This is one of a number of songs in which Cave draws on a sense of post-nuclear apocalypse, without explaining what actually happened. The Australian singer explained to Mojo magazine March 2009 that, "it's the apocalypse that's happened or is happening incrementally, gradually. Or it's metaphoric." He added: "I like the apocalyptic backdrop for a human story. Although I read the newspapers, I'm still not very interested in writing about that stuff."
Mickey Knox from Crowleyville, WvWow. "Abattoir Blues" rocks. I like the whole post-nuclear apocalypse idea especially since Mad Max is one of my favorite movies. I have often wondered what would life would be like in a dystopian society. Would the survivors devolve ino simply hunter/gatherer types or would they become more of a barbaric tribe. Like I previously stated I like movies and songs that have a bleak future theme and Abattior Blues fits right in.