Who is Periphery?
Periphery is a metal band composed of a bunch of down to earth dudes from the Washington D.C. area. From the moment we got started with this interview I knew it was gonna turn out pretty awesome.
But first, listen to their music for yourself…
(EM!) Bob: Alright, we’re currently sitting in the tour bus outside of the First Unitarian Church in Philly with Periphery’s guitarist Misha Mansoor, who has agreed to do a mini interview for our site ElectricMariachi.com. Lets get to it my brotha… first question… what is your favorite breakfast cereal growing up?
(Periphery) Misha: oh man
(EM!) Bob: Right? See what I’m sayin. We’re asking the hard hitting questions.
(Periphery) Misha: this is actually gonna be like… the best interview ever.
(EM!) Bob: its pretty bangin
(Periphery) Misha: um….. man….. there was french toast crunch, it was by cinnamon toast crunch
(EM!) Bob: alright well lets cut to the heart of this topic, take us through your life line of cereals growing up
(Periphery) Misha: Alright… no, no, it first started with me and my sister, who is two years younger than me, getting lucky charms and eating all the marshmellows out of it… Right? Tell me you did that when you were little?
(EM!) Bob: Oh totally. I don’t think anybody hasn’t. It’s Unamerican.
(Periphery) Misha: And then of course your parents are like “you’re not gonna get another box until you eat all the shitty parts of the cereal”… and then you’re like “god damnit, I gotta eat this terrible fucking cereal”. My parents hated getting lucky charms because they knew that was gonna happen.
(EM!) Bob: Let me interject here. When you were little what TV shows would you watch while you were eating your cereal in the morning getting ready for school?
(Periphery) Misha: You know what? I didn’t have anything good because my parents didn’t have cable. I was the first born and my parents didn’t know what the fuck they were doing. I guess they were being really careful, they’d only let me watch Edu-tainment. Know what I mean, like Sesame Street…
(EM!) Bob: Reading Rainbow?
(Periphery) Misha: I didn’t have Nickelodeon or any of that good stuff on cable. I wasn’t really allowed to watch Saturday morning cartoons. And of course, I paved the way for my brother, who’s 7 years younger than me… who had fucking EVERYTHING. He had the dream childhood. I didn’t even have like video games or anything.
(EM!) Bob: Were your parents weird about you getting a TV in your bedroom when you were little?
(Periphery) Misha: I definitely didn’t have a TV in my room. My brother had like every video game system under the sun and like as many computers as he wanted. They felt bad so they spoiled him. They were like “yeah we were kind of harsh as parents… we just didn’t know what we were doing”.
(EM!) Bob: How old is you’re brother?
(Periphery) Misha: My brother is 18 or 19….. 19. Yeah, I’m 26, so he’s 19 now.
(EM!) Brandon: So do you play video games now?
(Periphery) Misha: Video games? I like to yeah but to be honest my girlfriend plays more video games than I do. She brought her XBOX (points over to a TV in their tour bus)… there is a PS3 over there so we can play Black Ops on the road. That’s my favorite game that I play the most. My girlfriend always makes me play it with her.
(EM!) Bob: hahaha thats cool.
(Periphery) Misha: But the thing is I don’t really have time to get into video games. Like, you hear about this new video game that just came out Dues Ex: Human Revolution… you see that one?
(EM!) Brandon: Yeah, I heard its good.
(Periphery) Misha: I’m a big fan of some of the other games this season, I just haven’t had time. The whole time before tour I was recording the Veil Of Maya album and I was just working constantly.
(EM!) Bob: I always feel like I buy games and only play them for an hour and never touch them again.
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah. That’s what happens. Dude, I’ll even get into a game and I find its really hard to stay focused because I’ll be working on something else and get side tracked. Then a week later I revisit the game and forget whats going on in the storyline. And you’re like I don’t want to start from the beginning but at the same time I don’t get what the fucks going on in this game anymore.
(EM!) Bob: Dude, totally.
(Periphery) Misha: Like, last game I really wanted to finish was L.A. Noire. I gotta finish that when I get back.
(EM!) Bob: (referring to Dustin – EM! crew) He bought L.A. Noire and I spilt soda on the box and tried to play it off like it never happened.
(Periphery) Misha: Hahaha, yeah we brought that PS3 so we can play it on the road. My friend Mark who is filling in on guitar for us, was like “yo I got L.A. Noire for PS3 I’ll bring it”….. we go to play it…. its just the case! We’re like god damnit Mark!
(EM!) Bob: Haha thats the worst.
