Nick Cave Cites 'Essential Australianness' In Everything He Does

15 January 2024 | 10:07 am | Mary Varvaris

"I am happy when I am described as an ‘Australian’ musician... I still argue that The Saints started punk rock."

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in Melbourne

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in Melbourne (Credit: Kane Hibberd)

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Nick Cave has once again used his Red Hand Files Q&A website to express himself openly with his fans, describing an “essential Australianness” in everything he does.

Answering a pair of questions about “home” – one fan detailing their experience of questioning what home means to them and another asking if he misses home – Cave responded with the kind of honesty we’ve come to expect from him.

“When I’m dead and gone, and they put my remains in the ground, it will more than likely be into British soil that I’ll go — because the life I have built is here, in England, specifically London and Brighton, two cities I have come to love,” he wrote. “But the essence of those dusty, mortal remains will be fully and resolutely Australian.”

Cave continued to describe the “essential Australianness” that’s in everything he does, writing that it “finds its fundamental difference in every place I go”. He continued, “We Australians can assimilate quite happily; people generally like us, but we can never suppress our antipodean nature. We are marked by it. We Aussies are always chaffing, just a little, against the worlds we find ourselves in when we venture beyond our glistening shores.”

Recalling his upbringing and what the essential Australianness actually entails, the Into My Arms singer wrote that his generation of Australians is “stereotypically loud and abrasive, our gestures are wider and take up more room, we are ruthlessly funny, unguarded, contrary and inappropriate, yet conversely conservative, stoic, compliant, fair and reasonable, and we love our mothers”.

Getting into the Australian music and pop culture he loves, Cave added, “I am happy when I am described as an ‘Australian’ musician. I still stubbornly hold an Australian passport. I eat Vegemite instead of Marmite. I watch Norman Gunston reruns. I still argue that The Saints started punk rock.”

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And when he smells a Eucalyptus tree or is approached by an Australian fan on the street, Cave quietly pines for Australia “because, well, deep down I miss the bloody place — the nature, the people, my mother, my family. And then it passes, this bitter-sweet temper.”

You can read Cave’s complete answer here.

In early January, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds were added to The Music’s Most Anticipated Australian Albums of 2024.

While a new album from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds hasn’t yet been confirmed, Cave wrote to fans in November and revealed that he was “heading to Buffalo to mix the new Bad Seeds album.”

The announcement arrived a few months after Cave said he was “finishing” the new Bad Seeds album in a Red Hand Files Q&A. In January, Cave revealed that his plan for 2023 was “to make a new record with the Bad Seeds”.

Meanwhile, in other Nick Cave news, the singer is embarking on an intimate solo tour accompanied by Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood this April. The pair are set to perform for two nights each in Melbourne (Naarm) and Sydney (Eora).