1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with this project these days?
The Aerial Ruin full-length album "valleys of the earth" just came out on Vendlus Records. I am performing live regularly and writing and demoing new material. In March of this year I was thrilled to play a few east coast shows with Agalloch and Worm Ouroboros.
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album?
melodic, moody, psychedelic, ritualistic, dark, partially but not entirely acoustic.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
Mostly a spiritual perspective I gained when I had experiences that felt a lot like ego-death. I felt more in touch with the harsh spiritual energy of the universe. Aerial Ruin is both a lament for this and a humbled tribute to it.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
It's a demonic reference I suppose, ruin from the winged air...
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
The four shows I played with Agalloch and were a thrill, both to play and to be part of such great musical events which also at different times featured Worm Ouroboros, Allerseelen, Vindensang and Daniel Menche. Aerial Ruin also opened for Earth and Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter at my favorite San Francisco venue Great American Music Hall. It is an amazingly beautiful venue with incredible sound and the show was one of the few non metal shows I've played as Aerial Ruin, a great night of music. The small shows can be fun too, playing in a Seattle basement with my friends Grey or at SF's Rite Spot with Amber Asylum or the weirdness of playing a sportsbar in Vancouver with my friends The Atomic Bomb Audition and Ninja.
These days my stage performance is just me singing and playing acoustic guitar but in the past I have at times had the pleasure of being accompanied by Eric Peterson from Lost Goat and other occasional contributors.
6. What are the touring plans for the future?
In the next two months I'm playing shows in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Eugene. I'm hoping to return to the east coast by the end of the year and would certainly love to tour extensively if the opportunity were to arise, however immediate plans are only for more mini-tours, I certainly hope to make it to Europe eventually though.
7. You have a history playing in extreme metal bands and now you are playing folk with the new project, how would you compare the 2 styles and which one do you enjoy playing the most?
They are so different I cant say I prefer one over the other. Some of the inspiration writing wise is the same but some is totally opposite. My old bands Epidemic and Old Grandad were much of the time very extrovert, in a live setting you feed of the loud energy and chaos of the audience where as with Aerial Ruin the best audience is a completely silent and contemplative one. I'm not done with playing extreme metal, at some point I may start a new metal band but will always continue Aerial Ruin as well.
8. On a worldwide level, how has your music been received by music fans?
Very well, although it is only very recently that Aerial Ruin has had any exposure on a worldwide level. I'm impressed that some people feel moved by such personal music. It's not for everyone but the people who like it seem to really seem to love it. It's not a casual listen.
9. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?
Some of the newer songs are stretching what I can do as a guitarist and vocalist, I sometimes write stuff that I have to learn how to play but other songs are quite simple. I feel no need to deliberately do something different, the music progresses and evolves naturally but the ritualistic inspiration always remains the same.
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to noways?
influences would be Syd Barrett, Mark Lanegan, 60's and 70's Pink Floyd.
lately I've been listening to Samothrace, Katatonia's "brave murder day", Lesbian, The Atomic Bomb Audition, Agalloch, Evoken, Walken(SF), Grayceon, Danava, Alcest, Opeth, Zoe Keating, Old Light, Boduf Songs, Elliott Smith, The Flaming Lips, the list goes on...
11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
not much really, I'm a tunnel visioned human for sure. I am however interested in religion, spirituality and certain aspects of science, especially astronomy. I'm a complete escapist for the most part. The aspects of the physical universe that I find the most interesting is the stuff that defies human intuition and is as far away from the doldrums of day to day human survival as possible.
The massiveness of the universe, the mystery of its origin, the strangeness of the quantum world and its implications. Evolution also fascinates me, the fact we can trace our roots back around 7 million years and find our common ancestor with chimpanzees but if we go back 90 million years we can find our common ancestor with the rat.
12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thanks for the interview and interest, Cheers.