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  • Nick Cave Online - Interview from "Revue" [1994] Revue
    stuff when I don t believe it is It s just honest it s the way I feel about things one person s view of things And I find that constricting You ve used that effectively though haven t you This demonic image on the cover with Let Love In emblazoned across his chest That s irony on a plate isn t it Well I just thought it was a nice photo I thought my neck looked very long You can t tell me that you don t enjoy manipulating that public persona a little All right possibly I regret that cover in a way It s a nice photo but it looks a bit too much like Aladdin Sane or something I shouldn t have said that now everybody s going to I wanted to talk about The Bible a little bit When did you first find yourself fascinated by it I knew The Bible reasonably well from a very young age going to church so often I was in the Cathedral choir and I went to church twice sometimes three times a week I did absorb a lot and found out I knew a lot about it in years to come I would just read it I always appreciated it I always loved the way it was written It basically started out as just enjoying the turns of phrases that were used I enjoyed the Old Testament because of these wild stories these terrible unjust stories and I thought this concept of God was a bit of a hoot because of how much people suffered under him in a way Then I started to read the New Testament about the time I was writing the book And The Ass Saw The Angel taking a lot of speed and stuff like that and I got very involved in reading that I would just look it up to find a quote and find myself reading it for the next two days as one does if you take a lot of that sort of stuff At the same time it was still very much looking at the words and enjoying the stories and enjoying comparing the different stories the different gospels one to the other and I took a very academic view of the whole thing I guess Then I just found I kept on reading it I read it more and more I read it daily now and I know it very well Any particular books I read all of them I like Mark a lot because it s so urgent he ll get the basic bones of the story down and it seems like he s really rushing to get it done and it s quite exciting in that way I used to like Luke the most because it was much more detailed and fleshed out and concentrating a lot on the miracles It was very very beautifully written John is a bit irritating and so whacked out I can t take it very seriously But I did find myself developing a sort of relationship with Christ in a way in that I really appreciated what he had to say about things I don t believe in the virgin birth and I don t believe in the resurrection But I believe as a man he was someone who had an incredible capacity to articulate his system of ideals and I find that enormously impressive And I still do I do more and more really Are you a religious person Long pause No I try and avoid things like that because too many conclusions are drawn if you say things like that This thing is very open and I don t have any concrete philosophy about it I sort of do I m becoming more I don t consider myself a Christian for example but I have read about what they call radical Christianity which is a disbelief in God and a belief in Christ but even to be that way requires a challenge in your own lifestyle and to be a Christian you actually need to lead a certain type of life and at the moment I find myself unable to do that I would like to do that I would aspire to doing that but I find if I m a Christian I m a very bad one So I m loath to say But at the same time I am deeply interested in him The thing that interests me about Jesus Christ is not so much his divinity as his human side Yeah absolutely If he s a man it s far more astonishing than if he was some Godly being There s a lot of books nowadays that are trying to destroy him which are quite interesting to read because all they do is reaffirm what an amazing person he is They defeat themselves in doing that I m quite interested in that It s the conservative Christianity where people have to exist in a kind of vacuum and not even have anybody around who isn t this way to believe in what they do to support each other This is exciting in a way because it is so dogmatic and extreme but at the same time it just doesn t exist in the society we live in Then there s the liberal Christianity which is what I ve always heard all the priests that I ve some into contact with or whatever which I ve always found so spineless and wishy washy no meat on it at all That is really irritating to me Then there s this other movement which is just looking at him as a man as some amazing person which he was No matter how much they try and even with all the discrepancies in the gospels this figure still comes out of it quite strongly quite powerfully Do you think the Bible influenced your perception of the power of the

