Michael Rolfe Gira

Michael Rolfe Gira

American musician, writer and entertainer
Date of Birth: 19.02.1954
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Michael Rolf Gira
  2. Early Life
  3. Legal Troubles and Return to the US
  4. Music Career
  5. Solo Career and 'Angels of Light'

Biography of Michael Rolf Gira

Michael Rolf Gira is an American musician, writer, and artist. He is best known as the driving force behind the recently revived New York band 'Swans' and the frontman of the band 'Angels of Light'. He is also the founder of the label 'Young God Records'.

Michael Rolfe Gira

Early Life

Gira was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His parents divorced when he was a teenager, and he spent some time living with his alcoholic mother before moving to Indiana to live with his father. After a brief period in Indiana, Gira moved to Paris, where he traveled around Europe.

Legal Troubles and Return to the US

During his travels, Gira was arrested in Israel for drug trafficking. Despite his young age, he was sent to an adult prison and served 4.5 months before his father located him through Interpol and brought him back to the United States. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Gira joined the band 'Little Cripples' and enrolled in art school. He initially aspired to be a visual artist but became disillusioned with the elitism and academic nature of the art community and turned to music instead.

Music Career

In 1979, Gira moved to New York and formed his own band, drawing inspiration from the new wave and noise genres and artists like 'Suicide' and Glenn Branca. After working with the band 'Circus Mort', he founded 'Swans'. The band initially focused on raw rhythm and often neglected melody in favor of rough energy. Although they didn't achieve significant commercial success, 'Swans' gained recognition from critics and had a dedicated fan base.

Over time, the lineup of 'Swans' changed, and their music became more widely accepted. One major shift occurred when Gira's collaborator, Jarboe, joined the band in 1985, adding her ethereal vocals and synthesizers to their sound. For the next 12 years, Gira and 'Swans' worked on studio albums and live performances. However, Gira eventually grew tired of the project and disbanded 'Swans' in 1997.

The band was revived in 2010 with a mix of old and new members, and they released the LP 'My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky'.

Solo Career and 'Angels of Light'

After the breakup of 'Swans', Gira released a solo album and then shifted his focus to collaborating with the project 'Angels of Light'. This new band had a significantly calmer sound compared to 'Swans'. Gira continued to experiment with different musical approaches and founded his own label, 'Young God Records', under which he released music by artists such as Devendra Banhart, Mi and L'au, and Akron/Family. He also continued to release songs from his own projects, including 'Swans', 'The Angels of Light', and 'The Body Lovers'.