Born in Warracknabeal, Australia, Nick Cave has the talent of a musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional film actor. He is, however, best known for his work with his band Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party, and Bad Seeds side project, Grinderman.
His first band, ‘The Boys next Door’, played proto-punk cover versions by Lou Reed, David Bowie, Alice Cooper and many more. It was not until 1977 when the band began playing their own original tunes, written by Nick Cave himself.
The Boys Next Door made history in Melbourne’s post-punk music scene in the late 1970s. They then group decided to change the name to the Birthday Party in 1980, when they moved to London and then to West Berlin. Cave and his band are known for their outrageous and provocative live performances. Cave would welcome and keep the crowd going wild with his shrieking and bellowing, accompanied by harsh music.
After all the shouting and screaming with the Birthday Party, Cave and Harvey decided to form the first version of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.The new band included guitarist Blixa Bargeld (from Einstürzende Neubauten), English bassist Barry Adamson (formerly of Magazine) and Australian guitarist Hugo Race.
In 1996, the band released Murder Ballads that included “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, a duet with Australian pop idol Kylie Minogue. The song became a mainstream hit in Australia and won three ARIA Awards.
Cave then took a break for drugs and alcohol rehab, but came back again with the Bad Seeds, releasing No More Shall We Part in 2001. A couple of years and albums later, in November 2006, Nick Cave formed a new alternative rock band, the Grinderman. They described themselves as “Foul-mouthed, noisy, hairy, and damn well old enough to know better, Grinderman are Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos.” This band of his continued their story of doom and despair.
Cave did not limit himself when it came to music. Since the 1990s, Cave also performed live ‘solo’ tours with himself on piano/vocals, and many of his songs have found their way into movie soundtracks. What a busy guy indeed!
If you’re a fan of True Blood, you might have noticed the awesome tune at the end of the first episode of the fourth season. It’s a cover of the Zombies’ “She’s Not There” recorded by Cave and Neko Case. Check it out: