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INTERVIEW: Periphery Get Back To Business On ‘Periphery III: Select Difficulty’

Written by Mike Hohnen on July 18, 2016

Come Friday, July 22, Periphery will be handing down Periphery III – Select Difficulty, their latest offering forged from their progressive sensibilities and penchant for walls of brutality. So soon off the back of their latest album, it felt like P3 fell from a great height suddenly. Needless to say, fans were out of their minds but Music Feeds caught up with guitarist Jake Bowen to see what went down.

Caught between the interesting time between finishing an album and releasing it, we managed to catch Jake right at his more Zen as he was “Sitting around, playing guitar and waiting.”

Music Feeds: Periphery will be releasing the next epic, P3 on Friday, 22nd July. Which is actually two days before my birthday so thank you for that! From what we’ve heard so far, P3 is sounding fucking ruthless. How did it all come together?

Jake Bowen: Oh cool! happy birthday then – that’s your present! We just kinda do what we do. I know that’s a non-answer but when we started writing this record and we just out out [2015’s] Juggernaut, pretty much, and were ready to start writing again but we were going to just a more simplified format than go back to the concept album.

So we assumed this record would be a lot shorter and just ended up writing a regular old progressive metal album and we’re really happy with it. I like the word you used – Fucking Ruthless – I might quote you on that.

MF: Throughout the various announcements and singles, it felt like there was far less fanfare around P3. Juggernaut seemed like such a theatrical release. Did you learn a few too many lessons on Juggernaut and decide to wind it back?

JB: Well. The one thing that Juggernaut had going for it was the hype of many years. Many people were expecting it. It’s a thing that was kicking around for years and years. Being a concept album everyone is kinda, questioning what the story is and how the story and the music intertwine.

P3 just didn’t have that hype. I think it came as a surprise to a lot of people that we were going to do another album so soon. But I think once they hear it they’ll be like ‘Whoa…Periphery is business as usual’.

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MF: There was a lot of agency drawn towards the fact that the band had refined it’s collaborative process for the new album. This invokes thoughts of a High School summer camp montage of trust falls, playing guitar by the campfire…was that the case?

JB: If we weren’t working in the middle of winter and there weren’t blizzards and stuff, all that stuff would have happened. But no, because we were stuck in doors all we could do was writing and record. When we weren’t doing that we’d be bonding over video games or beer or whatever. With that we were refining the way we hang out and how we get along, or how we seek out our musical chemistry. A lot of it had to do with the fact we were stuck in side.

MF: There are a small crowd of musicians who make up Periphery and creating such complex music. How do you make sure everyone gets their say heard during the writing and recording stage?

JB: Everybody is so generous and empathetic and knows it’s not all about one person. People know when it’s time to take the lead, or time to let someone else to pick up the forward momentum. Everyone has this mentality so it makes it really easy to get along. It would be a mess if we didn’t have the personalities that we have or the experience. We’ve gone through everything so we know how to deal with any issue democratically.

MF: I suppose Blink 182 only have three members and even they couldn’t seem to get it together…

JB: That shows you it’s really a personality thing. You just gotta get lucky and I think we have.

MH: Last year you released your solo debut album Isometric. It’s completely electronic! Periphery have always had a penchant for remixes, is there any chance of a cross over?

JB Misha [Mansoor, guitar] and I have talked about doing an electronic project together. I don’t know when we’ll have time to do it but hopefully sometime this year. I think that would be the closest thing we get to that…At least right now. Everyone in the band is really into electronic music – some even more so than metal, so, I can never say never.

MF: You were here not too long ago so I don’t want to sound greedy, but when will you be bringing P3 Down Under for an Australian tour?

JB: Oh, I hope so. We’re definitively talking about it. I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll say it again. Australia is such an amazing place I can’t wait to come back.

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