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.