In a new clip from the forthcoming film This Much I Know to Be True, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis show that, even in creative partnerships, sometimes opposites do attract. Cutting between separately-filmed conversations with the two artists, the narrative of their collaborative nature unfolds almost comically at their contrast in perception.
Ellis’ contributions land more on the side of chaos as he pulls up the music app from a MacBook desktop overloaded with audio file icons. “I don’t really have a sense of form and order,” he explains. “It’s really just about being in the moment and I guess seeing what happens. We’re just throwing things down — like sit down and start playing. You kind of are looking for those moments amongst hours and hours and hours of stuff.”
From Cave’s point-of-view, that isn’t exactly how it happens. “I actually had songs, I actually had song lyrics,” he says. “But I know from experience that those songs probably won’t amount to anything.”
The clip cuts back to Ellis praising Cave for increasingly being up for almost anything when they’re locked into creation mode. Then it’s back to Cave again, who quips, “Warren is almost always on transmit and not so much on receive, I would say. Although, he might see that as unfair and wrong.”
Ellis and Cave’s creative partnership dates back to 1993, when Ellis contributed violin to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ eighth studio album Let Love In (Ellis joined the band as a full-time member after that). Since then — through albums on their own, with the Bad Seeds, and on film and TV scores — the pair have grown familiar with the ins and outs of each other’s artistic process.
Directed by Andrew Dominik, This Much I Know to Be True details the making of Carnage — Cave and Ellis’ first official album as a duo — and Ghosteen, the latest record from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The film arrives in theaters internationally on May 11 via Trafalgar Releasing.