Periphery have always been a band that played by their own rules. The DIY nature of the band is just as strong if not stronger than it was at the beginning, and it only continues to propel them further and further with every release. Periphery IV: Hail Stan is the latest chapter in the story of Periphery and the first to be released by the bands own label 3DOT Recordings. Speaking with guitarist Jake Bowen, he says the biggest change is now having more time and freedom when it comes to putting albums together.
“Working with Sumerian has been a great experience. They let us do whatever it is that we do and I think the biggest thing that changed is just we can now take time with things, as much time as we want. With Periphery IV we were able to say to ourselves at one of our "company meetings" we're just going to work on this until it's done, how about that? Everyone was on board and I think the album is better because we were able to put in more time. Not to disparage any of our previous work, I'm really proud of all our albums, but to have as much time as you want to work on something, it's just very liberating in the sense then.”
Periphery IV has all of the signature sounds of the band: immensely heavy, technically proficient and beautifully melodic. All of these bases are covered in the album opener ‘Reptile’, a 16 minute opus that truly showcases the full dynamic range and breadth of the band.
“It was the first song we wrote for the record,” Bowen says of ‘Reptile.’ “The first thing we said after we finished it was, "Why don't we just open the record with this?" We loved it so much and it kind of set the bar for the rest of the album. It just kind of made sense. When we sit down and end up writing a song it's never deliberate but because of the length of the song, it's just kind of this thing where it's on a roll with writing and the song never quite felt finished and then by the time you have a 16, 17-minute song put together, you do kind of run the gamut of the sound of the band just by the nature of how long it is.”
Periphery has always been widely known as a band of gear nerds, made evident by the fact that each guitarist in the band has a different signature guitar and set of pickups in addition to the band members’ own companies and products. Every member of the band has well and truly cemented themselves as a modern day influencer when it comes to the music equipment and technology community. Bowen says that these side projects have been a huge part of keeping Periphery sustainable as a full time thing.
“There's all this stuff that we do and it all kind of orbits Periphery. Not a lot of bands get to have that opportunity so we see how special and rare it is. Every one of us takes advantage of it because it's really the smartest way for us to make a living because I don't know if it would be possible from just the band alone. Periphery makes it possible and then that stuff makes Periphery possible because we're able to do this for a longer period of time.”
A huge part of what has kept Periphery together for well over a decade at this point is the kinship between the members. The recording process essentially see the entire band move into guitarist Misha Mansoor’s apartment for a time as they bounce ideas off each other and construct the record together. That’s not an easy feat for any band, but Bowen says it all comes down to the chemistry between the members.
“Misha, Mark, Spencer, Matt and I have a certain chemistry. It's a bit of an X factor sort of thing and I really like that. I can't even express how lucky I feel that I have that with these guys because not only do we have musical chemistry but we also have like that family chemistry where they're my brothers and I like hanging out with them. I consider their family my family and vice versa. There's all this special stuff that comes along with just having these specific people together. It's very important as a band.”