In this edition of our PRS Heroes series we put the spotlight on Periphery’s Mark Holcomb.
As a youth Holcomb was more committed to playing sports than guitars and was a keen basketball fan. When he was was 13 he tore a ligament in his knee and was unable to play competitive sports, it was during this time he began listening to rock music and using the Foo Fighters as a gateway, became heavily interested in metal music. His early influences included Metallica, Pantera and Randy Rhodes and through this journey of discovery he eventually started to play guitar himself.
In the early 2000’s Holcomb began a friendship with the band Periphery and eventually started a side project with their guitarist Misha Mansoor entitled Haunted Shores.
Periphery were already beginning to establish themselves on the progressive metal scene when Holcomb joined in 2011. Holcomb’s first musical outing with band was 2012’s ‘Periphery II: This time its personal,’ and with his introduction came a redefinition of the bands math metal sound.
When Periphery first started out and the term ‘djent’ started being thrown around there was an almost mocking, tongue in cheek attitude to the genre. But with Periphery II and the later Juggernaut double album it became evident that the band were taking metal in an entirely new and interesting direction fusing elements of trance, chiptunes and spacious Pink Floyd style soaring melodies. Holcomb was not only a big influence in Periphery’s musical freedom but also was seemingly able to hold everything together with his sharp poly-rhythmic riffs.
Holcomb has always been a huge advocate of PRS guitars and was rewarded with his own signature model, The Mark Holcomb Limited Edition. Some of the guitars unique features include a 25.5″ maple neck, a redesigned plate style bridge and Seymore Duncan pick-ups designed by Holcomb himself.
Periphery have gone from strength to strength in recent years and Mark Holcomb is certainly a guitarist worth keeping up to date with, he may well be one of the guitar heroes of the modern era.