Nick Cave has opened up about moving to Los Angeles because Brighton became “too sad” following his son’s death.
Arthur Cave died aged 15 after he fell from a cliff in Ovingdean, East Sussex in 2015. Nick first spoke of the tragedy during One More Time With Feeling, the 2016 film that delved into “the deeply personal circumstances surrounding the making of ‘Skeleton Tree’.”
For the latest entry into his fan Q&A site Red Hand Files, Cave was asked why he decided to move away from his home in Brighton. In response, the musician spoke of revisiting the Bad Seeds track ‘Heart That Kills You’, which he said was “clearly written after Arthur’s death”.
“The words of the song go someway toward articulating why Susie [his wife] and I moved from Brighton to L.A.,” Cave explained. “Brighton had just become too sad.
“We did, however, return once we realised that, regardless of where we lived, we just took our sadness with us. These days, though, we spend much of our time in London, in a tiny, secret, pink house, where we are mostly happy.”
He continued: “The ‘forgetting’ aspect of grieving is something that is only just starting to come to light because, well, it is hard to remember not remembering something. I had a long talk about this with Warren [Ellis] as we drove between cities on the recent tour.
“It seems I lost a year, more or less, where we did six film scores in a row, in the little studio we use in Ovingdean, overlooking the churchyard where Arthur is buried.”
‘Heart That Kills You’ appears on Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ ‘B-Sides & Rarities Part II’, which came out last month. “Most of [the songs] were written in the period immediately after my son died,” Cave wrote on Red Hand Files.
“Part of my own experience of grief has been a kind of forgetting – where significant portions of my life following Arthur’s death seem largely lost to me, or rather so misremembered that they have little relation to the truth.”
Nick Cave recently reflected on his 2021 run of live shows with long-time collaborator Warren Ellis, describing the tour as “pure happiness”.
“I cannot tell you what it means to Warren and me to walk out on stage and perform the songs — but there is a level of intensity to the shows that is exhausting,” he explained.