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Interview: Jake Bowen talks solo material, next Periphery album, backing tracks

Posted by on November 13, 2017

WMSC/Montclair’s The Metal Teddy Bear Experience caught up with Periphery guitarist Jake Bowen on Thursday when they played a sold out show at New York City’s Playstation Theater. They spoke about his electronic music project with Misha Mansoor, the next Periphery album, Nolly Getgood’s participation with the band since he departed, and fast food. You can listen to the interview before.

 

Do you have a bunch of solo stuff that you are working on?

Well, yes and no. I have ideas kinda floating around but I did work on an EP, an electronic music EP, with Misha, the other guitar player in Periphery. We wrote a really sick EP. We’re kinda mixing it right now and trying to figure out what the sound is going to be for it. Right now, it’s in one place and we love the songs, we love the compositions and that stuff will stay exactly the same. It’s just sonically…it’s more Misha who wants to get it to a certain point that he’s comfortable with. I think it sounds great already, but he’s kinda like the master when it comes to that kind of stuff. I want him to be happy with it and we’re taking our time getting it mixed and mastered. I don’t know exactly when that’s coming out but it’s technically done. It does have elements of my electronic music in it, as well as contributions from Misha. It was a cool collaboration and I can’t wait for people to hear it. Other than that, we’re trying to figure out when Periphery is going to record another album. So, I think we’re going to do that before I start anything solo related. 

 

The project with Misha, does it have a name?

Yeah, it’s called Four Seconds Ago and it’s just this thing we started back in- when I first joined Periphery back in 2006. It was just this thing that, even the name, it’s not even an official name but it is. It’s a goofy thing that we kinda started to take a little bit serious. I think people will really like it.

 

MTB: So we shouldn’t expect it in 2018?

Jake: I would say 2018, sometime in 2018. 

 

You also talked about Periphery writing. How far along are you guys on that?

We haven’t even started yet but there are a few little demos and ideas that are out there. I think, early next year we’re going to start figuring out what we want to do for the next album.

 

Do you have any, not just concepts, but ideas? You know, you did a double album and with the other one you guys went a little heavier and stuff like that.

There’s nothing really to say about it other than that we’ve just thrown a few different ideas on how on the format will be. I don’t know if it will be a concept album, but it might be a bit of a significant format that’s different than your standard album. But even that, I can’t even say for sure. Things change while we are working on it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some nifty little motif or theme that is attached to it.

 

Are you guys going to follow suit from Periphery IV?

I don’t know. That’s a good question. I always wanted to call Periphery IV: Skin. Like, that’s the subtitle, so that way people will have to say it. I don’t know if the numbered one is going to come next but it very well could happen.

 

Personally, I think it’s cool because it gives an identity to your album and you guys always have something fun, like Select Difficulty.

Yeah, in Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, we got to continue that. It’s kinda making fun of all those bands that have those numbered albums because there are kinda pretentious in a way. This is our way of being, we don’t take ourselves very seriously at all. But the music is kinda serious [laughs].

 

You guys have a lot of projects going on. I know, Haunted Shores between Mark and Misha and then Spencer came out with his own solo project-

Endur.

 

Yeah. Do you think you that has an effect on the band right now?

I think that if anything, it gets people stoked to work together again because when you are working on something solo or working on something with another member of the band or member of a different band, it kinda helps you take stock of what you have. Writing an album on your own, for me, was not stressful, but very… I didn’t know what I was doing – I still don’t. When I’m working with the guys, I just feel safe. I feel like safe that all the work is gonna get done in a reasonable amount of time. We have a whole team of great people working on it with us whether it is our manager or his team. It’s just a lot more safe. When you’re working solo, you kinda look back and like ‘oh man, I can’t wait to work on a new album with the guys.’

 

It’s funny how some people have the reverse effect too like, “I just want to do my thing.”

Yeah, that’s the flip side of it when you work on something yourself. I guess, people process it differently but for me, I’m like, ‘phew,’ I don’t have any expectations except for my own and I don’t care if I disappoint myself. The thing I don’t want to do is disappoint my band mates. So, when I’m working on something by myself, I’m like I don’t care if people like it or not as long as I’m cool with it.

 

Do you think that you’ll bring back Nolly? Because I know he left the band this year. Do you think you guys will have him on producing?

