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Interview:
Swans head out with swan song album, tour
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

It's swan song time for Swans.

With last month's release of a new album, "The Glowing Man," and its current tour, founder and leader Michael Gira plans to retire the experimental rock group, at least as we've known it since 1982.

"I'm going to continue to make music under the name of Swans, but I'm just going to have revolving members according to what the material calls for," Gira, 62, explains by phone from Providence, R.I. "I'm more interested in being a producer and writing a song instead of having a set (band) and sticking to one particular idea or situation."

Gira -- who also put Swans on hiatus between 1997-2010 -- acknowledges this was not an easy decision. "I enjoy it immensely," he notes. "It's what makes me feel alive more than just about anything." The grind of the road had something to do with the move, Gira adds, but so did an overarching desire to keep music fresh for himself.

"I don't want it to be tarnished by familiarity," Gira explains. "We've been together in close quarters for seven years, 200 days a year, probably -- maybe more. I think that one becomes quite familiar with everybody else's potential and limitations in the group, and if we weren't to terminate it, it can become kind of habit, which is the last thing I want."

Gira is pleased with how "The Glowing Man" material is being received by crowds so far on the tour. As for the future the New York-based father of two is holding off on planning until after the tour, but he's already formulating a loose agenda.

"I think top of the agenda is sleep for a very long time, and read," Gira says. "I definitely want to spend a lot of time reading and writing, both. I'd like to try some fiction. And musically I have this pipe dream of being able to write successfully narrative songs, not to tell stories but that involved a lot ore words that aren't limited to being attached to these grandiose sounds (Swan) makes.

"So those are some things I'd like to do, but it feels good to have no plans at the moment."

Swans and Okkyung Lee

Tuesday, July 12. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

Tickets are $20.

Call 313-833-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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