Mick Harvey: You don’t just start doing shit versions of the songs

Mick Harvey:  A lot of the songs the band were playing were short-cut simplified versions of favorite songs of ours that were just an easy way to play them live … and they weren’t testing or making the band work hard to create a great piece of music anymore … It was just like, we can just bash out Deanna like that and everyone will love it anyway, so who gives a fuck? I did not like that attitude. I thought it was really poor… I understand it’s difficult when you’re in a really really big 5,000 stadium to do subtle music … well then, fuck it, we shouldn’t be playing in 5,000 capacity stadiums we should be playing in smaller venues where we can play the music properly. And you don’t just start doing shit versions of the songs because you can’t be bothered and it’s not worth it anyway. That’s really a death to me…
… and the attitude about my feeling like that was that I should just shut up.
(Mick Harvey, Paris, March 1, 2010)

ANNIE VIGLIELMO’s 3-part Podcast with Mick Harvey is under the cut!

Live interview with Mick Harvey in Paris – February 24, 2010:
Part 1. New Projects and more… (30 min)
Listen or

Live interview with Mick Harvey in Paris – March 1, 2010:
Part 2. Some reasons [why he left] Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds…
Listen or Download (25 min)

Live Live interview with Mick Harvey in Paris – March 8, 2010:
Part 3. On the music – from Birthday Party to Bad Seeds…
Listen or Download (32 min)

*THANKS to Annie at The Melting Pod. (Updated 11 March 2010)

55 thoughts on “Mick Harvey: You don’t just start doing shit versions of the songs

  1. Pingback: Live Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds w/ Sharon Van Etten @ The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC 3/17/13 | chewbone

  2. Pingback: Live Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds w/ Sharon Van Etten @ The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC 3/17/13

  3. Hi, I eventually listened to the interview and I really do think exactly the same thing as Dennis, I’d like to know what Nick has to say about this… even tough it’s great news that there’s a new bad seeds album coming out in 2013, I’m sad it’s one without Mick… I used to say : the Bad Seeds without Mick Harvey ?… Like Paris without the Seine !…Sadly, it seems its dry season…
    Sandra, from Paris

  4. Pingback: First French Woman in Podcasting - Meltingpod : the Queen of Rock and Roll Podcasters will rock your world - Live from Marseille and more...

  5. Sad to hear these comments from Mick about his relationship with Nick in the past 18 months. Obviously this is just his version of events, but it’s a shame to see such a brilliant musical collaborationship ove more than three decades come to such a bitter end. It’s amazing how often Mick used the phrase “not nice” in relation to Nick’s attitude to him. Well, at least we have 35 years worth of great music from them working together. I know Nick has detractors with regard to his recent stuff, but I still think he’s one of the most vital and briallant musicians around.

  6. Hi Morgan.

    I think you are 100% right that the new Grinderman album release has been delayed to accomodate the late March reissues of Tender Prey etc.

    I am guessing the new Grinderman album will be released around May with a June/July tour. That is only a guess mind you – fingers crossed.

  7. yes, it is quite simple. personally nothing would stop me buying or being interested in everything nick does. sometimes i don’t like it at the time and it could even be years before i revisit certain songs, but that is more to do with me i think and where i am. to me he is just so special. is it a train wreck? i don’t really know. it just is. his journey, his lessons to learn, he is the driver. for me, nick is heading into the 5th decade of making music that has always had a place in my life. i am always excited by a new release, a vid, an interview or a book, or a film score….the list goes on. 🙂

  8. I’m following this discussion with greatest interest and anthough I don’t feel like being the right person to express my opinion here (not an expert on NC&TBS, it’s Neubauten I am devoted to) I thought I may leave a short message.
    I do enjoy the raw, MC5 and Stooges influenced sound of Grinderman and one can’t doubt that this record was refreshing when it was released. Still, merging it with the distinct Bad Seeds sound, developed over many years, is confusing. It might match some compositions, but the majority is too different and I find it painful that some special arrangements NC&TBS were associated with are there no more. Just my personal opinion, a nostalgic view of someone stuck in the 90s. 😀

    Concluding, I’d just treat it as matter of development, necessary for every music group, but… The Weeping Song. Let me quote Martin Gore, from a song accidentally sampling Neubauten – ‘I’m relying on your common decency’. It just doesn’t sound good anymore.

