“My guitar playing in itself is crude and extremely simple, but whole sonic worlds grow out of it”: Swans influenced everyone from Nirvana to Tool, but Michael Gira still doesn't see himself as a guitarist

Singer Michael Gira of the American band Swans performs live during a concert at the Volksbuehne on July 5, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
(Image credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images)

A musical renegade, Swans' Michael Gira has fearlessly explored the depths of multiple genres throughout a 40-plus-year career.

Gira and his eclectic cohorts are at it again on the heels of Swans' latest release, The Beggar. And while the album is badged with the 'drone' tag, don't tell that to Gira, who, like many of his contemporaries, feels genres are as arbitrary as it comes.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.