Nick Cave Biography
Nick Cave known as Nicholas Edward Cave is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional film actor, best known as the frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave was born in Warracknabeal, a small country town in the state of Victoria, Australia, to Dawn Cave and Colin Frank Cave. As a child, he lived in Warracknabeal and then Wangaratta in rural Victoria. His father taught English and mathematics at the local technical school; his mother was a librarian at the high school that Nick attended. Cave’s father introduced him to literary classics from an early age, such as Crime and Punishment and Lolita, and also organised the first symposium on the Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly, with whom Nick was enamoured as a child.
Nick Cave Career
Cave met Mick Harvey (guitar), Phill Calvert (drums), John Cochivera (guitar), Brett Purcell (bass), and Chris Coyne (saxophone); fellow students at Caulfield Grammar in 1973 . Together they founded a band with Cave as singer. Their repertoire consisted of proto-punk cover versions of songs by Lou Reed, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music and Alex Harvey, among others. Later, the line-up slimmed down to four members including Cave’s friend Tracy Pew on bass. In 1977, after leaving school, they adopted the name The Boys Next Door and began playing predominantly original material. Guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard joined the band in 1978.
They were a leader of Melbourne’s post-punk scene in the late 1970s, playing hundreds of live shows in Australia before changing their name to the Birthday Party in 1980 and moving to London, then West Berlin. The band were notorious for their provocative live performances which featured Cave shrieking, bellowing and throwing himself about the stage, backed up by harsh pounding rock music laced with guitar feedback. Cave utilised Old Testament imagery with lyrics about sin, debauchery and damnation. Cave’s droll sense of humour and penchant for parody is evident in many of the band’s songs, including “Nick the Stripper” and “King Ink”. “Release the Bats”, one of the band’s most famous songs, was intended as an over-the-top “piss-take” on gothic rock, and a “direct attack” on the “stock gothic associations that less informed critics were wont to make”. Ironically, it became highly influential on the genre, giving rise to a new generation of bands.
The Birthday Party disbanded in 1984, after establishing a cult following in Europe and Australia. Howard and Cave found it difficult to continue working together and both were rather worn down from alcohol and drug use.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
With Cave as their leader and frontman the band has released sixteen studio albums. Pitchfork Media calls the group one of rock’s “most enduring, redoubtable” bands, with an accomplished discography. Though their sound tends to change considerably from one album to another, the one constant of the band is an unpolished blending of disparate genres, and song structures which provide a vehicle for Cave’s virtuosic, frequently histrionic theatrics. Critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Steve Huey wrote: “With the Bad Seeds, Cave continued to explore his obsessions with religion, death, love, America, and violence with a bizarre, sometimes self-consciously eclectic hybrid of blues, gospel, rock, and arty post-punk.”
Reviewing 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! album, NME used the phrase “gothic psycho-sexual apocalypse” to describe the “menace” present in the lyrics of the title track. Their most recent work, Skeleton Tree, was released in September 2016. Cave was a ‘First Longlist’ finalist for the 9th Coopers AMP,in mid-August 2013, alongside artists such as Kevin Mitchell and the Drones. The Australian music prize is worth A$30,000. The prize ultimately went to Big Scary. In September 2013 interview, Cave explained that he returned to using a typewriter for songwriting after his experience with the Nocturama album, as he “could walk in on a bad day and hit ‘delete’ and that was the end of it”. Cave believes that he lost valuable work due to a “bad day”.
Nick Cave Grinderman
Cave in 2006 formed Grinderman with himself on vocals, guitar, organ & piano, Warren Ellis (tenor guitar, electric mandolin, violin, viola, guitar, backing vocals), Martyn P. Casey (bass, guitar, backing vocals) and Jim Sclavunos (drums, percussion, backing vocals).
The alternative rock outfit was formed as “a way to escape the weight of The Bad Seeds.” The band’s name was inspired by a Memphis Slim song, “Grinder Man Blues,” which Cave is noted to have started singing during one of the band’s early rehearsal sessions. The band’s eponymous debut studio album, Grinderman, was released in 2007 to extremely positive reviews and the band’s second and final studio album, Grinderman 2, was released in 2010 to a similar reception.
Grinderman’s first public performance was at All Tomorrow’s Parties in April 2007 where Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream accompanied Grinderman on backing vocals and percussion. After performing at Meredith Music Festival, in December 2011, Cave announced that Grinderman was over.
