Born in the New York no-wave scene of the early 1980s, Swans is a post punk band led by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira. Though the band remained a well kept secret of the underground music scene, the group went on to influence several experimental and art rock groups in the subsequent decades. With spooky instrumentals and baneful vocals, Swans creates an extremely menacing style of music that has been kept alive by its cult-like following. Though the band has experienced a large amount of line up changes and even broke up in 1997, Swans reformed in 2010 and began to once again spread its no wave sound to a new generation of fans.
Rise Against are a Chicago based punk band known for their politically and socially driven lyrics and lifestyles. The group's style of punk is reminiscent of a lot of punk bands from the 90's (read: lots of powerchords, palm muting and octaves), though as the band has matured they have experimented more and more in using instruments outside the typical guitar/bass/drums lineup. The members of Rise Against are activists for human and animal rights, and are straight edge vegans.