Photo Credit: Diana Lungu Photography

Ep. 33: A Conversation with Erik Moggridge of Aerial Ruin (Ethereal Dark Folk from Portland)

Photo credit: Diana Lungu Photography

Erik Moggridge is the sole guitarist and vocalist of the ethereal dark folk moniker, Aerial Ruin. His wayfaring under this name began in the early aughts, during the later years of his other project, Old Grandad—that is now kicking almost 9 years after laying relatively dormant. Within Old Grandad is where Erik debuted his singing voice. He penned lyrics and provided growls as well as clean, psychedelic-tinged throat harmonies. Though writing lyrics was not foreign to him at this juncture. Before Old Grandad, back in the late 80s and early 90s, Erik was shredding guitar and conjuring words for the Bay Area thrashy death metal quintet, Epidemic. Epidemic became a rather momentous artistic endeavor, and thus to fracture the project’s seriousness for him, Erik formed Old Grandad with his friends Will and Max, which eventually seeded the idea of Aerial Ruin and gave rise to its genesis.

Despite Erik establishing Aerial Ruin so many years ago, his first LP, Valleys of the Earth, did not broach the world until 2011. An EP of his was cast off into the ether in 2005, but much of the project’s activity, from an album release perspective, did not stir until Valleys of the Earth. In the year following his debut LP’s release, Erik contributed his airy, transcendental voice to “Rows (Of Endless Waves)“, a colossal 14-minute track from Seattle-based funeral doom phantoms, Bell Witch. This joint effort was only the beginning, however, as Erik’s own lyrics and vocals prominently comprised the latter half of Bell Witch’s monumentally melancholic Mirror Reaper, which dropped in October 2017.

Just one month before Mirror Reaper‘s funeral march, Erik released his fourth full Aerial Ruin album entitled Nameless Sun, a follow-up to his third LP, Ash of Your Cares. As Erik describes this project as a channeling of the psychedelic experience, Nameless Sun harbored an undercurrent of loss and a comparison to interstellar distances, the latter theme a sentiment not exuded in his body of work until this album. And this sentiment pierces rather deep, especially when being washed in the ephemeral delicacy of Nameless Sun‘s title track.

In this conversation, Erik discusses the surreal experience of performing Mirror Reaper in full with Bell Witch at Roadburn 2018. He speaks about his extensive European tour following Roadburn, noting his DIY approach to booking shows, and probes the compositions and themes of Nameless Sun whilst divulging the psychedelic essence of Aerial Ruin. We are also planning a follow-up interview, at a date yet to be determined, where we will talk a bit more in-depth about Mirror Reaper and an upcoming collaborative album between Aerial Ruin and Bell Witch. Thank you so much for listening.

Lastly, as a small note to folks residing in Europe, Bell Witch will be returning to Europe this winter to perform Mirror Reaper in its entirety with Erik singing in some special seated shows. Below is the tour poster, which includes tour dates and their respective locations.

Bell Witch European Tour Dates

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The various hyperlinks above will you take you to the respective albums or social media accounts of bands described. In addition to these, you can follow Aerial Ruin on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the loop on tours and any other developments from Erik. He will be embarking on a new U.S. tour this fall.

Thank you Kyle at Ash & Dust Studio for mastering this conversation’s audio.

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