Periphery interview with Adam 'Nolly' Getgood: "At the moment the 'djent' fad seems to be popular but once it dies down we'll still be writing songs for ourselves"

30/08/2012 @ 12:26
Among the many names that constantly emerge in the new genre of djent, Periphery make the difference. Their album is probably the best of this genre for the current year and that’s why we wanted to speak with programmer, co-producer and lately bassist, Adam 'Nolly' Getgood, so he would tell us a few things about this exceptional case of a band.

Hi, Nolly. How does it feel having your new album out?
Hey! It’s great! We spent a lot of time on it and we’re just glad it’s out there for people to hear.

I have to congratulate you for the work you’ve done on "II". I think it’s an album that sets its mark on the modern metal sound.
Thank you so much!

PeripheryWhy was it 'personal' this time? Was it not on the first album?
Haha, no, it’s just a light-hearted title, kinda like a cheesy Hollywood action sequel.

What really impressed me is how much better "II" sounds in comparison with your first album. The production, the rhythm section and especially the clear vocals are some of the main differences. What changes took place and how did they affect the final product?
Cheers! Well, we went from Misha producing and recording everything in his apartment to using a proper studio - Oceanic Recording in Bethesda, run by our good friend Taylor Larson. Misha, Taylor and I shared production duties, and while occasionally we’d all be pulling in opposite direction there’s no doubt that have all three of us involved brought fresh perspective to the process that resulted in a better sounding album. Vocally, Spencer has really stepped up his game, and I feel like that’s one of the biggest differences -sonically- on the new album. Since we didn’t use any pitch correction, he could really pour a lot more emotion and identity into his lead vocals.

PeripheryYou’ve mentioned that you had material for three albums to be released. Does that mean, we’ll hear new music from Periphery really soon? What caused so much productivity?
Well, before Periphery was an active band Misha wrote huge amounts of material, a lot of which we love and want to use. They don’t have vocal parts so by the time Spencer has done his thing over them and we’ve gone through and revised the parts/arrangements they come out sounding fresh and new again. That said, everyone in the band is doing a lot more writing - there’s always new ideas being emailed around the band, and obviously we want to showcase that as much as possible. We have a few plans for releasing music, but those will stay under wraps until we’re ready to make an announcement.

You chose to give "Scarlet" as a first sample of the album, but the first video was for "MAKE TOTAL DESTROY". It must have been difficult to choose a leading single. How did you end up with that? Tell us a few things about the impressive video. Also, why all the letters capital on this one?
That was tricky, there definitely were a lot of different tracks being discussed for being released first. The "MTD" video came out great, all credit goes to the excellent Wes Richardson for the concept and execution of the video. We’re all video game nerds, so the sci-fi/robot theme was an instant hit for us when Wes proposed it. The name is all caps for comedy effect – as though it’s being yelled.

Adam 'Nolly' Getgood (Periphery)I mentioned that there is a common melody that’s used on "Muramasa", "Ragnarok" and "Masamune" which is the beginning, the middle and the end of the album? Is there a lyrical connection between the songs of the album? Also, what do these words mean?
Yes, those three tracks form a loose 'trilogy' theme, and the lyrics do indeed fit together if you read through them together. "Muramasa" and "Masamune" are legendary Japanese swordsmiths, and "Ragnarok" is from Norse mythology - the death of the gods, something resembling an equivalent of judgement day. They’re also used in the Final Fantasy series, so there’s a video game nerd connection there too!

My favorite track -by far- is "Erised". It’s one of the best songs of this year in my opinion and it’s the most diversified on the album. I’d love it if Periphery used that song as a guide for the future.
Thank you! It’s definitely got its own vibe on the album. Music-wise we’ll keep doing what we’ve always done, which is to write songs that we like. I’m sure there will be more in that vein in the future but there will be plenty of the heavier material too.

