Review Fix Exclusive: Periphery’s Matt Halpern and Misha Mansoor Talk Tour, New Album

Review Fix chats with Periphery’s Matt Halpern and Misha Mansoor, who discuss their “Juggernaut Tour” their new double album release “Juggernaut: Alpha” and “Juggernaut: Omega” with fans and press outside Irving Plaza. The band also discusses their creative process in past and present releases with hints on what might be coming next for the djent/progressive metal band.

With a steady rise in popularity from release to release, staying true to their creative process in putting out the music they want regardless of the pressure from management, Periphery has given their label and even fans the expectation that their work will be a very high standard.

Review Fix: Did you guys originally intend for “Juggernaut” to be two disks?

Matt Halpern: No. Originally it was supposed to be all on one disk, we ended up having so much material it physically wouldn’t fit, no matter what we tried. And then we all sort of at that point of having finished and all of us listening to it separately, we all find its kind of hard, it’s a lot of music to digest, all at once, in one shot. So it actually worked out in two perspectives. One, we can fit them on two disks and two, it actually helps from the digestion standpoint for the listener so they’re not completely bombarded with 80 minutes of music straight through. There is a purposeful split in the story which is the split between the two disks so it’s almost like a show with an intermission or something.

Misha Mansoor: It’s something that we wanted to do. As opposed to putting two disks together, which is something that we also debated, but I’ve always felt, I mean it’s like a business thing as well. If you get something for free, it never has the same value as something that you paid for. They always say like, don’t give it away for free, charge them a dollar cause then you have this attachment/ownership to it. I always felt like, with double albums in my own personal experience, there’s always one that gets overshadowed cause you’re getting it for free you know. It’s like the SECOND disk of that album. By creating these separate entities, these separate disks, each with their own artwork, each with their own sort of vibe and everything. It sort of placed them on an equal level, so that’s a big reason as to why we wanted to present it as such. We thought about it as like how you would present a meal in a restaurant, its half of the content and half of the presentation. We wanted to make sure the presentation was up to par as well.

Review Fix: Considering your steady rise in popularity from release to release, do you guys still feel complete musical freedom to do whatever you want in future releases?

Misha Mansoor: I think that because we sort of steadily proven ourselves that even though we still get pressure, whether it’s management, label, or even you guys (fans) to make music a curtain way, we’ve kind of shown that it’s fine for us to do our own thing. So even though they might all make suggestions, we just kind of turn in our album and we’re like, here you go, now this is for sale and they have to put it out. It’s one of the few freedoms we have as artists, it’s one of the few thing we actually get to have control over, in life and in our contract and in general. It’s one of those thing that we definitely remember to take advantage of, like there is no point in watering that down when it’s kind of the reason we started doing this in the first place.

Review Fix: What are some things that you still want to do as a band?

Misha Mansoor: There is no master plan with what we do. It’s all very sort of reactionary to what we put out. The first album was just kind of my collection of ideas, you know we got the band together around then. So that’s whatever and that was very much a, look we’re here, look what we can do. Next album we start collaborating more, we wanted to do something like really video-gamey and playful. As a result we noticed that when that was out we were tired of that and like everyone was writing this dark, bruiting theatrical kind of stuff and that’s what sort of inspired the concept. Originally we had another concept and another vibe and we’re like we don’t want to write that. We all wanted to write this style and it was all just kind of converging to this one sort of set of sounds you know and that influenced everything. Now that we done that, like I don’t know, I’ve noticed I’m writing a lot faster stuff. It’s not what I’m trying to, it’s just what coming out. Well see when it’s time to actually start committing to demos, ideas and to writing new songs, where everyone’s at and what everyone wants to do. It’s everybody’s call.

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