Nick Cave quotes

  • An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic Epiphany.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Art #Inspiration #Tolerance

  • You're collaborating with people you don't even know, when you're making a film. You're collaborating with people you've never seen. So, the collaborative process is very, very different than when you're collaborating on a record with the musicians you've worked with all your life.
    -- Nick Cave

    #People #Different #Records

  • Polly Jean, I love you. I love the texture of your skin, the taste of your saliva, the softness of your ears. I love every inch and every part of your entire body. From your toes and the beautifully curved arches of your feet, to the exceptional shade and warmth of your dark hair. I need you in my life, I hope you need me too.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Love You #Dark #Feet

  • The reason I've gotten into script-writing, which was accidental to begin with, was that I found it was a far more effective medium for violence. Which is something that I'd always written in songs, but the violence always sat strangely within a song. And I was always interested in the way in which you listen to murder ballads and things like that - these weird lines would kind of come out, like, I drug her by the hair or something - that sat weirdly in the song. Film seems to be a medium designed for betrayal and violence.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Betrayal #Writing

  • Love is a state that I would like to exist in continuously.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Love Is #States

  • What we [outsiders] feel America is really about - the kind of crazed ravings of the Christian right - when it's probably something quite different.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Christian #America #Outsiders

  • I'm very happy to hear that my work inspires writers and painters. It's the most beautiful compliment, the greatest reward. Art should always be an exchange.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Beautiful #Art #Inspire

  • One thing that I'm really interested in is the kind of esoteric detail that surrounds these great figures. And Wikipedia is full of that kind of stuff, whether it's true or untrue. It staggers me: why, in the short space assigned to a person or an event, that kind of random information is there. To be honest, that's wonderful fuel for songwriting.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Space #Events #Details

  • I love rock-n-roll. I think it's an exciting art form. It's revolutionary. Still revolutionary and it changed people. It changed their hearts. But yeah, even rock-n-roll has a lot of rubbish, really bad music.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Art #Thinking #Rocks

  • Not my biggest fear, but my biggest problem onstage is over-emphasizing what I do. I'm pushing too hard. You need to engage an audience. They need to be able to involve their own imaginations as well. They don't need everything thrust down their throat, and I have a tendency to do that. I always have had a tendency to do that.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Imagination #Able #Pushing

  • But if you're gonna dine with them cannibals Sooner or later, darling, you're gonna get eaten . . .
    -- Nick Cave

    #Darling #Dine #Cannibal

  • It's always a risky business inviting somebody on stage. You never know what they're going to do. I try to avoid letting people join me onstage because it can be very distracting, and overly theatrical.
    -- Nick Cave

    #People #Trying #Risky Business

  • I can control the weather with my moods. I just can’t control my moods.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Weather #Mood

  • Everybody tends to overplay live. That's just the nature of playing live. And that can be great, but it can also kill something that's special, and intimate, about a recorded version of a song. You find out very quickly which songs you can play, and which songs you do damage to by playing them live.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Play #Special

  • The artistic process seems to be mythologized quite a lot into something far greater than it actually is. It is just hard labor.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Artistic #Process #Artistic Process

  • Songs need to have the ability to change and to grow for sure. They take on lives of their own. Some songs just don't have that capacity. They're locked within a period of time. And as soon as you take them out of that period of time, they die very quickly.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Needs #Capacity

  • This is how it essentially is for Bunny Junior. He loves his dad. He thinks there is no dad better, cleverer, or more capable, and he stands there beside him with a sense of pride - he's my dad - and he also, of course, stands beside him because he has nowhere else to go.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Dad #Pride #Thinking

  • When I start writing songs, and they come easily, I'm always very suspicious. That usually means they're reminding me of something I've already done before. When the songs become unsettling, and I feel anxious about what I'm doing, that usually means it's going to be more interesting later on when we actually record the stuff.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Mean #Writing

  • People think I'm a miserable sod but it's only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #People #Miserable

  • The secret to longevity in the music business is to change, and to be able to change. An actor has to assume other people's identities. A rock star doesn't need to do that. But change is important.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Stars #Rocks #People

  • Music is storming, driving, relentless, devotional, slinky, subtle, heartbreakingly-beautiful sounds that, lyrically, switch from the cynical to the sanguine, the defeated to the defiant, dealing in love, war, beauty, children, romance, rejection, Pethedine, poetry, panties, God, Auden, Johnny Cash, cold potatoes, too-much-money, not enough money, writer’s block, flowers, animals and more flowers. But maybe I’m projecting here.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Beautiful #Children #Block