Cave’s work was featured in a scene in the 1986 film, Dogs in Space by Richard Lowenstein. Cave performed parts of the Boys Next Door song “Shivers” twice during the film, once on video and once live. Another early fan of Cave’s was German director Wim Wenders, who lists Cave, along with Lou Reed and Portishead, as among his favorites. Two of Cave’s songs were featured in his 1987 film Wings of Desire. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds also make a cameo appearance in this film. Two more songs were included in Wenders’ 1993 sequel Faraway, So Close!, including the title track. The soundtrack for Wenders’ 1991 film Until the End of the World features Cave’s “(I’ll Love You) Till the End of the World.” His most recent production, Palermo Shooting, also contains a Nick Cave song, as does his 2003 documentary The Soul of a Man.
Cave’s songs have also appeared in a number of Hollywood blockbusters – “There is a Light” appears on the 1995 soundtrack for Batman Forever, and “Red Right Hand” appeared in a number of films including The X-Files, Dumb & Dumber; Scream, its sequels Scream 2 and 3, and Hellboy (performed by Pete Yorn). In Scream 3, the song was given a reworking with Cave writing new lyrics and adding an orchestra to the arrangement of the track. “People Ain’t No Good” was featured in the animated movie Shrek 2 and the song “O Children” was featured in the 2010 movie of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
In 2000 Andrew Dominik used “Release the Bats” in his film Chopper. Numerous other movies use Cave’s songs including Box of Moonlight (1996), Mr In-Between (2001), Romance & Cigarettes (2005), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), The Freshman, Gas Food Lodging, Kevin & Perry Go Large, About Time. His works also appear in a number of major TV programs among them Trauma, The L Word, Traveler, The Unit, I Love the ’70s, Outpatient, The Others, Nip/Tuck, and Californication. Most recently his work has appeared in the BBC series Peaky Blinders and the Australian series Jack Irish. “Red Right Hand” is the theme song for Peaky Blinders and renditions of the track can be heard throughout the series, including the cover by the alternative-rock band Arctic Monkeys.
Nick Cave Collaborations
Cave played with Shane MacGowan on cover versions of Bob Dylan’s “Death is Not the End” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Cave also performed “What a Wonderful World” live with the Flaming Lips. Cave recorded a cover version of the Pogues song “Rainy Night in Soho”, written by MacGowan. MacGowan also sings a version of “Lucy”, released on B-Sides and Rarities. On 3 May 2008, during the Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! tour, MacGowan joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on stage to perform “Lucy” at Dublin Castle in Ireland. Pulp’s single “Bad Cover Version” includes on its B-side a cover version by Cave of that band’s song “Disco 2000”. On the Deluxe Edition of Pulp’s Different Class another take of this cover can be found.
One of Cave’s heroes, Johnny Cash, in 2000, covered Cave’s “The Mercy Seat” on the album American III: Solitary Man, seemingly repaying Cave for the compliment he paid by covering Cash’s “The Singer” (originally “The Folk Singer”) on his Kicking Against the Pricks album. Cave was then invited to be one of many rock and country artists to contribute to the liner notes of the retrospective The Essential Johnny Cash CD, released to coincide with Cash’s 70th birthday. Subsequently, Cave recorded a duet with Cash on a version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” for Cash’s American IV: The Man Comes Around album (2002). A similar duet, the American folk song “Cindy”, was released posthumously on the “Johnny Cash: Unearthed” boxset. Cave’s song “Let the Bells Ring” is a posthumous tribute to Cash. Cave has also covered the song “Wanted Man” which is best known as performed by Johnny Cash but is a Bob Dylan composition.
Cave also collaborated with the band Current 93 on their album All the Pretty Little Horses, where he sings the title track, a lullaby. For his 1996 album Murder Ballads, Cave recorded “Where the Wild Roses Grow” with Kylie Minogue, and “Henry Lee” with PJ Harvey. Cave also took part in the “X-Files” compilation CD with some other artists, where he reads parts from the Bible combined with own texts, like “Time Jesum …”, he outed himself as a fan of the series some years ago, but since he does not watch much TV, it was one of the only things he watched. He collaborated on the 2003 single “Bring It On”, with Chris Bailey, formerly of the Australian punk group, The Saints. Cave contributed vocals to the song “Sweet Rosyanne”, on the 2006 album Catch That Train! from Dan Zanes & Friends, a children’s music group.
