Nick Cave announced his 18th studio album, Carnage, this morning via a brief, cryptic newsletter mention. In issue 129 of The Red Hand Files, the recluse wrote about the lockdown and his familiarity with isolation as a former heroin addict. He also lamented his inability to play live, which might be why he decided to channel his energy into recording new music. “Anyway, as promised in my last issue, I did go into the studio — with Warren [Ellis] — to make a record,” he adds at the conclusion of the newsletter.
Reponsding to a question about the COVID-19 lockdown from a fan named Tobias, Cave said: “I was a heroin addict for many years and self-isolating and social distancing were the name of the game. I am also well acquainted with the mechanics of grief — collective grief works in an eerily similar way to personal grief, with its dark confusion, deep uncertainty and loss of control.”
That said, the singer says, “I have been doing okay.”
In terms of missing performing live, Cave noted that he’s essentially “a thing that tours. There are a terrible yearning and a feeling of a life being half-lived. I miss the thrill of stepping onto the stage, the rush of the performance, where all other concerns dissolve into a pure animal interrelation with my audience. I miss the complete surrender to the moment, the loss of self, the physicalness of it all, the feeding frenzy of communal love, the religion, the glorious exchange of bodily fluids.”
Before dropping the bombshell about a Carnage, the homebound artist lamented, “I long for the wanton abandon of the live performance.”