After six years without giving an interview, Australian singer Nick Cave returns to the media on the occasion of the publication of his book Faith, Hope, Carnage in France. The book, the result of his interviews with his journalist friend Sean O'Hagan, contains many confidences, particularly on the singer's life since the death of his son, Arthur, aged 15 in 2015. In an interview with Télérama , the artist further lifts the veil on his mourning.
The book is intended to be “a long-term conversation”. Rather than retracing the artist’s career, the work addresses “the themes and questions that nourished [his] work”. Among them, the death of Arthur, who fell from a cliff after taking LSD in 2015, in England. After the tragedy, the singer moved to the United States. “Staying in Brighton at the time had become too painful,” he explains.
This first bereavement - the artist lost a second son, aged 31 in 2022 - changed his perception of the world. “With the death of my son, I could no longer dodge, distance myself. It's called grief and it affects every aspect of my existence. Grief haunts me to the point that I have difficulty talking about it. But I try…”, he explains. The same mourning “radically modified” the artist’s outlook “on others”. “All I saw was their vulnerability, and I felt a form of empathy and compassion for them. I think I've always loved human beings, but now I realized how unique and precious each of them could be,” says Nick Cave.
The 65-year-old singer, who in 2011 sang “we get older, and we get colder”, explains that he has changed completely. “Now I feel consumed by life, even though I had a rather bitter outlook on it. I didn't decide it, that's how it is. Where I perceived the world and people as immutable, I now see them under perpetual threat, on the verge of imminent catastrophe,” he concludes.