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  • Nick Cave Online - "Kicking Against The Pricks" [1994] OOR Magazine
    record to fit it with the material on The Firstborn Is Dead I think that The Firstborn is called a blues record unduly There are some blues influences on it that s all John Lee Hooker is my favourite blues singer He made 3 or 4 really perfect records The original I think is on the album Moanin and Stomping Blues maybe under a different title The song is about jealousy About a deep primitive emotion I have no interest in documenting mondaine emotions I want more elementary subjects I m Gonna Kill That Woman is about certain feelings I have Thoughts that often play in MY head and I think in other people s heads too She was nothing but trouble trouble Sleeping Annaleah I know that song from Tom Jones It s on one of his records that I have My interpretation remains close to Tom Jones version Except of course that my voice is inferior to his and that he of course used heavier orchestration This song is a tribute to Tom Jones definitely one of my favourite singers It was also a challenge although maybe slightly ambitious of me to think that I could handle a Tom Jones song Long Black Veil and Hey Joe Both songs that have been covered by many artists But never with the intention to pay honour to the original I would call them traditionals But most performers have confiscated those songs Jimi Hendrix for instance signed Hey Joe with Hendrix Such practices have to do with royalties Who gets them paid and who doesn t There are more traditionals on the record Jesus Met The Woman At The Well is another Stupid enough whoever put the credits on the labels did not mention they were arranged by The Bad Seeds That was very dumb Because our arrangement of Hey Joe for instance deviates very much from that of Hendrix And when it comes to payment with traditionals it is usually the case that half the money goes to the publisher of the song and half to the arrangers Because it doesn t say we provided new arrangements half of the money for Hey Joe goes to the heirs of Hendrix that of Jesus Met The Woman At The Well to The Alabama Singers The Singer That song also called The Folksinger is our single A Johnny Cash composition The Singer must be listened to with a sense of humor I find the lyrics ridiculous extremely self sufficient full of self pity It is more the song that s about the image that I have of myself in 20 years from now About a singer complaining about lost fame Where yesterday the multitude screamed and cried my name out for a song Today the streets are empty the crowds have all gone home I could never write a line like that We intended to make a video clip in which I could be seen on my own playing a guitar in

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  • Nick Cave Online - Interview from "Rolling Stone" [1994] Rolling Stone
    you were even debating releasing the song Do the words still make you flinch I tell you what makes me flinch a bit is when certain lines are pulled out in reviews of it I think Fuck did I really write that I find it hard to believe that you ad libbed in the song Red Right Hand That s quite true One of my great talents is ad libbing I have to say I had the title and basically I knew what I wanted to sing about and it was a matter of just going in and putting it down There s certain lines in there obviously that aren t off the top of my head but there s ones in there that definitely are Aren t I incredible Tell me what should every high school kid read They should read the Bible they should read Lolita They should stop reading Bukowski and they should stop listening to people who tell them to read Bukowski Do you really go to karaoke bars I have yeah On occasion I ve staggered up there myself Particularly in New York it s one of those places you know shouldn t really go in but do anyway What do you sing Blueberry Hill that sort of thing Do you get sent a lot of movie scripts Yeah I get tons of them I read all of them that I get and on the very rare chance that I m actually excited by one of them it generally never gets made I m quite open to act I ll just wait for that appropriate script Is there any movie you ve seen that you would have liked to have been in I wouldn t have minded sort of being cast in Short Cuts I thought that was a great film But it probably would have been a lesser film if I had been in it I can t act that s my problem That s my big secret Oh now come on What do you think is the most alarming trend in music today What really excites me is the music done by individuals who are basically trying to articulate their own personae so it s music that s made by eccentrics it isn t really designed to relate to a mass of people I m talking about Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits or Van Morrison People who aren t really making music in order to provide for a voice of a generation rather their own what s going on inside of them On to family life You said once that you think you re a good father to your son What is a good father Being fairly relaxed around him honest with him not trying to hide much Trying to give him room to breathe look after him spend as much time as I can with him Will you see him during the tour It depends I mean he s not going to

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  • Nick Cave Online - Nick Cave's Love In [1994] Juice Magazine
    a guy or person destroyed by his life feeling that hecan become something if he is rejuvenated by the object of his desire It sa flailing mess of a song And of course he can t be M So you don t think a woman can redeem a lost man C Laughs I think it s a myth but who knows M I like the incantation at the end I am what I am what I am Itreminded me of some cartoon character C I think it s Popeye I am what I am what I am M I love the simplicity of the opening to She s Nobody s Baby Now where you talk about trying to unravel the mystery of Jesus Christ theSaviour It made me wonder about the first time you had a notion of whatJesus was in your life And then maybe you rejected that in your upbringing C You want me to talk about that M Yeah if you could C Well the line is in a verse in which someone is trying to work outwhy he isn t with a woman anymore But at some point along the way I hadsome vague religious notions about things I still read the Bible a lot And I still think that Jesus Christ is an extremely enigmatic and excitingfigure But I can t really get my teeth around the resurrection and thevirgin birth I mean I just can t believe that I look at him objectivelythese days M So you don t find yourself becoming more religious C I don t find myself becoming religious at all M A song that made me laugh was Lay Me Low about when you die Andthe cavalcade of cars and the six page feature articles that will bewritten It made me wonder if you ever fantasised about having one of yoursongs played at your own funeral C No I don t I ve never thought about it M Never thought about a song in particular Or never thought about dying C I ve thought about dying Everyone has thought about dying Butno I haven t made a list of songs I want played at my funeral I haven twritten all my good songs yet so that would be a bit premature I m notplanning on dying in the near future M Is Let Love In a breakthrough for you C Every record has its difficulties Mostly for me it s in the actualwriting of the songs and this was equally difficult There was as muchpanic and fear that I wouldn t have it done as there was with any otherrecord But once the songs were recorded it fell together so easily And Ibelieve that is because we worked with people we knew and who understoodour work Especially Tony Cohen the guy who produced it with me We knewthat we were doing something that was going to be good Right from theearly stages the foundations of the record were really strong

