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Michael Gira | Interview

MONDO BIZARRE MAGAZINE, LISBON, PORTUGAL

"I have just learned to dress my rage up in pretty clothing"

You've been working for over 20 years. Which was the most important thing that you've learn along the way?

A) that i never should have begun. B) that since i can't change the past, i should at least try to maintain a tenuous control of the present...

Angels of Light works are, in a way, similar to late Swans works, as they are quiet and introspective than Body Lovers musical approach. Any reason for these separation of musical guidance?

angels of light is songs. body lovers is sonic mangling. it doesn't make sense to me to mix them up anymore, as i once did with swans. they're both equal to me.


Your music tends to be more and more peaceful, "minimal", restrained and "adult". This "adult" comes from this ideia I have of Swans early works as violent, youthful, enraged. Would you agree with these definitions?

i have just learned to dress my rage up in pretty clothing.

What are words to you? How important are they in your work?

the words are everything. they are increasingly difficult to obtain, however.

Have you done any spoken word shows recently?

no! i don't like doing it, actually. possible that's because i hate my writing.

Which subjects/topics are of most interests to you nowadays both personally and as a work matter? b>

i'm unable to focus on a particular subject, either in life or in my work. i'm still an infant in that sense, just a passive receptacle...

If you were forced to choose between stop writing music and stop writing words which one would you choose?

i will stop making music at some point and try to write seriously.

Tell me a bit about "What we did", the record you've done with Dan Matz. The list of influences is amazing and ranges from The Beatles to Pan Sonic

we sadly forgot to mention Bing Crosby as an influence. the entire CD is a tribute to him. we made the recordings blindfolded and with earplugs in, so we could not hear or see. we were very surprised with the results when we finally heard it!

What about "Solo Recordings At Home?

that is not me. i hired george harrison( before he died) to play guitar, and mohammed ali to sing.

"How I Loved You" is a collection of love songs. Why love songs? What is of so special in a love song? Is a love song different then any other song? I remember once you covered "Love will tear us Apart"

i didn't begin the album with the intention of it being love songs. when we were finished, i realized that they were all about love in one way or another. it's not a particularily interesting subject, to me, in the abstract sense. it just happens that i have recently been victimized by that emotion lately, so it was natural to take revenge on it, hopefully with some tenderness as well as violence.

What made you write a tales book? About what is "The Consumer And Other Stories"? Any plans for more books?

like all things i do, it seems to happen without my intervention, or least it chooses me, and not the other way around.

Your web site is of great importance to you. Why is that and how is it doing? Dou you take care of it on your own?

i have someone helping me (ted matson, web entrepreneur) . a fine person. i direct the "look" of it, and he is kind enough to facillitate my wishes, with many technical and creative suggestions of course. to me, the web is the best way to reach people that might be interested in what we do, because it's completely (for us, anyway) separate from the music industry, which i detest. http://www.younggodrecords.com

What about Young God Records? Are you happy with it? Are ypu enjoying decovering new acts and bring them to public eye? How difficult it is to promote a new act?

the label is growing all the time. i'm happy to be able to provide a venue for interesting music.

You did not want this Portuguese show to the credit as a Angels' of Light show, but instead as a solo Michael Gira one. Why that option?

it's just me and acoustic guitar. angels of light sometimes has up to 13 members.

Which are the differences between an Angels of Light and a Michael Gira show??? What type of show are you going to bring to Portugal and which kind of material will you be playing?

just me and acoustic guitar, period. singing my silly songs, from swans and from angels of light.

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