Two years after he left the Bad Seeds, Mick Harvey has revealed why he parted ways with the band he was in for the best part of three decades.
In a new interview with Spinner, Harvey suggested splitting with long-time collaborator and friend Nick Cave was down to the band spending too much time on management issues and, inevitably, musical differences.
Harvey said, “It was a combination of an awful lot of things. I think that some things have changed inside the band and my role in the band had changed gradually and things that I was doing outside the band had changed gradually… The balance between how much time I was spending on the creative side and the management side of things had changed and the balance wasn’t right anymore.”
Harvey went on to reveal that it was around the time of 1997 album The Boatman’s Call that he began to feel like an outsider in the band, saying, “There were a few key things that kind of pushed it over the edge, I guess,” he continues. “That was mostly to do with the fact that I got to the point where I felt that I couldn’t really say what I felt anymore with what was going on about the way certain things were being done because I’d said what I thought about them but was ignored.
“It’s also about the way some of the material was being approached. I thought some of the stuff was being dumbed down, but that’s just my opinion. But it wasn’t a good situation.”
Anyone who has been paying close attention to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in recent years will know that Cave has increasingly turned to Warren Ellis as his creative partner-in-crime. Harvey left the band in January 2009 and released his sixth solo album, Sketches from the Book of the Dead, this year. He has also been touring with PJ Harvey as she promotes her latest record, Let England Shake.
These days the 52-year-old is reflective on his time in the Bad Seeds, and indeed his future endeavours, saying, “I don’t really feel as if I’m master of my own destiny; I’m just bumbling along like I always do, really.”