Nick Cave and Mick Harvey discuss their career from the Birthday Party “crossover” of From Her To Eternity onwards...
São Paolo resident Cave is inspired to make a harsh, “violent” acoustic record – but the band is encouraged to use a producer. Famed Neil Young man David Briggs is chosen, but it’s not a happy outcome.
Cave: “The idea for Henry’s Dream for me came from being in Brazil and seeing these guys in the streets playing acoustic guitars that were really fucked up and hammering out these songs on them; a style of street singing that was in your face, but acoustic.”
Harvey: “Nick wanted there to be a lot of harsh acoustic guitar, and a lot of that is still there. But we recorded it in the wrong studio. We recorded it in a rock studio, Sound City in Van Nuys, California – perfectly decent, but not right for the Bad Seeds.”
Cave: “Those great Neil Young records sound like it’s some guys standing there, playing their music, and that’s the fucking end of it – so David Briggs seemed like the right kind of guy. But as it turned out… he was hugely… He… I mean, he was a fucking nightmare, that guy. I mean, [chuckles] he really was. I know he’s dead now and all, but, fuck, man. Each day he took it from being a violent fucked-up acoustic record to being a fucked-up electric record. But fucked-up in the wrong way. I put a lot of energy into the writing of that record, and then for each day to see it drift away… it was a horrible, horrible experience.”