Periphery is an American progressive metal band based in Washington, D.C., formed in 2005. They are known for their heavy, progressive sound which employs poly-rhythmic patterns and soaring melodies. They are considered one of the pioneers of the djent movement within progressive metal. The band consists of vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarists Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb, and Jake Bowen, drummer Matt Halpern, and bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood. 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. All Periphery material is self-produced by the members of the band.
Formation and early lineup changes (2005-2009):
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, Four Seconds Ago, and Of Man Not of Machine.
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, Casey Sabol and Chris Barretto, 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, and Veil of Maya,Animals as Leaders,God Forbid,Darkest Hour,The Dillinger Escape Plan,Fear Factory,Between the Buried and Me, and Fair to Midland.
Spencer Sotelo, Matt Halpern and self-titled debut (2010-2011):
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, 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. To support the album: Periphery played multiple tours around the US and Canada; a short tour of Australia along with The Dillinger Escape Plan, 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. 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.
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.
Icarus EP and addition of Mark Holcomb (2011):
On January 19, 2011, the music video for "Jetpacks Was Yes!" was posted on NME. 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.
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.
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. In October 2011, the band announced that Mark Holcomb was now the band's full-time guitarist, 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. 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.
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.
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal (2012-2013):
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. 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 wants them to be these separate bodies of work, because they will sound different, and be completely different approaches, too."
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.
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.
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.
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.
In December, Periphery announced a new release entitled Clear, set for release on January 28, 2014.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" 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. 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 projected release to 2015. A release during early 2015 is now expected, as the band delayed writing and pre-production even more to make time for writing and recording Clear. As of early July 2014, Periphery had begun tracking and recording songs for Juggernaut.
More recently, on the Escape From The Studio Tour, lead singer Spencer stated that Juggernaut has 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.
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.
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 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.
Misha Mansoor is not devoted to a single guitar company, but he primarily uses Jackson guitars and has a signature model with them that was released at the NAMM Show 2015. He also has a signature set of pickups with Bare Knuckle Pickups called the Juggernaut and a line of signature overdrive pedals with Pro Tone Pedals: the Misha Mansoor Limited Edition, Bulb Overdrive Deluxe, and the Bulb Attack Overdrive.
Jake Bowen is endorsed by Ibanez Guitars with whom he has a signature guitar the JBM100 (based on the RGA) 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.
Mark Holcomb endorses PRS Guitars, with whom he has a signature model, and uses Seymour Duncan pickups, specifically a prototype set developed with Keith Merrow called the Alpha and Omega. For 8 string guitars, as PRS do not make them, he currently uses Mayones Setius models. He also has a signature delay pedal with Pro Tone Pedals called the Haunted Delay.
Adam "Nolly" Getgood is endorsed by Dingwall Basses and has a signature model called the NG-2 (based on the Combustion model.) He is a Darkglass Electronics artist, using their B7K pedal as the core of his sound, plus he uses a preamp made by Darkglass in his signature Dingwall NG-2.
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 (AbEbAbDdGbBbEb), and standard in 8-string (F#BEADGBE). Their 8 string songs include "Ji", "Extraneous", "A Black Minute", "The Event", "22 Faces", "Four Lights", and "Stranger Things". For the songs "Totla 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", and "Graveless" 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/F# (GbEbAbDbGbBbEb). "Scarlet" is in Open Cadd9 tuning (CGCEGD). "Racecar" uses tuning that instead of dropping the lowest string on 7-string, they dropped the 6th string (BbDbAbDdGbBbEb). The song Hell Below from the album Juggernaut: Omega, is on an 8-string with the lowest string tuned down to C# (C#BEADGBE).
Style and influences:
Periphery's musical style has been described as progressive metal as well as djent. The band draws influence from various progressive metal bands as well as non-metal bands. According to Misha Mansoor, such influences include Deftones, Meshuggah, Veil of Maya, Tool, Sikth, Hiromi, Shane Gibson, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dream Theater, Ion Dissonance, Nevermore, Guthrie Govan, Between the Buried and Me, Nobuo Uematsu, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Gojira, Mats/Morgan, Refused, Ron and Bobby Jarzombek, Textures, Return to Forever and Paul Ortiz (aka Chimp Spanner). According to Ask.fm, lead vocalist Spencer Sotelo has told fans that some of his influences in his singing include Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Mike Patton of Faith No More and Devin Townsend.
Spencer Sotelo and Matt Halpern are both members of the genre-crossing band The Mothership, of which Sotelo is the principal songwriter. The band also features solo artist Nick Johnston as their lead guitarist. They currently have 2 full-length releases in production.
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.
On April 7, 2014, it was announced that Sotelo has become the new lead vocalist of post-hardcore band From First To Last. He will remain as the vocalist in Periphery.
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. They released 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 "Break the Covenant" for the Halo 2: Anniversary (Soundtrack) which is part of the game, Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Misha Mansoor - guitars, programming (2005-present), drums (2005),
Jake Bowen - guitars, programming (2007-present), backing vocals (2011-present),
Matt Halpern - drums (2009-present),
Spencer Sotelo - lead vocals (2010-present),
Mark Holcomb - guitars (2011-present),
Adam "Nolly" Getgood - bass guitar, guitars (2012-present), programming (2012-present, session 2005-2012),
Jason Berlin - drums, percussion (2005),
Jake Veredika - lead vocals (2005-2007),
Travis Orbin - drums (2005-2009),
Alex Bois - guitars, backing vocals (2005-2011),
Tom Murphy - bass guitar, backing vocals (2005-2011),
Casey Sabol - lead vocals (2007-2008),
Chris Barretto - lead vocals (2008-2010),
John Browne - guitars (2011),
Jeff Holcomb - bass guitar (2011-2012),