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Baker's Dozen

Gold Gold Gold Gold Fire Fire Fire Fire: Douglas McCarthy's Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , July 24th, 2019 08:55

As Nitzer Ebb gear up to play Helsinki's Flow Festival, Douglas McCarthy talks Luke Turner through his favourite music, from listening to classical while eating offal on Canvey Island through David Bowie, Killing Joke, Brian Eno, JJ Cale, Thelonious Monk and more


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Your Funeral… My Trial
We'd just started working on Belief when that came out. I had a flat in Great Baddow opposite Bon's mum and dad's house, and he had all the gear in his bedroom. I'd pop over the road and we'd fuck around. I remember Bon not being into this record, because he was very focused on a pure electronic sound, but he grew to like it as I did. We didn't know [album producer] Flood at that time or that we were going to work with him, and it was while in the studio with him that we realised that he'd done so much that we were into as fans and now fellow musicians.  
Initially the thing that struck me about it was the blatant disregard for current trends in production and song structure, what I liked about it was that it kept tonnes of the old Birthday Party hate level, energy and darkness but put it into something that on the face of it, on some tracks, could be seen as softer music. A lot of what came through on the album, the soul-searching and the chaos, songs barely holding themselves together, it wasn't an affectation. I think it was that album where Mick Harvey dragged Nick out of the studio at Hansa, it was snowing and he told him to fuck off, two days later he came sheepishly back - obviously he was having a fairly raucous time. 
I'd never heard anything like it, just the chaos of it. We'd listened to the Birthday Party for years, and seeing them live, and it was wow, you can capture something so aggressive and punk rock, but then make it into this crazy environment and world. It captured some of the energy for us - we were feeling very fragile when we were making Belief - it was ironic that it was called that because we were so not feeling very strong. It was us against the world, Dave had left, we were having a massive legal wrangle with our first label. It hit a nerve to listen to another album that seemed to capture exactly the same thing. Nick Cave was a huge inspiration... I'm not going to lie, I may have picked up a couple of hints.