Music News

Swans' Michael Gira on The Seer, Released Today: "Once It's Done, It Just Sounds Like Dead Matter to Me"

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New Times: The Seer is indeed a masterpiece.

Michael Gira: Ho, ho, ho, ho! Thank you.

I really think it's like one of the greatest things. It's those long passages that take their time. Like you say, it's a journey.
My ideal for an album is a total experience, having in my young age listened to music from the '60s. I was born in '54, so I was 12 when it was the golden age of the album, when albums started being a work of art or something, and that's what I gravitate towards.

And this is going to be what, like three vinyl records?
Yeah [laughs]. Paradoxically, the best way to listen to this from beginning to end is digitally because then there's no breaks in it. Even on CD, it's two CDs. It's a strange thing because I'm not a big fan of digitized iTunes experiences. But I think the best way is if somebody can get high-quality files from the music they buy, I emphasize, then listen to the entire album through their computer in a stereo system, or something like that.

So this will be available in FLAC files?
I think so, yeah.

It is ironic, because iTunes shoulders part of the blame of breaking up the album.

Oh, really? [laughs]

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Hans Morgenstern has contributed to Miami New Times for too many decades, but he's grown to love Miami's arts and culture scene because of it. He is the chair of the Florida Film Critics Circle, and most of his film criticism can be found on Independent Ethos ( if not in New Times.