Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #196 – In your opinion, what is God? (The Red Hand Files)

There is no problem of evil. There is only a problem of good. Why does a world that is so often cruel, insist on being beautiful, of being good? Why does it take a devastation for the world to reveal its true spiritual nature? I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know there exists a kind of potentiality just beyond trauma. I suspect that trauma is the purifying fire through which we truly encounter the good in the world.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #190 – Following the last few years I’m feeling empty and more cynical than ever. I’m losing faith in other people, and I’m scared to pass these feelings to my little son. Do you still believe in Us (human beings)? (The Red Hand Files)

Unlike cynicism, hopefulness is hard-earned, makes demands upon us, and can often feel like the most indefensible and lonely place on Earth. Hopefulness is not a neutral position either. It is adversarial. It is the warrior emotion that can lay waste to cynicism. Each redemptive or loving act, as small as you like, Valerio, such as reading to your little boy, or showing him a thing you love, or singing him a song, or putting on his shoes, keeps the devil down in the hole. It says the world and its inhabitants have value and are worth defending. It says the world is worth believing in. In time, we come to find that it is so.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #176 – I’m sixteen and have just recently gotten really into your work. I was wondering: what advice would you give to your sixteen year old self and why? (The Red Hand Files)

My older self knows that life’s mistakes are destiny’s way of laying the tracks that will bring my younger self to the place where I am at this very moment — the mostly happy place, where I sit, with the sun coming through the window, writing an answer to your excellent question.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #138 – I read the Mark Mordue biography ‘Boy On Fire’ recently. I’m always interested in people’s stories and often ponder how and why some people’s voices get to be heard whereas others don’t. Mark’s writing touched on this with Bronwyn Bonney’s quote about a formula of success that you had, unlike some of your creative friends in those early years. Do you reflect on this at all? The Red Hand Files (The Red Hand Files)

I had, without any supporting evidence, a shameless and pathological belief in my own awesomeness. Whilst many other musicians’ dreams seem to stretch to getting a gig at the local pub on a Saturday night, my dream was always, always, world domination. You have to remember that this is coming from a guy who when asked by his primary school teacher what he wanted to be when he grew up, answered, ‘A cult leader.’

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #131 – This world is shit. (The Red Hand Files)

As for shitty art, all art is perfectly imperfect — like the world itself — and to some extent value judgments on art are largely subjective and beside the point. Creating art is about growing the world and increasing its reach, and it has more to do with the act of creation itself than what is actually made. Anything that animates us creatively in a positive way — be it the grand design of a great architectural wonder or the Big Bang of a child’s drawing — is a re-enactment of the original creation story. Whether we realise it or not, making art is a religious encounter as it is our attempts to grow beyond ourselves that energise the soul of the universe.

Listened 2020 film by Nick Cave from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Although I did not watch the live stream, I listened to the performance. I really enjoyed the cut-back nature of the performance.

The result is a performance that exists in a strange hinterland, an album that’s unnervingly intimate yet flickers with the strange unreality of a dream. Idiot Prayer is as up-close and personal an encounter with Cave as there’s ever been. But a little mystery remains, always.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #126 – Hey first I wanna say really like your music i have lost my beautiful wife in cancer and my dear brother in covid 19 my question to you is how keep you going on after lost your son its hard sometimes to keep going on with life. (The Red Hand Files)

Matti, forgive me if this makes no sense to you, but perhaps there is a way to summon your wife and dear brother and release them from your despair so that they can attend to you — allow them to become your spiritual companions in that impossible realm, to look after you in their imagined presence, and guide you forward until things get better. For they do, in time, they do.

Liked What do you do when the lyrics just aren’t coming? (

Marko, our task is both simple and extremely difficult. Our task is to remain patient and vigilant and to not lose heart — for we are the destination. We are the portals from which the idea explodes, forced forth by its yearning to arrive. We are the revelators, the living instruments through which the idea announces itself — the flourishing and the blooming — but we are also the waiting and the wondering and the worrying. We are all of these things — we are the songwriters.

Liked The piano you played for Idiot Prayer was magnificent. Was it a personal instrument, or is this just the kind of thing people put in front of one when they go places? (

Andrew, I agree — the Fazioli is a glorious piano. Magnificent, as you say. As Herbie Hancock said about his Fazioli — that ‘one note announces the celebration of the freedom and creativity of the human spirit’. This is true. The Fazioli is warm and delicate and remarkably subtle, but has a deep, strong heart. It is full of angel tears and il sangue dei santi and encompasses the universe. It is a dream piano.And yet I wait for the day a giant removal van will pull up outside my house, my manager hanging out the passenger window, wearing a t-shirt with a piano on it, and a big smile on his face, screaming ‘Fazioli!’

Until then my little Chinese upright grins at me from the corner of my room. I walk over and sit down and I begin to play.

Love, Nick

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #94 – I recently read that the band Rising Signs believed ‘Palaces of Montezuma’ plagiarized their 2005 song, ‘Grey Man.’ Sure, I can hear similarities in melody, but, oddly, I think one of many reasons I love ‘Palaces’ is that it reminds me, if anything, of the intro to ‘Theme From Mad Flies, Mad Flies’ by The Laughing Clowns from 1982. I’m not sure what that says about Rising Signs, but it made me wonder – [ ] Is originality in music sometimes hard to obtain? (The Red Hand Files)

Theft is the engine of progress, and should be encouraged, even celebrated, provided the stolen idea has been advanced in some way. To advance an idea is to steal something from someone and make it so cool and covetable that someone then steals it from you. In this way, modern music progresses, collecting ideas, and mutating and transforming as it goes.

But a word of caution, if you steal an idea and demean or diminish it, you are committing a dire crime for which you will pay a terrible price — whatever talents you may have will, in time, abandon you. If you steal, you must honour the action, further the idea, or be damned.

via Austin Kleon
Bookmarked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #48 – I was lucky enough to be at your recent London show and you played Cosmic Dancer by T Rex. It reminded me how Morrissey also covered and released this. In turn it reminded me of my current struggle reconciling his recent unsavoury far right support to how I used to put him on a pedestal. Generally, is it possible to separate the latter-day artist from his earlier art? More specifically, what are your views on Morrissey, both early days and his newer more ugly persona? (The Red Hand Files)

Personally, when I write a song and release it to the public, I feel it stops being my song. It has been offered up to my audience and they, if they care to, take possession of that song and become its custodian. The integrity of the song now rests not with the artist, but with the listener.

Nick Cave responds to questions surrounding Morrissey and he political views. Similar criticism has been raised against artists, such as Ryan Adams. For Cave, once recorded, music takes on a life of its own. This makes me think about covers and their association with original tracks.