Nick Cave, the Australian born singer-songwriter and author, reveals the formative influences and experiences that have inspired his own creativity. With his band The Bad Seeds, Cave is renowned for the darkness and drama of his narrative based work. His lyrics are often populated by flawed people doing bad things, but seeking redemption in love or God, or both. His musical output is diverse, ranging from rock’n’roll, to piano-based love songs. The tragic death of his 15 year old son Arthur in 2015 has informed recent work, with songs about devastating loss, grief and love explored throughout the albums Ghosteen and Carnage. Nick Cave has also written novels, poetry, a screenplay, and has recently published Faith, Hope and Carnage - a book exploring his ideas about creativity and belief.
Nick Cave talks to John Wilson about the influences of his father, an English teacher, and his mother, a school librarian, in encouraging his love of literature from a young age. He recalls seeing The Johnny Cash Show on television at the age of 10 and being spellbound by the country music star, with whom he later worked. He also remembers the life-changing effect of hearing Leonard Cohen’s Songs Of Life and Death album for the first time, and the profound influence the Canadian poet and songwriter had own his own lyrics. He reveals that fellow Australian Barry Humphries was another artist who inspired his own work, having seen a Dame Edna Everage show in Melbourne in the early 1970s. Nick Cave also discusses the impact that the death of his son had on his life, work and marriage.