Writing on his blog The Red Hand Files, the Australian alternative rock icon confirms his 2023 wishlist includes a new record with his long-standing band.
Responding to a fan’s question, Cave writes, “My plan for this year is to make a new record with the Bad Seeds. This is both good news and bad news. Good news because who doesn’t want a new Bad Seeds record? Bad news because I’ve got to write the bloody thing.”
The album that transpires will be the followup to 2021’s Ghosteen, a two-disc album that explores Cave’s exposure to grief and pain, following the sudden death of his son Arthur in 2015. Ghosteen, the 17th recording from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, cracked the top 5 in Australia (peaking at No. 2) and the U.K. (No. 4), and was shortlisted for several major music awards, including the Australian Music Prize and the U.K.’s Ivor Novello Awards.
Cave is making headway. The process started Jan. 1, and, by Jan. 6 he’d “written a few things but they aren’t very good, or maybe they are, it’s difficult to tell. A kind of doldrums has set in, perennial and predictable. It’s the same with every record, I feel that familiar feeling of lack, like I’m a big, dumb blank thing in a suit.”
The creativity is there, deep down, hopefully, he points out. “I have to call it forth, provoke it from its slumber. It becomes a nasty, punishing, baggy-eyed business. I’m starting to get an infuriating sing-song voice in my head that actually rhymes, like a madness. Like sadness.”
Those first few lines include a dark tale that harks back to 1996’s The Murder Ballads: “Ushering in the year he knelt down/And crushed his brother’s head with a bone.”
That “felt like an okay way to start a record,” he notes, and additional lyrics would flow.
Cave recently wrapped a well-received tour of Australia with his longtime Bad Seed and Dirty Trio collaborator Warren Ellis, in support of 2022’s Carnage, the first album of material they’d cut and released as a duo.
Last September, Cave announced the release of a new book Faith, Hope and Carnage, co-written with journalist Seán O’Hagan, in which the two examine questions of faith, art, music, freedom, grief and love over 40 hours in conversation.
The prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader, novelist and screenwriter is a national treasure in Australia, where he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007, and he’s considered something of a living legend in the U.K., his adopted homeland.
Read Cave’s blog post here.