The creative partnership between Nick Cave and Mick Harvey, which stretches back to the early 1970s, has come to a close. The pair met at high school in a Melbourne suburb, where they formed their first band. They initially emerged as the Boys Next Door during the original 1977 punk explosion, before naming themselves after Harold Pinter’s classic play, the Birthday Party.
Harvey has been through some tumultuous times with Cave, including the singer’s well-publicized heroin addiction. But his role as a creative foil to Cave had diminished in recent years, with the work they conducted together outside of the Bad Seeds greatly diminished. Instead, Cave undertook such ventures with Dirty Three/Bad Seeds member Warren Ellis, who joined the band in 1995.
The multi-talented Harvey has worked with a number of other artists, including PJ Harvey, so it’s unlikely he’ll be out of work for very long. But longtime Bad Seeds fans will no doubt feel a twinge of sadness that this four-decades long partnership between Harvey and Cave has come to an end. Harvey has issued a statement on the split, which read as follows:
"For a variety of personal and professional reasons I have chosen to discontinue my ongoing involvement with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. After 25 years I feel I am leaving the band as it experiences one of its many peaks; in very healthy condition, and with fantastic prospects for the future.
"I’m confident Nick will continue to be a creative force and that this is the right time to pass on my artistic and managerial role to what has become a tremendous group of people who can support him in his endeavors both musically and organizationally.
"It was a fantastic experience to finish my touring days in the band with the recent shows in Australia and the unique events that took place in conjunction with All Tomorrow’s Parties, especially Mt. Buller, which was one of the many highlights of my involvement with the band throughout the years.
"I shall continue working on the Bad Seeds back catalogue re-issues project over the coming year and look forward to the new opportunities I shall be able to accommodate as a result of my changed circumstances."