misha mansoor

Black-metal mensches: Misha Mansoor (left) and Mark Holcomb are the brain trust of Haunted Shores and two-thirds of Periphery’s guitar triumvirate.

Photo by Ekaterina Gorbacheva

The guitar daredevils—wielding their Jackson and PRS axes—bite into the seething darkness of black metal with their soul-searing new album, Void.

As two thirds of the triumvirate of guitarists that provides taste-making progressive metal juggernaut Periphery with its genre-shifting 6-, 7-, and 8-string assault, Misha Mansoor and Mark Holcomb are among the most influential players of their generation.

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Misha, Mark, Jake and “Nolly” run through their refreshingly efficient, yet powerful, stage setup.

On the last leg of their tour supporting their latest release, the kind members of Periphery took some time to talk with Premier Guitar about their compact, yet powerful, stage gear. The guitar slingers in the band are very serious about tone and feel, which can get challenging with the drop tunings and precision needed for their songs.

Guitars and Basses

Jake Bowen’s signature model Ibanez is the JBM-100. This black-matte finished 6-string beauty sports a mahogany body, maple top, and Jake’s signature passive DiMarzio Titan pickups. Bowen also brings a 7-string version on the road as well. He wanted a guitar that could handle the “middle ground” of playing rhythm and lead.
Misha “Bulb” Mansoor’s guitars are well designed and very colorful. His No. 1 is a Jackson Custom Shop 7-string with a basswood body, quilted maple top, maple neck, and an ebony fretboard.
His Bare Knuckle Juggernaut pickups drive his aggressive style, and he carries an almost identical 6-string version.
Misha also plays an Aristides 070 constructed of Arium that also features his signature pickups.
Mark Holcomb’s main guitars are made by PRS. His new favorite is a PRS Private Stock model, featuring a 25 1/2" scale length, gorgeous flamed maple top, and DiMarzio pickups of his design.
Mark’s main 7-string guitar is a PRS SE in battleship grey that also features his custom DiMarzio pickups. It features a slightly shorter scale length and uses a .068 on the low 7th string.
The bass player, Adam “Nolly” Getgood, who also produced the band’s latest release, carries custom Dingwall basses on the road. His signature model is based on the Combustion model, which has been modified to his specs. A massive 37” scale supports the drop tunings, which are below the range of a normal 5-string bass.

Amps and Cabinets

Periphery’s amp setup is wonderfully simple, yet very effective. They all run through a Line 6 XD-V75 wireless unit into a Fractal Axe-FX II XL. The show is “run” via ProTools, with MIDI signals changing the effects on the Fractals, therefore keeping the stage free of pedals and cables.
The guitar players “split” a QSC PLD 4.3 power amp to drive their respective cabinets onstage. The band is on in-ear monitors, but they realized that with certain venues the fans in the first few rows were missing out on the total experience so onstage cabs were added. Jake, Mark, and Misha use Zilla 2x12 speaker cabs with Nolly rocking a 6x10. All the guitar cabs are loaded with a Celestion Creamback H and a Celestion Vintage 30.

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Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor teamed up with UK-based Bare Knuckle for the Juggernaut line of pickups.

United Kingdom (October 1, 2013) -- "The Bare Knuckle Juggernaut encapsulates everything that I look for in a pickup in a ground breaking way. I can finally have the tightness and attack of a ceramic with the dynamics and musical nature of an Alnico. I can proudly call the Bare Knuckle 'Juggernaut' my signature pickup set." — Misha Mansoor

The Juggernaut humbucker is designed with symmetrically hand-wound twin screw coils and has a unique combination of massive Alnico V and ceramic VIII flankers for its engine in the bridge and a custom size Alnico V in the neck. Bass response is big and focused with lots of weight in the mids for the ultimate in definition through complex extended chord voicings. High end is rich and vocal with all of the articulation and dynamic control that Misha demands for his progressive playing style.

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