• The DA Glowing Man Review


    U92 on the review: Swans' "The Glowing Man" by Nick Koban-Hogue Swans, in their current form, are finished.  Four studio albums in total constitute the second chapter of the post-rock group’s career, and these albums have all been critically acclaimed. Thankfully, “The Glowing Man” lives up to the high standard set by the previous three, and the band's career as a whole.  Fortunately, frontman Michael Gira said Swans will continue in another form with a higher focus on collaborations. In its original form, Swans was raw.  The group's simplistic and powerful playing style highlighted the aggression delivered by Gira, and cemented  it in the “No-Wave” scene of New York City in the mid ‘80s. After a hiatus ended in 2010, the band's musical tone shifted from one of unending rage with no hope for the future to one of lofty hatred, repressed in a monastic showing of patience and self-control.  Swans did what most of us hope to do as we age: Took its virile energy and refined it into something more. This transition came with the 2010 release of “My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.” This release redefined how the group's unrelenting anger sounded.......

  • Impose Interview


    MICHAEL GIRA of SWANS TALKS MUSIC, PROCESS, AND INSANE ENERGY LEVELS “I’m comatose from having been on tour essentially for seven weeks.” by MEREDITH SCHNEIDER  Swans has existed – in some form or another – since 1982. In its early inception, the music project was praised as unique avant-rock/post-punk sounds, and held that description to some extent through the band’s breakup in 1997. In 2010, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira – the founding member of, and creative force behind, Swans – decided to make the project a living, breathing work again. In that sense, Swans was reborn, and they’ve been going full throttle ever since. Through thick and thin, Gira has been making music since before the inception of Swans. From his days as a backpacking harmonica player, to the tour Swans is currently on in celebration of their most recent work and the disbanding of the band as it currently is, Gira has held music in the most high regard. You can hear it in the music, you notice it in the excitement in his voice, and you can see it – above all else – in his insane live performance. We got the lucky chance to catch up......

  • Rawckus Glowing Man Review


    SWANS - THE GLOWING MAN MUSIC, REVIEWSSBY ERIC KOENIG Surrendering to powers greater than yourself is terrifying and ecstatic; once you do, you are opened to a whole universe of possibility, in all its enormity. With The Glowing Man, Swans and band leader Michael Gira have finally given full surrender to their musical impulses and released a powerful culmination of their career—and my album of the year. It is, to make a horrible pun, their swansong. Announced as the last album of this incarnation of Swans, The Glowing Man feels in many ways like a climax to both their career and a musical trilogy, started with 2012’s The Seer, and continued with 2014’s Magnum Opus To Be Kind(TBK). Those two albums are behemoths of noise and feeling and reward the patient listener. The Glowing Man, somehow, adds something to their particular yin and yang, and gives a legitimate sense of resolution. In contrast to those two efforts, The Glowing Man is, in many ways, a straightforward album. It follows a narratively tight ascent. Each track builds on the previous track in tension, and power. The hallmarks of this group’s sound are here: violent bone crunching loudness; typhoon dynamics of loud......

  • Weekly Alibi Interview


    A Man Who Glows, a Sound that Grows Swans founder Gira discusses dissolution, chaos and the now By August March Sometimes when I interview folks, they appear as rock stars, ready to tell you all the great things they've done for their fans and their genre. Other times they come off as skillful musicians, dedicated to their craft, to the excellence in instrumentalism they've dutifully attached themselves to over years of recording sessions, live performances and life on the road. These people I talk to can seem distant and detached or engaged, enraged and provocative. It's a job, sabes?  But when I had the opportunity to chat with Michael Gira, the guiding force behind experimental, underground rockers Swans, something entirely different presented itself. Traveling in a car from a gig in Seattle, through the barren badlands of eastern Oregon and western Idaho, Gira's phone signal, full of static and reverb, initially made our conversation sound like a communiqué between NASA and some far-orbiting astronaut. As the dialogue persisted and Gira came back within clear coverage, my perception was enchanced. Surely this was indeed a far-away sort of person I was talking to, yet his words revealed the mark of an......

  • Clrvynt Interview


    Michael Gira of Swans Talks Rebooting, Larkin Grimm  by J. Bennett   For a man who openly uses the terms “maniacal” and “blind egotism” to describe the way he steered his one-of-a-kind band, Swans, through the 1980s, Michael Gira is unfailingly calm and polite over Skype in 2016. When we thank him for taking the time to speak with us, he replies, “It’s a pleasure and a privilege. I don’t take it for granted that people are interested in what we do.”  Over the course of 34-plus years (including a 13-year hiatus) and 14 studio albums, it’s safe to say that more than a few people have maintained interest. In fact, those lofty-but-overused words "influential" and "groundbreaking" don’t quite cut it when describing Swans. They’re one of those rarified musical entities — like the Velvet Underground, the Stooges or Black Sabbath — that not only helped lay the foundation for bands that have gone on to become hugely influential in their own right (like Neurosis and Godflesh), but even influenced their own contemporaries (like Sonic Youth, whose leader, Thurston Moore, was apparently an early, brief Swans collaborator) and helped create entire genres. Swans’ latest, The Glowing Man, will be their last album to feature......