Nick Cave's Grinderman at the Music Box

No, YOU da man!: Nick Cave and his grindermen
No, YOU da man!: Nick Cave and his grindermen
Timothy Norris

[For more photos, see Timothy Norris' slideshow "Grinderman @ Music Box"]

Nick Cave's merry band of wizard dervishes Grinderman came to a packed-to-the-gills Music Box last night. The crowd was oh-so-Hollywood: like-minded celebs and musicians (e.g., what appeared to be most of the Queens of the Stone Age, Flea, etc.), middle-age LA scenesters wearing a lot of black and even some steampunk regalia (Nick Cave, godfather of steampunk rock? who knew...), the groupie Class of '89 (now yogaed and botoxed into goth Barbie dolls), and several annoying industry types who stuck to the lobby bar chit-chattering.

The music, of course, top notch and Cave his usual charismatic self. As Nick Cave himself explained to our star reporter Henry Rollins in this week's print issue:

HENRY ROLLINS: What led to the formation of Grinderman?

NICK CAVE: The Bad Seeds had gotten too big. The sound of the Bad Seeds had gotten so big, there was no way to control it anymore, I felt. I wanted to scale back to something that was more basic and reduced. This was very difficult to do with the Bad Seeds. I would bring a song along to the Bad Seeds and everyone would jump in on it and we would get this kind of juggernaut sound, which I love, but I wanted to try and get somewhere else. Me and Warren talked about this a lot and eventually we said, "Let's just do another record with just a few of us and see what happens." That record [Grinderman] had a great impact on the Bad Seeds, so we decided to do another one.

HENRY ROLLINS: The sound on Grinderman 2 is wild. It is an incredibly explosive collection of songs on every level -- arrangement, lyrically and especially sonically. The new album makes the first album sound almost hesitant in approach. Nick Launay's production displays his great talent of being able to realize the achievable chaos of the moment while keeping things together. If you agree with this, what is the reason for the increase in volatility?

NICK CAVE: Nick did an amazing job of it, I think. There's so much space between the sounds -- he did a great job with that. He loves to do that kind of stuff. He'll do anything I say, in terms of he'll record any record I give him. He much prefers doing a Grinderman record than Nocturama [Bad Seeds, 2003] or something like that, which was the first album that we brought him in on. All through the sessions he said, "You know, you're playing like a bunch of old men." I think Nick had a lot of influence in encouraging certain aspects of what Grinderman are about -- or not so much encouraging it but able to capture it.

Read the whole interview between Rollins and Cave here.

Dervish wizard: Fellow Grinderman conspirator Warren Ellis
Dervish wizard: Fellow Grinderman conspirator Warren Ellis
Timothy Norris

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