Lindsey Best for AOL I said I might never go back to Coachella. I'd done it…
- Posted on Sep 15th 2010 2:00PM by Mike Ayers
Roger Kisby, Getty Images
It's not like Cave spends nights awake in bed, deliberating Grinderman lyrics -- he's making them up as the band's jamming in the studio. "I've got a talent for ad-libbing," Cave tells Spinner. "I don't have many talents, but I can get lost in the narrative pretty easily. Some people get really nervous about ad-libbling lyrics, because you have to be able to free yourself up to do that. You can't ad-lib and think what you're ad-libbing is any good at the time. You just have to let it go."
"I myself, at times, am goofy about it," he adds. "It's a lovely way to come up with lyrics, to improvise words. They do seem to come out of a different place, to come out of the subconscious in a way."
Indeed, 'Grinderman 2' sees Cave exploring wolfmen and abominable snowmen on 'Heathen Child' and cooking up humans and crushing gingerbread men during 'Kitchenette' -- not necessarily run-of-the-mill lyrical fodder.
"Most rock lyrics that I listen to, they should've thought about them a bit more," he says. "I say that with all humility. But the thing about writing lyrics, you always know in the back of your mind that you can get away with a normal amount. You're singing stuff but it's often the way you sing stuff that makes it any good or not. If you spend too much laboring over the lyrics, it can get in the way of the natural flow."
Writing about cannibalistic tendencies and rough sex would make some musicians quiver a bit, but not Cave. With Grinderman, he seeks this type of imagery out, if nothing else, to keep those around him on their toes. "It's really exciting to upset and offend your own milieu," he says. "Your friends sit around and say, 'What the f--- are you doing?' That's actually more satisfying than upsetting the establishment. You develop a trigger mechanism that can flip over the way you approach something; something that's full of anxiety and full of voices, voices from your f---ing childhood and your school days that tell you you're not good at anything. If you can flip that switch -- and it takes practice to do that -- you can silence those voices, an attitude that is more playful about what you're doing and the outcome of what you're doing."
For those fans brave enough to get on board with Cave's latest exploration of his own mind, don't worry, he's behind you. "To stand in front of your peers and say 'I dig Grinderman,' it takes a certain amount of audacity," he says, "a certain amount of strength of character."
'Grinderman 2' is out now via Anti-.