I was on my knees and someone poured water on my head because I was so hot.’, Michael Gira: ‘I’m good at surviving. The power music could have in the culture was much more profound then than it is now. My job as an entertainer is to occupy the music.’. LTW: People’s reactions are very different. LTW: Is it fair to say that The Seer was the culmination of all your years in music and all that have you learned? In this image, Gira can be seen playing a Gibson B.B. Michael Gira: ‘Yeah, I was born at that time. Michael Gira: ‘Oh yeah, for sure -like I say the music develops from the moment when we are in front of audiences. When they first emerged in the early 1980s, Michael Gira’s group Swans made music of overwhelming power. In the case of a song it could be like Song For A Warrior, that’s a little poem, a little lullaby for my daughter. It’s this whole a list of experience and it’s all pointing to that…’, Michael Gira: ‘I can’t. That came through rehearsing and being properly severe about the choices that were being made.’, Michael Gira: ‘That’s a big subject for me. It’s not so much about different musical styles but to create nuance and different atmospheres. It’s what we wanted to do with just sound and rhythm. I mean you can’t come up on stage and say ‘ok. Right in front of me. But usually it’s afterwards. Get the gear to sound like Michael Gira and get their tone. maybe not so much his personal life though but as a creator or a creative force he is important as far a I’m concerned.’. Michael Gira says: "I think the intro to this song should have been longer. The sound was pretty forceful and a lot of our career was spent in an antipathy with the audience. Pro Play This Tab. With the line up now it’s very similar. Michael Gira: ‘Yeah but I try to respect the person that made it. LTW: The Stooges were far more complex and clever than they let on. What kind of Amplifiers does Michael Gira use? photo by Cheslav Merk interview by Billy Hell (February 2006) "Waste is obscene!" There are poignant songs like that whilst on other ones, the words are more like indicators of my state of mind. LTW: They did. Cast: Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones, Powers Boothe In Manchester I believe it was out of control in the room with the heat. Although it is the same person writing, so it’s inevitable ultimately.’. 1. We would bring them in and out of the sound playing on a cassette with the sound that was like a roar- raawww! Michael Gira: ‘Usually. Orange Thunderverb 200-Watt Tube Guitar Amp Head. When Swans started to expand the sound I started to think about formative experiences and where I wanted the music to go. Save gear to your wishlist and see the best price. Half the set is these new songs and I’ve got some more now and we will start developing those live as well into their own form and violation as well.’. LTW: You’re 58 now and in some ways, a child of the sixties, does the idea of the sixties remain in your work? I shape sound is what I do. Michael Kelly Guitars is an American guitar, bass and mandolin company, who imports quality instruments manufactured to their specifications. Quickly infamous for their punishing, brutal and repetitive onslaughts of sound, extreme volume levels, and the self-abusing, abject shouts and growls of Gira’s sloganeering vocals, Swans gradually transformed over 15 years, ultimately venturing into harsh mechanical proto-industrial rock, to sprawling I thought I was going to lose it. Michael Gira: ‘Not really. I guess it’s true in the sense that a lot of the methods and styles and usage of sound that have occurred in my chequered past- ranging from the thudding rhythm to the soaring crescendos and the sonic landscape came from there. This is the only way I know how to work. Do you write at home on an acoustic and present to the band? It didn’t last long. Sometimes there’s a very specific subject matter and a general theme to a song but not to a record. It just seems to be unavoidable. The Linked Data Service provides access to commonly found standards and vocabularies promulgated by the Library of Congress. With the band back on tour in the spring and the stirrings of a new album on its way we got in touch with Swans ringleader, Michael Gira to find out where its going and where this amazing music comes from. It’s about playing a lot live and letting the music grow on its own. I was a pretty intense individual but you have change with time- if you don’t you are just dead.’. Michael Gira : ‘It’s just work really. Recent shows have seen G… Michael Gira: ‘That was a really good show. I don’t understand his music technically at all and nor do I care to but having been around him in his early symphonies and watching him work was very interesting. LTW: You mentioned before the physicality of the music and that was very noticeable at the Manchester gig. It was just all that converging all at once. When I look back in retrospect an influence on me is Glenn Branca because he refused to compromise and was really going for the peak experience through the sound. The Beatles were a whole cultural, economic and musical phenomenon and also a convergence of technology at the time that was the psychedelic era. There are moments when things can get quite heavy but there are also moments of beauty and of a brooding psychedelic folkiness. T here are not many acoustic church shows at which audience members