  • I feel very much a part of what I'm writing about, and I'm writing about things that concern me on a daily basis. I'm not really interested in writing musical diaries, if you know what I mean.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Mean #Writing #Musical

  • In getting older, I find myself becoming progressively more ineffectual in a lot of different ways, and part of that is down to no longer having the youthful feeling that what you're doing has any true impact.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Impact #Feelings #Getting Older

  • I'm not religious, and I'm not a Christian, but I do reserve the right to believe in the possibility of a god.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Christian #Religious #Believe

  • Accessible local libraries are vital to communities and to children.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Children #Community #Library

  • Death looms large I guess because it should. It's the one thing that we as human beings from birth have a right to. It's the only thing we've really got, and I don't mean to sound bleak about this, but it's a unifying factor amongst us all.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Mean #Sound #Birth

  • I've never been interested in being relevant.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Relevant

  • Getting married, for me, was the best thing I ever did. I was suddenly beset with an immense sense of release, that we have something more important than our separate selves, and that is the marriage. There's immense happiness that can come from working towards that.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Wedding #Self #Important

  • I love America. I really do. It's by far the place I like visiting out of anywhere in the world. I get a palpable sense of excitement when the plane's landing. It's a cliché, but there's still an incredible energy about New York in particular.
    -- Nick Cave

    #New York #America #World

  • We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all. Because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world, a little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand, and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you could hold onto that flame, great things could construct around it, that are massive and powerful and world changing, all held up by the tiniest of ideas.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Powerful #Flames #Hands

  • I write songs from the point of view I had at a time;I'm not tryingto write songs from a young person's point of view.That only ends in disaster.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Writing #Views

  • I don't believe in an interventionist God
    -- Nick Cave

    #Believe

  • As people buy less and less records, it's become more and more important for me to spend more and more on them - to lavish that much more attention on them. The Bad Seeds were always quite protective and old school, but Grinderman has opened us up to do anything and be shameless. We're not so precious about it.
    -- Nick Cave

    #School #People #Important

  • 'Inspiration' is a word used by people who aren't really doing anything.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Inspiration #People #Used

  • It's very important that the music has a sense of adventure to it, and that it's done by the seat of your pants. There's a kind of nervy element about it.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Adventure #Important #Done

  • I'm a believer. I don't go to church. I don't belong to any particular religion, but I do believe in God. I couldn't write what I write about and be creative without a certain form of belief.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Believe #Writing #Creative

  • There are times when I think I can sing it better, but usually I find that I can't.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking

  • People often can't separate, or can't understand, that to be funny is to be serious; it's a way of pulling people in and not scaring them off. I think a lot of the funny stuff, underneath it, there's a deep anxiety going on.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #People #Anxiety

  • I'm not saying this in a condescending kind of way, but it's quite simple: The making of America was a heroic thing. Australia has a much murkier, much more complex view of its history. It's just full of all these open wounds we don't really know what to do with.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Simple #Views #America

  • Well, as anyone who actually writes knows, if you sit down and are prepared, then the ideas come. There's a lot of different ways people explain that, but, you know, I find that if I sit down and I prepare myself, generally things get done.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Writing #Ideas #People

  • Your limitations make you the wonderful disaster you most probably are.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Wonderful #Disaster #Limitation

  • I want to write songs that are so sad, the kind of sad where you take someone's little finger and break it in three places.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Writing #Three

  • I'm not in the business of telling people what to do. I'm much more in the business of describing things, situations and stuff like that and leaving them out there, and you can make up your minds about them.
    -- Nick Cave

    #People #Leaving #Mind

  • I still feel very much an imposter in the whole music scene, which I'm quite happy about to be honest.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Honest #Scene #Feels

  • I write a lot, and very often I write a couple of lines that are particularly revealing in some kind of way. And then as a few more lines get added and a piece gets added, eventually the song pretty much takes over and you can't really find a way to change those things.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Change #Song #Couple

  • What I think about when I frequent the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan [Museum of Art], and I look at these artifacts that are taken out of context and how we're forced to view them as objects, as relics, as sculpture- static. But what's interesting is what it allows me to do in my head in terms of imagining what the possibilities are or imagining the role in which they played within a particular culture which I'm fascinated by.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Art #Taken #Thinking

