PERIPHERY drummer Matt Halpern recently spoke with Australia's Heavy magazine about the group's just-released album, "Periphery IV: Hail Stan". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what fans can expect from the new album:
Matt: "I think they can hear an aggressive record, a very heavy record and a record that really captures a lot of emotions and a lot of different kinds of feelings that we've all really poured into the nine songs that you will here. It's a true snapshot of where we were are as people, as musicians and as a band as a whole... We decided before we did this album to take as much time off as touring as we needed. We gave ourselves a year, but if it needed to be longer than a year, then that's totally okay. We would have taken as much time as we needed to to really put our honest selves into this record without feeling any sort of outward pressure. I think what you're getting is a truly uninhibited and pressure-free injection of our feelings on this album. We really just gave ourselves the time and the space to decide what we wanted to have it sound like. We wrote this record for us in every sense of the way. This was a record that we wanted to give ourselves as sort of a gift, and as a reward for giving ourselves that time off. I think you hear a very honest perception of that relief and space and time that we were able to put into this."
On how taking a year off affected the band's writing process:
Matt: "We had a lot of time to individually come up with our ideas, and then what we would do is, we would schedule these writing sessions throughout the year where we would all get together for anywhere between seven to ten days at a time. During those times, we would share the ideas, see what really stuck [and] see what ideas we were collectively interested in exploring further. That is pretty similar to how we do things anyway, because we all live in different places... the biggest difference was that we didn't have an outwardly imposed deadline. We really just didn't feel any sort of pressure to make those writing sessions anything other than what they were naturally going to be. Funny enough, because of that, we actually wrote the album pretty quickly, because we felt like we could take a deep breath and have a nice breath of fresh air in coming together and writing music. It was really fun instead of, like, work."
On whether the band was "nervous" about releasing the album:
Matt: "We're super-excited. I don't think any of us are nervous. We all love the record for what it is, and we want everybody else to enjoy it and love it as much as we do, but we really wrote this record for ourselves. In that sense, we've achieved something that as a band, we can all be proud of collectively between us and be happy with each other for our work that we put in. We're just excited for other people to hear it, and we're sure that there will be plenty of people who maybe like another album of ours better than this one, but that's okay. It's a genuine picture or snapshot of where we are today as people and as musicians and as a band."
On the album's 17-minute opener, "Reptile":
Matt: "It's definitely my favorite song on the record, and I think collectively, it probably is for everybody else too. When we wrote the song, there was no predetermined decision to make a 17-minute song by any means. It just kind of happened. We started writing, and we looked up and we were six minutes in, but we were like, 'We still have ideas. Let's keep going.' Then we looked up and we were twelve minutes in, and we still had ideas. By the time we were done, you had a 16-and-change-minute song. We definitely don't set any rules for ourselves when it comes to writing. The only rule is to not have rules, and to write whatever style, sound, genre feels right for us. If it ends up being a 17-minute song, so be it. We definitely didn't plan it — it just happened, and it came together almost by accident. I think those are the best kinds of accidents — the happy ones that end up being something really special. I think we accomplished that."
On opting against recruiting a new member to replace bassist Adam "Nolly" Getgood, who stopped touring with the band in 2017 but continues to work with them in the studio:
Matt: "I want our fans to know that I don't think we will ever — at least for the foreseeable future — replace him with another human being to tour with us or play bass with us on stage. We are very happy just being the five of us and just using his record performances through tracks when we perform live. It sounds good; we feel like five people on stage is definitely enough; and although he's not in the band, we are all still very close. We are all very, very good friends, and we support each other... We've always said from the beginning if any one of us genuinely is feeling like they want to or need to be doing something else, and they have to sacrifice the band to genuinely follow their passion, that's okay, and that's what happened with Adam. We really support him, and we're thrilled that he still is willing to work with us."
On the group's usage of technology:
Matt: "We're very positive as a band. We don't take ourselves seriously. We're very lighthearted. We want to make sure that our fans have a good time and have a good experience with us in every way. Social media allows us to connect with people all over the world, and really share the authenticity of who we are. We're very glad to be living in the day and age where anybody from all over the world can reach out to us and actually get in touch us via whatever platform it may be."
"Periphery IV: Hail Stan" was released on April 5 via the band's own 3DOT Recordings. It marks the group's first release since their 2017 Grammy Award nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" category, for "Periphery III: Select Difficulty" album opener "The Price Is Wrong".
PERIPHERY is currently touring alongside DANCE GAVIN DANCE.