involuntarily flinch at the first strum, but dedicated fans of Michael Gira and … Michael Gira: ‘I don’t react against thing or look at bigger issues. Michael Gira: ‘We don’t really jam, although once in a while we will sort of jam. LTW: Do you write the words after the music? Vocal M S. Rhythm Guitar M S. Solo Guitar M S. Drums M S. View all instruments. LTW: Your role is to give them the space to create but within parameters? Datasets available include LCSH, BIBFRAME, LC Name Authorities, LC Classification, MARC codes, PREMIS vocabularies, ISO language codes, and more. But that doesn’t say I don’t respect great players, it’s just that sometimes they can be trapped in their own canon. The main reason I had them turn off the AC there was that it was right above the stage and blowing in my face whilst I was singing and that is counter productive because my vocal chords dry up and I can’t sing. That’s how that started- it was a little love letter from her dad. guitar com. Electric Guitar Michael Gira. Michael Gira and co. will embark on a North American trek in support of the 2019 album this spring. it should have lasted 10 minutes at least, instead of the 3 1/2 minutes it is now. Director: Tony Richardson LTW: Did you ever feel what you doing part of was part of late period No Wave? View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 2010 CD release of My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky on Discogs. Pop and R&B singer bshp has released a new acoustic version of her debut Island single, Never... Blue Sky (1994) This includes data values and the controlled vocabularies that house them. I could go and paint houses if I had to…’. I’m always at the merch table and I always say hello to people after the gigs. I have listened to the first three Doors albums so many times that I could recite them in my mind. Who knows, maybe I will have a heart attack and die onstage!’, LTW: ‘Do you have to mentally prepare to get into that intense space?’, Michael Gira: ‘No, it just happens. we are going to create a moment of ecstasy…’ That would be preposterous but that is sort of the goal you have. LTW: These experiences look pretty draining to play. Now I really enjoy having people seeming to come for the experience that we can provide. I don’t think that way. That has been a very good aspect to it. I think lyrically, though, it’s phenomenal. For me music has this potential to completely consume you, particularly in music that is so physical and it completely enables you to be acutely aware of the moment to lose yourself completely in it.’, LTW: It’s interesting the reactions people have to your music. Michael Gira founded the seminal NYC band Swans in 1982. Michael Gira: ‘The No Wave thing was before us and Sonic Youth, both of us moved to the city at the same time but it had pretty much died out when we got there. Michael Gira: ‘If you want to stay interested in your own work and be compelling to other people you have to move on. During the Soundtracks for the Blind and Swans are Dead era, Gira can be seen with a Gibson Lucille(which has since become his main guitar for the Swans reunion) and a Gibson Les Paul. One of the lessons of punk , for me, was that obviously. I work by instinct with sound. But again I find my voice in my own music and I can dig that. Obviously I was a little older than everyone else at those punk shows but the whole musical kind of cataclysm that happened in the sixties to the early seventies was pretty phenomenal.’. I’m have not got any illusions about that. Michael Gira: ‘Sometimes but usually I fiddle around on the acoustic guitar and find chords or shapes I like the sound of and start playing them and then a rhythm occurs and then, hopefully, by the grace of god, words will find their way into my brain..’. Michael Gira: ‘I have other skills if I needed them tomorrow. I didn’t think of them as American blues. The legendary musical outfit Swans—a revolving cast of inspired players centered around Michael Gira—has resurfaced with a new album, Leaving Meaning, and an upcoming 2020 tour. LTW: A lot of bands become variations of themselves but do you feel detached from your earlier work? Michael Gira: ‘(Laughs) I’m grateful for that. I have a kind of instinct where I want things to go and I try and shape it with whoever I’m working with. QRD "I hate my guitar." Some people are trying to react against the sound, some people- like me- find it very meditative and relaxing in strange way. Michael Gira: ‘It’s a band. Michael Gira: ‘Sorry, I don’t like the use of the word ‘noise’. When things veer off and it’s inappropriate I correct it. King Lucille. The material is growing in such a way that it feels like you can’t stop right there. It is so beautiful. They grated very much against mainstream America at the time which was so different that it’s hard to even describe. After several months of rehearsals, she took the stage with Swans … It’s really very emotional music for sure and there is really hardly any melody. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I really respect great entertainers like Nina Simone, James Brown even Frank Sinatra, who was a great entertainer. If you listen to his piece by Henrik Gorecki symphony 2 but not 3, it’s all consuming and just incredible but you could listen to the Stooges Funhouse and you would have the same feeling.’