Periphery are currently wrapping up their run on the Soundwave Festival, over the last couple of weeks they’ve impressed crowds at the festival and their two Sidewaves with Crossfaith. They are here supporting their ‘II‘ album released via Roadrunner Records last year. Whilst in town last week, Deborah Konopnicki caught up with the band just prior to their Melbourne Sidewave to chat about the tour, how the new album is going for them and their future plans. Expand this post to check out the chat and the band’s new video clip for the track ‘Scarlet‘.
Well it’s the start of the second week of the Soundwave Festival. This is your first time playing on the festival, you’re two shows in, how is it all going?
Matt: It’s been awesome. We’ve always had a good time touring over here in Australia. We’ve heard for years that Soundwave is the best tour ever – just hands down in any territory. As far as the bands that we’re bunched in with, it’s amazing to be on tour with these kinds of bands They’re bands that we’ve really looked up to and toured with and that we’re friends with. In terms of playing, it’s just been amazing! Super energetic crowds and you can really tell when people are coming to see you. One side of the stage plays and then the other side of the stage plays after; you could see it fill up for us. It’s been surprisingly packed! We’re surprised! It’s been awesome!
You’ve been here a few times now; staring with the Dillinger Escape Plan tour and the shows a couple of years ago…
Matt: Oh, those Dillinger shows were terrible!
I enjoyed them!
Matt: (Laughs) Thanks!
Obviously at a festival the crowds are going to be huge anyway, but you would have seen your own influence and fan base grow over the past couple of years no doubt.
Matt: Oh yeah, it’s our third time in Australia and it’s been really cool to see it grow. Literally it’s gone up! We’re extremely thankful and very excited about it.
Have you had any festival highlights so far?
Misha: I think honestly, if anything it’s been a little bit difficult to fully appreciate whats going on because we’re so jet lagged. It means that we’re just going to bed so early. We’ve had a few technical problems that have made us just go on stage and try to make it through the set to the best of our abilities. It’s more so in hindsight that we’re appreciating it by seeing the pictures of the crowds and all that. We haven’t been able to see a lot of the bands because we’ve been travelling so much! We have to leave by five to make our next flight!
Matt: The BBQ!
Misha: The BBQ was awesome. I don’t know if you guys know, but Metallica arranged this BBQ on the first night. Their logic was that “we might as well do it on the first night when everyone is around than on the last night when everyone wants to go home!” It was really smart actually. We all went there being all like that’s really cool of them! We didn’t even expect them to show up… because it’s Metallica! But they did! They were hanging out and they were really nice. I didn’t have the guts to say hello to Hetfield, but Mark did and got pictures with him. Everyone was saying how nice and chilled those dudes are. I thought that it was a really cool gesture. I think a lot of people were surprised that they attended and hung out like everyone else; like regular people! No-one would have even held is against them if they had not attended!
You’ve brought down your incredible record “Periphery 2: This Time It’s Personal” and it’s an absolute ripper. How are you guys feeling about that record at the moment?
Matt: It’s funny because that record has only been out for about seven months…
Misha: But it feels like a year!
Matt: It’s awesome. The response has been great. We’re really excited to be playing what we consider to be new live songs. We haven’t been playing most of that record yet. There’s a lot of demand for the new stuff. For us, it’s about playing live and about playing shows and having fun. And playing new stuff! It’s been great.
Misha: We’re playing two news songs on this tour. Australia is the first place to hear these songs live!
And what might they be?
Matt: Well we just did that video for “Scarlet”…
Yes you did! And it’s amazing!
Matt: Thanks! So we’re playing that one live and we’re playing “Luck Is A Constant” live. They’re both very different from each other. We’re just going through it and constantly knocking them down.
I’ve got an important question to ask you guys…. Mustard or ketchup?
Matt: Ketchup! I’m the ketchup guy!
Misha: Oh, he’s crazy… he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s definitely all about the mustard.
That video was crazy. It was both the most entertaining and stylish video about condiments that I’ve ever seen.
Spencer: I think ketchup is the fan favorite. We saw some dude douse himself with a ketchup bottle in the crowd the other day!
(The band breaks into a short discussion about who did see and who didn’t see the ketchup fan in the crowd)
Adam: At the very beginning of Scarlet this dude swung a ketchup bottle, throwing ketchup on everyone!
Misha: As if it’s not disgusting enough that it’s so hot outside, you’re now sticky with Ketchup!
Matt: About the video, the point was to make something that was just ridiculous. No-matter who you are, or even if you don’t like that band, you can relate to ketchup or mustard! You either love one or the other, you could love both or you could fucking hate condiments!
Misha: One of our best friends hates condiments!
Matt: one of our best friends Was Hauch of The Faceless HATES condiments. He posted on the video saying that it was terrifying!
Misha: He probably couldn’t even watch it. If you’re eating fries with ketchup in front of him, he won’t sit near you. He’ll have to leave!
He’s missing out on such a simple pleasure!
Matt: He just hates condiments!
Misha: So yeah, condiments… people can relate to any aspect of that. It’s also the most overproduced video for how stupid the concept is, which was what we really liked! The guy that did the video Wes Richardson, who also did our last video for “Make Total Destroy”, we were so happy working with him and we were so happy with how that came out that we said we wanted to work with him again! I just told him that we wanted a video that is like nothing else that none of our peers had ever done, and a video that even if you watched it with the sound off that you’d want to watch it the whole way through. He came to us with that concept and we were like YES! This has to be done! That video is pretty much exactly what he proposed.
Obviously the visual is quite removed from the lyrical aspect of the song. Was that something that you were really keen on doing of this video, or was the pitch just too good to refuse?
