Love, violence, death and America have always been themes for Australian-born singer-composer Nick Cave, so he was a natural to compose the soundtrack for 2007’s epically paranoid Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Cave also wrote the screenplay and soundtrack for the Australian epic The Proposition, which Roger Ebert described as “pitiless and uncompromising, so filled with pathos and disregarded innocence that it is a record of those things we pray to be delivered from.” Cave appeared in Wim Wenders’ 1987 film Wings of Desire, and he’s written plays and novels. In 2008, Cave released Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! with his band The Bad Seeds. The inspiration, he says, is the biblical story of Lazarus’ return from the grave. He joined Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross for a conversation about that album and more.
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[Illustration by JAY BEVENOUR]