Formation and early line-up changes (2005–2009)
Periphery was formed in 2005 by guitarist Misha Mansoor, who slowly gained a reputation on the Internet via a regularly-updated Soundclick account, the Meshuggah and John Petrucci forums, and the sevenstring.org message boards. Before and during Periphery's tenure in the metal scene, Mansoor developed a reputation for doing his own audio production, the majority of which was performed with a home computer and a Pod XT. Mansoor has continued to update his personal project, Bulb, often transferring songs between the two projects. Mansoor also continues to be involved in a number of other musical projects, including Haunted Shores, Four Seconds Ago, and of Man Not of Machine.
Periphery went through a number of lineup changes during its early history. Originally, Misha played drums and guitar in the band, but began scoping out local talent and found local drummer Jason S. Berlin, and then switched permanently to guitar. Berlin was planning to pursue interests in Los Angeles and was replaced upon departure by Travis Orbin. Between 2005 and 2009, Periphery worked with vocalists Jake Veredika, Casey Sabol and Chris Barretto, gradually moving from a Meshuggah-influenced sound to a more ambient, melodic sound, with a focus on innovative production.
Periphery has toured extensively since 2008, supporting artists including DevilDriver, Dream Theater, Emmure, Veil of Maya, Animals as Leaders, God Forbid, Darkest Hour, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Fear Factory, Between the Buried and Me, and Fair to Midland.
Spencer Sotelo, Matt Halpern and self-titled debut (2010–2011)
In 2009, Travis Orbin left the band to join Sky Eats Airplane. He was then replaced by Matt Halpern, who was scouted by Mansoor whilst playing for a local pop band. In January 2010, Sumerian and Periphery announced on April 20, as the release date of the band's self-titled debut album, to be distributed by Sumerian Records in the United States; Distort Records in Canada; Roadrunner Records in Australia; Century Media Records in Germany, and the rest of the world. On January 20, 2010, amid speculation that they had changed vocalists again, Periphery uploaded an album sampler with vocals by Spencer Sotelo, a San Diego native who was later announced to be Periphery's new vocalist, replacing Chris Barretto, who had been fired from the band due to personal differences (Mansoor referring to him as a "diva"), resulting in a minor feud that would not be resolved until late 2013 (see below).
Periphery released their self-titled debut album, Periphery, through Sumerian Records on April 20, 2010. It debuted at No. 128 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as No. 2 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. To support the album: Periphery played multiple tours around the US and Canada; a short tour of Australia along with The Dillinger Escape Plan, and a headlining tour of the UK and mainland Europe in February 2011. The band's first headlining tour, "League Of Extraordinary Djentlemen Tour", had support from TesseracT and Monuments in the UK, while their mainland European shows included Monuments and The Safety Fire. The band ran into multiple health issues during the tour; Spencer Sotelo had a case of bronchitis and was regularly unable to perform the entire set. Jake Bowen fell and broke a finger in the first week of the UK tour and was unable to play for the rest of their headlining tour. He recovered and joined the band during the last couple of shows on their tour with Fair to Midland and Scale the Summit right before they dropped out of the tour.
On March 22, Periphery released a cover of Metallica's song "One", which was recorded for the Homefront video game soundtrack and was released as a free download on the Homefront main website.
Icarus EP and addition of Mark Holcomb (2011)
On January 19, 2011, the music video for "Jetpacks Was Yes!" was posted on NME. The video features a re-recorded and re-structured version of the song which was released on Icarus EP. Periphery's first single, from their Icarus EP titled "Frak the Gods", was released on March 24.
On July 6, 2011, Periphery announced via a MySpace blog post that the band had parted ways with guitarist Alex Bois. However, they did not change touring schedules, hiring Mark Holcomb and Adam "Nolly" Getgood (of British progressive metal band Red Seas Fire) to play Alex's parts during live shows until they found a permanent replacement.
On September 7, 2011, they were announced as the opening act for Dream Theater on the European leg of A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour starting in January 2012. In October 2011, the band announced that Holcomb was now the band's full-time guitarist, and in November bassist Tom Murphy decided to leave the band. This led to Getgood being assigned the role of bassist for their European tour with Dream Theater. The band also hired Holcomb's brother Jeff as a stand-in bass player for their 2012 US tour with Protest The Hero, Jeff Loomis, The Safety Fire and Today I Caught the Plague.
On February 21, 2012 the band re-released their debut album with a new single on iTunes entitled "Passenger". This was a partially re-recorded version of an old Haunted Shores song.
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal (2012–2013)
Periphery then entered the studio to work on their next two full-length releases to record reworked "Bulb" demos as well as completely new material written by the full band. The album was to be produced by Mansoor and Getgood and engineered and mixed by Taylor Larson (Sky Eats Airplane, Of Legends, Life on Repeat).
In July 2011, Mansoor elaborated on the forthcoming albums in Australian magazine Mixdown. He confirmed that there would be two albums recorded, and that one would be a concept album. Mansoor has had an interest in a concept album for quite some time, stating that "[he] wanted to get this concept album out there. It's been an idea for years and years." Mansoor also revealed that the band would release the albums separately, saying "[they]'ll probably do a staggered release, three to six months apart" and that "[he] really want[s] them to be these separate bodies of work, because they will sound different, and be completely different approaches, too."
