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Nick Cave, Alphabetically [1997] by Dave Thompson (Alternative Press) Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2006

With his latest Mute/Reprise album, The Boatman's Call, Nick Cave has proved that even a genius can take a day off, and that songwritting is not like riding a bike. You can forget. Dave Thompson makes the gaunt Aussie stay after school to relearn his ABC's.

A Is For "Album" The New One Out Today

"I wanted to concentrate on making the sort of record I've been wanting to make for many years, which is a record with is slow, from beginning to end, a slow, melancholic record with is very sparse, very raw and beautiful. And I think I've done that."

B Is For "Birthday", The Party He Once Played

"There's some great stuff there. I don't feel responsible for that group [The Birthday Party], so I can disassociate myself from it in a lot of ways and enjoy the music. It was good stuff."

C Is For "Commercial"; Is The Boatman's Call Any Good?

"I don't know what people are interested in, and I don't care, to be honest."

D Is For "Don't Think So" (But It Was Produced By Flood)

"The thing about Flood is we've worked with him before. We were working with Flood before he did any work with Depeche Mode and anyone like that; then U2 got a hold of him and said. 'Make us sound like the Bad Seeds.' We know that we work well with him, that he isn't the kind of dictorial producer type; he's very reliable, knows how to get a solid sound and listens to what we want."

E's for Warren "Ellis", Guesting From The Dirty Three

"He's very much involved in the whole thing; we're good friends, so he came into the studio and did some fine violin playing."

F Is For The "Fanbase"; Will They Agree With Me?

"I've always thrived on my audience throwing their hands up in the air in exasperation at what I've done."

G is for "God Help Us", Nick Thinks This Record's Great!

"I think it's a logical extension of what I've done for years."

H Is PJ "Harvey", Allegedly His Date

"[She] may or may not be."

I's "Iconoclastic"; Nick's Become The Born-Again Dylan;
J, Of Course, Is "Jesus," So Who Really Is The Villain?

"I'm very interested in the Bible and the Christ story. But I despise the Church."

K, Then, Is For "Kylie", Whose Presence Is Now Missed

"People who got into me through Kylie [Minogue] or the Batman record... I apologize. I can't pander to stupidity, can I?"

L Must Be For "Losing It" (Either That, Or He Was Pissed [as in "drunk" -Ye Olde English ed.])

"I'm not making records for other people, really; I'm making records for myself."

M's For "Murder Ballads", Made The Same Time As The "Newie"

"I went into another studio and worked away on these songs while we were mixing Murder Ballads. I abhor the mixing process, so I generally find myself gong off and doing something else."

That's "N" Out Of The Way;
"O", The This Album's "Phooey"

"We've made a video which is even more uncommercial that the record. Not a lot goes on, I must say. It's in keeping with the record."

"Q" is for the Line ["Queue"] That Won't Be At The Store To Buy It;
R, Then, Is For "Rash", For All The Fans Who Try It

"People who genuinely understand what I do and what I've done, and have known my records through the years, will not be surprised at this record."

S Is For The Bad "Seeds", Who Play The Same Note All The Way Through It

"This record needed to be that way, and my band are sufficiently seasoned in what they do to be able to approach a record with the express object of serving the song. My group are only too happy not to play."

T Is For The "Top Billing", Which He Could Have Had But Blew It

"With regards to America, I don't think it's a very commercial record, the reception in Europe is quite different."

U Is For The Continued "Ugliness" Of Nick Cave's World View;
V Is For The "Vicious Streak", Which Still Is Running Through

"I write songs as gifts to other people, and I write songs as a way of remembering how I feel about a particular person before everything disintegrates into bitterness and ugliness. And I write songs for revenge that deliberately hurt and upset the person the song is directed at."

W Is For The Fervent "Wish" That Next Time Won't Be So Rough

"I'm gong into the studio with Tim Rose, who's a '60s singer who made a few incredible records, with a kind of little supergroup I put together, and we're gong to do an album of cover versions. He'll be singing and I'll just be directing and playing the piano and stuff like that."

And XYZ Are His Final Words:

"I think you've got enough"

 

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