Confession: We, like many others, are terrified of Nick Cave. As excited as one would be to interview the demon prince of Australian rock ahead of tonight's Grinderman show at the Warfield, we also ran into considerable difficulty abating the slow boil of terror that arose whenever we imagined asking him some question about music, the Bad Seeds (his long time band), himself, or pretty much anything else. Speaking over the phone to the novelist, screenwriter, wearer of amazing suits, and generally brilliant bad-ass was excruciatingly intimidating, and our overdose of office coffee did not ease any tension. What follows, then, is a mostly complete transcript of a conversation with Mr. Cave, with one wimpy writer's inner monologue and Cave's projected thoughts in brackets.
Hi man, how are you? [Does this count as a first question?]
I'm very well. I'm on a bus — a big bus. We are going to Memphis. No, Nashville. We're going to Nashville.
Did you play last night? [He is on tour, idiot.]
We did play last night in Atlanta. It was amazing, beautiful place. Great meal — the best food we've eaten in America, except for when Ratso Sloman takes us out for pizza in New York. It's called the Holeman and Finch public house. They fed us, and it was a revelation.
[Kinda hungry.] What did you have?
We had a lot of different things. Pork shoulder. Fish and chips. Charcuterie. They made hamburgers and stuff. But special ones. Deep fried apple pie. It was absolutely wonderful.
[HOLY CRAP THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. This is now a stupid question, but] Do you still enjoy touring?
Absolutely, I love it. Especially the States. I love touring the States by bus, because it's such a beautiful country. You can sit and look out the window, think about things, it's beautiful. It's a very different experience than touring Europe for example. There isn't that weight of culture that exists in Europe in the same way, I've found. It seems at least there's kind of the illusion of some potential here. I know the American dream is probably dead, but … there's still some kind of illusion of it. [Insert wistful glance over Southern countryside.]