Swans – Q&A + new album review


Swans return to the UK this May for a headline slot at this year’s Supersonic Festival. Expect an epic set of pulverising tunes from the visionary frontman Michael Gira & his 6 man ensemble of music veterans. Having recently unleashed their extraordinary new album ‘To Be Kind’, we know it’s going to be one of this year’s highlights, so grab your chance to see them whilst you still can. Tickets here.

UNCUT recently reviewed the album giving it a highly respectable 8/10. They also had this to say:

“…these are not delicate symphonies. Nor do Swans jam, or employ anything as rhythmically complex as syncopation or tricky time signatures. Instead, these songs roll in like dark clouds, heave and grunt like a galley slave under the lash, or beat relentlessly, like a forehead hammering against a wall. It is much to Gira’s credit that he manages to make such music not just tolerable, but gripping.” – Louis Pattison, UNCUT.

Uncut also did a short Q&A with Michael Gira:

Q: When you were interviewed while touring The Seer, you were talking about writing ‘tender’ music…

A: “Exactly, that’s “To Be Kind”. It’s a song written for my fiancee. But whatever I’m doing, whatever I’m reading, whatever I’m watching, it all goes into the records. When I am blessed with a subject or a string of words that feel coherent, I get down on my knees and lick the ground in gratitude. For me, it ins’t an easy thing to write. Subject matter isn’t really an easy thing for me to control. I find it builds gradually over the course of the record.”

Q: Is “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” about Howlin’ Wolf?

A: “It’s not about him, no. I just kind of felt he was there with me as I was singing it. I don’t know what those words are, except me reaching back into this inner child place, which is not a sweet place necessarily. I noticed when I was singing, I was doing what the Wolf did, a bit – reaching into this unbridled id. And he did some really stupid things onstage, as did I. He’d do things like get down on the floor, get under some woman’s skirt and go like a-woooo! So I dedicated it to him.”

See Swans when Supersonic Festival returns next month! Due to the addition of a second stage and a whole new bill of exciting artists we’ve been able to release a limited number of additional tickets which have already selling fast. Don’t miss out on Swans and so much more this May 30-31st! Tickets here