Nick Cave and Mick Harvey discuss their career from the Birthday Party “crossover” of From Her To Eternity onwards...
KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS
The Bad Seeds’ urge to keep making records, and Nick Cave’s literary preoccupations force a happy compromise – a covers record. Cash, Dylan – and, yes, the blues – get the Bad Seeds treatment.
Harvey: “Those first couple of albums, Nick is trying to work out what sort of music he wants to make – throwing a few darts at the dartboard and see what sticks. He was listening to a lot of John Lee Hooker – it was about Nick trying to work out what sort of music he wanted to write. Kicking Against The Pricks was probably a continuation of that.”
Cave: “I started to write a novel, And The Ass Saw The Angel, and I really threw myself into that, and that took me away – I sort of disappeared into this netherworld of sitting in this room on my own.”
Harvey: “The excuse was that he was writing his book, so he couldn’t write any songs, but in some kind of unconscious way he wanted to study the kinds of things he was interested in musically, picking out songs of different styles, to kind of help him form himself, about what he wanted.”
Cave: “We decided we’d do an LP of cover versions. For me it was a revelation, that record, because it forced me to sing in a different way, which was closer in to the mic, and I sang soft, and I discovered I had something in my voice, a rather sensuous, pleasing sound, which I had no idea existed. I’d always loathed what came out of my mouth, and I found it sexy, in a… fucked up sort of way.”