Periphery (band)

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Periphery
Origin Washington, D.C., United States
Genres Progressive metal, djent
Years active 2005–present
Labels Sumerian, Distort, Roadrunner, Century Media
Website http://www.periphery.net/
Members
  • Misha Mansoor
  • Jake Bowen
  • Matt Halpern
  • Spencer Sotelo
  • Mark Holcomb
Past members
  • Anthony Marshall
  • Adam "Nolly" Getgood
  • Jason Berlin
  • Jake Veredika
  • Travis Orbin
  • Alex Bois
  • Tom Murphy
  • Casey Sabol
  • Chris Barretto

Periphery is a Grammy-nominated American metal band based in Washington, D.C., formed in 2005. Their musical style has been described as progressive metal[1][2] as well as djent.[2] They are considered one of the pioneers of the djent movement within progressive metal.[3] The band consists of vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb, and Jake Bowen, and drummer Matt Halpern. Periphery released their self-titled debut in 2010, followed by Periphery II: This Time It's Personal on July 3, 2012. On December 3, 2013 they released a teaser for their EP Clear, which was subsequently released on January 28, 2014. Periphery's third and fourth studio albums, entitled Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega respectively, were released on January 15, 2015. Most recently, Periphery released their third self-titled album, Periphery III: Select Difficulty on July 22, 2016. All Periphery material is self-produced by the members of the band.

History[edit]

Formation and early lineup changes (2005–2009)[edit]

Periphery was formed in 2005 by guitarist Misha Mansoor, who slowly gained a reputation on the Internet via a regularly-updated Soundclick account, the Meshuggah and John Petrucci forums, and the sevenstring.org message boards. Before and during Periphery's tenure in the metal scene, Mansoor developed a reputation for doing his own audio production, the majority of which was performed with a home computer and a Pod XT. Mansoor has continued to update his personal project, Bulb, often transferring songs between the two projects. Mansoor also continues to be involved in a number of other musical projects, including Haunted Shores,[4] Four Seconds Ago,[5] and Of Man Not of Machine.[6]

Periphery went through a number of lineup changes during its early history. Originally, Misha played drums and guitar in the band, but began scoping out local talent and found local drummer Jason Berlin, and then switched permanently to guitar. Berlin was planning to pursue interests in Los Angeles and was replaced upon departure by Travis Orbin. Between 2005 and 2009, Periphery worked with vocalists Jake Veredika,[7] Casey Sabol[8] and Chris Barretto,[9] gradually moving from a Meshuggah-influenced sound to a more ambient, melodic sound, with a focus on innovative production.

Periphery has toured extensively since 2008, supporting artists including DevilDriver, Emmure, Veil of Maya,[10] Animals as Leaders,[11] God Forbid,[12] Darkest Hour,[13] The Dillinger Escape Plan,[14] Fear Factory,[15] Between the Buried and Me, and Fair to Midland.[16]

Spencer Sotelo, Matt Halpern and self-titled debut (2010–2011)[edit]

In 2009, Travis Orbin left the band to pursue a career as a session drummer. He was then replaced by Matt Halpern, who was scouted by Mansoor whilst playing for a local pop band. In January 2010, Sumerian and Periphery announced on April 20, as the release date of the band's self-titled debut album, to be distributed by Sumerian Records in the United States; Distort Records in Canada; Roadrunner Records in Australia; Century Media Records in Germany, and the rest of the world. On January 20, 2010, amid speculation that they had changed vocalists again, Periphery uploaded an album sampler with vocals by Spencer Sotelo, a San Diego native who was later announced to be Periphery's new vocalist,[17] replacing Chris Barretto, who had been fired from the band due to personal differences (Mansoor referring to him as a "diva"), resulting in a minor feud that would not be resolved until late 2013 (see below).

