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In the Studio

Swans Crafting Double-Disc Opus ‘The Seer’ With Help From Karen O

M. Gira / Lino Brunette

“We got off tour in October. I’ve basically been in the studio most of the time since then without much break and I’m pretty much run dry,” says Michael Gira, lead purger for legendary noise-rock pummellers Swans. “I’m a completely wrung out wash cloth of a human being.”

Gira has been more than busy crafting The Seer, a the megalithic follow-up to 2010’s cauterizing as ever reunion bid My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky, promising a whopping two hours of music on double CD and triple vinyl. Adds Gira, “and it might even include more extra things if I ever find the time to mix a few things”

Gira promises guest spots from Karen O, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, and previous collaborators Akron/Family doing Beach Boys-style harmonies. “It’s a really, varied record. There’s some pretty intense moments, sonically, but there’s also some very pastoral and beautiful moments,” says Gira. “Some of the songs are 30 minutes long. To me it’s the complete synthesis of everything I’ve done and Swans has done, including a lot of Angels of Light influences as well… The band has been playing live for a year and we’re all really connected. This is the best lineup Swans has ever had in terms of getting along and really working for the same goal. It’s been very positive.”

The record will be out on Gira’s Young God, as usual (“Someone would have to pay me a lot of money to do something otherwise.”) and is due sometime this summer. Says Gira, “That album will come out in — what fucking month is it right now? Sorry all I do is work.”

In the meantime, you can catch Gira on a small sprint of solo acoustic dates along the West Coast, where he will be supporting the physical release of The Milk of M. Gira: Collected Solo Home Recordings 2001 – 2010, a best-of collection culled from his back catalog of handmade tour CDs. “Playing solo is the challenge of my life, to learn how to create some kind of undeniable moment with a piece of wood and strings and my voice,” says Gira. “Terrifying at first, but I think I’m very good at it now.”

Michael Gira solo tour dates
March 15 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall w/ Sir Richard Bishop
March 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo w/ Sir Richard Bishop
March 22 – Seattle, WA @ Triple Door w/ Sir Richard Bishop
March 23 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios w/ Sir Richard Bishop
March 24 – Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater w/ Wovenhand