Pop Quiz: Michael Gira of Swans

Aidin Vaziri | Swans broke up in 1997, after more than a decade of making a fairly sizable post-punk racket and confronting audiences with chaotic live spectacles. The group’s baritone-voiced founder, Michael Gira, who went on to front Angels of Light, once insisted he would “absolutely not, never” re-form the band. But he has done just that for the new album “My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.” The group plays Tuesday at the Regency Grand Ballroom. We checked in with Gira during tour rehearsals in Austin, Texas, last week.


Michael Gira of Swans
Q: Do you find it odd that you’re playing for bigger audiences now than when the band broke up in 1997?
A: It’s very gratifying. This is my Nuremberg moment. God is just.
Q: Do you expect anyone to walk out of the shows like they used to back in the day?
A: More than that. I expect to be publicly disemboweled, my entrails roasted as I watch. I expect my band to be stripped, then flayed, then devoured by a greedy audience of rat-human hybrids. Then I expect the audience to turn on each other in a frenzy of mutilation and cannibalism.
Q: What is the potential for bodily harm – namely to your ribs – with the new stage show?
A: Zero. This is new music, a different era, and it would be false to try to act like a young lunatic again.
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