. The city was in decay and decline. You have toured a lot since the My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky album, did that have a profound affect on the music that went onto The Seer. LTW: In Manchester the show was about three hours but it felt like twenty minutes! The songs you see us play live are remarkably different from what was on the record.’. It was a very difficult place in those days. Michael Gira: ‘Sometimes but usually I fiddle around on the acoustic guitar and find chords or shapes I like the sound of and start playing them and then a rhythm occurs and then, hopefully, by the grace of god, words will find their way into my brain..’ I just follow my imagination.’. From left to right: Christoph Hahn on lap steel, Michael Gira on guitar, Thor Harris on percussion, Chris Pravdica on bass guitar, and Norman Westberg on guitar. Electric Bass Guitar Bill Rieflin. I don’t know fucking anything about music! It was Louder Than War’s album of the year and the gigs they played in the autumn were so intense that it was hard to listen to any other music for a week afterwards. Michael Gira: A lot of them start with me in my office on my acoustic guitar and then are built up. In fact there are moments of just about everything in there and the album and the attendant live shows were stunning trips. Michael Gira asks me as I describe my first time listening to "Screenshot", the opening cut on the newest Swans LP, ... the notes played by the bass or the chords played by the guitar. But when I’ve been back for a month I’m sick as a dog and looking forward to getting back into my exercise regime which is just stretching before the gig but the show is my exercise because it’s so intense.’, LTW: Do you feel the energy come out of you on stage? You had to be really, pretty brutal to get any kind of thing going and any pretention to being relentless. Every once in a while I will have a little luck and write a narrative song of that nature but I’m different. LTW: Do those early records feel like a different era now? We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Keyboards Bill Rieflin & Jarboe. I’m in my own little place in life. It’s a living thing. That’s just the passage of time. Michael Gira: ‘The length of the show is not a goal actually. Michael Gira: ‘I don’t know about thematic things. LTW: Was the My Father album about mortality? More Versions. I was getting rid of everything else and pushing what you then found to an extreme. It this confluence of jazz, experimental, and psychedelic music and it was a great experience. Michael Gira is known for using a Guild antique burst electro acoustic guitar, and a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Guitar Amplifier during his solo concerts. It makes you cry. I nearly feinted and a couple of people in the audience actually did feint.’. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Sounds Jarboe. The Stan Laurels – There Is No Light Without Dark –... Psychedelic Porn Crumpets: Mr Prism – Single Review. The tour will kick off in Dallas on June 5 and hit various U.S. cities. It’s not that Swans make particularly brutal music these days. It seems to have attracted an audience of people who understand and like this sort of thing.’. That’s why I don’t consider the Seer album finished. LTW: Was the punk thing for you a reprise of the energy of ideas of the sixties thing? He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences. I love his voice now, the way it is so fucked! Releases include: The Great Annihilator (Swans), Notes From Thee Underground (Pigface), Holy Money (Swans). Michael Gira: ‘Incredibly. He was kind of the cliché of the mad genius and the kind of way he worked was just truly, profoundly inspirational. S itting outside a west London pub in a wide-brimmed hat, scarf and well-cut jacket, 60-year-old Swans singer and bandleader Michael Gira resembles an … If that means I can make some money and keep working that’s the main thing. ‘, Michael Gira: ‘(Laughs) In my own gravelly way, that guy had a trained, beautiful voice and I have anything but. Drainland Michael Gira. It’s not like I want to sound like those people. I have a terrible memory. Michael Gira: ‘At best I completely forget who and where and what I am. LTW: Swans are getting bigger. LTW: There is also an air of classical music in your stuff, the way it moves through to different moods and places with highs and lows. We grapple with death and life with the songs that change with every show and hope to find the perfect nuances and ways to build them. It’s not like I try to translate where I am into music. Acoustics; Basses. It’s not like I’m going to start making electro dance music next though! We start playing and I guess I conduct in a way but I absolutely want the band’s own input and imagination. top 10 punk covers that were better than the originals – part 2, Peter Hook And The Light: Mexico City – live stream, Watch this: Pop singer bshp releases acoustic version of Never Mind. When I get off tour I feel like I could run up a mountain and I probably could! I mentioned in an interview the great band leaders like Nina Simone, Fela Kuti or James Brown or Howling Wolf- those are all band leaders and their music didn’t just happen. I tried a couple of times to play to some kind of taped rhythm or loop or something but it always seemed very counterproductive and we never gravitated towards that kind of thing.’