I started Swans in 1982 in NYC. At the time, I had no musical skills whatsoever, just instinct and a need to make something happen. The music changed constantly over the years, and I'm gratified it reached, and continues to reach, a fair number of people. After 15 years, I decided to end Swans, as the name had become a burden and the associations no longer fit with what I wanted to do at the time. I started Angels of Light in 1999, and continued that through 2009. In 2010 I restarted Swans. The core contributors to Swans from 2010 to 2017 were Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Kristof Hahn, Phil Puleo, Christopher Pravdica and Thor Harris. In 2017 Paul Wallfisch joined the group after Thor Harris took a sabbatical. In 2018 Swans, as a consistent group of individual contributors, was disbanded. I now continue using the name Swans, gathering disparate personnel for each album and tour. Recent contributors have included: Kristof Hahn, Larry Mullins, Yoyo Rohm, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee, Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Jennifer Gira, Dana Schechter, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Thor Harris, Norman Westberg, Phil Puleo, Christopher Pravdica, Cassis Staudt, and many more. I also run Young God Records.
Dozens of people came and went through the initial 15 years of Swans existence. These are the people that spring immediately to mind: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Roli Mossiman, Harry Crosby, Sue Hanel, Jonathan Kane, Algis Kizys, Jarboe, Ted Parsons, Steve Mcallister, Larry Mullins, Virgil Moorefield, Vudi, Joe Goldring, Ronaldo Gonzales, Vinnie Signorelli, Christoph Hahn, Ivan Nahem, Bill Rieflin, Bill Bronson, Phil Puleo, Anton Fier, Jenny Wade, Clinton Steele and more... Jarboe was the longest-lasting Swans contributor of those listed above and contributed more than can be mentioned here. To learn more about her, look her up on the internet.