PRESS » Michael Gira

  • Scene Point Blank Interview with Michael Gira

    () - Michael Gira, SWANS

    Swans are an evergreen, diverse band. In the 1980s they created brutal industrial rock, attracting fans ranging from heavy metal bros to friggin’ Kurt Cobain (he listed 1984’sYoung God EP as one of his all-time favorite albums). They shifted towards ambient with 1996’s Soundtracks for the Blind; Terrorizer’s Nick Terry gave it five stars, simply calling it “fucking awesome.” 16 years later, Swans were obliterated with praise. Their grand 2012 album The Seer garnered a 9.0 at Scene Point Blank, and was called one of the top 10 albums of the year by many music outlets. After all the unstoppable acclaim caused by The Seer, the New York avant-garde ensemble are back again with To Be Kind. It’s two hours of raw, fierce Swans beauty. With guest spots from St. Vincent, Little Annie, and Cold Specks, the new album drops on May 13. Check out Scene Point Blank’s recent interview with Swans’ head muchacho Michael Gira: Scene Point Blank: Since Swans’ regrouping in 2010, you’ve released My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky, The Seer, and To Be Kind. The latter two are around two hours long and both are 2-disc sets. Additionally, “Bringing the Sun”/”Toussaint L’Overture” is the fourth track on To Be Kind and just over a half-hour......

  • "Swans’ Michael Gira is Searching for God" | Wondering Sound Interview

    () - Michael Gira, SWANS

    When Swans emerged from the white heat of New York’s no wave scene 32 years ago, they sounded like nothing else. There were fellow travelers — groups like Sonic Youth and Mars, or contemporary composers like Glenn Branca — who shared their passion for dense, layered sound and extreme, ecstatic volume. But Swans’ leader Michael Gira was his own beast. By day a construction worker hauling concrete and girders, at night he turned into a sort of mad monk, taking the stage barefoot, tearing at his clothing and laying himself supplicant in worship before Swans’ immense slabs of noise. But if Swans were one of a kind, they were also a band compelled by the urge to evolve. With the help of long-term collaborator and sometime-partner Jarboe, who joined the band in 1986, Gira opened up Swans to the influence of folk, neo-classical and soundtrack music, with 1996′s Soundtracks for the Blind, prefiguring the apocalyptic post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Swans dissolved shortly after Soundtracks, with Gira turning attention to his acoustic project Angels of Light and his label Young God, which released early records by Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family. In 2010, though, following a 14-year hiatus, Gira announced that Swans were again......

  • Crack Magazine Swans Feature | Interview with Michael Gira

    () - Michael Gira, SWANS

    “INTOLERANT, UNCOMPROMISING AND WEARISOME” – SWANS’ MICHAEL GIRA ATTEMPTS TO CONTROL THE MAELSTROM “I’m on a cliff that is crumbling”, a dogged voice recounts from an earlier conversation. “You have to hang on as long as you can.” The doleful croak trails to crisp silence until a gentle resemblance to laughter recoils around the room. Michael Gira, world-weary impetus behind Swans, may not have the most sanguine of mindsets, but the gristly wit is instantly discernible. As adverse and cankerous as this multifaceted musician is penned to be, it’s within this momentary aside that Gira becomes the distant humorist. Physically wrecked from incalculable tour dates and the impending release of their 13th studio album, To Be Kind, he’s still laughing – despite how fearsome it sounds. Two years in the wake of The Seer, a monolithic sprawl of a record, Gira and his amassed gathering of instrumentalists are rehearsing set ideas for their upcoming tour. “I actually managed to listen through The Seer recently”, Gira gingerly reveals, “I was thinking about what to do on the next tour in terms of soundscapes. I like doing that, but I’m glad that we’re leaving that behind and moving more towards evidence of the band playing. This......

  • Q&A with M.Gira from Uncut Magazine

    () - M. Gira, Michael Gira, SWANS, to be kind, uncut