Periphery released their self-titled debut album, Periphery, through Sumerian Records on April 20, 2010. It debuted at No. 128 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.[18] To support the album: Periphery played multiple tours around the US and Canada; a short tour of Australia along with The Dillinger Escape Plan,[14] and a headlining tour of the UK and mainland Europe in February 2011. The band's first headlining tour, "League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour", had support from TesseracT and Monuments in the UK, while their mainland European shows included Monuments and The Safety Fire.[19] The band ran into multiple health issues during the tour; Spencer Sotelo had a case of bronchitis and was regularly unable to perform the entire set. Jake Bowen fell and broke a finger in the first week of the UK tour and was unable to play for the rest of their headlining tour. He recovered and joined the band during the last couple of shows on their tour with Fair to Midland and Scale the Summit right before they dropped out of the tour.[16]

On March 22, Periphery released a cover of Metallica's song "One", which was recorded for the Homefront video game soundtrack and was released as a free download on the Homefront main website.[20]

Icarus EP and addition of Mark Holcomb (2011)[edit]

On January 19, 2011, the music video for "Jetpacks Was Yes!" was posted on NME.[21] The video features a re-recorded and re-structured version of the song which was released on "The Icarus EP". Periphery's first single, from their "Icarus EP" titled "Frak the Gods", was released on March 24.[22]

On July 6, 2011, Periphery announced via a MySpace blog post that the band had parted ways with guitarist Alex Bois. However, they did not change touring schedules, hiring Mark Holcomb and Adam "Nolly" Getgood to play Alex's parts during live shows until they found a permanent replacement.[23]

On 7 September 2011, they were announced as the opening act for Dream Theater on the European leg of A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour starting in January 2012.[24] In October 2011, the band announced that Mark Holcomb was now the band's full-time guitarist,[25] and in November bassist Tom Murphy decided to leave the band. This led to Nolly being assigned the role of bassist for their European tour with Dream Theater.[26] The band also hired Mark's brother Jeff as a stand-in bass player for their 2012 US tour with Protest The Hero, Jeff Loomis, The Safety Fire and Today I Caught the Plague.[citation needed]

On February 21, 2012 the band re-released their debut album with a new single on iTunes entitled "Passenger". This was a partially re-recorded version of an old Haunted Shores song.[27]

Periphery II: This Time It's Personal (2012–2013)[edit]

Setup before a 2012 concert

Periphery then entered the studio to work on their next two full-length releases to record reworked "Bulb" demos as well as completely new material written by the full band.[28] The album was to be produced by Misha and Adam "Nolly" Getgood (of British progressive metal band Red Seas Fire) and engineered and mixed by Taylor Larson (Sky Eats Airplane, Of Legends, Life on Repeat).

In July 2011, Mansoor elaborated on the forthcoming albums in Australian magazine Mixdown. He confirmed that there would be two albums recorded, and that one would be a concept album. Mansoor has had an interest in a concept album for quite some time, stating that "[he] wanted to get this concept album out there. It's been an idea for years and years." Mansoor also revealed that the band would release the albums separately, saying "[they]'ll probably do a staggered release, three to six months apart" and that "[he] really want[s] them to be these separate bodies of work, because they will sound different, and be completely different approaches, too."[29]

Periphery II was made available for streaming on YouTube on June 28, 2012. Hours later, the band announced that Adam "Nolly" Getgood had officially joined the band, his role in the band mostly being a bassist but also contributing to guitar parts in the studio (a role which he had already taken on during the recording of Periphery II), effectively making him the "multi-instrumentalist" of the band. Jeff Holcomb continued to perform with Periphery during the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour until they had to drop out due to a family emergency; this was done so that Nolly could perform his last show with Red Seas Fire at the inaugural UK Tech-Metal Fest.

Since the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour Jeff Holcomb has remained a regular part of the band's crew and still performs as a stand-in bass player when required. As well as this, he makes documentary films about the band's tours and directed the music video for Ragnarok.

