Periphery

Music City Booking Presents

Periphery

The Contortionist, Norma Jean, Infinity Shred

Thu · April 13, 2017

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:15 pm

$20.00 - $22.00

This event is all ages

Periphery
Periphery
The process of innovation doesn’t sit still or sleep. Instead, it relies on constant motion. In 2015, Periphery landed two albums in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Top 200 chart as Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega respectively bowed at #15 and #16 during the same week. Meanwhile, the intertwined conceptual epic garnered praise from Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Outburn, and more. Only months after the release, the Washington, D.C. progressive metal disruptors—Misha Mansoor [guitars, programming], Jake Bowen [guitar, programming, backing vocals], Matt Halpern [drums], Spencer Sotelo [lead vocals], Mark Holcomb [guitars], and Adam “Nolly” Getgood [studio bass, guitars, programming]—collectively decided to start creating what would become their 2016 full-length, Periphery III: Select Difficulty [Sumerian Records].
“We ended up with a bit of downtime, so we wrote,” explains Misha. “We’re always working on ideas, and you want to bring them to life when you can. We saw a window of opportunity where we had a little bit of space in the schedule, and we thought, ‘Let’s get to work on new music.’ Juggernaut was so long and comparatively stressful. It took six months. Initially, we decided to try and make an EP. Everybody was down with that. With this fresh start, we were all hooked. This was our first stress-free experience. The time crunch actually helped it become the most cohesive too. It all turned into Periphery III.”
“We write what we feel,” adds Jake. “It came together very naturally. Normally, we stick to the cycle of put out an album, tour for a year, and then record another album. This time, we felt an itch and just kept moving forward.”
Forward progression defines Periphery’s trajectory. Since the release of 2010’s self-titled debut, the band has covered magazines such as Guitar World, Revolver, Modern Drummer, Bass Player, and more. Boasting a relentless touring ethic, they’ve packed venues on bills with everyone from Deftones and Dream Theater to Between The Buried and Me. In addition to performing at festivals such as Rock on the Range, Chicago Open Air, Download, and more, the musicians lead their own summer camp: the “Periphery Summer Jam.”
Going into their latest offering, the boys would continue to embrace that evolutionary spirit. Expanding the sonic palette, Misha bought a Moog synthesizer and incorporated it into the framework of the album. He also drew from orchestral libraries to infuse a cinematic scope.
“I wanted to get the hang of synthesis and learn how to use it a little better,” he remarks. “I didn’t expect it to be on the record, but now it’s on every song! The orchestration really adds something as well.”
Periphery III kickstarts on the chugging smash of the first single “The Price Is Wrong.” Driven by an artillery of neck-snapping guitars and a stunning groove, it immediately sets the record’s tone.
“It’s like handing somebody a grenade,” smiles Jake. “It’s so in-your-face and brutal for us. It was a great way to start.”
“Every one of our albums has a nice long intro, and we were like, ‘Let’s kick this off with a drum fill and a pissed-off riff,’” laughs Misha. “It’s something we haven’t done. It was fun.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the seven minute-plus closer “Lune” marks a first for Periphery. The sweeping orchestral climax actually saw its genesis during a jam in Misha’s apartment.
“It’s a special one for a number of reasons,” admits Misha. “We’re attached to it. We literally never jam, so we did the next best thing at my place. I setup all of the amps and pedals. Matt was drumming on his legs, and we started playing one by one. It was such a cool experiment. It’s a love song.”
“Remain Indoors” unloads a striking sonic schizophrenia, while “Flatline” showcases a precision polyrhythmic pummeling evocative of the band’s most beloved sonic hallmarks.
“It’s a killer,” Jake goes on. “We actually tracked the first three riffs backstage in Pittsburgh on tour. We never get to do that. It’s broken up into two sections with this normal Periphery energy and this mysterious build-up at the end.”
Once again, Misha and “Nolly” spearheaded production and engineering. Another change occurred following recording though, when “Nolly” announced he would remain a studio member based back home in the UK, but no longer tour in order to focus on his production work and family.
“He’ll still be there and write with us,” affirms Misha. “He’s such an important part of the process. We don’t want to change that dynamic. We have him where he’s most important.”
“He’s a good friend and a brother, and he brings something to this music nobody else can,” agrees Jake.
Charging full speed ahead, Periphery continue to make seismic impact with Periphery III: Select Difficulty.
“I hope everyone thinks this is fun and enjoyable to listen to,” Misha leaves off. “We enjoyed making it, and I still love listening to it. We want to share that.”
“I’m so happy with how it came out,” concludes Jake. “This is Periphery being Periphery. This is all we know how to do.”
The Contortionist
The Contortionist
Some bands follow established mores. Others may embrace disparate elements, but ultimately fail to break the confines of a particular subgenre context. And then there are bands that strip mine their initial reference points and methodically, organically and bravely create a multiverse of their own, a space where they are the only players.