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  • Nick Cave Online - From Her to Paternity [1994] NME
    hard to talk about There was some vague idea that your first experience of love dictates the capacity you have in later years to express your emotions So the song was about many things creative impotence not being able to write not being able to relate property to a woman Why did you write in the persona of a child being molested Was I molested a child Well I have had those kind of experiences actually as a child though not the exact same one that I ve written about here But I believe this is a realistic idea sorry there s a hole in my copy one word or so perhaps about t things It s the intensity of the initial experiences that are important rather than if they are good or bad evil or immortal or whatever He trails off mumbling I think what I was trying to say and I ll never be able to explain this property the intensity of the experience no matter whether it s fear or pain or joy or whatever it s something that can t be repeated and consequently you re left inadequate or I don t know I took great

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  • Nick Cave Online - Interview from "Juice Magazine" [1993] Juice Magazine
    before I was able to do anything that was worthwhile musically I did music because I failed art school If I hadn t failed art school I probably would have carried on and been a moderatley successful painter G W It was only about three years ago that I was able to listen to my recorded voice and not feel uncomfortable For a long time I disliked the sound of it thought it was unconvincing N C sarcastically I can understand that G W laughing but now it does what I want it to N C I was like that too It was an effort to just do the basic things like sing in tune and phrase properly So it was always fairly excruciating for me to listen to my stuff as well G W sarcastically I can understand that In the days of the Boys Next Door the songwriting was for want of a better word traditional When the band deconstructed to the brilliant noise of the Birthday Party that tradition went out the window Now we find that you are back with form and melody N C I m like you in that I m very interested in classic songwriting creating songs that have a classic feel to them I mean I don t think either of us are really concerned about doing anything that s new or breaking new areas of music We re far more interested in writing purposeful and soulful and well constructed songs and as you go you get more tools to be able to do that G W Where I grew up there is an annual picnic race meeting where the people from the surrounding cattle stations come and race their horses and relax Whenever I m there I get asked to play some songs but I find it really difficult because I don t know any of the songs they like If I play my own especially the early ones they say do you know any with a tune much laughter N C I d love to be able to play guitar and be able to sing to stand on the back of a truck or around the campfire and entertain people in that way I can t do that unfortunately G W You could if you wanted to You used to have an old guitar in London which I wrote Cattle and Cane on N C So that s why I could never write anything on it G W I ruined it for you Did I steal its only tune I ll give you a credit next time I see my publisher N C I ve had to do that with my piano I ve hired pianos in Brazil I ve had to send back two no three because I ve been convinced there s no songs inside them Well you ve got to blame something G W Because you ve been photographed and recorded and filmed do you have any trouble in working out your public and private selves N C Well most of it s public I know when my private time is and most of it is spent panicking about my public time so it s all basically the same thing I need to work on my private life more I m kind of a failure when it comes to my private life because I haven t had the time to work on it as other people G W But this is what happens if you live the life of an entertainer or an artist It comes with the territory N C Of course there are certain things that have to suffer I mean you re away a lot of the time G W Do you feel there is a limit to what a songwriter can do with the much used chords of rock roll and country N C I m only beginning to understand what those chords are all about I ve only just started to realise there are certain chord progressions that seem to work over and over again which you probably knew about years ago I don t know if there s a limit to them but it does get increasingly difficult to write songs G W I can find it hard to put those chords to effortless use N C Well I think I m able to go into different areas from you You have a basic style of songwriting that has always been rooted in the classic songwriting mode When I can t find a neat and nice chord progression I can always just bang out a song on one chord and scream over the top and have the Bad Seeds play dramatic instrumentation around that and it can still be a successful thing I couldn t play you any of my songs laughs I mean if you asked me to play one on the piano I couldn t I write them I give them to the band and they learn them and play them I wouldn t have a clue how they go after that G W I find it interesting that a song I consider unsuccesssful will be someone else s favourite N C Sometimes I can t sing a song because the period I wrote it in really irks me or it s connected with things I don t want to remember or I wrote that song about a particular person who I felt I was in love with and now I hate their fuckin guts Other songs seem to keep the memory of certain people alive I mean most of my songs are written about other people and I sing them to keep the memory of those people alive G W I haven t recognized anyone in your songs People used to tell Robert Forster and myself that we d written a certain song about them N C I wrote a song for Robert the other day It s

