (57 Swan St, Richmond)
Periphery seem to be taking of the world right now. If not the entire world, than at least the world that loves intense, shredworthy, crushingly heavy guitar! (You can check out my interview with Periphery’s Misha Mansoor here). They’re about to release a digital EP in Australia and New Zealand via Roadrunner.
PERIPHERY Announce details of Icarus Lives EP
There is no doubt that PERIPHERY are innovators and they continue to raise the bar of originality upon the release of their much anticipated new Icarus Lives digital EP, which is now officially set for an April 15th release via iTunes in Australia and New Zealand. This offering features unreleased tracks, remixes and video clips. For the official track listing and explanation as to how this EP came together read on.
Some of this music has been floating around in various forms for years, with Periphery mastermind Misha Mansoor proving himself quite the rightly popular lad on various web forums and Soundclick, and not being afraid to put his demos out there for everyone to check out. It’s taken a loooong time for Periphery’s debut album, but here it is, so crank it!
The first thing that jumps out about this molten slab of prog metal is how freaking aggressive it is – but in that calculated, ‘I could kill you eight different ways before you hit the ground, without even leaving a mark’ way. It’s brutal but it’s precise, heavy yet intricate, and the shredding is intense. There are many moments where you could almost consider the vocals another texture, with Misha’s rhythm guitar as the lead instrument.
Arrangements violently crash between Meshuggah-like rhythmic chugging and the kind of hyper-speed single-note lines John Petrucci is so good at, while song sections whip by with a kind of Between The Buried & Me energy. Vocalist Spencer Sotelo does a great job technically, with a thick roar and a strong clean vocal style, but although he nails his parts, I’m sure he’s about an album or so away from perfecting a more distinctive style.
Check out Jetpacks Was Yes, which in some parts almost reminds me of something from Bowie’s Heathen album if Bowie was a prog metal guy; Buttersnips, which recalls the multitracked speedy headfuck of Devin Townsend’s Ants, Icarus Lives, which stomps along with a killer groove, Ow My Feelings, which features some killer vocals; Zyglrox (more of the Ants vibe to these ears, interspersed with Zakk-like pinch harmonics from hell); and Racecar, a somewhat Dream Theaterish 15-minute epic which carries many moods and some tasty blues soloing. Nice Petrucci-esque clean tones too.
The album is pretty long and I’m sure Misha just wanted to get as much stuff out there as possible, but maybe it could have done with a little trimming. It’s like, relax dude, you and your music are gonna be around a long time so it’s ok to hold some things back for release #2!
CLICK HERE for my interview with Misha Mansoor.
Periphery mastermind Misha Mansoor is probably like a lot of the dudes reading this article. He’s been working away for years in his home studio, uploading tracks online for everyone to hear, posting on geeky guitar forums, working on his chops. All that hard work and woodshedding is now paying off big-time, with his band Periphery releasing their long-awaited and extremely ass-kicking self-titled debut album. I caught up with Misha to talk Periphery, recording and, of course, guitars.
I understand the band is basically your baby?
Yes, that might be a very good way of putting it! I started the band in 2005 and I’ve been struggling to find the right members for it, and I think we’ve finally got it!
So how long have you been working on this CD?
Pretty much since then! Four or five years if you really take a look at it. Some of the songs that are on the album now were on the original version of the album that we had planned back in 2005, 2006. So it’s been a while, right?
So you always had an idea of where you wanted the band to go?
From the beginning I had sort of a sound I wanted to go for. One thing that was very important to me, and probably one of the big reasons we’ve been through so many vocalists, is I wanted to have really awesome singing vocals or really awesome screaming vocals, because I’m a fan of both. And I feel like with a lot of bands you’re picking either one or the other, or there’s definitely one that’s a lot better than the other, and I wanted to see if maybe, at least to my standards, we could get both of those being very good.
It’s tricky because Devin Townsend’s already taken!
Oh my god, if only we could clone him, right? That’s the perfect example, right there, of that mix I want: a guy that just rules. I’m not going to pretend we’ve got the next Devin Townsend in the band but we’ve got a guy I’m very happy with. At the same time, just developing over the last four or five years the album has become very different to what I originally expected but I think for the better, y’know? I think my tastes have changed, and hopefully that has played a role in how the band has changed. I really wanted it to cover as much ground as possible.