(Periphery) Misha: Ok, ok, back to the breakfast cereals… Rice Krispies Treats Cereal… do you know that cereal?
(EM!) Bob: I thought everybody knows that cereal.
(Periphery) Misha: No, I’ll tell you… its not a readily available cereal from what I’ve found. Even in my area (around D.C.) you can only get it at this one Walmart thats like an hour and a half away. You have to drive out to fucking Frederick Maryland.
(EM!) Dustin: What?! For Rice Krispies Treats?! haha
(EM!) Brandon: Man, hour and a half for cereal.. thats serious.
(Periphery) Misha: AND, my friend Casey… who lived in Philly used to be able to get it all the time… moved out to LA and he says the only thing that sucks about LA is that he can’t get that cereal there. My friend Justin, who is a little bit of a prankster hired Casey for some work, and when he was done he fucking sent him… you know those Ampeg bass stacks…. the box that those come in. He fit 60 boxes of cereal in that. He went to like every Walmart he could find to buy up all their cereal because its Casey’s favorite cereal in the whole world. He shipped him 60 boxes of Rice Krispies Treats cereal… no joke.
(EM!) Bob: Is that made by General Mills… I know we have a Nabisco factory around here… is that the same haha?
(Periphery) Misha: I don’t know, but I know we definitely have a box on the bus at this very moment. (pulls out the box from a cabinet) Its definitely my girlfriends, she saw this and she freaked out.
(EM!) Bob: Dude, we got that shit everywhere in Philly haha. Thats so random.
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah, its really unfair… we got fucked on this haha.
(EM!) Dustin: We had the hardest time trying to track down Dunkaroos to see if they still hold up to what we remember them.
(Periphery) Misha: What are dunkaroos?
(Periphery) Matt Halpern: (Chiming in from the background) You don’t know what dunkaroos are? They’re these little cookies with this frosting.
(EM!) Bob: We went on a voyage to find those.
(Periphery)Matt: You know what, looking bad they taste all chemical-ish now
(Periphery) Misha: Dude, its like snack packs. Everybody loves snack packs but I think they’re kind of gross. Its like this jello pudding that you don’t need to refrigerate because its got so many fucking preservatives in it. Its like, as a kid I always wished I had money so I could buy four of them and eat them at once, but now I’m like fuck snackpacks man…
(EM!) Bob: You think, why can I leave this out in the sun for a week and still eat it…
(Periphery) Misha: Do you wanna know what I do? Now that I’m a man and I can do whatever the fuck I want. I will go out and buy gushers and eat six packs in a single sitting.
(EM!) Bob: Yo, dude! We’d go through like a box a day… because there are only like 10 in a bag.
(Periphery) Misha: And you’re like “oh its fruit snacks its good for you”… its loaded with sugar but theres gotta be some fruit particles in there somewhere. But yeah, I fucking do that… because I’m a man. haha
(EM!) Bob: Alright, so you’re talking trips to Walmart in Maryland… you guys live and chill around D.C., where is the late night food spot that you guys might hit up after a show in your area?
(Periphery) Misha: Well don’t don’t play in D.C. like ever.
(Periphery) Matt: Javier’s parents place. I don’t know what it’s called though… its amazing. Its this mexican place.
(Periphery) Misha: Its peruvian chicken… or is it mexican?
(Periphery)Matt: El Salvadorian…
(Periphery) Misha: Oh Salvadorian… he’s gonna be so pissed off haha
(EM!) Bob: So what did you guys eat around Philly tonight?
(Periphery) Misha: Cheesesteaks man!
(EM!) Bob: So where did you go?
(Periphery) Misha: There was this place Tonys or something?
(EM!) Dustin: Tony Lukes?
(Periphery) Misha: No, I tried to find Tony Lukes but it was four miles away.
(EM!) Bob: Yo I feel like this whole cheesesteak thing… being from Philly I feel like they are all kind of the same. People ask me where is the best place to get a cheesesteak and usually I’ll just be like pick a random pizza place around the corner and its probably just as good if not better as the touristy bullshit ones.
(Periphery) Misha: No, no, well when you go around the country and get a cheesesteak….
(EM!) Bob: …. oh no, I mean like within Philly. Most places are pretty consistent with each other.
(Periphery) Misha: I’ve never had a bad cheesesteak in Philly. Yeah, I just went to the first place that was open and I knew it was gonna be good… and it was. Some place called Dolce something.
