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Swans sail again after 13-year break

of the Oakland Press

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Michael Gira says that stopping his New York-based pop-punk band Swans in 1997 “was a really difficult thing to do, but it was totally necessary. I was completely fed up.”

Now, however, he’s “reached the inverse of that.”

Gira has brought Swans back to life this year with a new album, “My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky,” which he partly funded with a limited edition solo album, “I Am Not Insane,” which he says raised “close to enough money” to pay for the recording.

Gira and his latest lineup of compatriots recorded the album — which features guest appearances by Devendra Banhart and Gira’s 3-year-old daughter — in a basement studio in Brooklyn, working on one song per day for 12-hour sessions. He’s happy with the results, but he’s also looking forward to moving Swans forward as a going concern.

“I have lots of musical ideas,” Gira notes, “no word yet but lots of musical ideas for the next album based on what we’re doing in rehearsals now. (Swans) is what I want to do for the foreseeable future.

“It’s not like some reunion thing where a band gets together and plans an old album or something. For me, it was a personal thing I had to do to stay vital as an artist — to stay authentic, really.”

Swans and Baby Dee perform Monday, Oct. 4, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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