Periphery Drummer Matt Halpern Tunes His Kick as Loosely as Possible, and Other Drum Head Revelations

Matt Halpern wears many hats: Periphery drummer, Bandhappy entrepreneur, backwards baseball, CreativeLive host, wool skully. Now let’s add natural kick drum connoisseur to that list.


Evans sat down for a chat with Matt on his heads of choice, and like a lot of Evans players he uses the EMAD line, specifically the Heavyweight model. What I found fascinating was that he chooses to keep the kick heads as loose as possible for a more natural sound. Now the reason for my interest is that  Periphery are the poster band for digital futurism. All of their amps are modellers, except maybe the bass (I’m not up on Nolly’s current rig but last I heard he at the very least was using cabs on stage), and their entire set is synced to a MacBook running Pro Tools to coordinate the light rig, backing tracks, midi sends for preset switching, and so forth. But perhaps that’s the point: something besides the vocals has to be organic, so why not the kick drum?

As an addendum to the drum clips in the interview, Evans uploaded an additional video of Matt Halpen just jammin’ and being free. Check out both below.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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  • Who’s Periphery?

    • I think he was on Friends.

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