Much hype has been built around the ever expanding sub-genres of groove-core, and mathcore-esque progressive metal. Although many bands lay claim to this sound or similar sounds, one name stands above the rest. Periphery, a band that has grown from the solo endeavors of Misha “Bulb” Mansoor, is a Maryland-based progressive metal band that has been turning lots of heads and will continue to do so. We recently had a Q&A session with guitarist Jake Bowen, who took the time to share a little of what Periphery is all about.
Periphery has been recognized as a revolutionary band in terms of production and musical creativity. What are some of the advantages of being a DIY band?
Full creative control. We’re able to shape the band’s sound and progress because we don’t have to go through as many channels.
How integral has social media been in the development of Periphery?
It’s one of the most important aspects of our business. We have a very close connection with our fans through the use of social networking on the Internet and it also enables us to release music and band news immediately.
How can current and future bands take full advantage of the technology we have today and make it play in their favor?
You just have to put the necessary time into learning the hardware and software to achieve the best results, as with anything creative the more you work with it the better you’ll get, practice definitely makes perfect. Same goes with promoting your music through the internet, you’ll quickly learn what grabs peoples attention and what doesn’t.
How would you describe the style of metal that Periphery produces? What is “djent?”
We like to think of ourselves as progressive metal. The term “djent” is simply an onomatopoeia for a palm-muted guitar chord. It is not a genre of music, I repeat, it is not a genre of music.
What is the underlying theme of the self-titled album?
As far as I know there really isn’t one. I can say, however, that when we were putting the music together for the album, we realized that we could go for quantity and quality because we had so much music written. As far as themes for the individual tracks, they cover life, death, love, hate, science and the supernatural, as well as abstract and psychological philosophies.
What is the typical writing process like for you guys?
Usually it starts with a guitar riff or a drum beat and then the music is written around that initial idea. Everything is recorded at Misha’s apartment in Washington DC, except for the vocals, which are recorded by Spencer at Matt Murphy’s studio in San Diego, CA.
What are the advantages of having 3 guitarists in a band?
We use a lot of layering in the recordings so we’re able to capture those layers with 3 guitar players. We all switch off leads, rhythms, and cleans live.
Your music video for “Icarus Lives!” came out not too long ago. What sort of feedback have you guys received about it?
Mostly positive, but the thing people complained about the most was the fact that we were blurry the whole time, but that was the intended effect.
What are the tools needed for young & up-and-coming bands to succeed in a heavily-saturated metal scene?
The ability to figure out ways to set yourself apart from your peers. But don’t just listen to your heart, be open to suggestions.
What is coming up in the next few months for Periphery?
We have an EP coming out in March that has some new music, as well as remixes and hard-to-find tracks. We’re also touring the UK and Europe in January/February, so come check us out!