A painting of Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave by Australian artist Ben Smith titled “The Influence: Leonard Cohen consoles Nick Cave”:
Leonard pours out the wine of blood and the fruit of knowledge (apple of passion?) lies, sliced, before them. This is father and son, master and pupil, and — perhaps — ventriloquist and dummy.
Nick said in a French interview that listening to Leonard taught him that it was okay to sing sad songs:
He is the symbol of my musical independence. I remember these other guys that came to my friend’s house that thought Songs of Love and Hate was too depressing. I’ve realized that this ‘depression’ theory was ridiculous. The sadness of Cohen was inspir[ational], it gave me a lot of energy. I always remember all this when someone says that my records are morbid or depressing.
Leonard has said that he loves Nick Cave’s covers:
I never got over that thrill that someone else has chosen a song and wants to do it. I think Nick Cave’s instinct in choosing that song [“Avalanche”] to cover was very good because that’s just the kind of song that is made to be torn apart and I like the way he tore it apart. I like the way he went out with it.
Yeah! I’m your man.