SXSW: Nick Cave spent life 'butting up against other people's lack of imagination'

SXSW: Nick Cave spent life 'butting up against other people's lack of imagination'


He is famous for refusing to let advertisers use his songs, but Nick Cave today admitted he had nearly relented to an offer from a New Zealand sanitary towel maker.

In a revealing and highly personal interview Cave revealed an unnamed Kiwi firm had asked to use the song Red Right Hand for a campaign.

The Bad Seeds frontman admitted in front of a packed audience at the South by SouthWest festival “the mind boggles” at how they planned to use it.

Speaking candidly about his childhood, musical career, and battles with booze and drugs he said: “I’ve spent my life butting up against other people’s lack of imagination.”

He also admitted: “I still feel very much an imposter in the whole music scene, which I’m quite happy about to be honest.”

When asked by interviewer, author Larry Sloman, about the world of imagination he is claimed to immerse himself in Cave said: “It’s not that I can’t deal with the real world, but the imaginative world to me is more reliable.

“I have more control over it and on some levels it’s more interesting. There’s a kind of world I’ve been building over the years that’s particularly Cavian, it a world that’s magical and transformative, and it’s different from the one that’s the same old real world.”

Cave also described Kylie Minogue, with who he duetted on his best-selling album, Murder Ballads, as a “force of nature”.

He admitted of the experience: “It still resonates very positively with me, she had a very lovely effect over things for a while through her own resilience”.

Having grown up in rural Australia during a time he said the country “had no cultural identity back then” he said his earliest musical influence was Johnny Cash through his TV show, although he admitted he thought he thought he was “evil and dangerous”.

On his creative process he insisted writing a book was far easier than writing lyrics for songs.

“It (lyric writing) is like pushing out 13 watermelons from the minutest orifice, whereas a book is one long watermelon,” he intoned.

On his childhood, he described how he was expelled from his first school and sent to a private school, where he claimed to have been “considered a homosexual because I was into art, but I didn’t play sport”.

Although dressing up in drag with friends to perpetuate the stereotype didn’t help, he admitted.

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