Finding Nick Cave

Radiomafia (Finland)
March 18, 1997

by Ilkka Mattila
Sent by Paavo Rajamo

Here it is as completely as I bothered to type it in. I edited all the interviewer's (Ilkka Mattila) comments out just for two reasons: first, they were his comments, not Nick Cave's and second, 99% of you couldn't have understood a word as they were in Finnish ;-)

The Boatman's Call:

"Well, it's very much a record me sitting at the piano singing my songs. It doesn't have duets with beautiful, young Australian nymphettes or... whatever Polly Harvey is. It's... we shall see..."

"It's a personal record. It's all songs written about myself and about the situations that I've been in. The lyrics are pretty simple in their way, musically it's very stripped down... Very few overdubs. It was recorded in a kind of live way. I mean all these different elements, which is the way I've always thought records should be made, but haven't necessary done things in that way, have all been pulled together and, I think worked very well. It's also the pace of the record I like very much, the slow, melancholy pace of the record. So for me, I'm very very happy with it."

"I begun writing it a little earlier than the Murder Ballads record I think. [I] had a kind of idea for this record, but wanted to take it slowly and work at it with an appropriate pace, so we made the Murder Ballads as well on aside to something keep our hands in... so the Murder Ballads record, for us at the time, wasn't really an important record. It was a record in a way designed to sabotage our career in some way. We tried to make a record that would deliberately be difficult for a lot of people to like, so that the people that followed our group would return to us a kind of reasonable, workable sized audience.

"So we made the Murder Ballads record which had the absolute opposite affect. In fact the Murder Ballads record was a failure because it was such a success. I don't know if people particularly liked it... I know people very much loved the idea, a lot of people really liked the idea of me singing with Kylie Minogue. I think initially they didn't like the idea. They thought this was a very bad idea, a lot of people thought this was a very very bad idea. But it was something that I've wanted to do for years. I dreamt of making a record with Kylie Minogue.

"Once the song was recorded and people could hear the nature of the song and so forth,I think people loved that song very much and the entire idea. I think they loved that song so much that they went out and bought the album I think if they bought the album on the strength of that single then they'll probably be confused, if not little disappointed."

Live performances:

"There are songs we are playing live where, just every couple of nights, I feel with the song that I am no longer listening to what the words are. I'm ceased to be able to find the center, the core of the song, the place where I can go within the song where, if it is a good night, I'm changed and transformed and lifted out of the mediocre and elevated in some way. I'm happy to say quite a few of my songs do that and continue to do that: From Her To Eternity, The Mercy Seat, songs like this, I can sing today on stage and still be able to find the very center of these songs, and that they have full meaning for me in some way. When I sing the lyrics I'm very much dragged along by the song.

What I feel I do best is with in the studio. I may be wrong (that's difficult to say) but I feel I have the...

I mean for me I can't watch my live performances. I never watch myself live. Maybe fifteen years ago or something like that I might have watched myself perform live, but if I come on the TV or I have the chance to say, I would turn it off or I would go out of the room. In a lot of respects I'm deeply embarrassed by my live performances, but at the same time I'm told that I do them well. I do feel when I'm on the stage that I get transported into a different level of thinking or of feeling that I don't get anywhere else. But at the end of the day I enjoy been in the studio more than I enjoy been on the stage. Being on stage is a really nerve-wrecking experience and, it's physically exhausting and I feel I sing much better in the studio.

Industry Image:

I recognize the stereotype, the symptom that has developed over the years, a kind of gothic southern preacher-type thing, which is annoying. It's boring. It's boring to read about yourself, it's not the way you are, and it's just the same repetitious description over and over again just like they've all read the same articles or something. So, I think a lot of it's just dreadful.


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