Periphery’s Matt Halpern Talks ‘Juggernaut’ Albums, Live Plans + More
Periphery's Matt Halpern was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. The drummer had a chance to dish about the band's two -- yes, two -- new albums 'Juggernaut: Alpha' and 'Juggernaut: Omega.' Check out the chat below:
How ya doin', Matt?
I'm doing great. Thank you very much for having me.
Here to talk about the new 'Juggernaut' releases. When a concept like 'Juggernaut' is developed over such a long period of time, how drastically different is the completed work from the initial idea?
Funny enough, the completed work of what 'Juggernaut' is now from a conceptual standpoint, it's completely different. We had a different concept initially. We had a whole bunch of different demo songs initially and everything has evolved to this point where it's a brand-new story we put together based off the new music we had written, which we felt fit the 'Juggernaut' concept as a whole all together. So it was a total evolution.
The members of Periphery work on a number of other music projects. How do you keep focused and fresh for Periphery?
I think we sort of let each other do whatever we need to do outside of the band for that creative outlet or even for that personal outlet, whatever anyone needs to do. But when it comes time to get together for the writing process or a tour, whatever it is, we try to operate as good as any business would operate in that we really set schedules and deadlines. We hold each other accountable, we have a lot of face-to-face communication that goes on that's very constructive and very honest and open. So all together, I think we just generally have a lot of respect for each other. We all genuinely enjoy the art and we enjoy writing and performing, so given that with a little organization it goes really well.
How will something as extensive as 'Juggernaut' best be presented live? Will you guys play all of it or just a specific sampling of songs throughout the set?
For now we're performing sort of a sprinkling throughout the set but I think, and don't hold me to this, but it's definitely a goal at some point to be able to actually tour on the record in its entirety and perform it or both records, perform them from start to finish. Initially because it's so new, we want to ease into it a bit. We definitely plan to, I would think, at some point get out there with a very special 'Juggernaut' start-to-finish performance.
Periphery draws from so many musical styles, sometimes incorporating dissimilar things into a single song. How does that affect your drumming, to provide a proper foundation for every style while maintaining consistency?
Having a variance of styles in the music that are sometimes unpredictable actually, for me is a really great thing. It allows me to stay interested and allows me to have new platforms for improvisation, and it's a challenge. I listen to a lot of music that is sort of very relaxing to me and doesn't require that much thought to enjoy it or even play it sometimes in other forms of gigs. But, when it comes to Periphery, it's a challenge and I really like figuring out the puzzles. I like having different arrangements and many different styles to pull from. I think it's great, because we've sort of written this way as a band. It allows us to pull any other genre or style without feeling like we're pigeonholed into one specific genre of music. It's great as a band member and it's a lot of fun and a great challenge from the drumming perspective.
Pick up 'Juggernaut: Alpha' and 'Juggernaut: Omega.' Matt, really appreciate you being on the show. I know you guys have a ton of touring to come. What's coming up for Periphery?
Periphery is very busy for the next bunch of months. We're going to be touring all year in support of both 'Juggernaut' records. I know on the books right now we're headed to Europe soon, then we have some fun plans for the spring and summer. So, just hitting the pavement doing our thing and hopefully people will like all the new material that we are releasing online, in stores and what we will be playing in their earholes when we get to the city that they are from. I can't wait.
Many thanks to Periphery's Matt Halpern for the interview. Pick up 'Juggernaut: Alpha' and 'Juggernaut: Omega' now. And look for the band on tour at these stops. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.