Nick Cave changed a song on his 2019 album ‘Ghosteen’ on the advice of Chris Martin.
The Australian musician recorded his 17th album at the Coldplay frontman’s Malibu studio, where Martin would occasionally drop in to sessions after recording music for Coldplay nearby.
Revealed in the new book Faith, Hope And Courage, a collation of more than 40 hours of interview recordings between Cave and journalist Seán O’Hagan, Cave explained that the powerful ballad ‘Waiting For You’ was heavily influenced by Martin.
“He’d just bound into the studio full of that manic, ecstatic, life-loving spirit of his, and he’d be flying around the studio like a fucking pinball,” the Bad Seeds singer recalled.
“When he’d calm down enough, we’d play him the song we were working on,” he added. “He would listen, but listen hard you know, with his deep understanding of the nuts and bolts of songwriting and pop music, and hit-making.”
Cave continued: “Chris is a very funny guy with a perverse sense of humour, but he’s also disarmingly forthright.
“He tells his truth, as he sees it, as a matter of principle. He’s tough and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.”
The singer added that Martin mostly “loved the stuff, but occasionally he made what were quite challenging suggestions that, if taken on board, would have radically altered the song”.
Cave explained that the third song on ‘Ghosteen’, ‘Waiting For You’, originally had a “very loud, super aggressive industrial loop that played completely out of time of the song – you can hear it at the very beginning of the song”.
He added that the loop “absolutely dominated the song”, but had never really questioned it.
When played to Martin, the Coldplay singer said: “I love you guys very much, but is there any chance I could hear the song again without the fucking canning factory?”
Cave recalled close collaborator and Blonde director Andrew Dominik, who was also in the studio, springing out of his chair and shouting: “Thank god someone suggested that.”
At the time, Cave and his collaborator Warren Ellis were “not so pleased”, but “complied”.
“We took away the industrial loop and what was left was a very beautiful, vulnerable song shimmering there on its own – a classic, old-school ballad, raw and fragile and unimpeded. So thank God for that!”
The singer also spoke about his friendship with Martin: “He’s a sweet guy and a dear friend of mine, which seems to surprise some people.
Faith, Hope and Carnage, The Sunday Times Bestseller and new book from Nick Cave & Seán O'Hagan, is out now in the UK, US, Australia, Finland, Italy and Poland. Available in hardback and on audiobook now: https://t.co/Nz6x7M9q5t pic.twitter.com/y0BGcgCkXw
— Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (@nickcave) September 29, 2022
“I’ve always been drawn to his generosity of spirit and his engagement with the world, he’s a beautiful guy and we just get on.”
Cave recently explained why he’s decided to start doing interviews again, sharing that he felt “completely unequipped to talk about anything” following the death of hjs son, Arthur.
An audiobook to accompany his Faith, Hope And Carnage, narrated by Cave and O’Hagan came out on the same day as the book release last month.