Cave used his blog, The Red Hand Files to open up about numerous aspects of his life. He wrote that PJ Harvey ended things between them and he reflected that “I was so surprised I almost dropped my syringe.” He was also transparent in saying that his drug use attributed to the breakup.
Nick Cave opens up on his blog about his breakup with PJ Harvey, why they parted ways, and how it helped transform his songwriting.
He also implied that he wasn’t as faithful to Harvey as he should’ve been, writing that he “had a certain amount of work to do on my understanding of the concept of monogamy.” However, he proposed that the dedication that both of them had to their respective career did not help the relationship either, stating that they were both “fiercely creative people, each too self-absorbed to ever be able to inhabit the same space in any truly meaningful way.”
However, the breakup provided songwriting inspiration for his acclaimed 1997 album, The Boatman’s Call. He wrote, “The break up filled me with a lunatic energy that gave me the courage to write songs about commonplace human experiences (like broken hearts) openly, boldly and with meaning – a kind of writing that I had, until that date, steered clear of, feeling a need to instead conceal my personal experiences in character-driven stories. It was a growth spurt that pushed me in a direction and style of songwriting that has remained with me ever since – albeit in different guises.”
Listen to the single Into My Arms from his 1997 album, The Boatman’s Call below: