Periphery credit their 2012 support tour with Dream Theater as the “single biggest learning experience” they’ve ever had.
The band halted work on their Periphery II album to hook up with John Petrucci and co across Europe in 2012. And guitarist Mark Holcomb reveals without that experience, they wouldn’t be the band they are now.
He tells Rolling Stone: “We told ourselves in the process of recording that there would be no booking tours. We only accepted because it was Dream Theater. We have a list of bands, 10 or 15 names long, that no matter what, we will say yes. It was the single biggest learning experience we've ever had as a touring professional act.
“They never sat us down and told us anything. It was just observing — how they conduct themselves with fans, how they conduct themselves with other bands, with crew, with local crew, how they practice every night, how seriously they take their craft, how tough on themselves and their performance every night they are.”
And Holcomb says seeing this effort on a daily basis had a profound impact on him and the rest of his bandmates.
He continues: “At the time, none of us really practiced much before we went onstage. We'd always just goof off and play video games or go wander around whatever city we were in or go have dinner and some beers.
“One night, I was on the way out to go to a restaurant, and I walked by John Petrucci's dressing room. He was sitting there with his amp, going through these really mundane sounding scales.
“I asked if there was anything special going on, and he said, ‘Yeah, I'm playing a show later.’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘Wow, we go on stage in an hour, and I'm on my way out to go drink a beer and eat dinner. What am I doing?’”