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Baker's Dozen

Bleak Psychedelia: Michael Gira Of Swans' Favourite Albums
Joseph Burnett , November 13th, 2012 06:56

Michael Gira's mighty Swans play live at London's Koko this Thursday, 15th November. In advance of the show, Joseph Burnett speaks to the man himself about thirteen of his favourite albums, from Miles Davis and Gorecki to Throbbing Gristle and Pink Floyd

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Nick Drake - Pink Moon

I didn't know about that until Jarboe introduced me to Nick Drake in the 80s. I was blown away, I listened to him constantly, for a long time. For better or for worse, I'd be hearing him and revisiting early Dylan convinced me that it was time for me to start trying to write songs on acoustic guitar. It took a long, long time to figure out how to do it. Unfortunately many early attempts ended up on record [laughs].

Drake was inspirational to me in thinking about the simplicity and about creating something that has genuine power and truth in it, with very simple means, as opposed to Swans, which relied on volume. There's nothing wrong with that - we still do it! - but at that time I wanted to venture into doing things in a very simple way. As far as Nick Drake goes, he was an absolutely amazing guitarist and singer, totally genuine and lacking in irony or solipsism. Truly beautiful and honest. That's what I look for - I don't like cynicism.


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