(EM!) Bob: That’s whats up
(Periphery) Misha: Actually, we have a bunch of people from Holland on the tour, Textures… and we are totally trying to give them the entire American experience which is pretty much trying to make them gain like 15lbs
(EM!) Bob: So, where do you guys play next after this show in Philly?
(Periphery) Misha: We’re actually headed home.
(EM!) Bob: You guys ever play in North Jersey, like at Rutgers or around there?
(Periphery) Misha: No, no…
(EM!) Bob: Dude the grease trucks there… that would have been a cool place to show them. I actually have a friend in the Army who is stationed out in Germany and he brought his girlfriend home with him and that was one of the spots we showed her. She didn’t really know how to react to it. My other friend used to go to school there so we’d get really drunk and walk to get fat sandwiches. I’d eat one on the way home and get a second so I’d remember eating it at the house.
(Periphery) Misha: Its that American experience. Just pour maple syrup on it and deep fry it. But the thing is I’m trying to get them into the more traditional Americana experience. Things like root beer floats… funnel cake… the stuff that is really American that you can only get here. So when we got here I was like “you gotta do a fucking cheesesteak”
(EM!) Bob: You should try to take them to a drive in movie or something…
(Periphery) Misha: Well yeah you’d think that but I’ve never been to a fucking drive in movie… but everyone has had a root beer float, know what I’m sayin?
(EM!) Bob: True.
(Periphery) Misha: But they’ve never had that before… its like “you need to have a root beer float while you’re in America”
(EM!) Bob: Alright moving on, Brandon I’ll let you take this next question.
(EM!) Brandon: Alright, well you said you guys play a lot of Black Ops… you guys watch a lot of movies too?
(Periphery) Misha: Um… we watch some movies but it gets pretty noisy in here (referring to the bus generator running) so we haven’t been as much as you’d think.
(EM!) Brandon: So whats your favorite movie?
(Periphery) Misha: Ah man thats tough… I’m not sure I have one.
(EM!) Bob: Alright, well whats the last movie you saw in the theater?
(Periphery) Misha: Hmmm its been a while… what was that one that was a mixture of Cloverfield and The Goonies?
(EM!) Brandon: Ah Super 8?
(Periphery) Misha: Super 8. That was a good movie.
(EM!) Bob: We’ve tackled some good questions here… what about you Dustin you have anything you’d want to ask?
(EM!) Dustin: Hmmm… you guys into sports at all?
(Periphery) Misha: You know, I used to watch hockey a lot but I haven’t been able to follow anything while on tour. You can follow stats and shit but how fucking fun is that. You know? I’m never able to actually catch the games. But really besides that I don’t know shit about sports. I went to a hockey game when I was younger and got real hooked on it… and the Caps weren’t doing really well when I got into them so you could get tickets for like 10 bucks. And now they seem like they are doing really well because tickets are like 60 bucks. I’d usually go to like 6 – 7 games a season but I haven’t this year…
(EM!) Dustin: Its like the 76′ers… I have season tickets for that and I’ll ask people if they want to go to the game with me and its always… no. So I’ll be like well its free…. no. Ok, well I’m not sure i’m gonna go do you want both tickets, you can take your girlfriend… no. They don’t even want the damn tickets.
(Periphery) Misha: Man you can’t even give them away? I mean, it wasn’t that bad with the Caps. It was fun… and it was as they were getting better, so you’re in that perfect spot of seeing really good games for very little money. Then everyone started jumping on the bandwagon and tickets got really expensive. So instead of seeing 6 games a season, I’d end up only seeing one game a season. And then with being on tour, we’re always working on shit so maybe we’ll catch some shit on tv but barely if any at all.
(EM!) Bob: So next question, what’s your favorite venue to play?
(Periphery) Misha: One of the nicest venues we’ve ever played was this place that was right near Amsterdam. It was this huge complex and they had the best team of people, everything was super clean. Everything was state of the art.
(EM!) Bob: Who did you play with?
(Periphery) Misha: We were actually headlining the show and there were two other bands Monuments and The Safety Fire. Really really awesome bands.
(EM!) Bob: Definitely.
(Periphery) Misha: There was a huge stage and a smaller stage… and they even had this smoke booth, you can just go in and smoke weed and it sucks all the air out through this vent. That was probably one of the best shows we’ve ever played. Actually no, the best show we’ve ever played would probably have to be Melbourne, Australia. It was 12,000 people… solid out… complete insanity. The energy was just insane.
(EM!) Bob: Thats gotta be trippy as shit, thinking wow there is a fuck load of people here.
