Nick Cave: No Pussyfooting Blues
There has been a certain amount of heaviness of your work with Grinderman as well as such recent Bad Seeds albums as Abattoir Blues and Dig Lazarus Dig. Could you see your next album being something quieter like The Good Son or The Boatman’s Call ?
I think all in the stage. We really keep trying to do different sorts of records each time, depending on what the songs that I write require. At one point, during our middle period or whatever, I was trying to write a certain kind of song—a love ballad, because I had and still have an enduring love for that kind of songwriting, I love that stuff. Cole Porter, Tammy Wynette, The Carpenters. I love that kind of balladry. I did a couple of records dealing with that sort of stuff and it’s time to move on to something else. I’m always just looking for a way to carry on that fundamental creative process.
In regards to Grinderman 2, what is it about the wolf or the wolfman that intrigues you?
I just wanted to inject that kind of character with a fresh kind of terror—that archetype—a renewed sense of terror. And in that particular song, “Heathen Child”, he seems to be coming out of his shell, so to speak.
*Do you have a particular wolfman or werewolf film that you like? An American Werewolf in London ? Wolfen ? Teen Wolf ? The Howling, perhaps?
(Laughs) Oh I don’t know. Not the latest wolfman, that’s for sure.
Speaking of wolves, a symbol I always seem to hear in your songs, for many years, is the moon…
Oh, it always has in my songs…
What is it about the moon that inspires you?
It just floats up there in the sky, doesn’t it (laughs)? I wrote a book called The Ass and the Angel and 25 percent of that book I think is about the moon. It’s just a beautiful, soulful, effecting thing.
It is pretty cool, and everyone can look at it no matter where in the world you are…
You’re all under that same moon. You’re starting to sound like a Tom Waits song, mate (laughs).
- Did you ever have a chance to meet Tom, you guys being labelmates here in the States and all?*
I actually had a conversation with him once on the telephone. It was kind of strange, actually. I had wanted him to perform at a festival I was putting on in Australia (the ATP Australia Festival, which took place in the motherland in January of 2009 and featured the Bad Seeds playing alongside Spiritualized, Michael Gira, Harmonia, Silver Apples and his old bandmate, the late Roland S. Howard, among others). And he wouldn’t do it or he couldn’t do it or something like that. But he rang me up at home one day, I don’t know where he got the number from, and he goes (in a Tom Waits style voice), “Hey, Tom Waits here.” And I’m like, “Yeah, fuck off! Sure.” But it actually was Tom Waits (laughs).
In reference to your new book, The Death of Bunny Munro, did you hear from your friend Kylie Minogue about that one scene in the book where Bunny is listening to her on the car radio and pleasuring himself?
The last time I saw her I’d asked her if she read it, and she said she had it by her bed.
You recently were awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from Dundee University in your native Australia…
It’s my second one, actually.
What kind of weight does that kind of honorary degree hold in your land?
Well, I can call myself a Doctor.
But can you teach classes at the University and whatnot with that degree?
Nah, I’m not gonna take that up any time soon, mate (laughs).
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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