The Contortionist is such a collective, achieving a coveted level of self-realization, creative execution and sophistication with their adventuresome, cosmos evoking progressive rock.

Sure, there are plenty of credible reasons The Contortionist is often associated with top-tier, critically embraced progressive death metal and mathcore groups like Between The Buried And Me, Animals As Leaders and their upcoming touring partners, Periphery.

It doesn’t take a metal detector to discover the elements owing, to some degree, to iconic prog-metal masters like Rush, Cynic, Meshuggah and Dream Theater, either. But on the steady climb from Exoplanet (2010) to Intrinsic (2012) that has crystalized with Language (2014), The Contortionist lay claim to a genre within a genre all their own.

The album serves as the recorded introduction of ex-Last Chance To Reason vocalist Michael Lessard to The Contortionist fold, ‘though he’s taken the stage live with his new bandmates for well over a year already. Lessard lends his voice to the signature songcraft developed by the original core of the band, guitarist Cameron Maynard and the brotherly duo of Robby and Joey Baca, on guitar and drums, respectively. They’re joined by new additions Jordan Eberhardt (bass) and Eric Guenther (keyboards).

“I can say that Mike is the most talented vocalist we've had in the band,” Robby declares unequivocally. “We’ve progressed, which has been a real, organic process. It will be cool for people to hear the kind of songwriting and music we are creating with The Contortionist enhanced by a vocalist who is totally up to par.”

Lessard enjoyed the challenge inherent in coming into an established band and discovering their work habits while integrating his own unique style at the same time.

“I came from a progressive metal band. We share odd time signatures and a lot of harmonic modulation. But other than that it’s two different animals. We all have the same goals: put out the best music we can make, play lots of shows, have a good time, and challenge ourselves. Our goals were the same, so everything has meshed perfectly.”

The Contortionist has attracted a legion of dedicated diehards who obsessively study each tone, each time signature, each transition, each note. The band’s fans also include listeners who have no interest in playing or theory at all, but rather, are exhilarated to put on headphones and embark on the journey of the albums.

The Contortionist has taken their patented blend of trippy atmosphere, dense conceptual storytelling and jaw-dropping technical proficiency on the road, joining forces with Deftones, Protest The Hero, Hatebreed, All Shall Perish, The Faceless and more.

“I feel like we successfully combined quality musicianship and interesting music with good songwriting and memorable vocal hooks,” Robby says. “The record is pretty catchy overall.”

A different producer was drafted each time The Contortionist has made an album. Language was created together at North Carolina’s The Basement Recording with producer Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me, The Human Abstract, He Is Legend).

As tastemaker blog MetalSucks noted in a post with the headline, “Drop What You’re Doing and Listen to the New Contortionist Single Right Now!,” Language embraces the spacey adventurous flourishes of Intrinsic, with concise and streamlined certainty.

The album’s first single, “Language I,” was also the first song the group crafted for the album. The product of much time and deliberation, every moment transitions seamlessly to the next. “Primordial Sound” boasts an emphasis on chord progressions with key signature modulations, and yet it has an accessible rock n’ roll vibe and swing.

“Thrive” is a wicked blend of the atmospheric heft of Deftones and The Contortionist’s own well established progressive attack.

Ever the thoughtful organizers and creators, The Contortionist mapped out the record from a philosophical standpoint with a compelling theme. The core conceptual vision of Language revolves around balance. Balance between classic songwriting and exhibitionist musicianship; intuitive expression and something more calculated.

“Playing with that idea, throughout all the songs, there is also a story woven in that plays on a few different ideas,” Lessard explains. “Even beyond the actual lyrics and what they are literally saying, some of the vocal sounds themselves play a part.”

It’s a crude summary of an ambitious project - one that has dense layers of sophistication listeners can delve into on their own, while others may be just as happy to nod their head along to the expansive rhythms and accessible song motifs.

The men of The Contortionist remain in awe of prog-titans like Yes, King Crimson and Rush. At the same time, the music they are creating will not only build bridges between different genres and different scenes; it can even send younger fans to dig through their parents’ LP collections look for albums by old legends. Language is more than capable of launching The Contortionist to the top of the progressive realm and into the creative stratosphere.
Norma Jean
Norma Jean
We are The Almighty Norma Jean. We love what we do. Follow us on Twitter: @NormaJeanBand @CoryBrandan
Infinity Shred
Infinity Shred
Venue Information:
Cannery Ballroom
One Cannery Row
Nashville, TN, 37203
http://thecanneryballroom.com/