  • Sound doesn't always have to be heard. Sound can also be created by how a pattern is set up on a surface- how it moves across the surface, how light reflects the surface [and] can generate a feeling. Sound can also be through feeling, through color, through texture.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Moving #Color #Light

  • I was reading The Bible a lot through my 20s, mostly the Old Testament, just because I was knocked out by the language and the stories. I felt that the God being talked about there, who was this insane, vindictive patriarch - it was kind of thrilling, and titillated something in me at the time.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Reading #Insane #Stories

  • I've always worn suits. To me they're a very practical kind of thing to wear. You put one on and don't really have to think about what you're going to wear.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #Suits #Kind

  • I've watched 'Oprah Winfrey.' And I'm proud. I don't care what anybody says! I don't know whether I've watched it. I've been in the room while it's been on.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Proud #Rooms #Care

  • My muse is my wife. It's not some vague thing that flutters around the astrosphere or wherever it is. Sometimes as a songwriter you need something to hang a song on, to give it some kind of presence and form. For me, Susie is that.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Giving #Wife

  • Musicians are at the bottom of the creative pyramid and authors are at the top, and many people think it's unacceptable for someone to attempt to jump from the bottom to the top of the pyramid.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #Pyramids #People

  • The band is a living, breathing thing. It grows in the same way we do as human beings and if it doesn't, it dies. It's important to feed the organism, and one way of doing that is to set musical challenges that keep it alive.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Breathing #Challenges #Musical

  • Moving to the country is a very bold thing to do. You can have vague romantic notions about doing that, but in actuality, it can be a terrifying thing.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Country #Moving #Notion

  • The big problem with songwriting for me is starting a new song. It's the thing where all the anguish exists, not in the writing of the song, but the starting of the new song.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Writing #Problem

  • The idea of songwriting is a transformative thing, and what I do with songwriting is take situations that are quite ordinary and transform them in some way. Apart from things like the murder ballads, the songs I write, at their core, are quite ordinary human concerns, but the process of writing about them transforms them into something else.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Writing #Ideas

  • The more settled I've become, the more problematic my characters have become. There was a period when I wrote sensitive and gentle songs and these came at a time when life was at its most destructive. I think you write about what you need, on some level.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Character #Writing

  • The songs that I like are the ones that you can't visualize, that are just cries from the heart - those very straight, direct songs that make rock & roll music so wonderful.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Heart #Rocks

  • There are methods to creating a mayhem that sounds different from your usual mayhem. Because mayhem and a heavy drum backbeat end up sounding like Green Day or something. But if you put a different beat within it to create some air and lightness, the chaos comes through better.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Air #Creating #Different

  • If you're Australian, you feel it in your bones because you're at odds with everybody else, except other Australians, in the sense that people always seem to be behaving strangely. People always seem to be behaving the wrong way, in a different way. You say things and there are silences.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Odds #People #Silence

  • The writer who refuses to explore the darker regions of the heart will never be able to write convincingly about the wonder, the magic and the joy of love for just as goodness cannot be trusted unless it has breathed the same air as evil.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Heart #Writing #Air

  • Love songs come in many guises and are seemingly written for many reasons – as declarations or to wound – I have written songs for all of these reasons – but ultimately the love songs exist to fill, with language, the silence between ourselves and God, to decrease the distance between the temporal and the divine.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Distance #Silence

  • No fish can swim until the King is born, until the King is born in Tupelo.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Kings #Swim #Born

  • You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Evil #Cogs #Plans

  • I am the captain of my pain.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Pain #Philosophy #Captains

  • A is for Answering all your prayers, N is for kNowing that your loverman's going to be the answer...
    -- Nick Cave

    #Prayer #Knowing #Answers

  • If you're involved with imagination and the creative process, it's not such a difficult thing to believe in a God. But I'm not involved in any religions, and I've never intended to make religious records or records that preach some kind of point of view.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Religious #Believe #Views

  • Do I personally believe in a personal God? No.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Believe

  • My responsibility as an artist is to turn up at the page or the piano or the microphone. The rest is up to God.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Responsibility #Artist #Piano

  • The actualising of God through the medium of the love song remains my prime motivation as an artist.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Motivation #Artist

  • Oh, a passing, skeptical kind of interest. I'm a hammer-and-nails kind of guy.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Guy #Nails #Hammers