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  • Nick Cave Online - From Victoria To Brazil [1992] by by Tony Horner (Rave Interview)
    enjoyable process to make records and and I think one way of doing that is to invite other people into the studio Basically write stuff in the studio do cover versions and anything to loosen the situation up a bit and basically that s what I like to do with the next record It s a process that began when Nick sang Louis Armstrong s What A Wonderful World with ex Pogue Shane MacGowan at a recent London benefit show which also saw The Birthday Party briefly reunited To save you scouring the second hand record shops in search of bootleg tapes of the concert Nick and Shane s duet has been recorded And released We did a single together which is What A Wonderful World which is a duet and then the B side I do a Pogues song Rainy Night in Soho and he does a Bad Seeds song Lucy We sing one of each other s songs It s just err brilliant the single It s three songs and it s a personal kinda package as far as I m concerned I mean I can say that more confidently about this than any other things that I do simply because it s singing with someone that I admire so much rather than that I listened to this record and hearing just Me Me Me singing all the time I m actually hearing someone singing that I y know worship in a way And so it s just basically a joy to be able to do that with Shane Is there anyone else you would like to work with Yeah Nick says thoughtfully I d like to sing some stuff with Dave Mason Who else can I think of There s certain Australian singers I d like to do some stuff with which I will try and do when I get over there There s certain things though that I ll have to do to bring that around like write some material for one And if I can pull that together then yeah I will do that invite a few other people in to work with in a very loose way I dunno if anybody s interested there Shouldn t be too difficult to find volunteers Meanwhile the live version of Henry s Dream has been receiving rave reviews overseas The best Nick Cave shows in years according to some reports It s quite clear I would say by far the best line up that we ve had Even though it s well it s the same line up as the last record but we kinda know each other better and are working together better now and at the same time the music on Henry s Dream is almost designed for live performances in a way and so a lot of that stuff comes off really well live Far better than on the record actually And so the shows are just a lot more aggressive and kinda action

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  • Nick Cave Online - Person-Elle: Nick and Noah [1992] Elle Magazine
    Good Son wallowed in lush melancholy seducing a new audience which brought Cave to the brink of mainstream success the new material from Henry s Dream a thoroughly uncompromising album thrashes at heartstrings that will not break For the Irish they play barely any old material Cave rocks up and down like a religious fanatic as if pleading with himself or some internal demon to come out The silhouette of Bono hovers briefly at the back of the hall upstairs When it s all over the crowd unleashes fervent applause Dublin on a Saturday night is like a film set for some forlorn unfinished film As Dubliners spill into the wet street the smallness of the town and the hugeness of grim human toil seems particularly suited to this visit from The Bad Seeds The band are off to a local nightclub where Bono usually holds court but Noah s had enough for one evening To this day Noah Taylor retains the horror of Friday and Saturday nights I can t pinpoint why but every time you hear from someone in Melbourne they ve murdered someone or killed themselves he mutters shaking his head It s just a part of youth like surfing A kind of bloody initiation Friday and Saturday nights represent winding up in a hospital to me Not that Noah grew up in a particularly roughneck quarter He was like many a middle class Melbourne boy sampling the city s darker wares Like Ben Mendelsohn Like Michael Hutchance Like Nick Cave Maybe it s the grey skies he ponders Maybe it s just that people are more romantic there It s miserable weather so there s more living in fantasy land I think that s where the violence stems from People just lose their sense of reality Like I m not just a plumber in Frankston I m a serial killer Having escaped as he says with a grin to the brighter traps of Sydney he is now happily staying at home most nights to be with his girlfriend I just hate going out even though I worry it must be boring for her He is no longer fascinated by gruesome murder stories or people like Charles Manson I used to lap them up to store and analyze But I physically can t take any more They make me feel sick Act Three Our plane is held up while Cave skulls a Guinness at the airport bar On board he flicks through a book on serial killers like other passengers skim the duty free brochure Asked why this stuff fascinates him he snaps that it doesn t and closes the book Fair comment Having made it he immediately reopens the book Mid flight he and Noah swap heroes They re both fans of Jim Thompson and his cult exposé of male psychosis The Killer Inside Me Nick also loves Kylie Minogue I d like to do a song with her he drawls Something sad and aching and

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