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Nick Cave moved to US after son’s death because “Brighton had just become too sad”

He now lives mainly in London in "a tiny, secret, pink house"

By Will Richards

Nick Cave in a black and white studio
The latest instalment of Cave's newsletter is a heartfelt one. (Photo: Press)

Nick Cave has revealed that he and his wife moved to Los Angeles following their son’s death because “Brighton had just become too sad”.

Arthur Cave died in 2015 after falling off a cliff in East Sussex town Ovingdean, close to Brighton and Hove. He was 15 years old.

In a new edition of his Red Hand Files, Cave was asked by a Brighton-based fan why he left the city and where he lives now, alongside another question about the song ‘Heart That Kills You’.

“The words of the song go someway toward articulating why Susie and I moved from Brighton to L.A,” Cave wrote in response. “Brighton had just become too sad. We did, however, return once we realised that, regardless of where we lived, we just took our sadness with us.

“These days, though, we spend much of our time in London, in a tiny, secret, pink house, where we are mostly happy.”

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released ‘B-Sides & Rarities Part II’ last month. Photo: Cat Stevens

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released new album ‘B-Sides & Rarities Part II’ last month, with the 27-track set collecting deep cuts from 2006 to 2020, including ‘Heart That Kills You’.

In the new Red Hand Files entry, Cave said: “It is very difficult to recall the circumstances around many of the songs on Part 2 of the B Sides & Rarities album because most of them were written in the period immediately after my son died.

“Part of my own experience of grief has been a kind of forgetting – where significant portions of my life following Arthur’s death seem largely lost to me, or rather so misremembered that they have little relation to the truth.

“I have just listened again to ‘Heart That Kills You’ and can tell by the lyric that it was clearly written after Arthur’s death, and is probably a rejected or forgotten song fragment that found its way into the sessions Warren and I did leading up to the making of ‘Ghosteen’. It has that yearning, questing sound.”

Elsewhere, Cave and Bad Seeds bandmate Warren Ellis wrapped up a lengthy UK tour in support of their 2020 album ‘Carnage’ in Cave’s adopted hometown of Brighton earlier this month.

Next year, Cave will release a new memoir titled Faith, Hope and Carnage, collecting over 40 hours of conversation between the artist and journalist Sean O’Hagan, carried out in the years following Arthur’s death.