Swans Launch Crowd-Funded Campaign For New Album With ‘Not Here/Not Now’ CD

Lots of good news on the Swans front today. First off: the band’s now in the early stages of their next album, with Michael Gira producing and John Congleton engineering their initial endurance test session at the Sonic Ranch studio complex in Tornillo, Texas. According to a press release, “Numerous special guests are in the works, but at the time of this writing, further information is not available. The schedule is open-ended, but completion is expected in January of 2014, with a release of late spring 2014. Extensive Swans touring will ensue shortly thereafter.”

Gira’s Young God label is funding the work/live situation the same way they did last year’s fantastic double album, The Seer: by selling a handmade live CD (Not Here/Not Now) alongside several tiers of incentives, including executive producer credits, personalized videos/songs, screen-printed posters, and VIP access to an upcoming show. Check out the full rundown here, and read Gira’s full statement below…

'Not Here/Not Now'

Swans, Not Here/Not Now (Young God):
1. To Be Kind
2. Just a Little Boy
3. Coward
4. She Loves Us!
5. Oxygen

1. The Seer / Bring the Sun / Toussaint L’ouverture
2. Nathalie Neal
3. Kirstin Supine (demo)
4. Screen Shot (demo)

“These recordings are a snapshot of Swans at a particular time. The songs (though it’s admittedly a stretch to call some of them ‘songs’), began one way at the beginning of a year-long tour, and thereafter shifted in shape constantly, sometimes spontaneously during a performance, at other times through revisions (after revisions, after revisions) during sound-check. At least an album’s worth of material was created and then discarded live in this fashion… (If I ever have the time, I’m considering sifting through all the recordings that were made of this tour and creating a special edition album of that material – some versions of the songs on this record bear no resemblance to what’s on these 2 CDs, for instance)… So, the music presented here is at a moment perhaps three quarters of the way through the touring cycle of 2012/13. Things continued to evolve considerably thereafter from what’s presented here, but I think these recordings caught us at a good point. At the time of this writing, we’re going into the studio in a week to record much of this material (as well as material I’ve written that hasn’t yet been played by the band) for a new album, where it will doubtless take on a completely new shape. my main hope, personally, is that I’m surprised with the results at the end.

At this stage of the game, it has been touching, stirring, inspirational, even soul-lifting to see our audiences increasing to such an extent, and to witness people finally, finally, seeming to just open up and share the experience of making these sounds with us. It really is a shared experience, and it feels like you-all are participating with us – though we still “call the shots,” – as it should be! This last bit of touring has been the most gratifying, musically and spiritually, of my life, and I thank you here for making it possible.

As was the case with our last studio album, The Seer, we’re just going to go in the studio now and record endlessly, as a first stage. In this instance, we’ve managed to wrangle a great, live-in studio in the middle of the desert in West Texas. Once the tenure of my friends in Swans is finished there, I’ll remain, recording more with other cohorts, and I’ll travel around a bit, trying to find ways to wrestle the music into a shape that suits it’s core intent (and maybe also contravenes it). I hope the songs change and develop beyond recognition. Along the way I’ll get more friends in to augment the sounds, and then hack at it and add more (always more) until there is no more, then start cutting things away again. I won’t pay any attention to the LENGTH of the thing, in the end, or how long it takes to make – or how many enemies I make along the way – ha ha!. Who knows how long the final effort will be – 2 hours, 3, 4? Maybe it’ll just be a strangled little worm, 10 minutes long. At the end I’ll figure out some way to put it in some sort of format that makes sense. During the last record, I realized, what difference does it make? We’re not exactly trying to make music that’s accessible in the regular music world, so why accept any constraints whatsoever? What’s an “album,” and who cares? People that are inclined to be interested will find it if they want. Just let the music dictate the final shape, nothing else. So I don’t know what will happen. Once the music shows me that it’s had enough of my interference it’ll be done, and that’s it. For that last bit of freedom – the faith you’ve shown in these endeavors – I am sincerely grateful to supporters such as yourself, indeed!

Not Here / Not Now is what has now become known as a ‘fundraiser’ or ‘crowd-sourcing’ CD. I’ve been doing this sort of hand-made release since 2000 (then, with Angels of Light), and with the support of people such as yourself, have been able to record and work at a standard that would have otherwise been utterly impossible. THANK YOU, endlessly! …I also remain grateful that you – our live audience – have felt it worth your while to attend our concerts, and my hope is that you’ve experienced some of the joy we experience while playing this music. THANK YOU, again, endlessly!” – Michael Gira / Swans / Young God Records