More than a dozen years ago, Michael Gira pronounced his industrial band Swans as dead. Done.
The singer and guitarist — who since 1998 headed the gentler Angels of Light — reconvened Swans to create a brand new album, the engulfing “My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky,” which was released last week on Gira’s Young God Records.
A reunion this is not, Gira insists. It’s not about recapturing the past, but moving forward.
“It was a way to stay vital as an artist. It’s what I had to do to feel challenged,” Gira says from his home in the Catskills before Swans first tour in 13 years launches in Philly. “That’s why I went back to Swans, or over to Swans, as it wasn’t going back. Angels of Light was becoming a predictable thing for me to do. I wanted something larger to stay vital and alive.”
But there was also something he wanted to pull from Swans’ past.
“I needed to hear this music again and experience it. This is a progression of how Swans once was,” he says of the album. “It’s also reaching toward some of the places that Swans music reached for in the past, which is a really transcendent, overwhelming sound that lifts you off your feet and sends you up to the sky.”