Periphery, the Washington D.C. based sextet, took the progressive/djent community by storm with the release of their self-titled album in 2010. The band grew and refined itself through a second release and another EP before embarking on their most defining project, a double album release titled “Juggernaut: Alpha” and “Juggernaut: Omega“. A concept album about duality at its crux, the band hopes fans can put two and two together and paint a distinct and imaginative portrait of the dark albums. If you haven’t listened to the new records while reading the lyrics, I urge you to do so.
I recently reviewed the albums (check that out here here) and as a huge Periphery fan, found them to be the band’s clear magnum opus. Seriously, metal fans, this is a no-brainer – pick these albums up immediately. And without further fluffing from me, let’s get down to the Left Hand Horror interview with Periphery bassist, Adam “Nolly” Getgood, who was kind enough to give us some time in the midst of the massive Juggernaut Tour.
Writing Alpha and Omega from a purely collaborative perspective had to be a challenging and rewarding process. How did you approach these compared to previous albums?
It was certainly a challenge, but one that I think we all rose to and I’m very proud of the way we worked together and how the albums came out as a result. Once we’d made the decision to stick to self-producing, everyone in the band was in agreement that we had to make a real effort to communicate and hold each other responsible for maintaining quality control. Everyone in the band has their own strengths that they bring to the table, with some writing a lot of riffs, others being very good at working on song structures and arrangements, etc. Working on our recent “Clear” EP showed us all that we were all capable of acting as producers and that no-one had any excuse not to be contributing to the Juggernaut writing process!
With two brand new records of material to choose from, how are you keeping with the albums’ conceptual approach in your sets each night?
For now we are focusing on playing the songs that we feel work best out of the context of the album, but in the near future I know the band would love to work on a bigger production that will really immerse the concert-goers in the Juggernaut storyline and vibe.
Fans are excited to hear both albums in their entirety live. Do you guys see this happening or is it simply a tuning nightmare?
I think we’d all like to try to find a good solution for the tuning issue – if we were to play the album tracks in the order they occur on record, there would be guitar changes for every song! That said, they appear in a particular order because of the storyline so if we can figure out a way around that challenge I know everyone would be very happy to be able to keep that intact.
Progressive Metal is a term thrown around loosely these days. What do you consider the crux of this genre? Who are some of your favorite prog bands today, metal or otherwise?
The term “Progressive” is certainly being bandied about a whole lot at the moment, and while I think it’s really cool that more and more bands are being adventurous with their songwriting, I’m not sure that just tuning low and playing syncopated riffs necessarily makes a band “progressive”. As far as Periphery goes, we like to use that label because it essentially means we are unfettered by any genre limitation – if you listen through our discography hopefully it’s apparent that we bounce between a large range of sounds, and we’d like to keep things that way!
I know Misha is a huge gamer. Do you guys de-stress and disengage by doing some gaming on the bus? I can see some Mortal Kombat Fatalities happening after intense sets. Metal and trash talking are a natural fit in my opinion.
I’m not a huge gamer but I do like to de-stress with some rounds of COD from time to time. We actually have 3 PS4s on the tour bus currently; everyone has their own game of choice to relax with. We also have been gathering to watch Spencer or Jeff [Holcomb – our buddy/Mark’s brother/lighting guy] play through The Evil Within. I’m not hugely into horror games usually but that one is really entertaining to watch.
What do you consider your guilty pleasures on the road; music or otherwise?
I don’t know that I really have any pleasures that I feel guilty over! I spend quite a lot of time each day tuning Matt’s drums; I’m a little OCD about that so maybe that counts?
Themes are important on Alpha & Omega, it almost sounds like a graphic novel to some degree. What are the basics of the story?
Honestly, we’d like to leave it to listeners to derive what they can from the albums before we take away the mystery of interpretation. I think if you listen to the whole work with the lyrics in hand, you can probably figure out the vast majority of it. I’ve seen some fans’ synopses they’ve posted online, and many of them are almost dead on the money in most aspects.
This being a horror site most of the time, what is your favorite horror film?
I have to go with the classic “The Shining”. The soundtrack makes that film for me too; it’s such an unnerving watch as a result.