I started Swans in 1982 in NYC. At the time, I had no musical skills whatsoever, just instinct and a need to make something happen. The music changed constantly over the years, and I’m gratified it reached, and continues to reach, a fair number of people. After 15 years, I decided to end Swans, as the name had become a burden and the associations no longer fit with what I wanted to do into the future. I started Angels of Light in 1999, and that’s my main musical focus now. I also run Young God Records and release (and sometimes produce) music by people whose music I enjoy.
Dozens of people came and went through the 15 years of Swans existence. These are the people that spring immediately to mind: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Roli Mossiman, Harry Crosby, Sue Hanel, Jonathan Kane, Algis Kizys, Jarboe, Ted Parsons, Steve Mcallister, Larry Mullins, Virgil Moorefield, Vudi, Joe Goldring, Ronaldo Gonzales, Vinnie Signorelli, Christoph Hahn, Ivan Nahem, Bill Rieflin, Bill Bronson, Phil Puleo, Anton Fier, Jenny Wade, Clinton Steele…and more…
PS – Jarboe was the longest-lasting Swans contributor of those listed above and contributed more than can be mentioned here. To learn more about her, go here: thelivingjarboe.com
Here’s some of the music that I enjoyed during the time of Swans: Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, The Stooges, Brian Eno, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, DNA, The Contortions, Glenn Branca, Black Flag, early Pink Floyd, This Heat, Kraftwerk, Herman Nitsch, Cabaret Voltaire, Can, Public Image LTD., SPK, Ennio Morricone, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, and always, always Bob Dylan and The Beatles…ha ha! I’m sure there’s 100s more, but who cares and I can’t remember anyway… – Michael Gira / Young God Records 2008