It’s better to believe in something than nothing at all. So whether Nick Cave is searching for faith in the pages of the New Testament, on the disorderly streets of New York City, or rummaging inside his own soul, it becomes clear. He at least believes in the journey.
“A hemorrhaging of words and ideas,” is how the Australian-born singer/songwriter describes Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, his 14th studio album with The Bad Seeds. And like previous works, his narrative songwriting looks for God, love, and sex to explain their mysteries. But this time, he probes more emotional, abstract territory, and lets himself and bandmates, Mick Harvey, Warren Ellis, Martyn P. Casey, Jim Sclavunos, Thomas Wydler, James Johnston, and Conway Savage get more expansive.
Nick Cave talks about Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Can you describe your mindset going into Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!?
What I tried to do was make a record that was not just a bunch of songs but that the songs kind of echoed throughout each other. I’m just trying to think what I was trying to do. I can’t remember what I was trying to do to be perfectly honest. It was a long time ago.
I’d imagine from start to finish that your music passes through many lives. After completing the album and listening back, did it surprise you?
Well, I was really pleased that it was good. That’s all I really cared about. And then I quickly forget about it and involve myself in the next thing. It’s always the next thing that’s of interest to me. But it’s important to know that thing before is at least good. And Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is a good record. It’s been an immense pleasure to play live. But what was going through my mind when I wrote it and all that sort of stuff, to be completely honest, I have no idea. I can’t really remember.
Since then I’ve been writing a closing chapter for a novel, I’ve written a screenplay, I’ve done the music to the Cormac McCarthy movie, The Road. All sorts of things have been going on. So it’s difficult to remember what the actual process was behind the record. But the process is pretty much always the same. I just sit down and do something. There’s not really a story behind it. I just put my head down and work.