In 2010 Nick Cave began a series of duets with Debbie Harry for The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project. In 2011, Cave recorded a cover of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” with Neko Case, which was used at the end of the first episode of the fourth season of True Blood. In 2014, Cave wrote the libretto for the opera Shell Shock (opera) by Nicholas Lens. The opera premiered at the Royal Opera House La Monnaie in Brussels on 24 October 2014.
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Nick Cave Writing
In 1988,Cave released his first book, King Ink. It is a collection of lyrics and plays, including collaborations with Lydia Lunch. In 1997, he followed up with King Ink II, containing lyrics, poems, and the transcript of a radio essay he did for the BBC in July 1996, “The Flesh Made Word,” discussing in biographical format his relationship with Christianity.
While he was based in West Berlin, in 1989, Cave started working on what was to become his debut novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel . Significant crossover is evident between the themes in the book and the lyrics Cave wrote in the late stages of the Birthday Party and the early stage of his solo career. “Swampland”, from Mutiny, in particular, uses the same linguistic stylings (‘mah’ for ‘my’, for instance) and some of the same themes (the narrator being haunted by the memory of a girl called Lucy, being hunted like an animal, approaching death and execution). On 21 January 2008, a special edition of Cave’s novel And the Ass Saw the Angel was released. Cave’s second novel The Death of Bunny Munro was published on 8 September 2009 by Harper Collins books. Telling the story of a sex-addicted salesman, it was also released as a binaural audio-book produced by British Artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard and an iPhone app. The book originally started as a screenplay Cave was going to write for John Hillcoat.
Aside from movie soundtracks, Cave also wrote the screenplays for Hillcoat’s The Proposition in 2005, and Lawless (based on the novel by Matt Bondurant) in 2011.As proof of his interest in scripture, so evident in his lyrics and his prose writing, Cave wrote the foreword to a Canongate publication of the Gospel according to Mark, published in the UK in 1998. The American edition of the same book (published by Grove Press) contains a foreword by the noted American writer Barry Hannah. Cave is a contributor to a 2009 rock biography of the Triffids, Vagabond Holes: David McComb and the Triffids, edited by Australian academics Niall Lucy and Chris Coughran.
Nick Cave Artist
Nick is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class forcing the viewer to look without judgment.
Nick Cave Film
In film, he has starred in two films with Brad Pitt: Johnny Suede by Tom DiCillo and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He scripted the dark western, The Proposition and has contributed to over 50 soundtracks including Gas, Food Lodging with fellow rocker J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. His first contribution was in the Marlon Brando film, The Freshman: ‘From Her To Eternity’.
Nick Cave Wife
Nick married Susie Bick after divorcing his first and second wife Viviane Carneiro and PJ Harvey.
Nick Cave Sons
Cave has four sons of three different partners: Luke, born in 1991, Jethro, also born in 1991 and twins Arthur and Earl, born in 2000.
Nick Cave Age
He was born on 22nd September 1957.
Nick Cave Albums
- Burnin’ the Ice
- From Her to Eternity
- The Firstborn Is Dead
- Kicking Against the Pricks
- Your Funeral… My Trial
- Tender Prey
- Ghosts…Of the Civil Dead
- The Good Son
- Henry’s Dream
- Live Seeds
- Let Love In
- Murder Ballads
- The Boatman’s Call
- Live at the Royal Albert Hall
- The Secret Life of the Love Song/The Flesh Made Word
- And the Ass Saw the Angel
- No More Shall We Part
- Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
- The Proposition
- The Abattoir Blues Tour
- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
- White Lunar
- The Road
- Days of Grace
- Push the Sky Away
- Far from Men
- Hell or High Water
- Skeleton Tree
- War Machine
- Wind River
Nick Cave Songs
- Abattoir Blues
- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
- Distant Sky
- Far From Me
- Foi Na Cruz
- Higgs Boson Blues
- I Let Love In
- Into My Arms
- Jesus Alone
- Jubilee Street
- Lovely Creature
- Midnight Man
- Night of the Lotus Eaters
- Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
- Push The Sky Away
- Red Right Hand
- Stagger Lee
- The Mercy Seat
- Today’s Lesson
- We No Who U R
- We Real Cool
- West Country Girl
- Where The Wild Roses Grow