Nick Cave's son Arthur was 15 years old when he fell off a 60-foot cliff in Brighton, England. He says the 2015 tragedy, ruled an accidental death at inquest, threw his life into “absolute emotional chaos.”

Cave and his band the Bad Seeds were recording their 16th album Skeleton Tree at the time, and he rewrote some of the material to reflect this sense of loss and mourning. The experience was also captured in the documentary movie One More Time with Feeling.

“The further we get from that time, it’s easier – it’s not always possible, but it’s easier to divide your time," Cave tells Noisey. “There’s what we call a remembering time, then there’s time when we work and we’re able, fairly successfully, to somehow divide that up. In that remembering time, we’re in no condition to work and be with each other and all that sort of stuff. We’re getting better at that.”

He added: “Before, it was just chaos. It was just absolute emotional chaos all the time. We had no control over anything. It’s taken us a while to – it sounds weird to say – organize our emotions. Otherwise you just can’t live, really.”

He's not turned his attentions to mounting an on-going tour for the first time since Arthur's death, but only after soldiering through the Skeleton Tree sessions.

“I had no idea what was going on," Cave said. "No one was able to function in a viable way in the studio, which I think was a good thing. It allowed those songs to resist any kind of tampering with. We had these extremely raw songs that reverberated with the feelings of everything that happened, or became a mirror for this terrible incident.”

Any attempt to have “played around” with the songs, he continued, became “less effective. So, we were able to put out this record that really is very pure, and has little artifice on it whatsoever.”

The 50 Most Influential Alternative Musicians of the 21st Century

More From