1. For those that have not hear the dark folk sounds on Aerial ruin . Tell us a bit about yourself.
Aerial Ruin is my mostly acoustic solo project which differs drastically from my thrash/death metal roots in Epidemic and the drug metal explorations of my second band Old Grandad. Aerial Ruin live shows are usually just me singing and playing acoustic guitar. The album "valleys of the earth" is similar but at times drifts into more overdub oriented recordings. While this is largely myself multi-tracked three of the songs on the album feature guitar accompaniments from Eric Peterson of Lost Goat and Night After Night.
2. You have come from a more metal and hardcore background. How did this stripped down acoustic style come to be?
I'd done some melodic singing in my band Old Grandad but wanted to see how my voice would sound in a quieter context while in some of my most introvert moments. I wrote the first couple of Aerial Ruin songs with clean electric guitar tones, no amps just a guitar plugged straight into a four track without any distortion. The songs came quickly and naturally after that and even more so when I got better recording gear and an acoustic guitar. Being a fan of the Syd Barrett solo albums and Mark Lanegan also inspired me to try writing minimalistic music without drums.
3. You come to release an album on Vendlus a very great indie label. It seem to happen fast were you in talks for while with them?
No it was quite quick. Aesop from Agalloch and Ludicra sent Joseph, the labels owner the album and he contacted me immediately. Soon after that he happened to be in Portland and we hung out, drank beer and got along great and decided it would be great to work together.
4. As a one man live event has it be hard to get across you larger crowds esp with this agalloch tour?
No, the Agalloch crowds especially on the east coast were very receptive and seemed to like my set and some of them already knew a little about Aerial Ruin since Agalloch tries to expose there fans to all there opening acts before the shows happen. Of course when playing quiet acoustic music in front of hundreds of people you are always going to hear some people talking in the audience but I felt that there were more people paying close attention than talking.
5. To me Aerial ruin has a lot in common with Steve von till solo material or Of the wand and the moon. Did these projects play any roles in your sound?
Not at all, I've heard a little of Steve Von Tills solo stuff but only briefly and after writing much of the early Aerial Ruin stuff. I've seen Neurosis live a few times and al ways enjoyed them but don't consider them an influence. I've never heard Of the wand and the moon but someone else compared me to them recently so I'm curious to see what they sound like. I'm also curious about other acoustic and atmospheric music out there.
6. Is there a theme on your debut? As it seem heathen and ritualistic in nature.
Yes, definitely a theme and ritualistic for sure. It's very personal on one hand but in a sense sub-personal. There is not really an attempt to form a narrative, its more stream of consciousness really. It's all inspired by experiences I had that felt very much like ego-death and the way I perceived the singed crimson harsh spiritual energy of the universe at that time and since then. The power and strange beauty that one can only see through the surrender of the self. A spiritual lament but also a tribute. There's a fine line between being completely wrapped up in yourself and losing yourself all together. It's falling off that edge that Aerial Ruin is largely inspired by. Of course that analysis is just one perspective. The power of music comes from the impact of listening and being moved by the music. If you are moved you have become part of the ritual and that goes beyond words, themes and analysis.
7. What's your thoughts on the current indie music world. Is it much harder to make any real connection in 2011 with all the digital items at hand?
It's harder to sell cds but for something like Aerial Ruin that is a new unknown project file sharing and the internet is helpful. I'd like people to buy my album especially since Anna Wilson did some great artwork for it but I want people to listen to it and I'd rather them download it than not hear it at all. As far as the scene goes I think it's great that the internet makes it easier for underground musicians to network and book DIY tours and such. I'm not too familiar with the indie-rock scene but I don't think you were referring to the genre.
8. Where do you want to take Aerial ruin musically and songwritting wise?
It will continue to evolve naturally but the inspiration will stay the same. Musically some of the newer material is more challenging, stretching me as a vocalist and a guitarist but other songs are very simple. In essence there will never be a need to re-invent Aerial Ruin, it is what is and what it always will be.
9. Are you a fan of digital media... mp3s, webzines, internet radio at all?
Yes definitely but it's still all very new to me having got my first computer only a couple of years ago. So much to explore but I feel a little overwhelmed by the 21st century sometimes but after a long period of not listening to much new music I'm enjoying discovering lots of great music now with the help of these things you mentioned.
10. Is Aerial ruin your major focus now? Or do you have other project going on?
Yes its my only focus right now and I'm quite happy with that although it would be cool to start a new metal band at some point but if that happens I'll still be very active with Aerial Ruin. Before moving to Portland from San Francisco in 2009 I had a new band called Drift of a Curse with Max from Old Grandad, Chewy from Hammers of Misfortune and Chris from Floating Goat. We all enjoyed it and would pick up where we left off if there was ever time, hard with living far apart though, I've never collaborated via the internet, I like to jam with people in the same room. After I moving to Portland I played briefly in SubArachnoid Space which was an interesting new experience for me, however due to various reasons the band broke up and Melynda and Chris have started a new band under a different name.
11. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts place here..
Thanks very much for the interview and supporting underground music Clint. Keep an eye out for Aerial Ruin shows and tours.