During a recent visit to Santa Barbara, CA, Mark Holcomb traveled to the Seymour Duncan tiny house and headquarters to film our fourth Seymour Duncan “Portrait Series” video. As part of the three-guitar assault that makes up Periphery, Mark Holcomb might be best known for his bombastic riffs, liquid leads, and the syncopated down-tuned rhythmic onslaught that has become the foundation of Periphery’s djent-pioneering sound.
When he’s not executing brutally technical riffs, Mark is no stranger to the atmospheric and ambient side of guitar. The lush clean passages, accented by crystalline reverb and chiming delay tones that break up Periphery’s aggression are part of the formula that makes the band so special, and is part of what makes Mark such a unique and multi-dimensional guitarist and songwriter.
Since forming in 2005, Periphery has released five studio albums and two EPs. They have also toured the world extensively, alongside acts like Dream Theater, Deftones, Animals as Leaders, Veil of Maya, The Dillinger Escape Plan, In Flames, Fear Factory, Between the Buried and Me, and others.
In addition to writing, recording, and producing their own music, Mark and Periphery own and operate their own label, 3DOT Recordings, through which they release their own music, as well as curate and nurture outside musical projects and bands.
Mark currently has two signature products with Seymour Duncan: his Alpha/Omega Humbucker Set, which is available for 6, 7, and 8-string guitars and can be found stock in his signature 6 and 7-string guitar models from PRS Guitars, and his Dark Sun Digital Delay + Reverb Pedal.
The progressive metal virtuosos of Periphery are known for their technically complex rhythms and precise tones – tones which require high output passive humbucker pickups with just the right amount of output and articulation whether standing alone or working in a dense mix. The Alpha and Omega pickups were created to match that level of precision and versatility.
The Alpha/Omega set has been the heartbeat of my sound for the past several years. Since we developed and released the first 6-string set in the custom shop, I’ve had the same pickup set in every one of my 6, 7 and 8-string guitars, live and in the studio. It has remained one of the few components of my rig and setup that I haven’t even thought about tweaking.” –Mark Holcomb
Dark Sun combines a warm and clean digital delay algorithm with a lush Hall reverb. As well as the ability to route the two in just about any configuration you could want. And, you can shape the EQ of the effect, add saturation, or lush choral modulation, or use Dynamic Expression to control the mix of the effect with your playing. Mark wanted the ability to change the order of the effects on the fly and assign them to either the left or right channel – so we designed the routing control; a 4-position switch that can create dramatically different sounds depending on how it’s set.