Clear (2013–2014)[edit]

In June 2013, Misha announced that he was starting work on a solo album, which would be self-released under a "pay-what-you-want" business model.[30]

Spencer Sotelo hinted in 2 tweets in September 2013 that Periphery were planning to release a new EP, the writing for which was already well under way, to tide their fans over until the release of Juggernaut, the band's much anticipated third full-length album.[31]

In October, it was announced that Misha Mansoor and Jake Bowen were having signature pickups released; the Bare Knuckle Pickups Juggernaut and DiMarzio Titan pickups respectively. It was also announced that Bowen's Ibanez LACS "Titan" would be made as a signature guitar and that Nolly was developing a signature bass with Dingwall. Mark Holcomb has since released a signature delay pedal with ProTone Pedals, called the "Haunted Delay".

In November 2013, former singer Chris Barretto made a surprise appearance during an encore of "Icarus Lives!" at the Gramercy Theater. As well as ending the long-standing feud between Chris and Periphery, it also marked the end of Periphery's "This Tour is Personal" headlining tour.[32]

In December, Periphery announced a new release entitled Clear, set for release on January 28, 2014.[33] Clear is a separate project from Juggernaut and was built around a unique concept: each track apart from the opener "Overture" was assigned to a different member of the band, who acted as the "creative director" for their respective song, and every track shares a theme from "Overture" to link each track in the release together. The band insisted that it should not be considered an EP as at 30 minutes in length it is longer than most EPs, but should not be classified as an album.

Juggernaut (2014–2016)[edit]

"Juggernaut" is a concept which has been under development by the band for several years. Misha had initially written a series of demos early in Periphery's history, which were sections of a planned extended composition with the "Juggernaut" title; this extended composition contained Periphery's breakthrough songs "Icarus Lives" and "Jetpacks was Yes" as some of its sections.[34] The idea of an extended piece was eventually scrapped and developed into a concept which would span an entire album.

During the Periphery II album cycle it was planned that Juggernaut would be released 3–6 months after Periphery II as part of a double album. However, this plan was also dropped due to Periphery's touring commitments, pushing the release to 2015. The band delayed writing and pre-production even more to make time for writing and recording Clear. In early July 2014, Periphery began tracking and recording songs for Juggernaut.[citation needed]

On the Escape From The Studio Tour, lead singer Spencer stated that Juggernaut had been finished and would be released sometime in January 2015 through Sumerian Records. On November 5, 2014, Periphery announced a tour in support of the new record, which was released on January 27, 2015. They revealed that it will in fact be a double album, consisting of Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, and that support acts for the album release tour in early 2015 will be Nothing More, Wovenwar, and Thank You Scientist.[35] Additionally, it was announced that Adam "Nolly" Getgood would be focusing more on his personal production projects and would not be touring with Periphery.[36][37] The band then decided to use Nolly's backing tracks for their live performances. [38][39]

Periphery III: Select Difficulty (2016-present)[edit]

In early 2016, various Periphery members announced on their social media accounts that they are working on a new album. Matt Halpern announced on his Instagram account that drums for the new untitled album will be tracked in February 2016. On April 26, 2016, Periphery announced on their official Facebook page that their new album will be called "Periphery III: Select Difficulty" and that it will be released on July 22 the same year.[40] The first new song, "The Price Is Wrong", was released on May 25th,[41] whereas "Flatline" was made available to stream on YouTube on June 25th.[42] "Marigold", the first official music video from the fourth studio album, was released on July 8th.[43] "Motormouth" and "The Way The News Goes..." were released on YouTube on July 14th and 15th respectively,[44][45] followed by the release of "Prayer Position" on July 18th.[46] Additionally, the band was nominated at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Metal Performance category for their song "The Price Is Wrong".

On August 3rd, 2017, the five year Periphery bassist, Adam "Nolly" Getgood, announced through Facebook his departure from the band, stating his lack of investment in Periphery, and his wanting to spend more time with his wife, as well as on production and GetGood drums.[47][48].[49]

Equipment[edit]

Drum gear[edit]

Matt Halpern plays Mapex drums, Meinl cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Promark Drumsticks. He has a signature snare drum made by Mapex called "The Wraith". He has his own signature Drumsticks made by Promark available to the public.