(EM!) Brandon: Is there anyone that you guys were super stoked to play with? Like any bands that you personally were like wow… is this really happening?
(Periphery) Misha: Oh yeah… we got to play with Dillenger Escape Plan our first time in Australia. Thats one of the few bands in the world you’ll just never upstage.
(EM!) Bob: They are fucking maniacs.
(Periphery) Misha: And they’re like 30 years old and they are kicking more ass than ever. They played for an hour… and you just feel silly trying to compete with that level of energy. You just can’t match that. And coming up, we are playing with Dream Theater, which is one of my favorite bands. We’re actually playing a show in Philly with them… but not this venue hahaha. They won’t be playing a church basement.
(EM!) Bob: You guys are probably never home are you?
(Periphery) Misha: No, we’re home a lot. I mean we do tour a lot but not as much as some other bands. I guess we just play such a weird style of music that our management is starting to be more strategic. Its not… lets just get them out on the road as much as possible. We actually have started turning down tours that either don’t fit us or we don’t think would make sense. We’ve played in Philly a few times but this is actually our first time playing at the church.
(EM!) Bob: This is actually one of my favorite venues because so many awesome shows have happened here and you get that personal vibe to it.
(Periphery) Misha: A lot of people were hyping this place up and in my mind I was picturing this pristine venue.
(EM!) Bob: No… no… haha there are like childrens crayon drawings taped to the walls and shit.
(Periphery) Misha: haha there is an alphabet carpet that I was standing on. But to be fair, some of the best shows happen in places like this… whether its a cafeteria or VFW or something like that. Thats usually where you find the best energy at shows.
(EM!) Bob: I’ll give you a heads up, its gonna get hot as fuck in there.
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah, I could tell there is no ventilation.. but you know what? thats a show. Thats a good time. If I drink a few beers I won’t feel it.
(EM!) Bob: So do you have another job as well or is this your full time gig?
(Periphery) Misha: Being in a band is very rarely a full time gig because it pays absolutely nothing. So, I produce music for other bands like that new Veil Of Maya album, which I need to finish up when I get back.
(EM!) Bob: Oh nice, so do you have a studio?
(Periphery) Misha: Um…. I have my apartment hahaha. It works.
(EM!) Brandon: I have a friend that recorded an album and then they recorded all the vocals in his car.
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah? A car is acoustically dead…. I’ve heard of people doing that before. Thats what you need, to eliminate all the outside noises as well as a place that dampens the sound.
(EM!) Brandon: So, you have any pets?
(Periphery) Misha: No. Not a pet guy, although my girlfriend has a cat (points to his girlfriend). Apparently I’m gonna adopt a cat. But really what it is, is that I’m just gonna be living at her place so I guess her and the cat are adopting me. (looks at his girlfriend) Your cat and you will adopt me haha.
(EM!) Brandon: haha whats the cats name?
(Periphery) Misha: Spencer. Thats definitely the name of the singer in our band too.
(EM!) Bob: oh shit, I think that might be fate
(Periphery) Misha: Maybe that shit happened on purpose. I think its a sign. Thats how I know we’re gonna get married, isn’t that right? (girlfriend hesitantly says yes)…
(EM!) Bob: I feel like we might need to throw a picture of this cat on the blog.
(Periphery) Misha: The cat totally looks like Hitler.
(EM!) Bob: What is it lately I’ve seen all these girls online taking pictures with like cats on their shoulders? What is that… nobody wants that.
(Periphery) Misha: (turns to girlfriend) You taking pictures with your cat on your shoulders?
(EM!) Bob: How many cats do you have? We’re talking a single cat scenario here right?
Misha’s Girlfriend: yeah only one
(Periphery) Misha: She’s still young. She’s gonna be a cat lady.
(EM!) Bob: I feel like once you rescue more than one cat you’re headed down that slippery slope towards crazy cat lady status.
Misha’s Girlfriend: What do you mean?!
(Periphery) Misha: Wait was your cat off the streets?
Misha’s Girlfriend: Yeah
(Periphery) Misha: And I have to love that? Hahaha boyfriend of the year.
(EM!) Dustin: You guys ever see that cat mosh video?
(Periphery) Misha: Haha yeah, you ever see this video with the original audio on it… its fucking terrifying. When you get four cats or four hundred cats it starts to look like that.
Misha’s Girlfriend: I dunno I mean is it better to let them be out on the streets or to take them in and feed them and give them a home?
(EM!) Brandon: I guess it matters if your nose works or not hahaha. Alright so next question, what was your first job?
