Nick Cave is getting the animated TV treatment, but in a somewhat unusual manner that seems befitting for the iconic Australian rocker.
The legendary Bad Seeds and Birthday Party frontman, alongside Swedish rock star Thåström, has thrown his support behind a new series from award-winning Swedish director/writer Måns Mårlind (Midnight Sun, The Bridge) and animation company Brokendoll.
Before They Were Gods, which is being developed by Banijay’s acclaimed Swedish production company Yellow Bird, is set in an imaginary world, in which the two musicians were close friends as 14-year-olds, before they would turn into major rock gods. Billed as a story of friendship, the series sees the two search for the ultimate truth, everlasting beauty, and cheap wine. Sometimes they find it, but mostly not. Always there, close to them both, is the promise of endless love in the form of the mysterious and beautiful Linnea who they have both deeply fallen for.
In Before They Were Gods, both Cave and Thåström speak like idealistic adults, with a discourse described as bordering on the philosophical. Thåström is written as a harsh existentialist, political and speaks succinctly, while Cave is the opposite, a struggling Dionysian agnostic, and a romantic dreamer who swims in words. It’s set in Sweden, but all dialog is in English.
“This is a dream project that literally came to me in a dream,” Mårlind. “While asleep, I watched two of my musical heroes as young teenagers, drinking cheap beer while discussing love and the meaning of life. I woke up writing and have been trying to catch up with them ever since.”
Said Cave: “Since I was never in Sweden in 1971 and haven’t ever met Thåström, I am obviously intrigued to find out what we never did.”
Added Thåström: “I always wanted to be a cartoon hero.”
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are currently performing a 34-date tour across key cities, such as London, Berlin, Helsinki, Zagreb, Gothenburg and Paris. His latest film, This Much I Know To Be True, directed by Andrew Dominik, went to cinemas worldwide in May, following its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
Thåström, who like Cave was also born in 1957, played in Sweden’s most famous punk band Ebba Grön, new wave group Imperiet and industrial band Peace, Love and Pitbulls, and last year released his tenth album entitled Dom som skiner (Those Who Beam). He recently completed a sold-out tour across Scandinavia and will be a special guest with The Rolling Stones in Stockholm this July.
“Cool and darkly funny, Before They Were Gods will be a unique feel-good animation series for the international market,” said Stefan Baron, CEO of Yellow Bird, which is behind international hits including the Millennium Trilogy, Young Wallander, Rebecca Martinsson, Headhunters, Occupied and Bäckström. “Måns Mårlind is leading the creative charge, and with the full support of legendary rock stars Nick Cave and Thåström, this is set to be an authentic adventure, with a killer soundtrack and storyline to attract audiences worldwide.”
Added Arvid Steen, creative director at Brokendoll (Searching for Sugarman, Her, The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window): “Creating a believable art style for adult animation is the holy grail for any animator trying to break new ground. Måns’ vision to bring the grittiness, detail, and richness of old Swedish comics into the musical worlds of Cave and Thåström is the perfect way to do it.”