Nick Cave and Mick Harvey discuss their career from the Birthday Party “crossover” of From Her To Eternity onwards...

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ABATTOIR BLUES/LYRE OF ORPHEUS
(Mute, 2004)
A double-CD set, rich in both classical allusion and contemporary detail. Contains the word “frappuccino”.

Cave: “When Blixa left… it was shocking to me. I got an email saying, ‘Look, I think it’s over, and I’m leaving.’ A brief email. I rang him back and said, ‘Are you sure about that?’ and he said, ‘I’m sure.’ He was a huge force in the Bad Seeds, no matter what he was doing. With Nocturama, he came in with a pedal-steel guitar, which of all the instruments in all the world is my least favourite. And he said, ‘THIS IS WHAT I WILL PLAY ON THIS RECORD.’ And I said, ‘You must be fucking joking.’ But he wasn’t. And not only was that what he was going to play, he didn’t know how to play it. But that was what Blixa was like, he was always into trying something else. It was a huge loss for him to go, but a new stage is healthy. There was an outpouring of material, and Warren [Ellis, violin] shifted into the fore, in terms of sonic disturbance and general chaos. It was the first really joyful record, a pleasure to make. When I write a record, I think of 13 songs – an album and a B-side – there’s something difficult and painful about it. But with this one, I pushed through that, so when I arrived I had 25 songs, and they were good. We went in knowing that all we had to do was record these songs and we had a really good record.”

Picture: Sam Jones

  1. 1. Introduction
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