Nick Cave Discusses The “Musical Curse” of Tinnitus: “It’s a pain in the ass”

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Nick Cave spoke about his experience with tinnitus, calling it “the curse of the musician” and “a pain in the ass.”

The musician was responding to a question on his Red Hand Files website from a fan who asked if Cave himself suffers from tinnitus.

— Do you have tinnitus? A fan — Denise from New York — asked: “What do you do when it rings louder? I’ve had it for 15 years now, and I’ve adjusted, but as I get older and seek more privacy, the chorus of crickets is always with me, roaring at maximum volume. I try to interpret their alarm as a message “we are alive”, but in a quiet and quiet house they are very noisy guests who never leave.”

Cave then replied: “Warren [Ellis] claims that his tinnitus is so strong that other people can hear it. I think it’s nonsense and told him so, but he says the reason I can’t hear his tinnitus is because my own tinnitus drowns it out.

“However, it’s funny that I have to read your question now, because I’m sitting here alone in my hotel room in Melbourne, having just returned from rehearsals with Warren and the band, and my own “chorus of crickets” is screaming its idiotic head. turned off. I’m wondering if I should go down to the hotel restaurant, which for some reason thinks it’s cool to turn on incredibly disgusting music very loudly during meals to drown out the little bastards.

Nick Cave

Cave continued: “Dear, sweet tinnitus is the curse of a musician. Mine is actually pretty manageable most of the time, it comes and goes, and only really starts when I play live music, which I now think happens most of the time. An otolaryngologist once told me there was nothing I could do but “love my tinnitus,” and then charged me three hundred pounds. But, you know, I don’t like my tinnitus, I don’t like my tinnitus at all, it’s a pain in the ass.

“So, I’m sorry for you, Denise, I’m sitting here alone, with your noise in my ears for company, and I have no advice for you, except to say, if it comforts you, that not only my cricket is sung by the choir, loud and very clearly, but also Warren, and Larry and Colin (Greenwood), and Wendy, and Janet, and T.J.—all our dreary crickets sing their idiotic and endless serenade in response to you, you wonderful, tortured man, in your quiet but noisy house in New York.”

Ending the response with a joke, Cave said: “Don’t try to call tinnitus support, she just keeps calling.”

After a busy summer festival and the release of his new book Faith, Hope and Carnage, Cave and his frequent collaborator Warren Ellis are heading home to Australia this month for a headlining tour that will end on December 17 in Sydney.

The singer also confirmed that he plans to start recording a new album later this year. During a Q&A at London’s Southbank Center last month (October 27), where he spoke with journalist Sean O’Hagan about their new book as part of the London Literary Festival, Cave confirmed that after the tour ends he will start writing a new book. write it down.

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