As I entered one of the backstage green rooms, I was greeted by Spencer Sotelo sipping on a glass of red wine. After a couple minutes of I'm-the-journalist-you're-the-famous-music-singer small talk we got down to business.
"We haven't had this successful of a tour as a headlining act since we started," he admitted before we got fully into the interview. You can read the entire discussion of the new Periphery album, their last concept double LP, and Spencer's upcoming solo record below.
You're about a week into this tour with a fresh new setlist. How are the new songs translating to the live stage?
I don’t know, I think the fans are receiving them pretty well. I know for me, they are a lot more fun to play than the older songs. I think I just connect with them more on a lyrical sense.
And I gotta say the lineup for this tour is killer. Do you think you’ll do a little “Diamonds for Gold” with Toothgrinder sometime during this run considering you contributed to the track?
Right, I produced the vocals on that whole record. They are great guys, good friends. And we actually practiced it today at soundcheck. I think we’ll start doing it tomorrow in Los Angeles, so you just missed it by one night. There will be videos, I’m sure.
This is SikTh's first tour in the US. You’ve also brought over Textures for their first US tour. Are there any other non-American bands you’d like to tour with?
There’s one band that we did bring out before that I’d like to again because they’re an amazing band. But that would be Twelve Foot Ninja. I love touring with those guys and they are one of the coolest new bands that are coming out of Australia right now.
So the new album came out just recently. Tell me something we don’t know about it. Any crazy song writing stories or secret hidden eggs within these tracks?
There wasn’t a whole lot of time for anything crazy to go down. I did my fair share of wine drinking to get through the process because everything was so condensed. With most of our albums we’ve had a good amount time to do it, but for this there were hard deadlines, so it was just a blur of people scrambling to get things done. I’m actually surprised that the record came out as well as it did for how condensed the time period was.
Yeah, there was about a year and a half between this album and the Juggernaut double album. Why the rush?
We weren’t even planning to do a full-length record. We just wanted to write some songs for fun and maybe put out an EP in the Summer. And we just kept writing and the ideas were flowing. It got to the point where we had to release by the Summer so it wouldn’t intersect with all these other releases going on. We had written more than an EP, so it was kind of our own fault for writing too much music and shooting ourselves in the foot. I’m stoked we did though because this is the most proud I’ve been of any record we’ve done.
The song “The Way the News Goes…,” is that a Rick & Morty reference?
Yeah, that was the working title for the track and we all loved it so much that we just kept it. We’re all huge Rick & Morty fans.
Being that Periphery’s previous release was a conceptual double album, would you say this album also has a concept or theme?
Every song is its own thing. Some touch on kind of similar topics here and there, but each song is its own entity. It’s like the exact opposite of Juggernaut.
I understand you’ve been reluctant to open up about the actual Juggernaut: Alpha and Omega story, but are there any plans regarding a full reveal eventually?
I did a video interview at the Periphery summer camp we did about two weeks ago. One of the questions was regarding the concept and I was loosened up that night, so I went through the whole story. I spent like ten minutes of describing in-depth of what the story is about.
Have you had any thoughts towards doing anything further with that concept?
Like a graphic novel? Maybe, maybe down the road. Right now I don’t have any inspiration to do that. But maybe when we have some downtime between touring and we’re not writing, I’ll do something like that to keep busy and work with a graphic novelist.
Will we ever see a Spencer solo album?
Yeah, I actually just finished my solo album. It’s coming out under the name Endur. It’s like Trent Reznor worship and very heavy industrial. That’s coming out on Sumerian Records in November or December this year. There’s no set date for it yet, but I just turned it in so I’m sure within the next three to four months it will be out.
Are we talking Trent Reznor soundtrack music or more Nine Inch Nails status?
From Broken to Year Zero material. I programmed everything and wrote all the drums. I didn’t play the drums, so I hired a couple guys that I really respect. One being Pete Adams and the other one is Ernie Slenkovich from First to Last. Both of them tag teamed the record on drums. Not every song has live drums, there’s a lot of programmed stuff, but the ones that do have live drumming have those two guys going at it.
We’re heading down to South Africa in the middle of September or so. There’s something in the works for Mexico with a band I’d really love to tour with, but it’s not confirmed yet. I hope we get back to Europe next year because I feel like it has been awhile.