Thurston Moore talks Sonic Youth’s 1982 tour w/ Swans in clip from ‘Where Does a Body End?’ documentary
Having shown at a few select screenings around the country, new Swans documentary Where Does a Body End? comes to Blu-ray and DVD on September 11. Director Marco Porsia spent five years with Michael Gira "in the band's tight inner circle," filming pretty much everything, including the last months on the former Swans lineup's final tour. The movie also features interviews with Thor Harris, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, Karen O, Savages singer Jehnny Beth, Amanda Palmer, Kid Congo Powers, Mute Records founder Daniel Miller, and more.
The Blu-Ray and DVD versions feature an extended 161 minute cut of the film, plus two and a half hours of bonus scenes. You can pre-order it now.
We've got an exclusive clip of Thurston Moore talking about Sonic Youth's 1982 tour with Swans. "It was Michael's idea to call it the 'Savage Blunder' tour, cause we were just blundering about. It was savage." Thurston also says that most shows they played to empty rooms and that Sonic Youth "would generally come out first, 'cause following Swans was not a good idea." The clip features photos, flyers and ticket stubs from that tour and you can watch that, and the trailer for the documentary, below.
WHERE DOES A BODY END? is an intimate portrait of the band SWANS, from their roots as a brutal, confrontational post-punk band that emerged from the same early 1980s era NYC that gave us Sonic Youth (and, somehow, Madonna) through their ill-fated bid at mainstream success in the 90s indie-rock goldrush, through breakups and chaos (on and offstage) to their odds-defying current status as one of the most accomplished and ambitious bands in the world, one whose concerts are more like ecstatic rituals than nostalgic trips back through their most popular songs.
Marco Porsia (director/cinematographer/editor) embedded himself in the band's tight inner circle for five years, filming rehearsals, songwriting sessions, the grind of life on the road, petty arguments and transcendent performances. He time documenting the band included the recording of some of their most significant records and the final months on the road as they prepared for their farewell tour.
SWANS has always been a collection of singular performers, but there’s been one constant since it’s formation in 1982 - singer, songwriter Michael Gira. His biography (teenage runaway, art school provocateur, record producer, family man) and influences (Jimmy Swaggart casts a shadow as large as the Germs) are inseparable from the story of the band and the music they make. With unfettered access to hundreds of hours of Gira/Swans archives of never-seen-before recordings, videos, and photographs, the film brings us along the path they needed to carve for themselves.
The film is many things, a musical history, a time-capsule, a tour diary, a concert film, but mostly it’s the story of a life in the arts, frequently difficult, spanning decades without a safety net, creating the work because as Gira says “What else am I going to do?”
As band mate Thor Harris notes, “Michael is not a fearless person, but he is a fearless artist”