Interview: Periphery Talk About Their Artistic Monstrosity

Modern prog metal outfit Periphery has just released their brand new two-disc artistic monstrosity entitled nothing less than ‘Juggernaut.’ I spoke a little bit with the band about the new record as well as some of its more controversial topics. They also shared with me a rather rough Super Bowl experience that they had just a couple of days ago… But these things happen when you’re on the road!

Your new album happens to be a massive two-disc set called Juggernaut. What were your original goals for the piece and who came up with the name and the decision to call both discs Alpha and Omega, respectively?

Our goal was to write a cohesive concept record with a much darker more cinematic tone than previous records. The band collectively came up with the Alpha and Omega titles. 

Lyrically, I’ve noticed some interesting ideas on the album. After the intro, the disc itself opens with “MK Ultra” which has since become a common topic among truthers and conspiracy theorists alike. Being a rather famous act, do you actually believe in and have you seen any proof of this type of mind control within the entertainment industry? 

Without getting too tinfoil hat-like, it’s all around us. Everything you see and hear is designed to draw your attention whether it’s for benevolent or malevolent reasons. That’s the point.

Tell us about the writing and recording process for the album. How long did each of these processes take and did they go smooth, or were there struggles? 

It just took time to get it sounding perfect, we’ve all been writing and recording together for a long time so that kind of stuff came pretty naturally. 

Where was the album recorded and what was the atmosphere like in the studio? Recording a double-disc like this must have taken a lot of time and effort. 

We recorded drums and vocals at Oceanic studios and guitars, bass, synths, at a nameless studio next door in Bethesda, Maryland. It had no air conditioning and it took a very long time to make sure that eighty minutes worth of music was going to sound as good as we could possibly make it.

I’ve also noticed that you’ve got a few very lengthy and somewhat bombastic tracks, particularly on Omega. It almost seems in several instances, that you took influence from the greats like Dream Theater, Kings X, King Crimson, Rush, exc. Who might you consider influences on the album?

Juggernaut has a very prog approach, all those bands certainly influenced each other in some way and in turn they have influenced us. 

Musical tastes usually differ by the day, but what are five records that you’re currently listening to now that you think people should check out?

Thriftworks – Fadest

Robert Glasper Experiment 1

He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit

Mr. Bill – Settling for Mediocrity

Pantera – Far Beyond Driven  

Finally, let’s talk about touring. Tell me about some of the best and worst experiences you’ve had on the road. Have you had the chance to meet and play with some of your influences on stage? And what does Periphery do for fun while on the road?

One of the best experiences I’ve had was on Summer Slaughter 2012. Touring the states in the summer is always such a blast; it’s like heavy metal summer camp. One of the worst things that happened was the other day on our current tour where we spent Super Bowl Sunday stranded at a truck stop in Nebraska. We’ve been fortunate enough to tour with a lot of our influences, notably Deftones and Dream Theater. We do lots of things to stay busy while on the road and we basically hang out with each other. We look for great food, play video games, write music, make jokes and other things.

Pick up Juggernaut here.

Check the band’s tour dates here.

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