Interview with Nick Cave | Music | The Guardian
Mar 27, Polly Jean Harvey and John Parish are sitting across from each other in a since, as with her wrenching mid-Nineties break-up from Nick Cave. last week seems to apply to how Harvey likes to see her relation to her music. Jan 21, PJ Harvey is a famous, highly talented, petite and very beautiful looking British rock singer who Nick Cave had a romantic relationship with in. Mar 3, After Nick Cave's long-term relationship ended, first he recorded an another relationship, a more recent four-month affair with PJ Harvey.
Muzi Quawson Nick Cave is sitting behind his desk, long of limb and droopy of tache. But instead of cars, Cave is flogging film scripts, novels, lectures and, of course, music. In one way, he says, life is no longer worth living; in others, he says, it has never been better. They were simply railing.Pj Harvey and Nick Cave - Henry Lee
The music was cacophonous and spit-furious, and occasionally heartbreakingly tender. They were always going to implode, and when they did in the early 80s, Cave went on to form the Bad Seeds, who were to all intents and purposes his backing band.
He took more drugs, drank more, moved from Melbourne to London to Berlin to New York to Sao Paulo, all the time travelling farther down the road to nihilistic obliteration. His lyrics preached Old Testament-style hellfire and damnation, then he discovered the New Testament and wrote love songs, even if they still ended in bloody despair. Whenever you think you understand Nick Cave, he chucks something different in your face.
The accompanying video shows young people shagging, pigs, goats, rabbits, everybody at it - except Cave. His desk is cluttered with the paraphernalia of his work - lyric sheets, pens, the old-fashioned cassettes on which he records new songs.
Above his head is a painting of Christ in all his suffering.
There are leather sofas and prints on the wall of cats in varying degrees of derangement. He says he would find it impossible to work at home with his wife, the model Susie Bick, and their seven-year-old twin sons.
Nick Cave - Wikipedia
Much of the time, he sits in the office, doing nothing, waiting for inspiration, ditching ideas. These dead periods are not enjoyable, but they are necessary. Sunday is his day off. When Cave gets a passion for something, it often becomes an obsession. I ask about those cats. He tells me they are by the Victorian artist Louis Wain, a man who became schizophrenic after his wife died and whose illness is reflected in his increasingly delirious portraits of cats.
He smiles and laughs even at himself more often than you might expect. On Shivers, he looks like a punk Bryan Ferry - a gorgeous, suited-and-booted crooner. On the live recording of Nick The Stripper, he is screeching self-loathing lyrics, dressed in a nappy.
Cave grew up in rural Victoria, Australia. His father, Colin, taught English and maths at the local school; his mother, Dawn, was its librarian. Cave loved the epic landscape, but hated the attitudes of small-town Australia.
Everything cool seemed continents away in London and New York, and Cave wanted some of it. By the time he was 12 he was getting into trouble, so his parents packed him off to a boarding school in Melbourne. I just got to the point where I couldn't function any more - through fear, through exhaustion, many different things. I felt incapable of doing anything for myself. It felt I couldn't go outside, couldn't see people, all these strange things started happening.
When I suggest that the album was a reflection of the broken relationship, Harvey hums in a non-committal way and says, yes, there probably was a lot of that in there, 'mixed in with my own distress about what else was happening in my life'. She has always resisted the kind of analysis of her work which others seem to delight in; tying the narrative of her songs too closely to the narrative of her life.
PJ Harvey - Wikipedia
She does not believe in the tortured artist theory, that you need to be suffering to create. Some of her darkest songs, she says, have been written when she was feeling at her happiest. Critics concluded her early songs such as Sheela-Na-Gig, about an ancient Celtic figure with vulva exposed, and Happy and Bleeding, which appeared to celebrate menstruation, were, of course, feminist manifestos. Harvey denied any particular sympathy for feminism, or any interest in its history. What people seem to have overlooked in these songs about craving, rejection and despair - things, as she once put it 'that might be considered repulsive or embarrassing' - is the possibility of imagination rather than autobiography.
But I think the music has changed and become much broader. But a lot of people don't allow the change. They like to put a label on you very early, and they get uncomfortable if they have to change that. That's my biggest fear; to stay put. I want to push myself and see where it can go, even if it means making mistakes. Harvey says she had 'exhausted the territory' of her darker preoccupations. But it is tempting to think they had exhausted her.
Inshe had a second breakdown. She had been on tour for almost a year and was worn down physically and emotionally. Her weight dropped, prompting speculation that she was suffering from anorexia, which she denied.
It was, she says, 'a very low time', the worst of her life. And all of those self-doubts then become overwhelming. Self-doubts about my life and what I was doing with it. I wasn't happy at all. I was just trying to assess why that was and what I should try and change to make myself happy. Because I don't want to be unhappy. She stayed with friends, then returned to Dorset, took long walks along the beach and thought about things. She reportedly underwent psychotherapy, although she declines to talk about it.
Looking back on this, Harvey can see a pattern in her life of constantly striving for perfection, and constantly feeling frustrated with herself for not attaining it. I wouldn't say it now, but I needed my work to make me feel of worth. I was always overly-judgmental of myself. I'm not like that any more, nowhere near as much. But I still feel this drive to try and improve all the time. Especially if you're familiar with it. When you get scared it's a nice place to go, because it feels safe, like home.
But you can't live there for ever. And it got to where I just didn't want to be unhappy any more. I was bored with being unhappy. She doesn't want this interview to sound like she is some sort of depressive, she says, 'because these feelings hardly ever happen now, and never for very long. I think simply getting older is a lot to do with it.
I'm not going to go into specific detail, but I think a lot of it is just from having a greater experience of life. Things I've had to cope with, personal things. And also getting a bit of perspective on my small part in the world. It's a classic cliche, but I do think I felt like everything was revolving around me.
Everything was so vitally important all the time. And gradually I've come to see that I'm just a very small part of it all, and there's an enormous sense of relief in that. The song drew comparisons to Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde. Written in her native Dorset, Paris and New York, the album showcased a more mainstream indie rock and pop rock sound to her previous albums and the lyrics followed themes of love that tied into Harvey's affection for New York City.
However, most notably, Harvey was nominated for, and won, the Mercury Music Prize. Reflecting on the win inshe said: During three years of various collaborations with other artists, Harvey was also working on her sixth studio album, Uh Huh Herwhich was released in May For the first time since 4-Track DemosHarvey played every instrument—with the exception of drums provided by Rob Ellis—and was the sole producer.
Beyond the blues
It was also a commercial success, debuting and peaking at number 12 in the UK Albums Chart and being certified Silver by the BPI within a month of its release.
Please Leave Quietly, directed by Maria Mochnacz and released in White Chalk was released in September and marked a radical departure from her usual alternative rock style, consisting mainly of piano ballads. The record confuses me, that's what I like—it doesn't feel of this time right now, but I'm not sure whether it's years ago or years in the future", summing up the album's sound as "really weird. The song describes in detail what Aamer endured during his four-month hunger strike.
A custom built recording studio was made in London 's Somerset House. Flood was confirmed to be the producer of the album. The album's release date was also revealed to be 15 April.
Parish — whom Harvey describes as her "musical soulmate" — has been working with Harvey for over 20 years. Besides her own work, Harvey has also collaborated with a number of other artists.
The album also listed her as Polly Jean Harvey, which in part affected the album's sales.