Misha: It just kind of worked out that way. We said that if he could work the lyrics into it, which he kind of did loosely… like, “Entertaining the taste of the red” – having Matt with the ketchup perfectly turn up! It wasn’t a requirement. We’ve done a video before like that for “Jetpacks Was Yes”. The idea itself is the most important thing. If it ties in, then awesome. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t!
Moving onto other songs on the record, do you have one that you’re most proud of on “Periphery 2”?
Matt: I have to say that all of the newer stuff is my favorite!
Misha: I think that’s because it still so fresh. It’s kind of hard to be objective about that. I mean, if I never had to play “Icurus Lives” again, then I wouldn’t miss it. It’s kind of hard to judge. I will say that both “Luck Is A Constant” and “Scarlet” on guitar are really a lot of fun to play live. They’re both really challenging, but when you nail it, it’s really satisfying.
Matt: They’re boring for me.
Misha: Yeah, they’re boring for Matt!
Matt: I like “Ragnarok”. That’s the most fun to play.
Misha: “Ragnarok” on guitar is the most boring thing in the world, except that when you play it live it’s fun because it’s new and it goes over well with the crowd. It normally seems to be at one extreme side or the other!
Last time that I spoke to you it seemed that the plans to release the two-part concept album were on hold. Are there any more plans for that one?
Yeah, plans for that one fell apart when we were recording the album because we got an offer to tour with Dream Theater. The rest of that album cycle kind of developed and we never had any time to go back to the recording studio. That’s what we’re working on currently. We just want to do it right. We’re not setting a date or anything… just that when it’s ready, it’s ready! Also, the album has only been out for seven months so we have plenty of time to put a new one out! When it’s ready, we’ll put it out.
Not dating this current record obviously, but would you take time off to record the new one or just see what happens.
Misha: well, we always write! When we‘re actually content with the pre-production and when we feel like what we have is good then we’ll probably take however many months off. We’ll probably take more time off than in the past because we probably feel like we’re in a position to be able to take that. It’ll just yield a better end product anyway, but I cannot even tell you when that’s going to happen because it’ll probably change!
Another thing that I’ve been meaning to ask you the past couple of times that we’ve spoken is about some rather awesome acoustic Periphery covers on YouTube by a young gentlemen claiming to be your brother. Is he in fact related to you?
Misha: Axel? Yeah, he’s my brother!
What do you guys think of the acoustic re-workings of the songs?
Misha: He’s a stupid doo-doo head! Ah no… he’s awesome. He’s really talented. I’ve been a little apprehensive to work with him just because I think he’s so talented that I think it would be such a shame if he was growing in my shadow, and especially given the fact that he plays such a different style of music. I think that his voice has that ‘x-factor’. It’s that style of voice that you hear and you just think “wow, that’s incredible!” I’m the older brother and I paved the way for that little asshole! I made sure that he listened to good music growing up like Dream Theatre and all these progressive bands. It’s kind of funny because he doesn’t play progressive music, but he has these tendencies to make music not as simple as his peers make it because that’s not what he listened to growing up. He’s not limited by that. I think he has the potential to do good things if he’s smart about it, which he’s not!
Matt: He’s awesome! He’s an awesome kid.
Misha: I love him!
I guess it gives you a different insight into how some of the tracks could be re-worked! You’ve tweaked “Jetpacks Was Yes” slightly before, is that something you’d consider doing for other tracks too or was that just a once off for some radio promo?
Misha: That was a radio campaign that our label in the states Sumerian was suggesting. Our rule was, because we have creative freedom and because we can actually tell our label “no” we figured it would be at least polite to try it, and if it was crappy then we’d say no! So, we tried it but then we actually liked it. We ditched the whole radio idea and then we just put it out on an EP because it’s just better! Radio campaigns are expensive anyway and you usually end up losing money on them. We just kept that version because we genuinely enjoyed it more.
A selfish question on my behalf, but do you think there’s a chance that you’ll come back down at some point this year for a headlining tour for the recent record?
Matt: I think Soundwave is the focus this year. We’re pretty much booked up for the rest of this year as of now. I think overall it’s a goal of the band to come here at least once a year. If there is more, then that’s great! I think that if it weren’t for Soundwave then we probably would have done a headline tour here. I think everybody can definitely look forward to it in 2014!
Misha: it’s so crazy when you say it like that! That’s realistically when our plans are starting. We’re already solidly booked for this year. This is what happens though. As the scope gets bigger and bigger you have to plan further and further ahead. As Matt said we love it here and will try to come here once a year.
It’s pretty great considering that it’s a fair journey to get here!
Misha: I don’t know why it is, but it feels like a vacation coming down here! It probably has a lot to do with the weather!
Matt: The flights aren’t even that bad, it’s more the jetlag.
Tonight you’ve got your very exciting sidewave with Crossfaith who are also here for Soundwave for the first time. How does it feel to be able to play a club show in between a festival?
Matt: It’s great! We love playing shows like this! It’s intimate and sweaty!
Misha: Raw a visceral kind of vibe!
Matt: It’s cool because you can actually hear what’s going on onstage which is fun! Even if something happens in your monitors, you can pull the it out and still be able to hear everything that’s happening in the room.
Misha: I like being close to the crowd. I’m such a bad judge… if there’s a hundred people or a thousand people, the crowd always kind of looks the same to me, but in a room like this, there will be 200 kids in there and it will look like the biggest crowd in the world because they’re right in front of you and you feel their energy. There’s usually 10 – 15 feet in-between you and the crowd at these festivals. It’s a very different kind of vibe, and here it’s different feeding off of people. You can see their faces and you can see them reacting. There’s something about these kinds of shows that I will always love and I will always kind of love over playing massive shows. I’m sure a lot of the guys would agree to that – at least to some degree.
PERIPHERY – II
Available now via Roadrunner Records.
Buy on CD [Here].