If there’s one singer who knows about violence, crime and the darker side of the human psyche, it’s Nick Cave. Given his lengthy career covering such topics and, literally Murder Ballads, with his Bad Seeds; who better to weigh in on America’s topical gun crime debate.
Spurred by the horrific shooting at a movie premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured, Cave has spoken to the LA Times claiming that the power of film is enough to encourage violent action.
Cave’s comments are particularly pertinent given he’s currently promoting the upcoming gangster film, Lawless. A feature for which Cave not only wrote the screenplay, but also the score (with fellow Bad Seed/Grinderman partner Warren Ellis) and starring in – alongside the likes of Tom Hardy and Shia LeBeouf.
Speaking about the creation of his own violent film, Cave says it would be dishonest to ignore a cause-and-effect between screen entertainment and its influence on violent actions.
“If beautiful movies can influence you to go out and hug your children,” Cave says, “then we have to be honest and say that other movies can inspire you to do bad things. To say they can’t is to deny all movies their power.”
The period setting of Lawless, set during the Depression-era conflict between bootleggers and corrupt law-enforcers, depicts numerous shootings and murders in its bleak drama of conflict. Speaking about the film’s content, Cave said that he and director/co-writer John Hillcoat attempted to treat the subject matter “responsibly.”
“What we tried to do was show the consequences of the violence. Not every movie does that,” reasoned Cave.
Speaking about the recent Batman movie massacre, the singer attribute some blame to USA’s gun laws and culture. “Guns are part of the American psyche, aren’t they? [The Dark Knight Rises shooting] is collateral damage for having a Wild West mentality. It’s intrinsic to the American psyche. It’s never going to change.”
His comments seem more leveraged than those of Dave Mustaine, the Megadeth mouthpiece used a recent concert in Singapore to get on his soapbox and spout some controversial conspiracy theory that Barack Obama “staged” the Aurora, Colorado shooting, as well as the recent horrific shooting at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Mustaine told the Megadeth audience that the American President was involved in a conspiracy where “he’s trying to pass a gun ban, so he’s staging all of these murders.”
It’s an only slightly-less popular stance following Philip Labonte, vocalist for All That Remains, and his recently submitted article defending the individual’s right to own and bear weapons in an ill-timed opinion editorial released in the wake of the Batman movie theatre shooting.
Cave’s Lawless is due for local release on November 1st and the singer today posted a cheeky behind-the-scenes picture from the set, dressed in a bullet-ridden, bloodied double-breast suit, palling about with co-star Shia LeBeouf.