Guitar gear[edit]

All of the guitar & bass players run Fractal Audio Axe-FX II XL units direct into front of house, as well as into Zilla cabinets onstage via QSC PLD4.3 power amps. They use Line 6 G75 wireless units for their guitars and Sennheiser wireless units for their in ear monitors. Their patch changes are performed automatically via MIDI from the Pro Tools session that contains their backing tracks, with MFC foot controllers available as backup if needed.[50]

According to Misha Mansoor's Facebook page, he has recently received a signature amp from Peavey called the invective.120, which he used on the second iteration of the Select Difficulty North American Tour. He additionally used Peavey cabinets, two 2x12's and two 4x12's per rig (there were two visible rigs onstage in the photos shown) [51]

Misha Mansoor is not devoted to a single guitar company, but he primarily uses Jackson guitars and has numerous signature models with them that were released at the NAMM Shows 2015 and 2017. He also has a signature set of pickups with Bare Knuckle Pickups called the Juggernaut[52] and his own pedal company, Horizon Devices.

Jake Bowen is endorsed by Ibanez Guitars with whom he has a signature guitar the JBM100 (based on the RGA)[53] alongside with the seven-string version JBM27 to be presented at NAMM 2016. He also has a signature pickup set with DiMarzio called the Titan.[54]

Mark Holcomb endorses PRS Guitars, with whom he has a signature model,[55] and uses Seymour Duncan pickups, specifically a prototype set developed with Keith Merrow called the Alpha and Omega. Mark has PRS Custom 24 7, and 8 string guitars modeled after his signature guitar. He also has a signature delay pedal with Pro Tone Pedals called the Haunted Delay.

Tunings[edit]

The band uses an extended range of tunings in 6, 7, and 8-string guitars. Their songs are predominantly in Drop C in 6-string (CGCFAD), Drop Ab in 7-string (AbEbAbDbGbBbEb), and standard in 8-string (F#BEADGBE). Their 8 string songs include "Ji", "Extraneous", "A Black Minute", "The Event", "Four Lights", and "Stranger Things". For the songs "Totala Mad" and "Frak the Gods" they tune the low C on their 6 string guitars down to Bb (BbGCFAD). For "Zyglrox", "Muramasa", "Alpha", "The Bad Thing", "Graveless", "Remain Indoors", "Habitual Line-Stepper", "Lune" and "Prayer Position" they tune the low C down to A (AGCFAD). "Ragnarok" is in a 7-string variation of the "Totla Mad" tuning, the low Ab is tuned down to Gb (GbEbAbDbGbBbEb). "Scarlet" is in Open Cadd9 tuning (CGCEGD). "Racecar" uses a tuning where instead of dropping the lowest string on 7-string, they dropped the 6th string (BbDbAbDbGbBbEb). The song Hell Below from the album Juggernaut: Omega, is played on a 8-String Guitar with the lowest string tuned down to Db (DbBEADGBE).[56][57] [58]

Other projects[edit]

Former vocalist Chris Baretto is the lead vocalist/Saxophonist for a Progressive Metal/Jazz fusion band Ever Forthright. The band currently has one self-titled full-length album. He is also the lead vocalist for Monuments.

On April 7, 2014, it was announced that Sotelo has become the new lead vocalist of post-hardcore band From First To Last.[59] However, as of August 1, 2016, Spencer Sotelo announced on Twitter that he no longer considers himself a member of the From First to Last.[citation needed] Additionally, Sotelo produces "Trent Reznor-inspired" music under the moniker Endur, with a debut album slated for 2017 release. He and Periphery drummer Matt Halpern have also written and recorded music with solo guitar virtuoso Nick Johnston as The Mothership. While these compositions have been in the works for years, no official Mothership release (nor word thereof) has ever seen the light of day. However, several Endur and Mothership demos can be found on Spencer's SoundCloud page.

Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor are the two members of the project Haunted Shores. The Periphery songs "Passenger" and "Scarlet" were originally intended to be Haunted Shores songs, and the inclusion of further material were originally written for Haunted Shores in the future; but they have not been ruled out (as of yet). However, Holcomb has stated that he is always writing new Haunted Shores material, and the only thing stopping a new record from the project is the mass number of other commitments between Mansoor and himself. Their debut EP, "Viscera" was released on November 3, 2015. Mansoor is also part of the project OMNOM (Of Man, Not Of Machine), along with Good Tiger member Elliot Coleman, with a release planned for 2016. Misha has had much work as a producer, as well; he has worked on releases by Animals As Leaders, Stray from the Path and Veil of Maya, among others.

Jake Bowen also produces electronic music. His debut album, "Isometric" was released on May 31, 2015.

Misha Mansoor produced two songs named "Follow In Flight" and "Breaking the Covenant" for the Halo 2: Anniversary (Soundtrack) which is part of the game, Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Further he wrote and recorded the ending credits theme (simply titled "Ending Credits Theme") for the game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Members[edit]

Timeline

Discography[edit]

Periphery discography
Studio albums 5
Music videos 8
EPs 2
Singles 11

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions
US
[60]
US
Indie.

[61]
AUS
[62]
AUT
[63]
FIN
[64]
GER
[65]
JPN
[66]
UK
[67]
2010
Periphery 128 18 78 90 176 200
2012
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
  • Released: July 3, 2012
  • Label: Sumerian, Century Media
44 6 46 30 46 32 132 115
2015
Juggernaut: Alpha
  • Released: January 27, 2015
  • Label: Sumerian, Century Media
22 3 22 49 8 83 111 43
Juggernaut: Omega
  • Released: January 27, 2015
  • Label: Sumerian, Century Media
25 4 25 48 1 119 45
2016
Periphery III: Select Difficulty
  • Released: July 22, 2016
  • Label: Sumerian, Century Media
22 2 8 42 22
[68]
39 102 57
.

EPs[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Year Album details Peak chart positions
US
[60]
US
Indie.

[61]
AUS
[62]
JPN
[66]
2011
Icarus
  • Released: April 19, 2011
  • Label: Sumerian
2014
Clear
  • Released: January 28, 2014
  • Label: Sumerian, Century Media
62 10 37 134
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

  • "Icarus Lives!" (April 23, 2010)
  • "Jetpacks Was Yes!" (January 21, 2011)
  • "Passenger" (February 21, 2012)
  • "Make Total Destroy" (June 5, 2012)
  • "Scarlet" (February 19, 2013)
  • "Ragnarok" (October 3, 2013)
  • "Alpha" (January 2015) Top 50 Active Rock
  • "The Bad Thing" (May 2015)
  • "Marigold" (July 8, 2016)

Other appearances[edit]

  • "One" (Metallica cover) – Appears on Homefront: Songs for the Resistance soundtrack album
  • "Only If For A Night" (Florence + The Machine cover) – Appears on Florence + The Sphinx: Sumerian Ceremonials - A Tribute to Florence + The Machine

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director From the album
"Icarus Lives!" 2010 Ian McFarland & Mike Pecci Periphery
"Jetpacks Was Yes" 2011 Eric Haviv, Richard Webb & Brandon Morris Icarus EP
"Make Total Destroy" 2012 Wes Richardson Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
"Scarlet" 2013 Wes Richardson
"Ragnarok" Jeff Holcomb
"Alpha" 2015 Wes Richardson Juggernaut: Alpha
"The Bad Thing" 2015 Jeff Holcomb Juggernaut: Omega
"Marigold" 2016 Wes Richardson Periphery III: Select Difficulty

References[edit]

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