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal was made available for streaming on YouTube on June 28, 2012. Hours later, the band announced that Getgood had officially joined the band, his role in the band mostly being a bassist but also contributing to guitar parts in the studio (a role which he had already taken on during the recording of Periphery II), effectively making him the "multi-instrumentalist" of the band. Jeff Holcomb continued to perform with Periphery during the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour until they had to drop out due to a family emergency; this was done so that Getgood could perform his last show with Red Seas Fire at the inaugural UK Tech-Metal Fest.
Since the 2012 Summer Slaughter tour Jeff Holcomb has remained a regular part of the band's crew and still performs as a stand-in bass player when required. As well as this, he makes documentary films about the band's tours and directed the music video for Ragnarok.
Clear EP (2013–2014)
Spencer Sotelo hinted in 2 tweets in September 2013 that Periphery were planning to release a new EP, the writing for which was already well under way, to tide their fans over until the release of Juggernaut, the band's much anticipated third full-length album.
In October, it was announced that Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb & Jake Bowen were having signature pickups released; the Bare Knuckle Pickups Juggernaut, the Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega and DiMarzio Titan pickups, respectively. It was also announced that Bowen's Ibanez LACS "Titan" would be made as a signature guitar.
In November 2013, former singer Chris Barretto made a surprise appearance during an encore of "Icarus Lives!" at the Gramercy Theater. As well as ending the long-standing feud between Chris and Periphery, it also marked the end of Periphery's "This Tour is Personal" headlining tour.
In December, Periphery announced a new release entitled Clear, set for release on January 28, 2014. Clear is a separate project from Juggernaut and was built around a unique concept: each track apart from the opener "Overture" was assigned to a different member of the band, who acted as the "creative director" for their respective song, and every track shares a theme from "Overture" to link each track in the release together. The band insisted that it should not be considered an EP as at 30 minutes in length it is longer than most EPs, but should not be classified as an album.
"Juggernaut" is a concept which was under development by the band for several years. Misha had initially written a series of demos early in Periphery's history, which were sections of a planned extended composition with the "Juggernaut" title; this extended composition contained Periphery's breakthrough songs "Icarus Lives!" and "Jetpacks Was Yes!" as some of its sections. The idea of an extended piece was eventually scrapped and developed into a concept which would span an entire album.
During the Periphery II album cycle it was planned that Juggernaut would be released 3–6 months after Periphery II as part of a double album. However, this plan was also dropped due to Periphery's touring commitments, pushing the release to 2015. The band delayed writing and pre-production even more to make time for writing and recording Clear. In early July 2014, Periphery began tracking and recording songs for Juggernaut.
On the Escape From The Studio Tour, lead vocalist Spencer Sotelo stated that Juggernaut had been finished and would be released sometime in January 2015 through Sumerian Records. On November 5, 2014, Periphery announced a tour in support of the new record, which was released on January 27, 2015. They revealed that it will in fact be a double album, consisting of Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, and that support acts for the album release tour in early 2015 will be Nothing More, Wovenwar, and Thank You Scientist.
Periphery III: Select Difficulty (2016–2018)
In early 2016, various Periphery members announced through social media that they were working on what would become their fourth studio album. Matt Halpern announced on his Instagram account that drums for the new untitled album would be tracked in February 2016. On April 26, 2016, Periphery announced on their official Facebook page that their new album would be called Periphery III: Select Difficulty and that it would be released on July 22 the same year. The first new song, "The Price Is Wrong", was released on May 25. The next song to be released was "Flatline", which was made available to stream on YouTube on June 25. "Marigold", the first official music video from the album, was released on July 8. "Motormouth" and "The Way the News Goes..." were released to YouTube on July 14 and 15, respectively, followed by the release of "Prayer Position" on July 18. The band was nominated at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in the Best Metal Performance category for their song "The Price Is Wrong".
Additionally, it was announced that Adam "Nolly" Getgood would be focusing more on his personal production projects and would not be touring with Periphery. The band then decided to use Getgood's backing tracks for their live performances. On August 3, 2017, Getgood announced through Facebook his departure from the band, stating his lack of investment in Periphery, and his wanting to spend more time with his wife, as well as on production and GetGood drums. On April 19, 2018, the band's label, Sumerian Records, announced that Periphery was splitting from the label, and their next album would be released on their independent label 3DOT Recordings.
Periphery IV: Hail Stan (2018–present)
In April 2018, Mansoor uploaded a 10-minute YouTube video containing various clips from writing sessions with Bowen and Holcomb. In October, the band revealed that they had begun tracking songs for their fifth studio album, and that it would be released in 2019. It was also revealed that Adam "Nolly" Getgood, former bassist and now studio bassist only for the band, would be tracking and recording bass for the album and would once again be heavily involved in mixing, producing, and engineering the album, but would not contribute to the writing process. On January 27, 2019, Mark Holcomb stated that the next Periphery album would be released in April. On February 6, 2019, the band released a single called "Blood Eagle", and on March 1, Periphery released "Garden in the Bones", both from their studio album Periphery IV: Hail Stan, released on April 5, 2019, through their own label, 3DOT Recordings.