Light A Match, Start A Fire: Michael Gira Talks To George Skafidas

Photography by Zach Gross
Photography by Zach Gross

Slow-moving and punitive; visceral and crushing; dour and blatant; repetitive and atonal; never played the same way twice; constantly trans- forming into whatever is next; a process of discovery for its creators as well as its audience: the music of Michael Gira, and in particular his creative output with Swans—the band he birthed, bore, buried and brought back to life over the course of three decades—is disorienting and destabilising. With themes that plumb the depths of human depravity, it even touches on the horrifying. Yet for those who imagine music as a redemptive, transformative, epiphanic experience, Swans occupies a sort of holy space in the artistic cosmos. Continue reading “Light A Match, Start A Fire: Michael Gira Talks To George Skafidas”

The Rebel Abides: In Search of Ben Wallers

Photography by Jesper List Thomsen

Even by the generous standards of modern garage lo-fi hipsteria, Benedict Roger Wallers seems inept and incongruous; a charismatic lone wolf in a cowboy hat or trilby and a tie whose electrified howls are too idiosyncratic to be broken down into market-oriented terms. It is difficult to sketch a thumbnail summary of a musician who has amassed a vast and unwieldy discography under a variety of names and genres: the most widely acclaimed is probably the Country Teasers, but he also moonlights as, or in, the Rebel, the Company, the Male Nurse, the Beale, the Stallion, the Black Poodle and Skills on Ampex, across folk, country, garage, post-punk, no wave and electronic pop. Continue reading “The Rebel Abides: In Search of Ben Wallers”