Earlier this year, the Australian musician was criticised by a fan for losing the anger that was present in much of his earlier work.
In a post on his blog The Red Hand Files, Cave shared a note from the fan who asked: “When did you become a Hallmark card hippie? Joy, love, peace. Puke! Where’s the rage, anger, hatred?”
In response, Cave said the death of his son Arthur was behind the shift in his energy. “Things changed after my first son died,” he wrote. “I changed. For better or for worse, the rage you speak of lost its allure and, yes, perhaps I became a Hallmark card hippie. Hatred stopped being interesting. Those feelings were like old dead skins that I shed. They were their own kind of puke.”
Speaking to NME as part of a recent “good faith conversation” about his new book, cancel culture, the coronation and more, Cave addressed his recent response to the fan about “angry” music and if this meant he might not ever return to a space where he could make another [garage rock side project] Grinderman record.
“We could do a Grinderman record, because Grinderman is essentially improv. It’s musically challenging and you don’t really know what you’re going to get, but I don’t think we could make a four-on-the-floor rock’n’roll record any more,” he said.
Cave went on that he didn’t think they could make “an old-school Bad Seeds record anymore where it’s basically a rock band playing”.
He added: “I don’t see that happening. Not that this next [Bad Seeds] record is ambient – it’s not at all – but I just don’t see us going back to that basic rock’n’roll style. I just don’t know how to do it anymore.”
The musician also elaborated on his close collaborative relationship with Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis.
“It seems so incredibly fruitful, our relationship,” he said. “We’ve just been in the studio, we’re making a new Bad Seeds record with other members too. What’s coming out is just so instantly interesting, I think, and different all the time.”
Elsewhere in his conversation with NME, Cave followed up on the reaction to him attending King Charles’ coronation.
Back in January, Cave confirmed that he’d started work on a new Bad Seeds album, sharing some early lyric ideas in the process.
Nick Cave’s last album with The Bad Seeds, ‘Ghosteen’, came out in 2019, described by NME in a five-star review as “a beautiful account of harrowing grief”.