  9. It is important to remember that DLD had a fairly hard rock feel to it and is it therefore not reasonable to expect that the live set would be similiarly upbeat and that the songs from earlier albums would be given a ‘rock’ treatment for example ‘Hard on for Love’ and ‘Get ready for Love’.

    Of course I would like to hear so more obscure tracks from the back catalogue played live but then agains I go to three or four shows per tour so I hear the set list many times over. I appreciate that others many not go so frequently and of course want to hear the ‘hits’.

    There are some songs that I think could be done better live e.g. Get Ready for love. However others may love the recent live performances of that and hate others that I love.

    Dylan adopts a very similiar approach. I saw him live last year and some songs (including those such as ‘Blowing in the Wind’ were barely recognisable because they had been reworked into a ‘Modern Times’ blues kinda groove.

    The peformances by Nick, Warren and Martyn as part of the ‘Audience with Nick cave’ tour late last year were absolutely outstanding. There were breathtaking performances of The Mercy Seat, Tupelo, Grinderman to name just a few.

    As stated above Nick has said that they had done a couple of slow albums and wanted to up the tempo. He has also said that does not mean that they will not do a slow ballard album in the future and the tour is likely to take its influenece from that.

    I am of course desperately sorry to see Mick leave and for that matter Blixa however I think that they positive to arise from that is the increasing influence of Warren on the musical direction which I think is incredibly exciting.

    We have a new Grinderman album to look forward to this year and from what little we have heard from Warren so far it sounds as if it will explore completely new musical directions for Nick. Stoner Rock, Psychadelic Rock, Kraut Rock infuences – I cannot wait.

    • Hey, Free, thanks for posting. I think most of us agree that Grinderman is Da Bomb. It’s okay by me if Nick and band want to channel their energies into that ‘can’t get hard enough, garage band on steroids, stoner rock direction’. Woo-haaaaa. Krautrock?? Now dis I gotta see. 😆

      Since we’re on the subject, what’s the holdup with the new Grinderman album? It was due out in February according to Warren Ellis. I’m guessing an early release of G-man #2 could negatively impact sales of the next four Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds remasters, due out on March 29. Possibly Warren was inadequately briefed about the conflicting dates and made a premature prediction. 🙂

    • “As stated above Nick has said that they had done a couple of slow albums and wanted to up the tempo”

      Oh thanks for that, i must say i have had enough of slow albums after Nocturama and it was like “WOW” when i heard Grinderman first, i was so exited, i listened to it 5 times nonstop jumping and dancing…it was great and i was so happy that Nick made the decision to up the tempo, do something different. And DLD was also goood, not as great for me as Grinderman, but it was the same direction.

      Only my personal opinion, they can do what they want: Als long as they do songs that fit with that style i am totally exited. I was not exited in Dresden when he played “Loveletter”, but he stopped it saying “Fuck it” and i was laughing my ass off. But “The Weeping Song” and also “The Ship Song” as well as uuuhm “Henry Lee” were not good in my view, i missed the feeling, it did not hit me, i was a bit bored when i am honest and i truly love The Weeping Song and Henry Lee. Stagger Lee was GREAT, a fantastic performance, my knees were weak after it. After the concert i could hardly walk and my shoes were destroyed, so i think it was a real good one, because thats how you should feel after a good concert ;D

      For the “An Evening with Nick Cave” performances i can say: I was not that exited about the musical performance as a whole. It was an outstanding experience and seeing Blixa reading the novel and singing with Nick was overwhelming, but i prefer the music on a stage with big sound. “Do you love me part 2” was great (i dunno why he sang it for Susie until today *giggles*) and “Grinderman” was soulshaking, especially Warren Ellis sitting in front of me destroying drumsticks, but all in all Dresden was the better one for 2009 for me. I am a “Banause” *laughs*

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