What gear did you use?
I used the only thing I could really get away with: I live in an apartment and I have to record silently for the most part. Fractal Audio Axe-FX Ultra saved the day. That piece of gear is the single most revolutionary thing ever. If there’s one single piece of gear that I’d take to a deserted island, other than a guitar because it’d be useless without a guitar, it’s that! Absolutely just saved our album, made sure that the guitar tones on there would fit the standard that I wanted, without going to a crazy studio, without having to mic amps. And the Axe-FX on the album has no processing on it whatsoever. You’re hearing exactly what’s coming out of it. There are a few parts that we quad-tracked for effect, but for the most part it’s just one track per side. It’s amazing how transparent the unit is.
Other than that, for the 7-string stuff I used my Ernie Ball Music Man JP7 with the stock pickups. It’s the pre-D Sonic version, so it has that custom Petrucci pickup that you can’t get any more, and I absolutely love it. That guitar is magical on recording. For all the 6-string stuff I use a small company called Blackmachine, made by a guy in the UK called Doug Campbell. It’s an absolutely amazing custom instrument called the B2. It’s my all-time favourite guitar ever, and it sounds ridiculous. It sounds so ridiculous in fact that I re-cut all the 7-string parts I could get away with on the 6-string, because of the clarity and how amazing it was at cutting through. That guitar is just phenomenal. All the solos on the album are that guitar as well.
I’m a big fan of John Petrucci’s DiMarzio Crunch Lab and LiquiFire pickups. Have you tried those?
I haven’t, but I will be trying them very soon because we’ve just signed a deal with Ibanez and those are the pickups that will be in my 6-string. I’m getting a stock Ibanez RGA420Z in Devil’s Shadow finish, and the only modification I asked for was to get those pickups in there. You can’t really go wrong with John. He’s a huge influence of mine, obviously known for being a tone guru, so I have to at least try everything he comes out with. That being said, I wasn’t absolutely crazy about the D Sonics for my purposes, but from what I’ve heard of the Crunch Lab I think that’s more in line with what the tones that I want. And his neck pickups have always been ridiculous. I’ve always liked that Air Norton kind of sound where you can really hear the pick attack coming through. I really like those pickups. On the album, the pickups in the Blackmachine are a Bareknuckle Cold Sweat for the bridge and a Painkiller for the neck, and the Cold Sweat in especially is a very medium output pickup but it has this clarity that’s just insane.
So are you going to be strictly an Ibanez guy now?
Yeah, at least in a live context I will be, because as much as these guitars excel in the studio I really wanted some guitars that could be built for me that would be great live guitars, and I really think Ibanez might be the perfect company for the job. They’re building me an RGA7 custom as we speak and the goal of the two guitars I’m getting from them is to stay in tune as well as possible! That’s my biggest problem: I pick really hard live, especially when I get into it, and nothing withstands it! So I’m getting the Edge Zero bridge on one guitar, and the other one is the more Lo Pro style, and they’re blocking them. The whole guitar is just going to be based around being a fixed bridge with fine tuners and a locking nut, and locking tuners for quick string changes, so hopefully I shouldn’t have to tune the guitars once during the set.
So last question: Have you started writing for a new CD yet, or is that way too far off?
That’s a very good question. We have this Soundclick site where I’ve been posting my demos for the last five years. There’s a lot of material on there that’s planned for use in the future. I’ve got the next three albums planned out to some degree. Obviously they’ll change especially as I keep writing new stuff, and I’m going to one day integrate really new stuff with some older ideas I want to flesh out, but there’s definitely no shortage of material on our end. Ideally if things work out and we have enough time I’d really like to get an EP done before the end of the year. I’d be really happy if I can get that done. Hopefully Sumerian and Roadrunner will be down with that! I just want to get more music out to the public. So there’s plenty of music on the way if the label will release it! We could put out a lot of material if we had the time!
You can catch Periphery live with the Dillinger Escape Plan and Sons Of Disaster. Dates are:
May 16 – The Capitol – Perth, Australia
May 18 – Fowlers – Adelaide, Australia
May 19 – The Palace – Melbourne, Australia
May 21 – The Metro – Sydney, Australia
May 22 – The Metro – Sydney, Australia
May 23 – The Hi-Fi – Brisbane, Australia