Michael Gira recently announced that Swans are working on their last album in this “current incarnation”. The basic tracks and vocals were recorded at Sonic Ranch studio in Texas with John Congleton as engineer, and with Michael Gira producing. Further recording and mixing took place in Seattle and Berlin and the new album is expected to be released on Mute / Young God Records in the summer of 2016. That didn’t mean that Gira was done making music himself. Indeed, he has announced his newest solo performance in Berlin this April at Volksbühne, part of a European tour through March and April.
Michael Gira is one of the most important voices emanating from North America today. Over the past four decades, his work as a solo artist and with his bands Swans and Angels Of Light, have resonated deeply and inspired generations of musicians. “Creator of some of the most intense, darkly poetic music ever to emerge from the States, he inspires a devotional following from the musicians and fans he has influenced over the decades” is how Clash solo live review defined Gira’s music.
To summarize several excellent articles about Gira’s background, he was born in the 50’s and grew up in a relatively affluent suburb of Los Angeles during the 60’s, the son of a wealthy international businessman and a housewife. As a teenager he hitchhiked across Europe, lived in Israel for a year and spent four and a half months in an adult jail in Jerusalem for selling drugs. He turned 16 when in jail. He then go back to California, and in 1979 he moved to New York, where he played in a band called Circus Mort, before forming the band Swans in 1982. From 1997 Gira is also the fronts of Angels of Light and he is the founder of Young God Records.
When asked what he perceives to be the most common misunderstanding people have regarding him, Gira offers, “They’re all wrong! Positive or negative…” And yet he recognizes what he considers to be mistakes. “Well of course I try never to repeat myself, though naturally, I am who I am so certain moods and approaches will be inevitable. My mistake, always, has been to not be able to reign myself in, to learn when enough is enough. But I accept that flaw.”
Michael Gira LIVE
Sunday, 18th February 2018 | 19:00 CET
Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte