Turning Tricks Entertainment are making dreams come true once again, by naming Periphery as one of this year’s Krank’d Up headliners. Periphery are not only one our favourite bands here at The Metalist za, but are probably one of the most innovative bands to ever grace our shores.
The Metalist za had the honour of chatting to vocalist, Spencer Sotelo, regarding their new album Periphery III: Select Difficulty, which is set to release in just two days.
Read what he had to say, or listen to the full interview below!
Firstly I just need to say how excited we all are, that you guys are finally coming down here
Well we share the same sentiment, I’ve been stoked to get down there for a while now. I’m glad it’s finally happening.
So then I have to ask, what have you heard about South Africa, or what kind of preconceptions do you have?
Uhm, the only real preconception I have is, like I used to have a friend from South Africa, I forget which city he was from, but he spent a couple years here. He is a really fun dude, his name is Billy, but the only thing that I know anything about South Africa is just the accents. Kind of like the language which you guys have which I think sounds awesome!
(laughs) Yeah it’s quite different out here, I mean, we have different accents from each city, even within a city…
Yeah that’s also what I’ve heard, that’s really cool though!
Well yeah, I’m sure you will be taught a few things when you’re here.
I can’t wait (laughs).
So you guys will be headlining Krank’d Up with Norma Jean, have you met those guys or played with them before?
We have! We toured with Norma Jean, uhm, I think it was back in like 2013. We played ‘Summer Slaughter’ in the US. Really good dudes, I like those guys.
Oh well that’s cool, at least that’s something familiar.
Yeah for sure.
As far as the set list goes, what can we expect from your debut show in South Africa? Will we be hearing mostly new stuff or will we be hearing some of the old stuff mixed in with the new?
We’ll probably sprinkle in some old stuff but, for the most part, I think we’re going to be playing new stuff. The album will be out then and will be kind of fresh in our minds and in the fans minds too.
Just on the topic of that, Periphery III: Select difficulty, I have to ask, as a gamer, is there any relation or what was the inspiration behind the title?
I think we wanted something that had to do with like a cheesy video game title type thing, since the last time with Periphery II (This Time It’s Personal) it was like the cheesy movie sequel title. So it was like, that was the movie, this is the video game. (laughs)
(laughs) That’s very cool. But it’s only been a year and a half since the release of Juggernaut, so how soon after that release did you guys start writing Periphery III?
We started writing it, uhm, we went on tour right after we released Juggernaut and then once we came back from tour, me and a couple of the other guys started tossing around some ideas. Not, you know, we weren’t set in stone about writing another record right away or anything. But, we just had a lot of inspiration, and we weren’t trying to force anything. It was kind of like, let’s get together and write for fun because we have some downtime. We ended up putting together a lot of material in a really short period of time, so that kind of sparked the idea of, Hey! Well if this is where we’re going creatively, let’s just try and do a record. We did it, and we wrote the whole record in probably two months I’d say.
Wow that’s amazing!
It came together so fast, it just felt so natural you know?
That being said though, are there any new influences on the album, or any changes to the writing process?
Oh absolutely! Because Juggernaut was a concept record, we had to write it around this whole story, you know we had to shift the vibe of the music into a story, the lyrics into a story, so that already kind of limited us into a box. Whereas with this record, Select Difficulty, it’s not a concept record, so it was just anything goes for every song. We could get together one day and feel like writing a certain way, and then we’d get together the next day feel like writing it a completely different way. You know there were rules, we just did what we wanted to do.
That must make it quite difficult though, I mean, it seems like a very collaborative process, but how long does it take for you all to kind of agree on the final product?
Uhm, some songs we’ll agree right away on, and then there’ll be other songs, for instance, the song ‘The Price Is Wrong’, the first song on Select Difficulty, that was actually an idea that was in the works since like, around Periphery II time. We couldn’t put it together and pull a whole song out of it for Periphery II, it was just like a couple of riffs and some ideas. And then for Juggernaut, we turned it into a full song, but it just didn’t fit the vibe of the record, uhm, before vocals were on it and everything. So we decided to shelve it and save it for later, and then we were finally able to pull it together for Select Difficulty. So yeah, you know there are songs, we’ll write them and right away off the bat we’re like, okay yeah that’s for this record, and there’s some ideas when it’s like, oh that doesn’t fit, but maybe we’ll be able to rework it a year from now or something.