(Periphery) Misha: My first job was a Haagen Daz. I feel like everybody once in their life needs to work in the service industry that way you learn to respect people. I guarantee if everybody worked one year, you’d never have anybody be rude to you ever again. Now I’m the most polite person to waiters and all that with tipping.
(EM!) Bob: I know people that WAY over tip because they work at a restaurant.
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah man, you gotta tip healthy. Foreigners don’t really do that shit either. America is the only country where we pay our waiters less than $3 an hour… in Europe when you tip them you have to make it clear you want them to take your money, they’ll chase you down and tell you you forgot your money. In Australia, I think waiters make like $15 or $20 an hour.
(EM!) Bob: So besides music related stuff, what other things do you do in your freetime?
(Periphery) Misha: Honestly there’s not a whole lot. I watch a lot of Anime and try to catch up on my shows that I like to watch. I actually like to go to air shows.
(EM!) Bob: Air shows?
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah, I used to love airplanes as a kid. I used to think I was gonna be a test pilot when I grew up and then I developed a sense of fear and I kind of gave up on that. Besides that though, I’m always busy so I don’t really have time to do shit. I’m not the kind of person who likes going to bars or clubs or any of that shit. I much rather just chill with some friends at somones house.
(EM!) Bob: So what other genres are you into besides metal?
(Periphery) Misha: Its a common misconception that people who play metal are into metal. Like don’t get me wrong, I like metal… but its never been my favorite style of music. Its just the best music to play live, if that makes sense. And thats why there is a lot of metal aspects in the music I write. I actually don’t listen to a lot of metal… a lot of it just seems pretty boring to me. I listen to a lot of electronic stuff. You guys ever hear of Telefon Tel Aviv?
(EM!) Bob: Man you’d probably love our site then, we post a lot of that type stuff. Recently we just put up that new M83 album, we posted the new Junior Boys… all kinds of stuff. The entire point of our site is just that we all really like music and we want people to get as excited about it as we do… so if we like a band we just throw it up on the site and let people listen for themselves. Nobody cares what I have to say about an album… just listen to it.
(Periphery) Misha: You guys hear of The Deer Hunter? They are like my favorite band in the whole world. The Color Spectrum. Just everything they’ve done. You ever get into Karnivool? You gotta check them out too. They’re from Australia… I’m about to introduce you to what may be one of your new favorite bands. Not only does their album sound incredible, its the freshest new style of music.. and they absolutely destroy live. So tight. The only thing is in the States they don’t do that well but in Australia they are fucking huge.
(EM!) Brandon: I actually just picked up tickets for The Deer Hunter with Manchester Orchestra.
(Periphery) Misha: Who’s opening?
(EM!) Brandon: I think The Deer Hunter is opening.
(Periphery) Misha: Thats the thing… I want to see The Deer Hunter play but I want them to headline because they have so much fucking music and I know I’ll only see a fraction of what I’d want them to play. Every time they are on tour I miss them cause of either working or I’m also on tour. The one time I was gonna get to see them it was an epic line up with Dredg but they had van problems for the one show and didn’t get to play.
(EM!) Brandon: I like Dredg… I saw them with Circa Survive
(Periphery) Misha: Yeah, Circa Survive is fucking awesome too.
(EM!) Bob: Yeah, Circa is actually from around here too.
(Periphery) Misha: Oh really? Oh yeah, thats right… I have a pretty random connection to them because Tosin from Animals As Leaders, which I produced and co-wrote the Animals As Leaders album, was in a band called Reflux with Ash our label head from Samarian… and once upon a time Steve from Circa played drums for Reflux. Way back in the day… that’s how Tosin knows Steve and I met him through Tosin.
(EM!) Brandon: Tosin is probably one of my favorite guitarists… thats how I first saw him play actually. He came out and did a solo at the Circa show and it was incredible. It was at the TLA down on south street here.
(Periphery) Misha: He’s one of the most creative guitarists. He moved to LA but he used to live like ten minutes away from me and we’d hang out all the time. Every time he’d come over I’d learn something from just watching him play because he approach was so creative… and thats kind of why I worked on that first album with him. They needed help and I had the recording stuff set up so we were like fuck it lets do this.
[At this point the generator on the bus died and we lost power - it started getting pretty hot]
(EM!) Bob: Alright man, this has been really awesome. I’m sure we got plenty to post for this interview. Thank you so much for taking the time out to let us chill with you guys before the show and do this interview. I guess we’ll see you in there shortly.