  • God is in everything whether I'm mentioning him or not.
    -- Nick Cave

  • Outside the world of politics, one person in the world of the arts I would mention as an influence is Nick Cave, another person who has been around since the late 1970s. He has developed and changed remarkably, whilst remaining true to his vision. He has been a great help to me as well, without his knowing it.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Art #Knowing #Vision

  • You don't meet a lot of people that you really like. I don't anyway.
    -- Nick Cave

    #People

  • be mindful of the prayers you send pray hard but pray with care for the tears you are crying now are just your answered prayers letters of light we scale merrily, move mysteriously around so that when you think you're climbing up, man, in fact you're climbing down
    -- Nick Cave

    #Prayer #Moving #Men

  • The society of ***** stuck needles in an image of me.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Reality #Stuck #Needles

  • All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all, because the worth of an idea never becomes apparent until you do it.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Ideas #Idle

  • He who seeks, finds, and who knocks, will be let in,
    -- Nick Cave

  • The love song must be born into the realm of the irrational, absurd, the distracted, the melancholic, the obsessive, the insane for the love song is the noise of love itself and love is, of course, a form of madness.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Love Is #Insane

  • It was about the preciousness of that, and how they viewed those birds as art, as something valuable. I didn't care one way or another back then, but now, thinking about my grandparents - who are still alive but getting older - I see the birds as sort of time capsules. Now I go home during the holidays and they hold a lot of weight in terms of nostalgia and memory. Now they mean everything.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Art #Memories #Holiday

  • Brother, be a brother, fill this tiny cup of mine. And please, sir, make it whiskey: I have no head for wine!
    -- Nick Cave

    #Brother #Wine #Tiny

  • Who knows their own story? It certainly makes no sense when you’re in the middle of it
    -- Nick Cave

    #Stories #Middle

  • After a while, you just don't do things you don't wanna do - that's the great freedom you get, the older you get. You learn what to do and what not to do, and what will be a waste of time and what won't be a waste of time.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Waste #Wasting Time #Great Freedom

  • I'm a kind of hard-wired pessimist. I can't help but see the world in a certain kind of way.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Way #World #Helping

  • I don't think Hollywood makes many good films anymore. How many directors can you really trust to have an artistic vision, not a corporate vision or a watered-down communal one?
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #Vision #Directors

  • I've spent my life butting my head against other people's lack of imagination.
    -- Nick Cave

    #People #Imagination

  • I am not interested in anything that doesn't have a genuine heart to it. You've got to have soul in the hole. If that isn't there, I don't see the point.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Heart #Soul #Genuine

  • My biggest fear is losing memory because memory is what we are. Your very soul and your very reason to be alive is tied up in memory.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Memories #Soul #Alive

  • I have an armchair interest in gardening, but I don't like to get my knees dirty. I don't have a garden.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Dirty #Garden #Knees

  • My records are basically a litany of complaints against the world, and I'm quite like that in real life as well.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Real #Records #World

  • You can't trust an artist that just makes good records.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Artist #Records

  • You know, an idea is just an idea. There seems to... the kind of epiphanies that you have, like the little sudden bursts of light, they're very small and they're very short and it's the pursuit of the idea that's the important thing. . . . I know a lot of people who have way better ideas than I do that-much more frequently than I do that just can't sit down and actually do it. Ideas are such are a little overrated really; it's the work behind the idea that's the important thing.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Ideas #Light #People

  • I used to believe that if I could do certain things - write a book or be a successful musician - that I'd be transformed into a happy person, but it doesn't work that way.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Believe #Book #Writing

  • Texting is apocalyptic on some level. It's a reduction of things.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Texting #Levels #Reduction

  • I don't know, maybe Australian humour isn't supposed to be funny. It's as dry as the Sahara, and I think people miss that.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #People #Missing

  • If I'm hanging around too much, my wife and kids say, 'Hey, why don't you go downstairs and start a new novel?'
    -- Nick Cave

    #Kids #Wife #Too Much

  • I've always hated narrative songs. I hate those songs where, basically, it's an unfolding of a story.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Song #Hate #Narrative

  • I've always had an obligation to creation, above all.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Creation #Obligation

  • I've always been at war with the guitar. All vocalists are fighting a war with the electric rhythm guitar.
    -- Nick Cave

    #War #Fighting #Guitar

  • I'm not a misogynist, so you can dispense with that. I think I've done wonders for the feminist movement.
    -- Nick Cave

    #Thinking #Feminist #Movement

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