I think he’ll want to do the records with us. Not as a member but just as somebody who is an engineer and producer because that’s what he’s focusing on now. I don’t think that is out of the question to be working with him in that capacity. I don’t think he’ll ever rejoin the band again as a bass player but I never want to say never. He’s still an incredibly good friend of ours and I miss him and I love him and I just hope that he is stoked with whatever he’s doing. I know he is because he wouldn’t make a decision like that if it was absolutely right for him. 

 

It was about wanting to spend time with his family and do other projects, right?

Yeah, he’s recently married and his production business is really taking off, so you know, I commend him for wanting to follow his ambition. 

 

Do you think that he’ll do some bass parts on the album?

Oh, I’m sure he’ll track tons of bass if we work with him. I’m sure he’ll even write a guitar riff or two. He’s just a very prolific guy and he’s always helping out. He has good humor about the whole process and you know, I miss him.

 

Right now during live shows, you guys have a track going on in the back. Are you guys going to keep going with that?

Yeah, that is correct. I think for the time being, you know, we get asked that question a bit because it’s kinda a mystery on how we’ll proceed and…the answer is we don’t want to mess up the band dynamic at this point. It’s a risk. Do you run the risk of changing things up drastically when you bring new people into the fold? Having Nolly reached this level of, lack of a better word, perfection or harmony amongst us and how we work and then he left and we don’t want to mess that up. Until we can figure out or come to an agreement on who will fill that spot, if anyone ever will that spot, then it will just remain vacant. 

 

During my show, do you remember, I ask three random silly questions?

I do remember this. 

 

Fun fact, nothing in our [previous] interview got picked up except for the one where I asked you about your worst job. Question number one: What is your favorite memory?

Favorite memory? That’s like picking a favorite kid… This is really easy and it just dawned on me. The moment that I picked up my dog from the airport and I never met him before. I picked a puppy from a breeder and she flew him to Baltimore and I didn’t know how I was going to feel. I literally open the door and took him out. I can only imagine this is what it’s like for a dad to see his baby for the first time. I was instantly in love and that is undoubtedly the best moment of my life when that happened. He’s actually going to be here at the show tonight.

 

You brought him along?

Well, my mom is going to come and bring him and see dad.

 

How old is he?

He’s three. He’s just the best dog. So, that’s the moment my life changed forever. 

 

Question number two: If you were going to be transformed into an inanimate object, which one would you choose and why?

Hmm. Who was the actress who played Wonder Woman?

 

Gal Gadot? 

Yeah. I would like to be her bicycle seat. [laughs]

 

Question number three: What is the best fast food? Because you’ve been all over the world now, you have a lot to choose from.

Yeah, best fast food…gee whiz. I guess, this one is very cliché as this point but I have an explanation. It is In N Out. I’m sure a lot of people say In N Out Burger which is regional, you can only find it on the West Coast. There’s some in Texas. But you know, a lot of people go there because of the hype and they’re like “It wasn’t that good. I don’t get it.” No, no, no. It’s not about it being this delicious, juicy hamburger that’s going to be better than Kuma’s in Chicago or something like that. It has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with the time it is open until and the cost ratio. So basically, you have this place that’s open until 1am and it’s like $6 for a combo meal, so when you’re… depending on what your vice is, when you’re drunk or high, you’re like “What am I going to eat?” and it’s like you just played a show or out partying- you’re doing your scummy LA thing and you’re like, “Man what am I going to eat!”. Everyone’s like, “Why don’t we go to In N Out?” and you’re like “mmmmhh In and Out!” You get the squad up and you go to In N Out. For some reason, the place is always slammed but you and your eight friends can find a table there. You sit down and gobble down two double double’s and wash it down with some Coca Cola and you eat their really mediocre fries and just like… it’s all about the experience. 

 

This tour wraps up in early December. What’s your plan after this tour?

Jake: Lots of spending time at home in my underwear probably eating pizzas and watching Netflix. 

 

Stranger Things?

I just finished it. It was fun. We actually binged it yesterday because it was a day off. It was just me and a couple of crew guys because everyone else went home. We were in Maryland and my home is in New York. I was on the bus and was like ‘Why don’t we binge Stranger Things?’ and we crushed it out in a day. 

 

I think that’s one of the best things, binge watching with your friends.

But then there’s that feeling of emptiness when you’re done and you’re like, “now what do I watch?” And then somebody’s like, “have you seen Game of Thrones?” and I’m like ‘No…I don’t want to get into Game of Thrones‘ that’s another commitment. [laughs]

 

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