Herman Li asks Misha Mansoor: what is djent?

Misha Mansoor has long been credited (blamed?) for creating the style of progressive metal known as djent.

Recently, the Periphery electric guitar player appeared on DragonForce guitarist Herman Li’s Twitch channel to discuss how that came to be.

As Mansoor explains to Li, “I used to post on [guitar] forums because I’m a nerd.

"I would hang out on the Meshuggah forum, and on there they always used to talk about Meshuggah’s guitar sound being ‘djent’ or ‘djenty.’ ”

The whole "djent thing," Mansoor says, “was about chugging on the four lower strings – like a double power chord – in a drop tuning. It’s actually the onamonapia of that sound.

“That’s all it is. Then as a joke I used to always upload clips and songs [to the Meshuggah forum] and say, ‘New djenty clip.’ And then people thought that was a style of music.

“I learned not to argue with people. And now it’s a genre of music.”

Whether or not Mansoor actually created that genre – he points to Meshuggah’s Fredrik Thordendal as the founder – he also says, “at the end of the day I don’t care. I’m glad people are listening.”

That said, when Li asks him, “Can I call you djent master?,” Mansoor replies, “No, you can’t.”

Back in December 2019, Mansoor shared his thoughts with Guitar World on the future of djent.

“Djent was never a thing to begin with so it can never end. You can’t kill what’s already dead, right?” he mused.

“I always called myself progressive and I’m sure the other guys here do to some degree as well, because it allows us to get away with whatever.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.