Nick Cave Talks ‘Faith, Hope and Carnage’ in New Memoir

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Art rock icon Nick Cave is a complex character, one that has been marred by tragedy in recent years. Faith, Hope and Carnage, a memoir arriving this month—crafted from over 40 hours of intimate conversations with Observer journalist Seán O’Hagan—will offer an in-depth look into Cave’s life and music over the years since the 2015 death of his 15-year-old son, Arthur, before the loss of his son, Jethro, earlier this year.

The memoir’s synopsis reads: “The book examines questions of faith, art, music, freedom, grief, and love. It draws candidly on Cave’s life, from his early childhood to the present day, his loves, his work ethic, and his dramatic transformation in recent years. From a place of considered reflection, Faith, Hope and Carnage offers ladders of hope and inspiration from a true creative visionary.” A project prompted by the 2020 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns, the book was borne from hours of phone conversations between the musician and the writer.

“This is the first interview I’ve given in years,” the “Red Right Hand” singer explained in a statement. “It’s over 40 hours long. That should do me for the duration, I think.

“It has been a strange, anchoring pleasure to talk to Sean O’Hagan through these uncertain times,” Cave continued.

Amid discussions of creativity, grief, mortality, and more, Faith, Hope & Carnage is a memoir “of intimate and often surprising conversations in which Nick Cave talks honestly about his life, his music, and the dramatic transformation of both, wrought by personal tragedy” O’Hagan added.

An exclusive extract from the book was recently released by O’Hagan ahead of its publication on Sept. 20.

The singer and his musical partner, Warren Ellis, are currently touring around their native land on the Australian Carnage Tour. A UK book signing tour is currently scheduled to begin upon the release of Faith, Hope and Carnage.

Photo credit: Kerry Brown

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