. LTW: These were people with a vision that did not follow other people’s paths, is that part of the inspiration for you? Everything has been reluctantly learned over the last 30 years as a producer or musician.’. Michael Gira: ‘It can with certain people and is certainly a problem with virtuoso rock musicians, the noodlers who get lost in their own skill. I’m giving these guys a lot more leeway because I like them. In the early years our relationship with our audience was anything but sympathetic, our music was aggressive but not in the sense of trying to attack someone. I was too young for the hippies and too old for the punks (laughs). LTW: So success is more of a practical reward for you? Backing Vocals Jarboe & Michael Gira. Michael Gira's gear and equipment including the Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus and Orange Thunderverb 200-Watt Tube Guitar Amp Head. LTW: Is your life very different now than it was when you lived in New York? It’s thirty years ago now. LTW: Did that open up possibilities to the imagination? What kind of Microphones does Michael Gira use? We just did a show in Brooklyn last year and it was the same, just unbelievable. Michael Gira | Interview Dec 28, 2001. LTW: Does the music just come into your head? We’re not, in any way, trying to replicate what’s on the album. It’s certainly not because we are fashionable! The endless grooves will be there. Michael Gira laughs about the drastic changes of musical style ‘it is probably surprising the change from the beginning to now. Full music credits for Michael Gira: 283 performances. Defying genres as they create and destroy them, the different incarnations of the band under the guidance of Michael Gira have lead us through fifteen albums worth of touching beauty and unsettling reflection. I usually come in with a rhythmic idea or a finished song, which I sometimes bring to the band. Personally I don’t have that problem because I don’t know a single scale.’. Michael Gira: ‘I had a 900 square foot storefront which I built myself. There was lots of violence and hardship and, in a way, that was a productive element because it weeded out the weaklings. It’s pretty banal. Michael Gira: ‘I was at a Pink Floyd show in 1969. A great band. Format: Blu-ray Michael Gira: ‘Yes. more. Last year The Swans released The Seer; an amazing, sprawling work that created a musical world that completely enveloped you in its power and imagination. One of them went down like a sack of potatoes. I have no musical training whatsoever. So I can’t say anything about being a composer. when has it ever been? Samples Michael Gira, Bill Rieflin & Jarboe. As a kid I wouldn’t say I was a fan but the Doors were part of my whole inner psyche. Phil Puleo is seated behind the drum kit. Every night it’s altered and changing and that’s a good thing. The No Wave thing had been a liberating thing, it was not about the usual three chords- fuck the three chords is what we thought.’. Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. It was a shabby space when I moved in but I did a lot of construction on it. If you have paid any attention to QRD you know who Michael Gira is. LTW: I’m interested in the word groove, Swans have a certain groove but not in the traditional sense of that word. I mentioned a few before like Nina Simone or Howling Wolf- John Cale might be another one at a certain time, he has done some awful work in his life as well but also some magnificent work too. LTW: So in the older era your imagination was not affected by the brutal New York of the time? We would be trying to have these physical forces with the sound. It’s sound- noise, to me, implies an annoying fly in your ear sound. Not Dead Yet Even though SWANS did undergo several dramatic changes not only in the constellation of musicians, Gira decided to drop the name in the early 2000s to distance himself from the noisy style associated with the band. The main thing with early Swans was that I was just stripping down the essential elements of what we consider to be rock music really. 1950s Guitars 1960s Guitars Patriot Guitars Hybrid Guitars Lefty Guitars. What kind of Effects Pedals does Michael Gira use? I work by instinct and I aim to be not timid and to be fearless and to just follow my imagination.’. On the record songs like Lunacy and Song For A Warrior are finished acoustic guitar songs and then orchestrated. Swans: The Great Annihilator, 2×LP (Vinyl), Europäische Union, 2017, Young God Records (YG59) / Mute (STUMM402), double vinyl, gatefold sleeve, Neuware, 29,90 € You are actually becoming popular! Find Michael Gira credit information on AllMusic AllMusic. I don’t think about overarching big issues. more, Gira uses this acoustic guitar during solo shows and hiw solo projects more, He uses several Guild guitars from the 90's in his solo concerts. Maybe the internet helped a lot with people understanding what we were trying to and getting the information out there and telling people the experience that we can be and people like that and come to it understanding. Run time: 101 minutes Michael Gira: ‘That’s like, no offence, but that’s what a critic thinks. We have a path that we want to follow but we find new things every night. Michael Gira: ‘Sure, ultimately that’s what it is and on many levels it’s about being an entertainer. Now, the way it is now series of versions of songs the! 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