PeripheryYou see, I am not the biggest fan of screaming vocals and the fact that Spencer’s clear vocals are impressive makes me wonder if you’ve thought of using mainly clear vocals or if you are considering it for the future.
I don’t think we would ever move to exclusively use one style of vocals. The screamed vocals allow Spencer to concentrate on the more rhythmic elements, and are a natural fit to the heaviest moments in our music. Again though, I’m sure there will be plenty of predominantly clean vocal-driven tracks in the future.

Then this song has a guitar solo by John Petrucci, the ultimate guitar hero of his generation. A lot of bands would kill to have them and he’s not playing on others’ albums that easily. How was he convinced? Needless to say he did an amazing job.
Yeah, that was pretty mindblowing, we still can’t really believe we have Petrucci on our album – he is such an idol to all of us. Thankfully he liked the music and agreed to do it, so it was recorded while we were on the road with Dream Theater at the beginning of the year.

Adam 'Nolly' Getgood (Periphery)Also, you have Guthrie Govan from The Aristocrats and Wes Hauch from The Faceless contributing guitar solos and they ‘re not than well known. Tell us a few things about them.
Well, Guthrie is possibly the best electric guitarist to have ever lived, he is a master of every style, and a truly wise and lovely guy too. It’s an absolute honour that he agreed to record a lead for the album. Wes, who plays in The Faceless, is a great friend of the band and again, an absolutely phenomenal guitarist. It was a no-brainer to get him on the album, I think his solo is probably my favourite of the bunch in fact!

You do play a lot of complicated themes, you have weird structures and time signatures that play with your mind. Why don’t you play more guitar solos yourselves?
I think I can speak for the guys when I say we don’t like to put anything into our music purely for the sake of it. When there’s a guitar solo on a track it’s because we feel it’s the correct place to take the music, and not every song needs that!

PeripheryListening to your music, I keep thinking how difficult it has to be to perform live. What’s the more difficult part or factor during a live Periphery show?
Some of the stuff is fairly tricky but as long as you practice the challenging bits in isolation it tends to work out fine. Live the biggest difficulty is probably finding the right balance between nailing the parts and rocking out, but that changes from show to show - in small venues it’s a lot more about the intensity, whereas playing to a big crowd of musicians you find yourself concentrating on your playing a lot more!

So, how was it touring with a legend like Dream Theater? What do you think of their music and what has a new band like Periphery to learn from them?
It was like a constant lesson in professionalism and musicianship. Dream Theater were a life-changing band for all of us, words can’t describe the excitement at getting to tour with them. Those guys are such consummate pro’s, it’s inspiring to watch how they handle themselves, how large-scale their live production is and how it all gets organized so efficiently every day.

Are you fans of more traditional progressive metal, or are you more into modern stuff? What are your main influences as musicians?
I think it’s fair to say everyone in the band has a wide range of influences, including both the more traditional end as well as modern music. Bands like Dream Theater, SikTh, Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan had a massive impact on all of us individually, but we also listen to a huge array of non-metal – for example Jake is hugely into electronic music like Telefon Tel Aviv (and also makes a lot of his own, including the interlude tracks on our albums), Misha is a massive Nobuo Uematsu fan, and Mark listens to a lot of very obscure Scandinavian music I’ve never heard of…

PeripheryWhat do you believe about the new trend of djent? You’ve been pioneers and very influential. Do you believe it will last? Which new bands would you say make the difference in this genre?
We don’t really bother ourselves with thinking about that. Periphery has always made the music we want to make. At the moment the “djent” fad seems to be popular but once it dies down we’ll still be writing songs for ourselves, and hopefully some people will want to hear them.

What are your future plans? Are there any plans for touring Europe? Is Greece included to your plans?
We’re actually about to embark on a European tour with Between the Buried and Me, and The Safety Fire this October, which we’re very excited about! Unfortunately we’re not playing Greece but fingers crossed we’ll get to play there sometime soon.

Ok Nolly. Thanks for your time.
Thank you very much!