Sho! That’s amazing. I have been lucky enough to hear Periphery III already, and I must say I am very impressed!
Ah I’m glad you dig it!
Yeah love it! Vocally, I mean, you really show some extreme dynamics on this album. I mean you are virtually scream-rapping in ‘Motormouth’.
How difficult do you think this will be to perform live?
Uhm… I honestly don’t know yet because I haven’t played these songs live, we haven’t really practiced them yet. So we’ll see, we’re going to be practicing them pretty soon for our upcoming tour, the Sonic Unrest Tour, and we’ll be playing a lot of the songs on it. So I’ll find out then. I have no idea right now, but it’s probably going to be a little bit tougher than past things I’ve written. But that’s honestly a good thing. I kind of like it, I like being kept on my toes and trying to better myself as a singer you know.
Yeah well, I guess that’s how you keep growing.
Do you have any specific warm ups or techniques that keep you going?
Nothing really out of the ordinary, just kind of like basic scale warm ups and anything, you know, any other singer would do before going on stage. Well, a little routine I have is just, when I can, I just drink a little bit of whiskey before going on stage. It loosens you up so you don’t push as hard, and I’ve heard, but I don’t know if it’s actually related, but it coats your throat. So like your voice feels a little soother after you drink it, and it does for me. I don’t know if that’s like a myth that people just kind of feel like it works, but I don’t know, it definitely feels like it works for me.
(Laughs) It sounds like a good plan to me anyway
So Periphery III: Select Difficulty comes out in (two) days, but you have already released some singles, you have already answered the question about ‘the price is wrong’ but was there any specific reason for releasing marigold beforehand? And what’s with the robot music video, what is the concept behind that?
You know what’s funny is we have used the same director for our past three music videos now, and we just kind of set him free. You know we trust him at this point, he’s a good friend of ours. So we just say, hey, here’s the song, here’s what it’s about…Go nuts with it. And he’ll just kind of take it and do a metaphoric take on what the song’s about and kind of do his own goofy thing. I love it though!
Yeah I think it’s a very cool video (watch it here: Periphery - 'Marigold')
I mean whether you like it or not, you’re never going to forget it after you watch it, which is kind of cool (laughs)
Most definitely, I mean those little faces alone are the cutest little things (laughs)
So just before we wrap up I want to throw in some fun questions, you have kind of answered the one but what is your drink of choice? It sounds like it’s whiskey, but on or off stage?
I’d say red wine, red wine and the occasional white wine. But I’m just getting older now, I’m almost thirty now and I’m not looking to get crazy too much of the time, so I like a couple glasses of wine.
Well I hope you get to taste some South African wines when you’re here.
Yeah for sure!
And then Marvel or DC and why?
Uhm… I guess I’d have to say Marvel because I kind of grew up watching X-Men and playing the X-Men video games.
It’s a good choice I don’t blame you (laughs)
And if you were to pick a cartoon to represents your personality personally, what would it be and why?
Probably Rick & Morty just because I’m super goofy, I like Sci-Fi stuff… and yeah I don’t know any other reason why that would be the case, but that’s one of my favourite cartoons
Yeah it’s definitely a good show! Ah man, very funny!
And then lastly, do you have anything you would like to say to your fans down here ahead of your show?
Thank you to everybody for supporting us, and we obviously can’t do any of this without our fans. So thank you! Please be there when we play in South Africa later this year. Awesome.
Fantastic, thank you so much for your time! I am really looking forward to your show, I have been a fan of yours for a while now so it’s going to be fantastic to have you guys down here.
Yeah come on out and come rock out with us!
Catch Periphery along side Norma Jean at this year's Krank'd Up Festival...
KRANK’D UP will be held at Sundowners (Alberton) on September 24, 2016. Set across two stages, featuring 2 international acts and 16 South African rock / metal bands.
KRANK’D UP Ticket Prices:
Full price: R490 each
Tickets are on sale nationwide through www.computicket.com , as well as at Computicket outlets and Checkers stores.
KRANK'D UP 2016 is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jägermeister, TOMS