Erik: I started playing piano when I was 8 years old, and then I studied guitar and wind instruments in school, eventually moving back to a pure concentration on the piano at the university. I really connected with rock music when I was a kid, particularly British progressive rock and the lush, studio productions of the 1970s. Synthesizers always enchanted me, and I really got into their sound through the albums of Emerson Lake and Palmer and Electric Light Orchestra (who of course sound nothing alike except that they are both synth heavy!). I worked some after-school jobs in high school and was able to buy my first synthesizer, a terrible little Roland organ-strings synth. But it was a start! There was no turning back from there.
MPVHub: How did you first come into contact with Moog synths? Was it love at first listen?
Erik: That's a good way to say it. Especially in the '70s, the word "synthesizer" was synonymous with Moog. We all know the famous "Lucky Man" solo from Keith Emerson, but I think it was really the ELP "Pictures at an Exhibition" album where Keith played the modular Moog live in a rock setting that had a greater impact on me. And of course the Moog synthesizer sound is dominant across the prog rock genre. From the modular to the Minimoog to the Taurus Pedals, even on to later instruments like the Rogue and the Source, those classic instruments really changed not only the world of synthesizers, but the world of music in general.
MPVHub: What hardware and software do you use in your current studio?
Erik: In addition to my modular Moog synthesizer, aka "The Wall of Doom," I use a Moog Voyager, two '70s Minimoog Model D synths, a rack-mounted MIDIMoog (a Model D conversion, basically) and a Moog Rogue. I also use the Alesis Andromeda (I was actually one of the designers of this instrument) and some Oberheim instruments such as my modularized collection of SEM units. I have a Hammond Model D organ from 1939 that is also a favorite, and of course my grand piano '