Another excellent Nick Cave article, this time from the NY Times
“I went to Graceland once,” Nick Cave said. “The rest of the band went in, but I stayed out on the curb, smoking cigarettes and feeling sorry for myself. Those last Elvis performances — the ones for television, when he was already sick — I must have watched those clips a hundred times. They’re like crucifixions.” He paused for a moment. “I couldn’t bring myself to go inside.”It was a bright afternoon in early February, and Cave was in a boutique in Berlin’s trendy Friedrichshain district, buying souvenirs for his sons. “Do you have these in kids’ sizes?” he asked, holding up a belt with the word “kleptomaniac” engraved across its buckle. The saleswoman was making a serious effort not to seem star-struck, but Cave’s attention was elsewhere.
“These might work,” he said in his travel-worn Australian accent, as he squinted fiercely at a pair of fuzzy white abominable snowmen. “My kids are at that lovely age where they’re just figuring out what’s good in music,” he said. “They’re just grabbing stuff, on Spotify and all that, and occasionally they’ll find something that’s really mind-blowing. But sometimes I hear what they’re playing, and I just want to cut my wrists.”
Cave, perhaps best known as the frontman for the seminal postpunk groups Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, was in Germany to promote “20,000 Days on Earth,” a film about his life, which was showing at the Berlin film festival. At 56, Cave can claim at least half a dozen vocations: songwriter and performer with the Bad Seeds and their garage-rock offshoot, Grinderman; screenwriter of the acclaimed and extremely gory movies “Proposition” and “Lawless”; novelist; film-score composer; lecturer; script doctor; and on certain perhaps thankfully rare occasions, even actor.
His books are best sellers; his film scores have won prizes; musicians as far-flung as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and St. Vincent cite him as an influence; and the Bad Seeds’ most recent album, “Push the Sky Away,” has proved to be one of the most commercially successful of the band’s career, reaching No. 1 on the UK Independent album chart.