Interview: Periphery's Jake Bowen Talks Juggernaut Alpha and Omega, The Band's Tour & More

Last night, metalheads from across New England flooded the snow-covered streets of Boston to see Periphery play the Paradise Rock Club.

Currently touring with Thank You Scientist, Woven War, and Nothing More, the band's stage presence was undeniable when their set started. The crowd lurched forward to greet them.

Their performance was an hour, and they played fan favorites from Periphery II, The Icarus EP, and their newly released double album--Juggernaut Alpha and Juggernaut Omega.

Before the show, I was able to speak with guitarist Jake Bowen about Juggernaut, the band's current tour, his interest in electronic music, and his solo project.

How's the tour going?

The tour is going great. We're almost done; we have four shows left.

It's been cool; the second half of it was spent in a lot of winter weather, so it's been rough getting from place to place. But other than that it's a great tour.

Did you guys have more musical or lyrical themes going in to write and record Juggernaut?

Well, they were both written in parallel. So we didn't have any shortage of either, really. Spencer (Sotelo) took care of the lyrical themes, and the rest of us took care of the instrumentals.

How long has Juggernaut been in the works?

It's actually been an idea even before the first album came out. It's a pretty old idea that we've wanted to explore at some point.

But the time has never been right up until now. And the story changed, and the music that we were going to use changed; it just kind of evolved to include the whole band--the whole current lineup--in the writing.

What's the story behind Juggernaut?

Well, I can't talk about that yet--just because we all agreed that we wanted to keep it a bit of a mystery, so the fans could figure it out for themselves first. We have a pretty dedicated fan base, and it's cool to see, you know, what people are talking about online, and what they're coming up with.

Eventually, we'll do something to kind of give them an idea what's going on.

You said you were waiting for the right time to record Juggernaut. What made this the right time to record it?

Well, we planned on doing it shortly after Periphery II came out, but then we dropped that idea just to kind of tour on Periphery II-- make sure that gets support it deserves. And then we'd work on it once we finished supporting Periphery II, which was about a two year album cycle.

You know, we got a lot of questions like, "When's Juggernaut coming out?" over and over and over again. So we knew it was just the thing we had to do next.

How do you feel you guys have evolved since Periphery II?

Well, we've become a tighter-knit unit. This is the most stable lineup we've ever had. And, we're also all writing together as one.

And that's kind of like a new thing for us because, on Periphery I, it was just really one person, and I helped a little bit. And then Periphery II, it was one or two or even three working on a song at a time.

And on Juggernaut everybody helped on every song.

In Periphery you have three guitarists. Who brings what to the table when you guys are writing?

Well, it's hard to say. Everybody brings a little bit of everything.

We all play solos, we all play leads; we all play clean parts and rhythms. So it's really just, whoever's feeling inspired for whatever particular song we're working on, we tend to work with those person's ideas.

Who are some of your biggest influences for electronic music?

It changes. When I first started out it was Telafon Tel Aviv, Nine Inch Nails, and some video game soundtracks--certain composers within there. Lately it's been some new artists like Mr. Bill and the guy who composed the Drive Soundtrack.

I don't know if you've seen that movie, but I think his name is Cliff Martinez. But I'm not sure. But yeah, stuff like that.

My last question is about your upcoming solo record. Is it going to be more electronic or more metal?

All electronic. It's going to be a pretty chill album. It's really going to be focused on just melodic content. With a sort of hip-hop beat vibe to it--but, no vocals.