Nick Cave has opened up about the “absolute emotional chaos” that surround his life on a daily basis following the tragic death of his son Arthur.
Arthur Cave died following a fall from a cliff in East Sussex in the summer of 2015, aged just 15.
The Bad Seeds frontman and his wife Susie have paid an emotional tribute to their son Arthur shortly after his passing and now, in an interview with Noisey, Cave described dealing with overwhelming sense of grief: “The further we get away from that time, it’s easier to – it’s not always possible – but it’s easier to divide your time.
“So there’s what we call a remembering time and then there’s time where we work, and we’re able fairly successfully – not all the time – to be able to somehow divide that up. And in the remembering time, things can be… we’re in no condition to work and stuff like that. But we’re able to step out of that quite effectively and do our work and do our jobs and be with each other and all that sort of stuff. So we’re getting better and better at that. It’s… you know… Not always successful.”
“Before it was just chaos. It was just absolute emotional chaos 24/7, all the time. We couldn’t… we had no control over anything, and it’s just taken us a while to – it sounds weird to say – organise our emotions. Otherwise you just can’t live, really.”
In the wake of his son’s death, Cave joined up with close friend Warren Ellis and his Bad Seeds band mates to start work on the awe-inspiring album Skeleton Tree, a project for the band to sink their teeth into and reinvest or release the horror of a tragedy that remained inside.
“No one was really able to function in a viable way in the studio, which I think was a good thing, because it allowed those songs to resist any kind of tampering with,” Cave said about returning to the studio. “We just had these extremely raw songs that reverberated with the feelings of everything that happened, or became a mirror for this terrible incident. And the more we played around with the songs, the less effective that became. So we were able just to put out this record that really is very pure, and has very little artifice on it whatsoever. I’ve gotta say, when we were in the studio trying to work on ‘Skeleton Tree’, I had no idea what was going on.”